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FERDINAND PORSCHE (3 September 1875 – 30 January 1951) was an automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche
Porsche
car company. He is best known for creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle (Lohner- Porsche
Porsche
), the Volkswagen Beetle , the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK , several other important developments and Porsche
Porsche
automobiles. In addition, Porsche
Porsche
designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first racing car with a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

Porsche
Porsche
was an important contributor to the German war effort during World War II
World War II
. He was involved in the production of advanced tanks such as the VK 4501 (P) , Tiger I , Tiger II , Elefant , and Panzer VIII Maus , as well as other weapon systems, including the V-1 flying bomb . Porsche
Porsche
was a member of the German Nazi party and allegedly the SS (see below). He was a recipient of the German National Prize for Art and Science , the SS-Ehrenring and the War Merit Cross . He was called the Great German Engineer by Nazi propaganda.

In 1996 Porsche
Porsche
was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1999 posthumously won the award of Car Engineer of the Century.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life * 2 Early career * 3 Austro-Daimler

* 4 Founding of Porsche
Porsche

* 4.1 Volkswagen Beetle and Nazi membership * 4.2 Auto Union racing car

* 5 Military vehicles * 6 Post war * 7 Return to Stuttgart
Stuttgart
* 8 Views on labor * 9 Controversy in Porsche\'s birthplace * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links

EARLY LIFE

See also: Porsche
Porsche
family

Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
was born to German-speaking parents in Maffersdorf (Czech : Vratislavice nad Nisou ), northern Bohemia
Bohemia
, part of the Austrian Empire at that time, and today part of the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
. Ferdinand was his parents' third child. His father, Anton Porsche, was a master panel-beater .

He showed a strong aptitude for mechanical work at a very early age. He attended classes at the Imperial Technical School in Reichenberg (Czech : Liberec) at night while helping his father in his mechanical shop by day. Thanks to a referral, Porsche
Porsche
landed a job with the Béla Egger Electrical company in Vienna
Vienna
when he turned 18. In Vienna
Vienna
he would sneak into the local university whenever he could after work. Other than attending classes there, Porsche
Porsche
never received any higher engineering education. During his five years with Béla Egger , Porsche
Porsche
first developed the electric hub motor .

After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
at the end of World War I , he chose Czechoslovakian citizenship. In 1934 either Adolf Hitler or Joseph Goebbels made Porsche
Porsche
a naturalized German citizen.

EARLY CAREER

The Lohner- Porsche
Porsche
Mixte Hybrid

In 1898, Porsche
Porsche
joined the Vienna-based factory Jakob Lohner "> the weight of the batteries rendered it slow to climb hills. It also suffered from limited range due to limited battery life.

Still employed by Lohner, Porsche
Porsche
introduced the "Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid" in 1901: instead of a massive battery-pack, an internal combustion engine built by the German firm Daimler drove a generator which in turn drove the electric wheel hub motors . As a backup a small battery pack was fitted. This is the first petroleum electric hybrid vehicle on record, although since sufficiently reliable gears and couplings were not available at the time, he chose to make it a series-hybrid , an arrangement now more common in diesel-electric or turbo-electric railway locomotives than in automobiles.

Though over 300 Lohner- Porsche
Porsche
chassis were sold up to 1906, most of them were two-wheel drive; either front- or rear-wheel driven trucks, buses and fire-engines. Some four wheel drive buses were produced, but no four wheel drive automobiles.

The vehicles achieved speeds of up to 56 kilometres per hour (35 mph), broke several Austrian speed records, and also won the Exelberg Rally in 1901, with Porsche
Porsche
himself driving a front-wheel drive hybrid. It was later upgraded with more powerful engines from Daimler and Panhard
Panhard
, which proved to be enough to gain more speed records. In 1905 Porsche
Porsche
was awarded the Pötting prize as Austria's most outstanding automotive engineer.

In 1902 he was drafted into military service. He served as a chauffeur to Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
, the crown prince of Austria whose assassination sparked World War I
World War I
a decade later.

