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Dukw Amphibious Truck

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The DUKW, popularly called the DUCK, is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck, developed by the United States during World War 2 for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks.

The DUKW was used in landings in the Pacific, in North Africa

and on D-Day on the beaches of Normandy. At Normandy alone, DUKW carried 18 million tons of supplies ashore in the 90 days after the landing that the enemy held all available ports. See Mulberry harbor.

The DUKW was developed by the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Reserch and Development, but was originally rejected by the armed services. When a US Coast Guard patrol craft ran aground on a sandbar near Provincetown, Massachusetts, an experimental DUKW happened to be in the area for a scheduled demonstration a few days later. Winds up to 60 knots (110 km/h), rain, and heavy surf prevented conventional craft from rescuing the seven stranded coast guardsmen, but the DUKW had no trouble, and military opposition melted. Subsequently, DUKWs have proved their seaworthiness by crossing the English Channel ;and many other exploits at sea.

Although its designation as a DUKW may seem to be a military pun, in fact in the terminology developed for military vehicles in World War 2, the D indicates a vehicle designed in 1942 ;of 270 cubic inches (4.4 L). The DUKW weighed 7.5 tons and operated at 6.4 mph (10 km/h) on water and 50 mph (80 km/h) on land. It was 31 feet (9.3 m) long, 8.25 feet (2.4 m) wide, and 8.8 feet (2.6 m) high with the folding canvas top up. More than 21,000 were manufactured.

The DUKW was the first vehicle to allow the driver to vary the tire pressure from inside the cab, with the tires fully inflated for hard surfaces such as roads and less inflated for softer surfaces - especially beach sand. This added to the DUKW's great versatility as an amphibious vehicle, and such arrangements are now a common feature on many military vehicles. The DUKWs were the only wheeled vehicles capable of operating on the beach at Iwo Jima, for instance.

Duck tours

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Duck boat tour in Boston

Many DUKWs are still in use, primarily as tourist transport in harbor and river cities such as London, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wisconsin Dells, Seattle, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Liverpool;(UK). The Boston Red Sox;celebrated their 2004;World Series;victory with a parade of 17 DUKWs carrying members of the team over land and across the Charles River
Those in Liverpool;and London have been repainted yellow, and given diesel engines and enclosed tops, making them resemble conventional buses. They each have a bus-type public service vehicle licence and a passenger-use boat licence.

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