WO 208/2988: German Army equipment 1939-1945: Vehicles other than Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by dbf, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    WO 208/2988
    Courtesy of Drew

    Extract from FOREWORD [attached]:

    The issue of this publication, two years after the end of the the war in Europe, is designed to put on record essential information on the armament of the German Land Forces during the war. It includes some of the more interesting equipments which were developed, but which, due to the conclusion of hostilities, or to production difficulties, did not come into general service.

    The publication is primarily a photographic record, supported by a brief specification, and in some instances a short description. The material has been drawn from the large collection of matter compiled by the Technical Intelligence Services during and subsequent to the war. Much of it has appeared in the various Technical Intelligence Summaries and Bulletins issued by the War Office, and by G.H.Qs overseas, supplemented by photographs and details added from German sources after the collapse.

    Volume II Artillery - German Army equipment 1939-1945: Artillery

    Volume III Armoured Fighting Vehicles - WO 208-2987 Illustrated Record of German Army Vehicles. 1939-1945 Vol.III AFVs

    Volume IV Vehicles (other than A.F.Vs) - this thread

    Volume V Mines, Detectors, and Demolition Equipment - German Army equipment 1939-1945: Mines, Mine Detectors & Demolition Equipment

  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    1. Scope of Volume IV

    2. The Composition of German Army Vehicle Holdings
    (a) General
    (b) Production Policy in Germany, Austria & Czechoslovakia
    (c) Production Policy in Countries occupied during the course of the War

    3. Types of German Military Vehicles
    (a) Motorcycles
    (b) Cars
    (c) Trucks, lorries & omnibuses
    (d) Semi-tracked vehicles
    (e) The "Maultier" converted lorries
    (f) Tractors, other than semi-tracks
    (g) Heavy recovery vehicles
    (h) Tank transporter trailers
    (j) Special devices:
    - (i) Amphians
    - (ii) Mine clearance vehicles
    - (iii) Remote-controlled demolition vehicles
    (k) Fuels:
    - (i) Diesel & petrol engines
    - (ii) Producer gas conversion

    4. Tables
    Table 1 (with footnote) - Approximate Number of Vehicle Models in use by German Army at the end of 1943, with Dates of Introduction.
    Table 2 - Standard German Army Passenger Cars
    Table 3 - Lorry Production Programme for 1944
    Table 4 (with footnote) - Nomenclature of German Semi-Tracked Vehicles. (War-time Production Models)
    Table 5 - Summary of Data for Motorcycle Tractor Series (HK 100 Series); Parent Firm: N.S.U., Neckarsulm
    Table 6 - Summary of Data for Experimental Adler Series, HK 300 Series, & Light Military Tractors (Le.WS); Parent Firm: Adler, Frankfurt-am-Main
    Table 7 - Summary of Data for 1-ton Semi-Track Series; Parent Firm: DEMAG (WETTER)
    Table 8 (2 parts) - Summary of Data for 3-ton Semi-Track & HK 600 Series
    Table 9 - Summary of Data for 5-ton Semi-Track Series & Heavy Military Tractor (SWS); Parent Firm: Büssling - M.A.G., Berlin
    Table 10 - Summary of Data for 8-ton Semi-Track & HK 900 Series; Parent Firm: Krauss-Maffei, Munich
    Table 11 - Summary of Data for 12-ton Semi-Track Series and HK 1601; Parent Firm: Daimler-Benz, Berlin
    Table 12 - Summary of Data for the 18-ton Semi-Track Serials; Parent Firm: Famo, Breslau
    Table 13 - Summary of Data for the "Maultier" Vehicles

    5. Photographs
    Fig. 1 - B.M.W. Heavy Motorcycle Combination, Model R 75
    Fig. 2 - Zündapp Heavy Motorcycle Combination, Model KS 750
    Fig. 3 - Zündapp Heavy Motorcycle Combination, Model KS 750
    Fig. 4 - D.K.W. Light Motorcycle, Model RT 125
    Fig. 5 - D.K.W. Medium Motorcycle, Model NZ 350
    Fig. 6 - Standard chassis for Light Passenger Car
    Fig. 7 - Standard chassis for Medium Passenger Car
    Fig. 8 - Standard chassis for Heavy Passenger Car
    Fig. 9 - Military version of the Volkswagen (Model 8 2)
    Fig. 9a - Civilian Volkswagen

    Fig. 10 - Chassis of Military version of the Volkswagen Model 8 2
    Fig. 11 - Amphibious Volkswagen (Model 166)
    Fig. 12 - Amphibious Volkswagen (Model 166)
    Fig. 13 - Steyr 4 x 4 Staff Car, Model 1500A
    Fig. 14 - Standard chassis for Light Lorry
    Fig. 15 - Chassis of Steyr Light Lorry, Model 1500A
    Fig. 16 - Phänomen Ambulance, Model Granit 1500A
    Fig. 17 - Mercedes Benz 3-ton Lorry Model L 3000A
    Fig. 18 - Ford 3-ton Lorry, Model V 3000S
    Fig. 19 - Opel 3-ton Lorry, Model 3.6 - 36S

    Fig. 20 - Opel 3-ton Lorry, Model 6700A
    Fig. 21 - Büssing - N.A.G. 4 1/2-ton Lorry, Model 4.500S
    Fig. 22 - Chassis of Mercedes Benz 4 1/2-ton Lorry, Model L4500 S
    Fig. 23 - Tatra 6 1/2-ton Lorry, Model 6500A III
    Fig. 24 - Balanced Leaf-Spring Suspension used in early Semi-Tracks.
    Fig. 25 - Balanced Leaf-Spring Suspension used in 8-ton Semi-Track, Model KMm II
    Fig. 26 - Torsion Bar Suspension on Medium Armoured Semi-Track, Model H kl 6p
    Fig. 27 - Front view of 3-ton Semi-Track, Model H kl 6, showing front axle arrangement
    Fig. 28 - Idler Suspension on 3-ton Semi-Track, Model H kl 6, showing Drawn-Bolt for Track Tensioning, Shear Pin and the Bracket, sprung by a Short Torsion-Bar, in which the Journal of the Idler Stub-Axle is mounted
    Fig. 29 - Typical Track-Link, showing Needle-Bearing Assembly

