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M-29 WEASEL

   The Weasel was introduced in 1942, when the First Special Services Force needed transportation into Norway to knock out strategic power plants that were supplying Germany.  The vehicle needed to move quickly and easily through the winter snows of Norway.   It needed to be air transportable and be able to withstand the effects of being dropped by parachute. 

   Specifically used for quick assaults, it would also be able to carry arms, explosives, and minimal resupply stocks.  This was a time sensitive mission to the war that required the engineering and building of an entirely new and innovative vehicle.

weasel in France

 

   The task of building the Weasel was undertaken by the Studebaker Company.  Studebaker was given 180 days to produce a war ready vehicle.  In less than 60 days, they were testing a prototype, which emerged as the M29 Cargo Carrier.  It was used in Europe, the Pacific and Alaska during WW II, and by VJ Day, over 15,000 had been built.

 

M29C AMPHIBIOUS CARGO CARRIER “WEASEL”

side diagram of weasel
 

top diagram of weasel

Crew                                     - 4
Track size               - 20 inches
Speed on land             - 36 mph
Speed in water              - 4 mph
Fuel capacity         - 35 gallons
Range -                     170 miles
Carrying capacity     - 1200 lbs
Terrain -           lakes, streams
Ground pressure - 1.9 lbs/sq in
Clearance -              45 degree
length/width -      16 ft x 5.1 ft
Weight -                    6000 lbs
Engine - Studebaker 6 - 170
6 cylinders

 

 

 

 weasel in snow

Armed and towing a sled with supplies.

 


weasel in water

A perfect launch – nice and flat.


weasel performin a medevac in snow

Carrying a medevac litter.
 

    The M29 Cargo Carrier "Weasel” could be used as command, radio, ambulance, signal line laying, and light cargo vehicle.  It proved most useful on difficult terrain (snow, swamps, sand, deep mud, and lakes).  The M29 became the standard model in November 1943.  Unfortunately, the Norwegian mission was cancelled and the Weasel was never used for its original intention.

   A later amphibious version was called the M29C, adding watertight cells for buoyancy and twin rudders at the stern.  It proved very useful in the winter terrain in the 1950s, when they were used in polar expeditions for exploration and discovery.  It was used in vital Arctic and Antarctic Operations, supporting explorers and scientists.

 

 

 

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