AUSTRO-DAIMLER

In 1906, Austro-Daimler recruited Porsche
Porsche
as their chief designer. Porsche's best known Austro-Daimler car was designed for the Prince Henry Trial in 1910, named after Wilhelm II 's younger brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia . Examples of this streamlined, 85 horsepower (63 kW) car won the first three places, and the car is still better known by the nickname "Prince Henry" than by its model name "Modell 27/80". He also created a 30 horsepower model called the Maja, named after Mercedes Jellinek 's younger sister, Andrée Maja (or Maia) Jellinek.

Porsche
Porsche
had advanced to Managing Director by 1916 and received an honorary doctorate from the Vienna
Vienna
University of Technology in 1916: the title "Dr. Ing. h.c." is an abbreviation of "Doktor Ingenieur Honoris Causa ". Porsche
Porsche
successfully continued to construct racing cars, winning 43 out of 53 races with his 1922 design. In 1923, Porsche
Porsche
left Austro-Daimler after differences ensued about the future direction of car development.

A few months later Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft hired Porsche
Porsche
to serve as Technical Director in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
, Germany
Germany
, which was already a major center for the German automotive industry. In 1924 he received another honorary doctorate from the Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Technical University for his work at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
and was later given the honorary title of Professor. While at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft he came up with several very successful race car designs. The series of models equipped with superchargers that culminated in the Mercedes-Benz SSK dominated its class of motor racing in the 1920s.

In 1926, Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz "> Adolf Hitler laying the foundation stone of the KDF-Wagen (Volkswagen) factory near Fallersleben (Wolfsburg) on 26 May 1938. Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
at far right. Porsche
Porsche
was heavily involved in the production of advanced tanks such as the Tiger I tank as shown above

In April 1931 Porsche
Porsche
returned to Stuttgart
Stuttgart
and founded his consulting firm Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche
Porsche
GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratungen für Motoren und Fahrzeugbau (designs and consulting services for engines and vehicles). With financial backing from the Austrian advocate Anton Piëch and Adolf Rosenberger , Porsche successfully recruited several former co-workers he had befriended at his former places of employment, including Karl Rabe , Erwin Komenda , Franz Xaver Reimspiess , and his son, Ferry Porsche .

Their first project was the design of a middle class car for Wanderer . Other commissioned designs followed. As the business grew, Porsche decided to work on his own design as well, which was a development of the small car concept from his days at Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart. He financed the project with a loan on his life insurance. Later Zündapp decided to help sponsor the project, but lost interest after their success with motorcycles. NSU then took over the sponsorship, but also lost interest due to the high tooling costs.

With car commissions scarce due to the depressed economic climate, Porsche
Porsche
founded a subsidiary company, Hochleistungs Motor GmbH (High Performance Engines Ltd.), to develop a racing car for which he had no customer. Based on Max Wagner\'s mid-engined layout the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen , or "Teardrop" aerodynamic design, the experimental P-Wagen project racing car (P stood for Porsche) was designed according to the regulations of the 750 kg formula. The main regulation of this formula was that the weight of the car without driver, fuel, oil, water and tires was not allowed to exceed 750 kg (1,650 lb).

In 1932 Auto Union Gmbh was formed, consisting of struggling auto manufacturers Audi
Audi
, DKW
DKW
, Horch and Wanderer . The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Baron Klaus von Oertzen wanted a showpiece project, so at fellow director Adolf Rosenberger's insistence, von Oertzen met with Porsche, who had done work for him before. At the 1933 Berlin Motor Show German Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
announced his intention to motorize the nation, with every German owning either a car or a tractor in the future, and unveiled two new programs: the "people's car" and a state-sponsored motor racing programme to develop a "high speed German automotive industry"; to initiate this, Mercedes-Benz were to be given an annual grant of 500,000 Reichsmark
Reichsmark
.

These projects led to two projects for Porsche, and set a precedent for the rest of the decade, with Porsche
Porsche
undertaking further projects for the Nazis
Nazis
, including the Tiger tank and the Elefant tank destroyer.

