Development of the Landwasserschlepper (Land-Water-Tractor) started in 1936, but the first 7 vehicles were completed in July of 1940. An additional 14 were produced by March of 1941. It was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig as an amphibious vehicle for use by engineers but it lacked storage and loading/unloading access. To overcome this problem, special 10 and 20 ton amphibious trailers were made. It carried 3 to 5 men crew and 20 passengers. Another problem was that it was unarmored and could not operate effectively in the combat area. LWS saw service in Russia and North Africa.
Despite being unarmored the LWS proved to be an extremely useful vehicle in the always changing terrain conditions of the Russian landscape.