    Fig. 30 - Typical Track-Link
    Fig. 31 - Sectioned Track-Link; Track pad, Grease chamber, Closure screw
    Fig. 32 - Track-Pin & Needle-Bearing Assembly
    Fig. 33 - Chassis of Light Semi-Track, Model HL kl 2
    Fig. 34 - Hull of Semi-Tracked Tractor Model HK 605
    Fig. 35 - Typical Engine Compartment Layout, the 3-ton Semi-Track Model H kl 6, with Maybach HL 42 Engine
    Fig. 36 - Borward 3 1/2 litre Engine used in early 3-ton Semi-Tracks Models HL kl 2, HL kl 3 (H) and HL kl 5
    Fig. 37 - Constant Mesh Main Gearbox on Medium Armoured Semi-Track Model H kl 6p
    Fig. 38 - 2-Speed Auxiliary Gearbox on Medium Armoured Semi-Track Model H kl 6p
    Fig. 39 - Cletrac Controlled Differential with Steering Brake Backing Plates and Shoes (Model H kl 6p)

    Fig. 40 - Cletrac Controlled Differential on Medium Armoured Semi-Track Model H kl 6p, partially disassembled
    Fig. 41 - Arrangement of Gearbox, Controlled Differential and Final Drive, showing Argus Disc-Brakes on Light Military Tractor (LeWS)
    Fig. 42 - Layout of Controls and Final Drive on 3-ton Semi-Track, Model H kl 6p
    Fig. 43 - Motorcycle Tractor (Sd Kfz 2) Model HK 101
    Fig. 44 - General Arrangement of Motorcycle Tractor, Model HK 102
    Fig. 45 - General Arrangement of Motorcycle Tractor, Model HK 102
    Fig. 46 - Transmission Layout of Motorcycle Tractor, Model HK 102 (schematic)
    Fig. 47 - Light Semi-Track, Model A1, Front View
    Fig. 48 - Light Semi-Track, Model A1, Side View
    Fig. 49 - Light Semi-Track, Model A2, Side View

    Fig. 50 - Light Semi-Track, Model A2
    Fig. 51 - Light Semi-Track, Model A3
    Fig. 52 - Light Semi-Track, Model A3F
    Fig. 53 - Light Semi-Track, Model HK 301
    Fig. 54 - Light Military Tractor (LeWS), First Prototype Model
    Fig. 55 - Light Military Tractor (LeWS), Second Prototype Model
    Fig. 56 - General Arrangement of Projected Third Model of Light Military Tractor, with Torsion-Bar Front Wheel Suspension (elevation)
    Fig. 57 - General Arrangement of Projected Third Model of Light Military Tractor, showing Staggered Bogie-Wheels (plan)
    Fig. 58 - Part-Sections of Projected Third Model of Light Military Tractor [From Errata: This illustration has been mounted on its side.]
    Fig. 59 - Light Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model D 11 I (or 11 I)

    Fig. 60 - Light Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model D 11 2 (or 11 2)
    Fig. 61 - Light Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model D 11 3 (or 11 3)
    Fig. 62 - Light Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model D 11 3 (or 11 3), showing Layout of Interior
    Fig. 63 - Front Axle Arrangements on Model D 11 3 (11 3), the Upper Trailing Links were sprung by Torsion Bars [From Errata: This illustration has been inverted.]
    Fig. 64 - 1-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model D6
    Fig. 65 - 1-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, (Sd Kfz 10) Model D7
    Fig. 66 - Light Armoured Semi-Track Sd Kfz 250 with early pattern Armour
    Fig. 67 - Chassis of Light Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model HL kl 2
    Fig. 68 - Chassis of Light Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model HL kl 2
    Fig. 69 - Chassis of Semi-Tracked Armoured Car, Model HL kl 3 (H), (Rear-Engined)

    Fig. 70 - Chassis of 3-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor Model HL kl 5
    Fig. 71 - 3-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model HL kl 5 [From Errata: Figs 71 & 72, The Titles and figure numbers of these two illustrations should be transposed]
    Fig. 72 - Chassis of 3-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model H kl 6 [From Errata: Figs 71 & 72, The Titles and figure numbers of these two illustrations should be transposed]
    Fig. 73 - 3-ton Semi-Tracked (Sd Kfz II) Model H kl 6
    Fig. 74 - Medium Armoured Semi-Track (Sd Kfz 251) Model H kl 6p
    Fig. 75 - Medium Armoured Semi-Track Model H kl 6p, Interior Arrangements
    Fig. 76 - Chassis of so-called "Standardised" Semi-Track Model H 7
    Fig. 77 - Chassis of Armoured Semi-Track, Model H 8 (H) (Rear-Engined)
    Fig. 78 - Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model HK 601
    Fig. 79 - Armoured Semi-Track, Model HKp 603

    Fig. 80 - Armoured Semi-Track Model HKp 606, an early stage with Interleaved Bogie-Wheels and Dummy Armour
    Fig. 81 - Armoured Semi-Track Model HKp 606, Front View
    Fig. 82 - 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 6) Model BN 1 5
    Fig. 83 - General Arrangement drawing of 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model BN 1 5
    Fig. 84 - 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 6) Model BN 1 7
    Fig. 85 - General Arrangement drawings of 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model BN 1 7
    Fig. 86 - 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 6) Model BN 1 8
    Fig. 87 - General Arrangement drawings of 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model BN 1 7
    Fig. 88 - 5-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 6) Model BN 9, (Model BN 9b was identical in external appearance)
    Fig. 89 - Heavy Military Tractor (SWS) Lorry Body Version