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE AND NAZI MEMBERSHIP

German Press Ball 1939. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
presents the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
tombola prize to Mrs. Elsa Ellinghausen, the lucky winner. Main article: Volkswagen Beetle

In June 1934 Porsche
Porsche
received a contract from Hitler to design a "people's car" (or Volkswagen), following on from his previous designs such as the 1931 Type 12 car designed for Zündapp . The first two prototypes were completed in 1935. These were followed by several further pre-production batches during 1936 to 1939. The car was similar to the contemporary designs of Hans Ledwinka
Hans Ledwinka
of Tatra , in particular the Tatra V570 and Tatra 97 . This resulted in a lawsuit against Porsche
Porsche
claiming infringement of Tatra's patents regarding air-cooling of the rear engine. The suit was interrupted by the German invasion of Czechoslovakia : several years after World War II Volkswagen
Volkswagen
paid a settlement.

Since being engaged by the Nazi authorities in building the Volksauto, Porsche
Porsche
was praised as the Great German Engineer. Hitler considered Czechs subhuman and Porsche
Porsche
was in 1934 urged to apply for German citizenship. A few days later, Porsche
Porsche
indeed filed a declaration giving up the Czechoslovak citizenship at a Czechoslovak consulate in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
. In 1937, Porsche
Porsche
joined the National Socialist German Workers\' Party (becoming member no. 5,643,287 ) as well as the SS . By 1938, Porsche
Porsche
was using the SS as security members and drivers at his factory, and later set up a special unit called SS Sturmwerk Volkswagen. In 1942, Porsche
Porsche
reached the rank of SS-Oberführer . During the war, Porsche
Porsche
was further decorated with the SS-Ehrenring and awarded the War Merit Cross . As the war progressed his proposed solutions to new developments became more complex and Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
gained a reputation in certain circles as a "mad scientist" especially with Albert Speer
Albert Speer
(mainly due to his new found affinity for "pointy" designs).

A new city, "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" was founded near Fallersleben for the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
factory, but wartime production concentrated almost exclusively on the military Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen variants. Mass production of the car, which later became known as the Beetle, began after the end of the war. The city is named Wolfsburg today and is still the headquarters of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group .

AUTO UNION RACING CAR

Main article: Auto Union racing car

German racing driver Hans Stuck had met Hitler before he became Chancellor, and not being able to gain a seat at Mercedes, accepted the invitation of Rosenberger to join him, von Oertzen and Porsche
Porsche
in approaching the Chancellor. In a meeting in the Reich Chancellery , Hitler agreed with Porsche
Porsche
that for the glory of Germany, it would be better for two companies to develop the project, resulting in Hitler agreeing to split the money between Mercedes and Auto Union with 250,000 Reichsmark
Reichsmark
to each company. This highly annoyed Mercedes, who had already developed their Mercedes-Benz W125 , and resulted in a heated exchange both on and off the racing track between the two companies for the period until World War II.

Having obtained state funds, Auto Union bought Hochleistungs Motor GmbH and hence the P-Wagen Project for 75,000 Reichsmark, relocating the company to Chemnitz
Chemnitz
. As Porsche
Porsche
became more involved with the construction of the Wolfsburg factory, he handed over his racing projects to his son, Ferry. The dominance of the Silver Arrows of both brands was only stopped by the outbreak of World War II
World War II
in 1939.

MILITARY VEHICLES

Porsche
Porsche
produced a heavy tank design in 1942, the VK4501 also known as "Tiger (P)". Due to the complex nature of the drive system, a competing design from Henschel was chosen for production instead. Ninety chassis that had already been built were converted into self-propelled anti-tank guns; these were put into service in 1943 as the Panzerjäger Tiger (P) and known by the nickname "Ferdinand".

The Ferdinand was driven by a hybrid electric powertrain, and was armed with a long barrel version of the 88mm Flak cannon. The most common reason for losses was because the vehicle became stuck or broke down, and so the crews often had to destroy their own vehicles to avoid allowing them to be captured. It had a kill ratio of nearly 10:1, but as with most German wartime vehicles, lack of supplies made maintenance a serious problem, reducing the effectiveness of the vehicles, and forcing crews to destroy many otherwise operational vehicles.

