Forces of Valor 82405 German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Unidentified Unit, Normandy, 1944 [D-Day Commemorative Packaging] (1:32 Scale)
"I do not doubt that the outstanding ability of the designer and at a later date the economic acumen of manufacturers, will make it possible to make available to the German people a car which is low priced and cheap in operation, similar to what American people have enjoyed for a long time..."
- German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at the 26th International Berlin Automobile Show, 1936
Built by Volkswagen, the simple yet reliable Kubelwagen ("bucket car") was the German equivalent of the American Jeep. This nimble four-seater, based on Ferdinand Porsche's original "People's Car" design of the 1930's, used the same rear-mounted, aircooled engine to drive the rear wheels. Some models mounted an MG 42 machine gun behind the front passenger seat, giving the Kubelwagen a nasty bite. Other variants included an amphibious vehicle, called the Schwimmwagen, as well as radio communications, maintenance, ambulance, and survey variants.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale replica of a German Kubelwagen that was attached to an unidentified unit then serving in Normandy during the summer of 1944.
Length: 4.69 inches
Width: 1.88 inches
Height: 1.88 inches
Release Date: October 2008
Historical Account: "Porsche" - Prof. Dr. h.c. Ferdinand Porsche (September 3rd, 1875 - January 30th, 1951) was an Austrian automotive engineer. Porsche was born in Vratislavice nad Nisou, Bohemia, which is now part of the city of Liberec in the Czech Republic, aka Maffersdorf in German. Porsche is best known for designing the original Volkswagen Beetle and for his contributions to advanced German tank designs: Tiger I, Tiger II and the Elefant. Adolf Hitler honored Porsche in 1937 when he was awarded the German National Prize for Art and Science, one of the rarest decorations in the Third Reich.
In June 1934, Porsche got a contract to build three prototypes based on his design. The three cars were completed in winter 1936. Daimler-Benz was contracted to build an additional 30 prototypes. A new city, "Stadt des KdF-Wagens", near to Fallersleben was founded for the factory. The city is named Wolfsburg today and is still the seat of Volkswagen.
At about the same time, Porsche designed a racing car for Auto Union to compete with Daimler-Benz in Grand Prix motor racing from 1934 onwards. The V16-powered car became known by the name P-Wagen and was both innovative and successful. The dominance of the Silver Arrows of both brands was only stopped by the war in 1939.
Ferdinand Porsche became involved with the construction of the factory in Wolfsburg. He handed over his racing projects to his son, Ferry.
Ferdinand also accepted further projects from the Third Reich, including the design and construction of tanks and other military vehicles such as the Tiger Tank and the Elefant tank destroyer. As was routine in the days of the Third Reich during the war, those projects also involved forced labor. Slave labor was used at the Wolfsburg factory as well.