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The Wehrmachtskanister

The famous German fuel (and water!) can from WW2, in English speaking countries known as "Jerrycan".

It contains 20 litre fuel and was also used as water can. It is still in production and in use in NATO armies.


This is my own Wehrmachtskanister. I'm just restoring it. The remains of the original paint is Panzergrau (dark grey). The grey paint on this picture is new prime coat.
The following words are stamped on the side:

Kraftstoff 20 l

= Fuel 20 litres


= Inflammable


= The production year

The sign of the manufacturer: "SCHWELM"


= A number

The word "WEHRMACHT" is not stamped on the side, because this is an early can. For reinforcement of the sidewalls there is the old X-shape cross.

can_back.jpg (61491 Byte)

On the back side there is a stenciled white "W". As far as I know now, this "W" doesn't mean "water", it means "Winterkraftstoff".Winterkraftstoff was a special fuel for the Ostfront in winter. All containers with Winterkraftstoff should be marked with a "W".

The real watercan:

Here we have a Wehrmachtskanister for water:

watercan.jpg (37122 Byte)

The can is marked on the left side as follows:

Wasser 20 l

= Water 20 litres


= The production year

The emblem of the manufacturer:



= A number


= Wehrmacht property

Click on the picture to load the bigger version!

On this later version, the sidewalls are reinforced with a different shaped pressing with a rectangular space in the middle.