Going totally dieselpunk with the Antarctic Snow Cruiser

A little history for today.

Matthew Wright

Picture the scene: you’re standing on an ice-shelf in Antaractica circa 1940 and suddenly spot a huge orange-red vehicle approaching on just four 10-foot high balloon tyres. It’s got a small aircraft on its back. And it’s absolutely enormous: 16 feet high, 20 feet wide and 55 feet long – a giant of a vehicle straight out of Flash Gordon.

This sounds like a bonkers dieselpunk fantasy – the sort of vehicle somebody might build in 1/72 scale and plop into an Antarctic diorama. We can imagine such a diorama would also feature the inevitable secret Nazi base. Except it isn’t. The Antarctic Snow Cruiser, aka Penguin 1, actually existed. The Nazis had a bit to do with it, to the extent that German interest in the Antarctic sub-continent was growing during the 1930s and, inevitably, the other major powers also felt they needed to get involved.

It was against…

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