    Fig. 89a - Heavy Military Tractor (SWS) - Lorry Version with Armoured Cab and Engine Compartment
    Fig. 90 - Heavy Military Tractor (SWS) fully Armoured version, mounting 10-barrelled Rocket Projector (15cm Pz.W 42)
    Fig. 91 - 8-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 7) Model KMm 8
    Fig. 92 - General Arrangement drawings of 8-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model KMm 8
    Fig. 93 - 8-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 7) Model KMm 10, (Model KMm 9 was almost identical in appearance)
    Fig. 94 - 8-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 7), Model KMm 11
    Fig. 95 - General Arrangement drawings of Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model HK 904, (Model HK 901 was almost identical)
    Fig. 96 - 12-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 8) Model DBs 7
    Fig. 97 - General Arrangement drawings of 12-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model DBs 7
    Fig. 98 - 12-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 8) Model DB 9 (Model DBs 8 was similar in appearance)

    Fig. 99 - 12-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor (Sd Kfz 8) Model DB 10
    Fig. 100 - Semi-Tracked Tractor, Model HK 1601
    Fig. 101 - 18-ton Semi-Tracked Tractor, (Sd Kfz 9) (Models F2 and F3 were identical in external appearance)
    Fig. 102 - 18-ton Semi-Tracked mounting 6-ton Crane (Sd Kfz 9/2)
    Fig. 103 - 18-ton Semi-Track, mounting 10-ton Petrol-Electric Crane (Sd Kfz 9/2)
    Fig. 104 - 18-ton Semi-Track mounting 10-ton Crane (Sd Kfz 9/2) in operating position
    Fig. 105 - Ford 2-ton "Maultier" Vehicle, Model V 3000 S/SSM
    Fig. 106 - Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz 2-ton "Maultier" Vehicle, Model S 3000/SSM
    Fig. 107 - Mercedes-Benz 4 1/2-ton "Maultier" Vehicle, Model L 4500R
    Fig. 108 - Tracked Lorry (Raupenschlepper Ost) Model R S0/01

    Fig. 109 - Tracked Lorry (Raupenschlepper Ost) Model R S0/03
    Fig. 110 - Wheeled Tractor (Raupenschlepper Ost) Model 175
    Fig. 111 - Hanomag 100 H.P. Road Tractor
    Fig. 112 - Chassis of Hanomag 100 H.P. Road Tractor
    Fig. 113 - Kaelble Tractor
    Fig. 114 - 22/23-ton Tank Transporter Trailer (Sd Ah 116)
    Fig. 115 - 68-ton Tank Transporter Trailer
    Fig. 116 - Gotha 60-ton Trailer (Commercial)
    Fig. 117 - Gotha 80-ton Trailer (Commercial)
    Fig. 118 - Trippel Amphibian Car, Model SG 38

    Fig. 119 - Amphibious Tractor (Landwasserschlepper)
    Fig. 120 - Bogward B.1 Radio Controlled Vehicle (Experimental). The Hull was constructed of concrete, and the vehicle was intended for mine clearance.
    Fig. 121 - "Raümer - S" Mine-Clearing Vehicle
    Fig. 122 - Prototype Model of Electrically-driven "Goliath". The Relay Box and Cable Drum can be seen.
    Fig. 123 - Electrically-driven "Goliath" (Borgward Type)
    Fig. 124 - Petrol Driven Goliath (Zündapp Type)
    Fig. 125 - Borgward B.II Radio-Controlled Demolition Vehicle (Experimental)
    Fig. 126 - Borgward B.III Radio-Controlled Demolition Vehicle. This was almost identical with the early Model of the B.IV
    Fig. 127 - B.IV Radio-Controlled Demolition Vehicle
    Fig. 128 - "Ente" (Duck) Amphibious Demolition Vehicle (Experimental)

    Fig. 129 - Borgward Ammunition Carrier and Tractor, Model VK 301
    Fig. 130 - Diagrammatic Layout of Imbert Producer Gas Generator

    Errata attached have been marked as notes against relevant Tables and Figures.

    Attached Files:

  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    This section deals with German military vehicles intended primarily for the transport of personnel or of stores, or for traction purposes. The fact that guns or other weapons may have been mounted on some of them does not cause them to be excluded, but only passing mention is made of fighting equipment. The aim is to present a general qualitative picture of the transportation facilities available to the German Army during the war, with a number of more detailed descriptions of certain vehicles which were adopted as standard military types. Owing to the very mixed nature of German Army vehicle holdings, it would be an impossible task to attempt to describe in detail every vehicle in use. Some special devices are also included.

    No attempt is made to give quantitative details of German vehicle production and holdings; to some extent this has been dealt with elsewhere. It is, however, relevant to point out that the German Army was never mechanised to the same extent as British and American Armies and that throughout the war, many units were mainly dependent on horse-drawn transport. This appears to have been decided as a matter of policy, owing to doubts as to whether the German motor industry could support a fully mechanised army and as to the availability of fuel.
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    (a) GENERAL

    German Army vehicle holdings were made up of:

    (i) Vehicles specially designed for military purposes. These included a number of so-called Standard Chassis for wheeled vehicles, the semi-tracked vehicles and certain tracked vehicles.

    (ii) Commercial vehicles adopted as standard military types, with or without modifications to render them more suitable for military purposes.

    (iii) Ordinary commercial vehicles, not adopted as standard types, but requisitioned for military purposes.

    (iv) Although this section only deals with the first two categories the two latter made up the bulk of German vehicle holdings; the also introduced great heterogeneity as regards origin, dates of manufacture and design, as indicated in Table 1, which refers to vehicles in service at the end of 1943. Comparatively little change took place after that date.

    The difficulty of maintaining a very large number of models was to some extent alleviated by the German practice of using civilian repair facilities where possible. However, under the combined efforts of greatly extended lines of communication and heavy wastage, in 1942 the spare parts situation began to show signs of becoming critical, and the conception of 'prohibited models' (Sperrtypen) was introduced.

    The term was originally applied to models of which only small numbers (less than 150) were in service, but the scope was extended later. Restrictions were placed on the despatch of these models to forward areas; no further spare parts were to be manufactured or forwarded to front line units; and if such a model owned by a forward unit required repairs beyond local resources, it was to be sent to the rear for cannibalisation, special dumps being established for spares obtained by this means.

