Recently British adventurers Steven Brooks and Graham
Stratford built a specialized vehicle which could cross the Bering
Straights from Alaska to Russia, and could traverse water, ice, snow,
and the tangled masses of ice ridges that can occur in that area. It
could also climb out of the water onto the ice shelf. Their adventure
is showcased at the team's Ice Challenger site. The vehicle was a Bombardier snow grooming vehicle, driven by tracks, to which was added a screw propulsion system.
I had thought the Russians had pioneered screw propulsion vehicles,
and wrote a blog post with pictures of their vehicles. Recently I
found out that the original screw propulsion vehicle was designed in
1944, during WWII, by Johannes Raedel, a member
of the German Army and veteran of the Eastern Front with Russia.
(Note: Raedel was originally spelled R'a'del, with an umlaut). He had observed that in the deep snows of Russia, tanks
would dig out the snow under the tracks, and the tank would become high
centered on snow pressed under the belly of the tank.
The photos below are of Johannes testing the vehicle in Tyrol. The woman and children were at a lodge at the top of a mountain, which the vehicle had climbed during testing.
Siegfried pointed out that "something in the order of 7 tons of patent papers were taken out of Germany after the war. What amazes me though is the fact that both the US and Russia seem to have had access to these papers - and this during the cold war period!"
The page below is the first page of Johannes' report on the vehicle.