POST WAR

In November 1945, Porsche
Porsche
was asked to continue the design of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
in France and to move the factory equipment there as part of war reparations . Differences within the French government and objections from the French automotive industry put a halt to this project before it had even begun. On 15 December 1945, French authorities arrested Porsche, Anton Piëch , and Ferry Porsche as war criminals . While Ferry was freed after 6 months, Ferdinand and Anton were imprisoned first in Baden-Baden and then in Paris and Dijon.

While his father was in captivity, Ferry tried to keep the company in business, and they also repaired cars, water pumps, and winches . A contract with Piero Dusio was completed for a Grand Prix motor racing car, the Type 360 Cisitalia . The innovative 4WD design never raced, but the money it received was used to redeem Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
from prison.

The company also started work on a new design, the Porsche
Porsche
356 , the first car to carry the Porsche
Porsche
brand name. The company then was located in Gmünd in Carinthia , where they had relocated from Stuttgart
Stuttgart
to avoid Allied bombing. The company started manufacturing the Porsche
Porsche
356 in an old saw mill in Gmünd. They made only 49 cars, which were built entirely by hand.

RETURN TO STUTTGART

The Porsche
Porsche
family returned to Stuttgart
Stuttgart
in 1949 not knowing how to restart their business. The banks would not give them credit, as the company's plant was still under American embargo and could not serve as collateral. So Ferry Porsche took one of the limited series 356 models from Gmünd and visited Volkswagen
Volkswagen
dealers to raise some orders. He asked the dealers to pay for the ordered cars in advance.

The serial version made in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
had a steel body welded to the central-tube platform chassis instead of the aluminium body used in the small Gmünd-made series. When Ferry Porsche resurrected the company he counted on series production figures of about 1,500. More than 78,000 Porsche
Porsche
356s were manufactured in the following 17 years.

Porsche
Porsche
was later contracted by Volkswagen
Volkswagen
for additional consulting work and received a royalty on every Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Type I (Beetle) car manufactured. This provided Porsche
Porsche
with a comfortable income as more than 20 million Type I were built.

In November 1950, Porsche
Porsche
visited the Wolfsburg Volkswagen
Volkswagen
factory for the first time since the end of World War II. Porsche
Porsche
spent his visit chatting with Volkswagen
Volkswagen
president Heinrich Nordhoff about the future of VW Beetle , which were already being produced in large numbers.

A few weeks later, Porsche
Porsche
suffered a stroke . He did not fully recover, and died on 30 January 1951.

In 1996, Porsche
Porsche
was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1999 posthumously won the award of Car Engineer of the Century .

VIEWS ON LABOR

Porsche
Porsche
visited Henry Ford
Henry Ford
's operation in Detroit
Detroit
many times where he learned the importance of productivity. There he learned to monitor work. He was also surprised at how the workers and the managers treated each other as equals; even he, as a visiting dignitary, had to carry his own tray in the cafeteria and eat with the workers.

The need to increase productivity became an obsession for him. Conventional methods for increasing productivity include longer working hours, a faster rate of work, and new labour-saving techniques. Originally the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
project was to be a collaboration of the existing German auto manufacturers, but they bowed out of the project, and a complete workforce was needed. The Volkswagen
Volkswagen
plant was completed in 1938 after Italian labor was brought in. Volkswagen, under Ferdinand Porsche, profited from forced labour . This included a large number of Soviets. By early 1945, German nationals only made up 10% of Volkswagen’s workforce.

CONTROVERSY IN PORSCHE\'S BIRTHPLACE

Following protests from local World War II
World War II
survivors that Porsche's Czech birthplace Vratislavice nad Nisou was promoting Nazism by displaying signs commemorating its native son, in 2013 the town authorities removed the signs and changed the content of a local exhibition so that it would cover not only his automotive achievements, but also his Nazi party and SS membership, and the importance of his work for the Nazi war cause. The move was criticized by the local association of Porsche
Porsche
car owners as silly and intent on smearing the name of Porsche. Moreover, Porsche
Porsche
AG hauled away cars that it had previously provided for the museum.