    It is of interest that, as a result of inadequate production, the Germans were never in the position of being able to make a clean sweep, and withdraw these obsolete models from military service altogether; also that the number of 'prohibited' models at the end of 1943, the date to which the figures in Table 1 refer, is small both in comparison with the total number of models in service, and with those introduced in 1936 or earlier.
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    The Germans realised, even before the war, the weakness of their transport position, and a rationalisation programme, under Col. von SCHELL, was instituted. In general, the principle adopted was to limit each manufacturer to a single basic vehicle of his own design, generally produced in 4 x 4 and 4 x 2 models. The effect of this programme is shown in the gradually decreasing number of new models introduced annually from 1937 to 1941. However, the Schell programme was not sufficiently drastic, a particular weakness being that each manufacturer made a different vehicle, instead of production being concentrated on one or two vehicles in each class, each produced by a number of different manufacturers. There was, of course, great opposition from manufacturers to any suggestion that they should make commercial types of vehicle not designed by themselves, and it was not until much later that the latter type of rationalisation was enforced.

    The so-called Standard Chassis for military vehicles, which were sponsored by Heereswaffenamt, were in a different category. From the first, these were produced by a number of manufacturers; they did not, however, make up a significant proportion of the whole. The production of each of the semi-track range was also shared by more than one manufacturer. The same applles to the Steyre model 1500A light lorry and to the tracked lorry, Raupenschlepper Ost; these, however, belonged to the later period, production having commenced in 1942.

    The large number of foreign models in use will have been noticed. This follows from the large-scale requisitioning which took place in Occupied Territories.

    The production policy followed in Austria and Czechoslovakia was, generally speaking, to incorporate the motor industry of these countries in the German system, and to use it for the production of German types of vehicle. Thus, the Skoda works produced the medium armoured semi-track, and the Viennese works of Saurer made copies of several of the semi-tracked tractors, while other Austrian firms copied the M.A.N. 4 1/2-ton lorry and, later, the Mercedes-Benz 4 1/2-ton lorry. Vehicles in production before the occupation were, of course, taken over.

    An interesting contribution to German transport was the Tatra 6 1/2-ton lorry (later slightly modified to take 8 tons), produced by the Czechoslovak firm of Ringhoffer-Tatra. This, introduced in 1943, was the only lorry of more than 4 1/2 tons payload rating to be adopted by the German Army as a standard vehicle.

    The Germans treated Austrian and Czech vehicles on the same basis as German ones, and they have been included as such in Table 1.
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    In the case of FRANCE and the LOW COUNTRIES, the policy was, originally, to allow manufacturers to continue to produce their own models, and a large proportion of the motor transport used by the Germans in the West was eventually of French manufacture and design. Later, French manufacturers were used for augmenting the supply of parts for German-made vehicles, and, finally, it was planned that complete German-designed vehicles, including semi-tracks, should be made by them, though it does not appear that any were actually completed. The Ford works at ANTWERP and AMSTERDAM were controlled from the COLOGNE worlds, producing standard 3-ton lorries and 'Maultier' vehicles.

    In ITALY, large-scale requisitioning of vehicles took place, particularly after the capitulation of that country, but there appears to have been little production to German orders.

    Finally, a considerable number of captured British, American and Russian vehicles were pressed into service.
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    The following sections give a general account of the standard types of German military vehicles.


    The military motorcycles used by the Germans were adapted from civilian types. In the earlier stages, emphasis was chiefly on the heavier types, of which the B.M.W. R 12 of 746 ccs capacity, may be mentioned as an example. In 1941, military versions of the B.M.W. R 75 and Zündapp KS 750 (of 746 and 751 ccs capacity, respectively) made their appearance, and may be considered standard types. These vehicles were dropped from the 1944 programme, in favour of much lighter machines, the D.K.W. models RT 125 (of 124 c.c.s) and NZ 350 (343 c.c.s).

    The B.M.W. R 75 (Fig. 1) and Zündapp KS 750 (Figs. 2 and 3), which were very similar, were chiefly used as motorcycle combinations. They were very complicated and expensive machines, with the following main features:
    (i) 2-cyclinder horizontally opposed 4-strok olh.v. petrol engines developing 26 metric b.h.p. at 4000 r.p.m.
    (ii) Gearboxes giving 4 forward and 1 reverse speeds, with a further low gear for cross-country travel. Gears could by changed either by hand or foot-operated levers.
    (iii) Shaft drive to the rear wheel.
    (iv) The Sidecar wheel was also driven, through a differential which was provided with a hand-locking lever.
    (v) Hydraulic brakes on the rear and sidecar wheels. Cable-operated brake on the front wheels.
    (vi) Telescopic forks with spiral springing for the front wheel.
    (vii) Torsion bar springing for the sidecar.

    The D.K.W. RT 125 (Fig. 4) was very light for a military motorcycle but of fairly conventional design:
    (i) Single cylinder valveless 2-stroke petrol engine developing 4.3 metric b.h.p. at 4000 r.p.m.
    (ii)3-speed gearbox, with hand and foot operation.
    (iii) Chain drive to the rear wheel.
    (iv) Parallelogram type of suspension for front fork, with a single spiral spring.

    This vehicle was first produced in 1939.

    The introduction of the D.K.W. model NZ 350 (Fig. 5) dated back to 1938. In effect, this was a scaled-up version of the preceding with the following main differences:
    (i) Single cylinder valveless 2-stroke petrol engine developing 10.8 metric b.h.p. at 3250 r.p.m.
    (ii) Gearbox with 4 forward speeds, with hand and foot operation.

    In later series, the overall flexibility of the gearbox was increased, giving a lower minimum speed.

    The change in emphasis in motor-cycle production corresponded with a change in the tactical use of these vehicles. The very heavy military motorcycles were largely used by reconnaissance troops, for whom the Volkswagen was later provided.

