The Volkswagen Kübelwagen that was used during the Second World War by both the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS was a light military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche. It was heavily based on the Volkswagen Beetle, which was to be “the people’s car.”
Kübelwagen is an abbreviation of the German “Kübelsitzwagen,” meaning “bucket-seat car.” All German light military vehicles that were without doors were fitted with bucket seats to prevent passengers from falling out.
Because the first VW test vehicles had no doors it was fitted with bucket seats, thus it was first named VW Kübelsitzwagen which was later shortened to Kübelwagen.
The Kübelwagen was for the Germans what the Jeep and GAZ-67 were for the Allies.
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