Ordered by the Heereswaffenamt in 1935 for use by German Army engineers, the Landwasserschlepper (or LWS) was intended as a lightweight river tug with some capacity to operate on land. Intended to aid river crossing and bridging operations, it was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig of Dusseldorf. The hull was similar to that of a motor launch, resembling a tracked boat with twin rear-mounted tunnelled propellers and twin rudders. On land, it rode on steel-shod tracks with four bogies per side. Due to protracted development, the Landwasserschlepper did not enter regular service until 1942 and, though it proved useful in both Russia and North Africa, it was produced in only small numbers. Landwasserschlepper remained operational until the end of the war in May 1945.