REFERENCES

* ^ Porsche
Porsche
Founder’s Legacy Hits Nazi Past in Czech Hometown * ^ "Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
- Porsche
Porsche
Tradition - Classic World - Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche
Porsche
AG". Porsche.com. Retrieved 29 May 2014. * ^ The name Porsche
Porsche
is pronounced in German and /ˈpɔːrʃə/ in English, with an audible schwa . * ^ A B "Volkswagen\'s history of forced labour - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition". Mondediplo.com. 28 November 1947. Retrieved 29 May 2014. * ^ A B C Hiott, Andrea (2012). Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Beetle. Random House LLC. ISBN 9780345521446 . * ^ Diel, Juliane (2008). "Du bist Deutschland!" - eine Kampagne in der Kritik - Weblogs als kritische Meinungsführer (in German). GRIN Verlag. ISBN 9783638006354 . * ^ "Sensations-Fund: Der erste Porche ". Auto, Motor und Sport. Stuttgart: Motor Presse Stuttgart
Stuttgart
GmbH & Co. Nr. 04 2014: Page 135. 2014. * ^ "Ferdinand Porsche, a \'Bogár\' atyja". National Geographic Hungarian edition (in Hungarian). 3 September 2004. Retrieved 10 December 2008. * ^ Hiott, Andrea (2012). Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Beetle. Random House. p. 49. ISBN 0345521447 . * ^ A B Flink, James J. (1990). The Automobile Age. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262560559 . * ^ Taylor, Blaine (2004). Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Military Vehicles of the Third Reich: An Illustrated History. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306813130 . * ^ Erwin Steinböck (1984), Lohner zu Land, zu Wasser und in der Luft: die Geschichte eines industriellen Familienunternehmens von 1823-1970 (in German), H. Weishaupt * ^ Healey, James R. (27 January 2014). "Porsche\'s first car, in 1898, was electric". USA Today. Tysons Corner, Virginia: Gannett Company, Inc. Retrieved 28 January 2014. * ^ Lohner-Porsche: The Real Story * ^ The VW Beetle: A Production History of the World\'s Most Famous Car, 1936-1967. Penguin. 2003. p. 5. ISBN 1557884218 . * ^ Grange, William (2008). Cultural Chronicle of the Weimar Republic. Scarecrow Press. p. 173. ISBN 9780810859678 . * ^ ""Čech" Ferdinand Porsche
Porsche
chtěl stavět auta, bez Hitlera by to nesvedl" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. * ^ Eberhard, Rieger (2013). The People\'s Car: a global history of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Beetle. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674075757 . * ^ A B Bernhard, Reuss (2008). Hitler's Motor Racing Battles: The Silver Arrows Under the Swastika. * ^ François, Etienne (2009). Deutsche Erinnerungsorte (in German). C.H.Beck. * ^ von Preradovich, Nicolas (2004). Die Schutzstaffel
Schutzstaffel
der NSDAP: eine Dokumentation (in German). Druffel & Vowinckel-Verlag. * ^ "Slavný Porsche
Porsche
mizí z tabulí ve Vratislavicích. Byl nacista" (in Czech). denik.cz. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. * ^ ISBN 978-08376-1331-4 “Porsche: Origin of the species” Karl Ludvigsen * ^ "Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger (P)". Retrieved 20 August 2014. * ^ "Panzerjäger Tiger(P) – Ferdinand – Elephant". Achtungpanzer.com. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2017-04-12. * ^ Ludviggsen, Karl (1977). Porsche
Porsche
Excellence Was Expected. New Jersey: Princeton Publishing Inc. p. 33. ISBN 0-525-10117-9 . * ^ Howstuffworks " Porsche
Porsche
Takes Root" * ^ A B Nelson, Walter (1967). Small Wonder. Little, Brown & Company. p. 333. * ^ "Porsche\'s Nazi Past Prompts Protest in Czech Birthplace". Bloomberg. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. * ^ Jan Mikulička (2013-12-16). " Porsche
Porsche
si odvezlo z Vratislavic svá vystavená auta. Už je sem nevrátí - iDNES.cz" (in Czech). Liberec.idnes.cz. Retrieved 2017-04-12.

FURTHER READING

* Hiott, Andrea: "Thinking Small: The Long Strange Trip of the Volkswagen