    The lighter types on which production was concentrated after 1943 were chiefly intended for dispatch riders. Considerations of production costs and petrol consumption probably also entered the picture to quite a large extent.
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    (b) CARS

    At the beginning of the War, the Germans had three sizes of so-called Standard Chassis (Einheitsfahrgestell) for cars in service (Figs. 6, 7, and 8). Those were of Army design, and had the same general features, the most important being:

    (i) Permanent 4-wheel drive, with a torque distributor having a limited differential action, to prevent "winding up" in the transmission.
    (ii) Independent suspension on all wheels, using double "wishbone" supports in a parallelogram type linkage, with coil springing.
    (iii) On the rear axle, a self-locking differential of the Rheinmetall pattern (see Footnote), with a normal differential for the front axle except in the case of the lightest vehicle which had self-locking differentials in both axles. (In some of the early models the differential was of the ZF cam-and-plunger self-locking type).
    (iv) Optional 4-wheel steering on some of the earlier models. In the later ('40') models this was discarded as both unnecessary and dangerous.
    (v) Most of the earlier models of the two heavier types had a stub axle on either side of the vehicle about halfway along its length. These carried the spare wheels which protruded slightly below the lower edge of the body, with the object of preventing bellying. This device was eliminated from the later models.
    (vi) An auxiliary low gear for cross-country work.

    Manufacturers fitted engines, and, in some cases, transmissions, of their own design.

    It will be seen that these were highly complicated and expensive vehicles. It is not surprising, therefore, that the military version of the Volkswagen, a cheap vehicle, adapted for mass-production and with a good cross-country performance, should replace the Standard Chassis for Light Car at a comparatively early date. The medium Car finally dropped out of production about 1943. The Heavy Car was supplanted by the Steyr Staff Car in 1943.

    The various standard types of Army cars, with their approximate dates of manufacture and the principle differences between the various models, are shown in Table 2.

    The Military Volkswagen, model 82 (Figs. 9 and 10) possessed almost the same chassis, suspension and engine as the civilian 'People's Car' (Fig. 9a) that featured largely in Nazi propaganda before the War, but had a military pattern of body work, an ingenious but comparatively simple self-locking differential, and spur reduction gears in the final drive.

    The characteristic features of this vehicle were:
    (i) A 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed 4-stroke aircooled o.h.v. petrol engine mounted in the rear of the vehicle.
    (ii) Independent suspension with torsion bar springing on all wheels, the rear wheel suspension being of the swinging half-axle, variable camber type.
    (iii) A ZF self-locking differential.
    (iv) A tubular, backbone type of chassis construction, made up of pressings.

    The whole vehicle was designed for lightness and ease of manufacture by mass production methods.

    The method of suspension, together with the use of a self-locking differential, gave it a remarkably good cross-country performance, considering the lightness of the vehicle and the small size (986 ccs, later increased to 1.1 litres) of the engine.

    In 1942 the Amphibious Volkswagen (model 166) (Figs. 11 and 12) was introduced. This vehicle had the same features as its predecessor, with the following additions:
    (i) The body, made up of metal pressings welded together formed a watertight hull.
    (ii) There was a propeller unit which hinged up over the back of the vehicle when not in use; when in use dogs on a shaft engaged with dogs on an extension of the crankshaft, and drove the propeller through chain and sprocket gearing.
    (iii) The vehicle had optional 4-wheel drive, with a normal differential in the front axle.
    (iv) There was an auxiliary low gear which came into operation when 4-wheel drive was engaged.
    (v) Special cross-country tyres were used.

    Production of this vehicle was discontinued in the summer of 1944, as the tactical situation no longer made it necessary. It had been largely used for reconnaissance purposes in RUSSIA.

    The Steyr staff car (model 1500 A) (Fig. 13) had practically the same chassis as this firm's light lorry. The development of this vehicle was originally a private venture. It possesses the following features:
    (i) An 8-cylinder Vee air-cooled 4-stroke o.h.v. petrol engine of compact design, giving 75 metric b.h.p. at 2700 r.p.m. (continuous rating).
    (ii) Independent front suspension, using double wishbone links, each wheel being sprung with a longitudinal torsion bar.
    (iii) Rigid rear-axle, with leaf-springing.
    (iv) Optional 4-wheel drive, with a 2-speed auxiliary gearbox.
    (v) A hand-operated lock for the rear differential. This was in contrast to the earlier use of self-locking differentials.

    This vehicle remained in production to the end of the War. It represented a considerable advance over the Standard Chassis for Heavy Car, which it replaced, while being of much simpler construction.

    The Rheinmetall self-locking differential was primarily developed for military purposes, and was used in a number of other vehicles. In it the half-shaft pinions were replaced by worm-wheels of large pitch and the 'bridge' between these was composed of four symmetrically arranged gear trains, each consisting of two short worms and a worm wheel, (all accommodated in the differential cage) instead of the usual differential pinion. The bronze plates against which the needs of the worms bore, were ribbed so as to increase the friction when the thrust of the worms against them was increased, as when there was a considerable difference in torque between the two half-shafts. Owing to the large pitch of the worm gearing, small differences in torque could be transmitted, though with considerable friction, but when the difference was great, the friction increased to such an extent that the differential mechanism became locked.

    In the ZF (Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen) self-locking differential the left shaft pinions were replaced by co-axial cam discs or rings which had an unequal number of 'concave' cam faces formed in the opposed surfaces. The drive was transmitted to these by means of a number of small cylindrical plungers with rounded ends which contacted the opposed cam surfaces. The plungers were free to slide axially in holes bored in the differential cage, which carried them (and, through them, the cams) round with it. A slight differential action was possible, the plungers sliding over the cam surfaces, and at the same time moving backwards and forwards along their axes. When there was a great difference in speed between the two half-shafts however, friction was greatly increased and the differential locked.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    The only lorry of German Army (Heereswaffenamt) design which was in production during the War was the so-called Standard Chassis for Light Lorry. The design of German commercial lorries was, however, considerably influenced by military requirements, often under direct pressure from the Heereswaffenamt.

