White 920 Tank Transporter

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Dave55, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Hi all,

    I just learned of the White 920 Tank Transporter, although I know very little of it.

    There seems to be very little information about it on the net. One site says they were designed for a French order but were rerouted to the UK. Seems a very formidable truck, plus very cool looking.

    Anyone have any more information on these? I wonder what engine they used.

    Attached Files:

  2. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Hi Dave

    According to Bart Vanderveen's bible, this truck was driven by a 6 cylinder 134 bhp engine - a 529 cid sidevalve of their own construction. 145 were ordered by France as load carriers, but were diverted to UK and used as tank transporters. One of Bart's other books remarks that 'some' were diverted to UK, so maybe some came direct to UK. The tank transporter bodies were built in UK.

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Not alot to add but here it is listed in a document from National Archives WO32/11617 in the Appendix regarding Bridge Load Classification.

    Attached Files:

  4. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    I believe that many of these went to North Africa and were probably quite worn out by the time that tank weights made them unsuitable as transporters. A few, porobably kept in the UK, were used later in the war as heavy lorries - I have a photo somewhere.
  5. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Found it - on looking again I dont thing this is a White 920 , more likeley it's a Mack or White-Ruxtall but here it is working hard at the British Mulberry harbour
    British trucks at Mulberry 5.jpg
    IWM photo quite obviously.
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    Certainly a good looking vehicle.

    France ordered a large number of US load carriers Some 10,000 altogether. About half were delivered before the Fall of France. The White 920 is the most difficult to pin down on exact numbers. French sources say that 250 were ordered as tankers and an unknown number delivered. At the same time 200 Mack EXBX tankers were ordered but none were delivered. Britain agreed to take all French contract vehicles. White 920 and Mack EXBX were rebodied as tank transporters.

    300 White Ruxtall were ordered by France as tank transporters and were all delivered to Britain.

  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Thanks everyone for your responses.

    If ~ 5000 of the US trucks reached France, I wonder what happened to them all.
    I've seen a few pictures of American tanks, halftracks, M8s and jeeps being used by the Germans but I don't think I've ever seen an American truck in either French (pre 44) or German service. The ubiquitous GMC Deuce and Half didn't enter service until late 41 so the 1940 orders must have had some very interesting vehicles on them

    Anyone have any pictures of American trucks being used by France or Germany? Love to see them.


  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    France had quite a range of US vehicles in service, including motorbikes. I will put together a list. Photos will take a little longer. Understandably records are a bit unreliable as many US vehicles were just arriving in time to be captured, some were at sea at the time of the Fall of France and some were still on the production lines.

    Also there were a number of voluntary organisations using US ambulances and other vehicles.


    PS. They were not US Army types.
  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Thank you very much. No rush required, of course.
    I especially like your PS

    This sounds like it is going to be good!
  10. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    I plump for a Mack EXBX; could be a White-Ruxtall though.

  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    A first attempt at a listing. No doubt there will be experts who can add more vehicles and more details. I will try to assemble some photographs.

    US vehicles in French Service 1940.

    The following were ordered and delivered at least in part.
    GMC ACK 353. 2½ ton 4 X 4.
    2,000 ordered. All delivered.

    Studebaker K25. 5ton.
    2,000 ordered. All delivered.

    White 704 S. 5ton.
    1,500 ordered. All delivered.

    Dodge VH 48. 5ton.
    1,500 ordered. All delivered.

    Autocar ?. 18 ton tank transporter.
    5 built for Spain.

    White Ruxtall 922. 18ton tank transporter.
    300 ordered. 1 delivered (A pre production sample presumably). To UK.

    White 920. 18,000 litre tanker.
    250 ordered. Number delivered unknown. Balance to UK.

    White 704. 8,000 litre tanker.
    100 ordered. Number delivered unknown. Balance to UK.

    Indian 340B motorcycle.
    12,000 ordered. 2,000 delivered.

    GMC AFWX 354. 6 X 4 searchlight carrier.
    150 ordered. 116 delivered. Balance to UK.

    The following were ordered in June 1940 and so were not delivered. All diverted to UK as ex French Contracts.
    6,000 5ton cargo.
    Chevrolet YS 4103. 6 X 4.
    Dodge VK 62. 4 X 2.
    GMC ACK 504. 4 X 2.

