M29 Weasel

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M29 Weasel
M29 Weasel 3.jpg
Type Tracked vehicle
Place of origin United States
Weight 3,800 lb (1,700 kg) dry
Length 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Width 5 ft (1.5 m)
later 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Height 4 ft 3 in (1.30 m)
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) to top of windscreen
Crew 4

Engine Studebaker Model 6-170 Champion 6-cylinder
70 hp (52 kW)
Suspension Tracked
165 mi (266 km)
Speed 36 mph (58 km/h)

The M29 Weasel was a World War II tracked vehicle, built by Studebaker, designed for operation in snow.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The idea for the Weasel came from the work of British inventor Geoffrey Pyke in support of his proposals to attack Axis forces and industrial installations in Norway. Pyke's plan to hamper the German atomic weapons development became Project Plough for which he proposed a fast light mechanised device that would transport small groups of commando troops of the 1st Special Service Force across snow. In active service in Europe, Weasels were used to supply frontline troops over difficult ground when wheeled vehicles were immobilised.

The first 2,103 vehicles had 15 in (380 mm) tracks, a later version had 20 in (510 mm) tracks. The M29 was amphibious, but with a very low freeboard; the M29C Water Weasel was the amphibious version, with buoyancy cells in the bow and stern as well as twin rudders.

Evidence exists[2] for M29s being brought to the Meiringen railway station in November 1946, to support the U.S. Army's attempt to rescue the twelve individuals from the scene of the 1946 C-53 Skytrooper crash on the Gauli Glacier. The Weasels were planned to be used for a ground rescue, climbing up the Gauli Glacier. A pair of Swiss Flugwaffe-flown Fieseler Storch STOL aircraft were able to effect the rescue solely by air, before the Weasels were needed.



  • T-15 prototype
  • M28 (G154)
  • M29 (T24) without float tanks (G179)
  • M29C with float tanks
  • M29C Type A: with center-mounted 75 mm M20 recoilless rifle[3]
  • M29C Type B: with (T106) rear-mounted 75 mm recoilless rifle
  • M29C Type C: with center-mounted 37 mm Gun M3


M29 Weasel in parking lot of Holiday Inn in Omaha
M29 Weasel
M29C Water Weasel
SCR-508 Radio mounted in weasel
  • Weight (fighting): 4,451 lb (2,019 kg)
  • Shipping dimensions:
    • Uncrated; 340 cu ft (9.6 m3); 57.7 sq ft (5.36 m2)
  • Ground clearance: 11 in (280 mm)
  • Ground pressure: 1.9 psi (13 kPa)
  • Pintle height (loaded): 27.125 in (0.6890 m)
  • Electrical system: (volts) 12
  • Brakes: Mechanical – external contracting in differential
  • Transmission: Speeds: 3
  • Transfer case: Speeds: 2

The engine was a Studebaker Model 6-170 Champion, a 6-cylinder 169.6 cu in (2,779 cc) cubic inch 4-stroke engine running on 72 octane gasoline delivering 70 bhp at 3,600 rpm. Fuel capacity was 35 US gal (130 L). Under average conditions typically 5 miles per gallon it could range 165 mi (266 km).

Maximum gradability: 100 %
Turning radius: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Fording depth: Will Float (M29C)
Maximum width of ditch vehicle will cross: 36 in (91 cm)
Maximum vertical obstacle vehicle will climb: 24 in (61 cm)
Maximum allowable speed: 36 mph (58 km/h)
Maximum allowable towed load: 3,800 lb (1,700 kg)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "OSS Briefing Film – The Weasel". Real Military Flix. Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  2. ^ TheGluetothetube (ed.). simvid 1 (YouTube) (in German). Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Event occurs at 6:03 to 6:06. Archived from the original (YouTube) on January 8, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 1946 C-53 Skytrooper crash on the Gauli Glacier. 
  3. ^ "United States' M Number Designations – World War II Vehicles – World War II Vehicles, Tanks, and Airplanes". Wwiivehicles.com. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 


External links[edit]