The Motorious beta is now available to all users.  Learn more about what this means.

Learn How The Military Waterproofed Willys Jeeps

By Steven Symes Aug 16, 2019
news
Shop Trucks
By Steven Symes Aug 16, 2019
This may be the earliest use of snorkels on any off-roader.

Pretty much everybody knows Jeeps helped win World War II. What you might not know is that US forces had to figure out how to get them from boats through fairly deep water and to shore. This War Department film details out how the Jeeps were waterproofed, including a rudimentary snorkel.

'

According to the film, this innovative waterproofing technique was first created in the European Theater. Three men figured out that the Jeeps and other vehicles could be waterproofed enough to drive in 3.5 feet of water for up to 6 minutes without getting damaged. This was absolutely revolutionary back in the day.

The snorkel, which is a flexible tube, attaches to the Jeep’s intake on one end and the windshield frame on the other. As for sealing the electrical systems and other sensitive parts of the vehicle from the water, troops used an asbestos compound called AWC that looks like clay.

During the video demonstration, a soldier kneads this compound using his bare hands and with no protection whatsoever. You can’t help but question if this technique led to health problems later, because asbestos insulation and other materials in buildings are considered a health hazard today. But considering asbestos is still used in many brake pads today, it might have been fine. Besides, being shot or otherwise maimed was probably a little more on the forefront of everyone’s minds at the time.

As you might have already guessed, this waterproofing technique was developed ahead of the D-Day invasion. Being able to drive vehicles from the landing craft through fairly shallow water and onto the beaches was absolutely critical to the operation. Without this clever waterproofing technique, there’s no telling how Allied troops would’ve fared as they arrived in Normandy. Thankfully we’ll never know, and today off-roaders have benefitted from advancements made after this early military innovation was developed to help win a war.

Photo credit: YouTube


Related articles

Cruise Hard In A 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Make wood paneling cool again. While not everyone has caught the off-road classic vehicle bug yet, it’s an increasi...
By Steven Symes Nov 11, 2019

Award-Winning 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner Pace Car Auctions F...

When's the last time you saw a pace car with a continental tire kit? As cool as it is to see high-powered sports car...
By Jeffrey N. Ross Nov 11, 2019

Seek Adventure In A 1986 Land Rover Defender 90

The interior of this beast is quite luxurious. If you have that itch to go play in the great outdoors, everyone kno...
By Steven Symes Nov 11, 2019

Add This 1989 Lamborghini LM002 To Your Collection For $369K

One-up all those Countach and Diablo owners with this amazing Rambo Lambo. All classic and vintage Lamborghinis rep...
By Jeffrey N. Ross Nov 11, 2019
Show Me More

URL copied to clipboard