    The requirement was for lorries from roughly 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 tons rated pay-load. (The German payload rating was rather conservative). It is of interest that, although the Army requisitioned commercial lorries of all sizes up to 11 tons, no lorry of more than 4 1/2 tons rating was adopted as a standard vehicle until 1943, when the Tatra 6 1/2 tons cross-country lorry (and later its 8-ton version) was adopted for special Engineer requirements. This emphasis on the Lighter types is thought to be largely due to the bad roads and weak bridges expected to be encountered in Eastern EUROPE.

    A gradual change in design policy is also noticeable. The military types of lorries produced before, or in the early stages of the war were largely 6-wheeled cross-country vehicles of complicated design. The Standard Chassis for Light Lorry was typical of this period, but before its appearance Krupp produced a series of military vehicles of this type (incidentally using a 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled diesel engine) and other manufacturers did likewise, under Government pressure.

    The 6 x 6 Standard Chassis for Light Lorry (Fig. 14) (which was in production from 1937 until about 1940) possessed the following features:
    (i) Six cylinder diesel engine with direct injection, with an air-cell in the cylinder head, rated at 86 metric b.h.p.
    (ii) Sliding mesh gearbox, giving 4 forward and 1 reverse speeds.
    (iii) The auxiliary gearbox gave 'road' and 'cross-country' speeds.
    (iv) There was a worm drive to the three differentials, which were of the ZF cam and plunger self-locking type.
    (v) All six wheels had independent suspension, of the double, wishbone, parallel-link type. The springing was, however, most unusual. A longitudinal bell-crank lever was provided for each wheel, one arm pressing downward on an extension of the knuckle. A coil spring pressed against the other arm; in the case of the rear wheels, there was a common pulll-rod coupling the springs for each pair. The pivots for the bell-crank levers were mounted on outriggers on the fence which was of the 'backbone' type.
    (vi) The net payload was a little under 2 1/2 tons.

    The models introduced from about 1940 to 1942, under the Schell programme, some of which were later adopted as standard military vehicles, were slightly modified versions of normal commercial lorries and were, in fact, largely used in commerce, particularly the 4 x 2 models. They were all 4-wheelers, usually with twin rear wheels, and the chief modifications made for adapting them for military purposes consisted of:
    (i) increasing the belly-clearance.
    (ii) providing four-wheel drive models as well as 4 x 2 models, in most cases.
    (iii) strengthening the chassis and making minor rearrangements of parts.

    Finally, the Tatra 6 1/2 and 8 ton 6 x 6 lorries, the latest to be introduced (1943) were complicated 6-wheelers, with large air-cooled diesel engines and independent suspension on all wheels. It is worth recalling, however, that the chassis of these vehicles were scaled-up versions of a pre-war 4-ton Tatra lorry. They did not represent a general change of design policy on the part of the German General Staff, although it is probable that considerations of economy would have led to the increasing use of larger types of load carriers.

    The lorries included in the 1944 programme are shown in (Table 3).

    It will be seen that towards the end of the war a very substantial degree of standardisation of models actually in production had been arrived at. However, the effects of earlier production were never overtaken and German transport remained very mixed right to the end.

    The chassis and engine of the Steyr Light Lorry (Fig. 15) were practically identical with those of the same firm's Staff Car, there being a slight modification to the rear axle springing in the 2-ton model.

    The Phänomen ambulances (Fig. 16) had the following characteristics:
    (i) 4-cylinder air-cooled side-valve petrol engines, rated at 50 metric b.h.p.
    (ii) Leaf-springing, front and rear.
    (iii) Rigid front and rear axles. In the case of the Granit 1500A, the front wheels were driven through a normal differential, which was offset to the right of the vehicle. The rear differential, which was in the centre line, was also a normal type.
    (iv) Gearboxes giving 4 forward and 1 reverse speeds. In the case of the 4-wheel drive model, the auxiliary gearbox had two ranges, thus doubling the total ratios available.
    (v) The Granit 1500 S had twin rear wheels, the 1500 A single ones.

    Apart from the engine, these vehicles may be considered conventional. The firm of Phänomen was associated with the manufacture of lorries with air-cooled engines for a considerable number of years.

    In the 3-ton and 4 1/2 ton ranges, all types were fairly conventional.

    The Mercedes-Benz models L3000 A (Fig. 17) and L3000 S had 4-cylinder 4 stroke diesel engines with pre-combustion chambers, rated at 75 metric b.h.p., gearboxes with 5 forward speeds and 1 reverse (and, in the case of L3000 A only, an auxiliary gearbox giving 'road' and 'cross-country' ranges), and twin rear wheels. The two models were practically identical, apart from the front wheel drive mechanism required for the L3000 A.

    The Ford V 3000 S lorry (Fig. 18) was a slightly modified version of an ordinary commercial Ford 3-ton lorry. It had a V 8 side-valve petrol engine, gearbox with 5 forward speeds (including a low one for cross-country travel) and 1 reverse, and twin rear wheels.

    The Opel 3/6 - 36S (Fig. 19) was a pre-war commercial model, slightly modified to conform to military requirements. It had a 6 cylinder o.h.v. petrol engine, rated at 68 metric b.h.p., a gearbox with 5 forward and 1 reverse speeds, and twin rear wheels with leaf-springing.

    The Opel model 6700 A (Fig. 20) was generally similar, except that it had a rather more powerful engine (75 metric b.h.p.), and 4-wheel drive, an auxiliary gearbox giving 'road' and 'cross-country' ranges.

    The two Büssing N.A.G. 4 1/2 ton lorries (Fig. 21) closely resembled each other, apart from the parts associated with the front wheel drive. They had 6-cylinder diesel engines with pre-combustion chambers, rated at 105 metric b.h.p. The gearboxes had 5 forward speeds (the top one being overdrive) and 1 reverse. The transfer gearbox on the model 4500 A merely served for engaging the front-wheel drive, and did not incorporate a change of gear-ratio. The differential incorporated double-reduction gearing. The vehicles had twin rear-wheels and leaf-springing.

    By the end of the war, the Büssing N.A.G. model 4500 S lorry was probably the most numerous vehicle of the 4 1/2 ton class.

