Early in WWII, German command saw the need for a vehicle that could combine four-wheel drive and amphibious capability. Looking at the rear of the Schwimmwagen and you will see a boat propeller. You can drive the vehicle right from the land into the water. There was no reverse, so paddles were standard equipment. The front wheels doubled as rudders, so steering was done with the steering wheel both on land and in the water.
The Schwimmwagen utilized the engine and other parts from the Volkswagen’s Type 1 car, better known as the VW Beetle. For protective armament, it had an MG-34 machine gun mounted on a swivel. Of the 15,584 Schwimmwagens produced, 1,308 were made by Porsche and the rest by VW, making it the most mass-produced amphibious car in history and was quite popular with German reconnaissance units.