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M-28 / M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle

M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle. Photo: Courtesy Jim Pace
M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle. Photo: Courtesy Jim Pace.

M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle. Photo: Courtesy Jim Pace
M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle. Photo: Courtesy Jim Pace.

Today in WW II: 28 Jul 1941 Oil agreement between Japan and Dutch East Indies suspended, part of a general order freezing all Japanese assets, pushing Japan toward war.  More 
28 Jul 1941 Soviet Union agreement with London-based Polish Government-in-exile invalidates the border negotiated with Germany and enlists Poles detained in the USSR for Allied armies.
28 Jul 1942 6000 Jews brought to pits by German SS and shot dead in Minsk, Belarus, a total of 30,000 slaughtered over four days of the Great Pogrom [28-31 Jul].
28 Jul 1944 Rapid Red Army advance through Poland overruns German defenses and captures Brest-Litovsk, Jaroslaw and Przemysl.
28 Jul 1945 B-25 Mitchell bomber, lost in fog, crashes into 79th floor of the Empire State Building in Manhattan, causing 14 deaths and extensive damage.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M-28 or M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle

The Weasel began development in 1942, to meet a requirement by the First Special Services Force for transportation into Norway where the target was power plants supplying Germany with electricity. The vehicle specifications included:

  • Ability to move quickly and easily through the winter snows of Norway
  • Air transportable and able to be dropped by parachute
  • Cargo capacity to carry arms, explosives, and other supplies

An entirely new and innovative vehicle was needed, under wartime pressures to get it done yesterday. Studebaker Company accepted the challenge of a 180-day schedule to produce the vehicle. In less than 60 days, they had a prototype, which, after testing and improvements, was standardized as the M28 Cargo Carrier. While the mission to Norway was cancelled, the Weasel was a versatile vehicle that could be used for command, radio, ambulance, signal line laying, and light cargo. It operated effectively on difficult terrain such as snow, swamps, sand, deep mud, and lakes. It was used in Europe, the Pacific and Alaska during World War II, and by VJ Day, over 15,000 had been built. During the decades following WW II, the M29C was used in Arctic and Antarctic Operations, supporting explorers and scientists.

M-28 / M-29 Weasel Models

The M28 Weasel has two seats with its engine centered in the rear. Its tracks are lightly supported by only four pairs of road wheels. The top run of the track slants upward from the rear sprocket to the higher front drive sprocket. The electrical system is 6 volt.

The M29 Cargo Carrier (Weasel), standardized in November 1943, had four seats and moved the engine to the front right. It has tracks with a mild slant downward to the front, robustly supported by eight sets of road wheels on an improved suspension. The electrical system is upgraded to 12-volts. During production, the track width was increased from 15 to 20 inches.

The final version of the Weasel was the M29C, an fully amphibious version that added watertight cells for buoyancy and twin rudders at the stern. Over 10,600 of the M29C were produced, although some were stripped of their floatation tanks and rudders once in the field.

M-28 or M-29 Weasel Photos

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M28 / M29 Weasel at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Members of the 10th Light Division (Alpine) -- later called the 10th Mountain Divison -- march behind an M29 Weasel vehicle, Camp Hale, CO, circa 1943.
M-28 Cargo Carrier (Weasel) with a machine gun manned by Seabees during base construction in the arctic, World War II.
1942 Studebaker Weasel M-29 owned by Roger Neff, Findlay OH.  This vehicle served with the US Marine Corps from 1957-1963 and was purchased in December 2002. It features a .50-cal. machine gun.  Photo taken at the Vintage Aircraft Gathering, National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright Field, Dayton, OH, 27-28 September 2008.
87th Mountain Infantry Regiment Soldiers camp on Kiska Island, Alaska, after it was retaken by Allied troops near the end of the Aleutian Islands Campaign, 16 August 1943.  M-29 Weasels and bulldozer/tractors are in the foreground with trucks and a power shovel further away.
An infantry column passing a supply transfer point in the Monte Grande areaeast of Highway 65, Italy, 22 February 1945. Supplies were transferred from cargo trucks to the tracked M29 Weasels at this point. Higher in the mountains, mule pack trains took over from the Weasels.
1943 Studebaker M29 Weasel, owned and restored by Ron Roberts.  Photo taken at the Bosque Farms Fairgrounds Car Show, Los Lunas, NM, July 2007.  Roberts' M38A1 follows, along with other jeeps.

M-28 or M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle Photo Gallery

M-28 Cargo Carrier (Weasel) at winter training, Camp McCoy, WI, 1943.  Cross-country skis mounted outside the top enclosure.  The photo was taken by Capt. Edward Y. Pettit, who won a Silver Star in Normandy, while Company Commander of Company C, 2nd Combat Engineers Battalion, 2nd (Indianhead) Infantry Division, 14 June 1944. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit, son of Capt. Pettit
M-28 Cargo Carrier (Weasel) at winter training, Camp McCoy, WI, 1943. Cross-country skis mounted outside the top enclosure. The photo was taken by Capt. Edward Y. Pettit, who won a Silver Star in Normandy, while Company Commander of Company C, 2nd Combat Engineers Battalion, 2nd (Indianhead) Infantry Division, 14 June 1944. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit, son of Capt. Pettit.

Camouflaged M-29 Weasel transports wounded, Belgium 1944
Camouflaged M-29 Weasel transports wounded, Belgium 1944.

M29C test during WW II.  Note rudders on rear of vehicle
M29C test during WW II. Note rudders on rear of vehicle.

M-29 Weasel at Camp Mabry Museum (49th Armored Division- Texas), 18 July 2004. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-29 Weasel at Camp Mabry Museum (49th Armored Division- Texas), 18 July 2004. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

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