    The Mercedes-Benz models L 4500 A and L 4500 S (Fig. 22) were very similar to the foregoing. The engine was again a 6-cylinder diesel with pre-combustion chambers, rated at 112 metric b.h.p. The gearbox had 5 forward speeds, including an overdrive, but the transfer gearbox on the 4 x 4 model in this case gave 'road' and 'cross-country' ranges. An interesting feature in these vehicles was the incorporation of spree reduction-gears in the final drive. These came within the rims of the inner rear wheels in both models, but in the case of the 4 x 4 L4500 A, those in the front axles were rather nearer the centre line of the vehicle. These axles were made under M.A.N. licence, and similar ones were found in the M.A.N. 4 1/2 ton lorries, models ML 4500 A and ML 4500 S which were in production from 1941 to 1943.

    The Tatra 6 1/2 ton 6 x 6 lorry (Fig. 23 ), later slightly modified to take 8 tons, was an extremely unconventional vehicle. The main features were as follows:
    (i) There was a 12 cylinder Vee air-cooled diesel engine, with direct injection, rated at 210 metric b.h.p.
    (ii) The main gearbox gave 4 forward speeds and 1 reverse. The auxiliary gearbox for engaging the front-wheel drive gave road and cross-country ranges, the reduction for the latter being unusually high.
    (iii) The chassis was built up on a tubular 'backbone' which enclosed the transmission.
    (iv) All six wheels were independently sprung, with swinging half-axles. The front wheels had quarter-elliptic leaf-springs, which jutted out from the 'backbone' at about 45 degrees. Outriggers between the rear half-axles carried semi-elliptic leaf-springs, each end providing springing for one of the rear half-axles. The rear wheels were twin-tyred.
    (v) A hand-operated differential lock was provided.

    It is obvious that this vehicle was specially designed for cross-country work, it being probable that the combination of twin rear-wheels with a variable camber type of suspension would lead to excessive tyre wear if it were used for long-distance road transport, although it was so used, sometimes in conjunction with a trailer.

    The engine used in this vehicle was also encountered in armoured cars, and appears to have been developed for this purpose. Curiously, the factor which led the Germans to develop air-cooled engines seems to have been Libyan, rather than Russian, climatic conditions.

    With regard to bodywork, the Germans used open lorries, usually provided with canvas tilts, and closed box bodywork for special purpose vehicles. A fairly standard form of the latter was evolved.

    Omnibuses which were used to some extent, were generally constructed on modified lorry chassis, the modifications usually consisting of lengthening the frame and re-arranging the positions of the engine and driver's controls. Only commercial types were used.
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    German semi-tracked vehicles had their origin in trials which were carried out in 1926 with a view to selecting the best type of vehicle for use as an artillery tractor. The first members of the range were originally termed the light, medium and heavy cross-country tractors (later renamed, from their trailed load ratings, the 5, 8, and 12-ton tractors); a prototype of the medium tractor has been completed by 1932. The development of these vehicles was carried out by the firms of Büssing N.A.G., Berlin, Krauss-Maffei, Munich, and Daimler-Benz, Berlin, under general direction of the Herreswaffenamt, and the earlier models of the light type beige made by both Büssing N.A.G. and Daimler-Benz, and the medium type by all three firms. These early models were characterised by a rather short tracked portion, these being on 4 bogie-wheels per side, with the type of leaf-spring suspension shown in (Fig. 24); in later models the number of bogie-wheels was increased to 5 or 6 per side, using a modification of the same type of suspension (Fig. 25), and, finally, individual torsion bars carrying cranked carrier arms were used (Fig. 16). In 1934-5 the development of two lighter series was started by the firms of Borgward (Hansa-Lloyd) of Bremen, and Demag of Wetter in the Ruhr. These later became the 3-ton and 1-ton tractor series respectively, the development of the former subsequently passing to the firm of Hanomag of Hanover. All the models in these two series had individual torsion-bar springing for the bogie-wheels. Armoured vehicles based on the 3-ton tractor chassis and a shortened 1-ton chassis were very largely used during the War as armoured personnel carriers, reconnaissance vehicles, self-propelled mountings, etc. Prototype vehicles having engines at the rear, and intended to mount 7.5 cm. guns in armoured turrets were produced in the 3-ton series and in the 5-ton series.

    Next, the development of the 18-ton tractor was undertaken by the firm of Famo, Breslau, the two production models being introduced in 1938 and 1939 respectively. These were used as artillery tractors, heavy recovery vehicles, and for mounting mobile cranes.

    Development in all the above series had reached a satisfactory stage by the end of 1939, the models then in production being continued throughout the War with only minor modifications, except in the case of the 5-ton tractor, which was superseded by the Heavy Military Tractor, mentioned later, at the end of 1943.

    A series of light semi-tracks, intended as personnel carriers and light tractors, was designed by the firm of Adler, Frankfurt from 1938 onwards. None of these was introduced into service.

    Immediately following the models which later became the wartime production vehicles, a so-called "standardised" range was projected, some vehicles being actually completed, and then at a date corresponding roughly to the outbreak of war, work was started on a range of semi-tracks having model designations starting with the letters HK followed by a number. At the same time various structural modifications were introduced and the trailed load ratings were made intermediate between those of existing models.

    The various 'HK' series were:

    HK 100 series, made by N.S.U. Neckarsulm (motor-cycle tractors).

    HK 300 series, designed by Adler

    HK 600 series, shared between Hanomag and Demag

    HK 900 series, Krauss Maffei

    HK 1600 series, Daimler-Benz

    Of these, only the motorcycle tractor, model HK 101, was introduced into service (1940-41), where it rapidly acquired popularity.

    Finally, in 1942, Hitler personally ordered the construction of low-speed semi-tracks of simplified design for the Infantry Programme. One of these, the Heavy Military Tractor or SWS was designed by Büssing N.A.G. and introduced into service in 1944, replacing the 5-ton semi-track, which was discontinued. The other, the Light Military Tractor or Le WS, was later rejected by Hitler in favour of the R.S.O. tracked lorry, but two prototype vehicles were contracted by Adler, and a third model designed. A characteristic feature of both of these Military Tractors was the use of all-steel, dry-pin tracks, instead of the rubber padded, needle-bearing type used in other German semi-tracks.