    4,000 all wheel drive cargo.
    Dodge T 203. 2.5ton 4 X 4. 1,000 ordered.
    GMC ACKWK 353. 2.5ton 6 X 6. 3,000 ordered.

    In addition the following were requisitioned from dealers.
    Chevrolet TA. 1.5ton.
    Various large US passenger cars.

    Ordered for Belgium but diverted to France.
    GMC 133. 38 delivered.
    GMC 158. 360 delivered.
    Ford ?. 800 delivered.
    These were ordered from the US for assembly in Belgium, which had Ford and GMC assembly plants.

    Various voluntary organisations used US vehicles as ambulances.
    Chevrolet WA.
    Chevrolet VA.
    Chevrolet TA.
    Various Dodge.
    Organisations included:
    Sections sanitaires de volontaires americain.
    Sections sanitaires automobiles feminines.
    American Field Service.
    Hadfield Spears hospital section.

    Owen likes this.
  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    GMC ACK 353.


    2,000 ordered and delivered between March and June, some going straight into action. This was a 2.5 ton 4 X 4 intended for the cavalry. The picture shows troops from 97 GRDI. Many were retained by the French Army after the fall of France and remained in the Free Zone (or Vichy France).

    GMC 6 cylinder, 4 litre, 77 horse power engine.
  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Studebaker K25.


    5 ton 4 X 2. 2,000 ordered for supply columns. Engine 6 cylinder, 5 1/4 litre, 86 horsepower.
    This example in German service but still with French markings.
  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Indian 340 B with sidecar.


    A large, 1200cc machine ordered for the cavalry. This is a well known photograph of Foreign Legion cavalry from 97 GRDI of 7 DINA (North African Infantry Division).

    These machines were to be assembled in France. It is therefore difficult to know how many reached units. Certainly a first batch was in service in April, some were being assembled in April/May, some were still at sea and some had not left the US when France fell. They were not particularly successful, although better than horse cavalry. The engine was large and powerful but the fuel tank was small, as was the side car.
  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Terrific information Trux.

    I'm enjoying your posts very much
  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    I collected a lot of information on this topic 20 years ago when developing a range of 1940 vehicles for Trux Models. Those days were pre PC as far as I was concerned so my notes etc disappeared long ago. I have still got books and magazines, in French, and am slowly trawling them for photos.

    I recall that many, perhaps most, of the US built vehicles that were built remained in French service, either in Vichy France or in Syria and N. Africa. Another fascinating by way of History.
  17. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    My french is rusty, but I suppose you could ask the french forum here:

    what happened with all those trucks after 1940 (all to Vichy?) and after 1945
    google translated: qu'est ce qui s'est passé avec tous ces camions StudebackerWhite/GMC après 1940 et apres 1945 ?
  18. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    GMC AFWX 354.

    A nice picture of the GMC AFWX 354 Searchlight Carrier in service as a load carrier with the Chasseurs d'Afrique. This is the 8th Regiment formed in 1941 for service in N.Africa. Not sure where the photo is taken as the unit served in Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.


    GMC ACK 5ton 4 X 2 with 9th Chasseurs d'Afrique in Algeria.


    As with many war time photos these were taken more for the personnel than the vehicle.

  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Two US volunteer units serving with, but not in, the French Army.

    The American Field Service was formed in WWI for service in France, and reformed in WWII. A well documented unit since the personnel were largely college educated and the US Press showed considerable interest. This vehicle seems to be a Chevrolet JD 3/4 ton Model 1939 with a locally made wooden body. This first section, with 20 ambulances, was in service in May 1940. A second section was formed in June. Two further sections were too late to serve.


    The American Volunteers Ambulance Corps is also well documented and this particular vehicle and crew is well known. The vehicle is a Chevrolet VA with local bodywork. Four sections of 22 vehicles each were formed. This particular vehicle and crew is shown at the moment it was captured by the Germans.

  20. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Mack EXBX 18,000 litre tanker.

    Photograph taken in the US. There are two similar photographs taken in the same location but one is just chassis and cab while this is the other with tank body. Obviously a commercial product complete with chrome work.


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