    Table 4 gives some indication of the nomenclature of the wartime production models.

    The main features of the individual models in Tables 5 to 12, which include a few actual or projected models not illustrated. Some of the characteristic general features are illustrated in Figs. 24 to 42, those peculiar to individual models being shown with the vehicle in question.

    The general features may be summarised as follows:-
    (i) The front wheels were carried on a beam-type axle, sprung by a transverse leaf-spring, pivoted at its centre (Fig. 27), the axle being supported by a Y-shaped yoke, the rear end of which was pivoted in a ball joint on the chassis. (Exceptions are the early 1-ton series vehicles, models D 11 1, D 11 2, and D 11 3, and the projected third model of the Light Military Tractor, which had centrally pivoted axles and various arrangements of torsion-bar springing; and of course, the motorcycle tractors). The front-wheel steering followed conventional wheeled-vehicle practice, and was co-ordinated with the track steering.

    (ii) The driving sprockets for the tracks were at the front, and, except in a few instances, were integral with the road-brake drums. Rubber tyres or pads were provided to cushion the wheel-paths of the tracks, and the drive was transmitted to the latter by rollers carried on central brackets. Some of the latest models had modified, tank-type sprockets, the tracks being also modified.

    (iii) Except in the very latest designs, in which the bogie-wheels were arranged in staggered formation, these were of double construction and interleaved. They were of large diameter and provided with rubber tyres. In the earliest models, suspension was by a balance system of arms with leaf-springs (Figs. 24 and 25), later, by torsion bars housed in pairs and each providing springing for a cranked carrier-arm carrying a bogie-wheel (Fig. 26) and finally, by separately housed torsion bars, the carrier arms leading on one side and trailing on the other. The Adler model A1 was exceptional, using rubber bushings for bogie-wheel springing. The idler was sprung by coil-springs, leaf-springs or short torsion bars in many of the earlier models (Figs. 24, 25, and 28), but was unsprung in the later ones in all series.

    (iv) A very characteristic type of track, having detachable rubber track-pads and sealed lubricated needle roller-bearings for the track-pins, was used (Figs. 29, 30, 31 and 32). The latter feature ensured low rolling-resistance, extremely long track life, and constant pitch. The track-pads gave good adhesion, particularly on hard surfaces. The Light and Heavy Military Tractors had all-steel dry-pin tracks.

    (v) Frame type chassis were used in the heavier models (Fig. 33), hull type construction in the lighter ones (Fig. 34).

    (vi) Maybach o.h.v. petrol engines were standard in all the later models except the motor-cycle tractors. The engine compartment layout followed normal wheeled-vehicle practice (Fig. 35).

    (vii) Constant mesh gearboxes having 4 forward speeds engaged by dog-clutches followed by 2-speed auxiliary gearboxes of similar type (Figs. 37 and 38) were used in most models. A number of models had semiautomatic preselective gearboxes.

    (viii) A Clectrac type controlled differential (Figs. 39 and 40) was used for track steering, the steering brakes, controlled from the steering column, being mounted co-axially with the half-shafts. In the latest models, Argus disc brakes, in which the braking surfaces were pressed axially against the end surfaces of the brake-drums by means of compressed air, were used, and both the steering brakes and the road-brakes were mounted in this position (Fig. 41).

    (ix) The drive was finally transmitted to the sprockets through spur reduction gears, bolted to the side members of the chassis (Fig. 42).

    (x) Most of the heavier models (5-ton and upwards) were provided with winches.
    James S likes this.
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    As a result of their experiences in RUSSIA, the Germans felt the necessity for a semi-tracked load-carrying vehicle, since ordinary wheeled transport was immobilised under certain mud and snow conditions. The development of a tracked suspension conversion unit for application to ordinary lorry chassis was therefore undertaken, this being considered the most economical way of dealing with the problem. The lorries selected for conversion were three in the 3-ton class, and the Mercedes Benz L 4500 S 4 1/2 ton lorry. A vehicle so converted was termed a "Maultier" (mule).

    For the 3-ton class, a Carden-Loyd type of suspension unit was designed by the Waffen S.S., using an all-steel dry-pin track rather resembling that of the Pz Kpfw I. This could be built on to standard 3-ton lorries by removing the rear wheel and associated parts, and fitting a shortened propeller shaft. The ordinary differential was retained and track steering was by means of separate brake levers. The following lorries were so converted:

    Opel, model 3.6 - 36S

    Ford, model V 3000S (Fig. 105)

    Klöckner Humboldt Deutz, model S 3000 (Fig. 106)

    In view of the weight of the track unit, and the fact that it was not well adapted for load-carrying purposes, the rated payloads of the vehicles were reduced from 3 to 2 tons.

    The Opel model was the first to be developed, in 1942, and a lightly armoured version mounting a 10-barrelled rocket projector, was also put into service as the "Panzerwerfer 42". The Ford model went into production in December 1942. The Klöckner Humboldt Deutz model, which had a diesel engine, was probably introduced about the same time but only appears to have been made in small numbers. Only the Ford model was retained by the 1944 programme, and production of even this vehicle was terminated in May of that year.

    The tracked suspension unit for the Mercedes-Benz 4 1/2 ton "Maultier" vehicle (Fig. 107) which was introduced in 1943 and retained in the 1944 programme was modelled on that of the PzKpfw II, but using a smaller driving sprocket. The bogie-wheels were individually sprung with quarter-elliptic springs. The converted vehicle retained its original payload rating. The conversion appears to have been fairly successful. The vehicle was intended as a substitute for the 5-ton semi-track, probably as a stop-gap measure while the Düssing factory was re-tooling to produce the SWS.

    While these vehicles must be regarded as improvisations, and cannot justly be compared with the standard semi-tracks, which were designed as such, they do appear to have fulfilled a definite need with reasonable success. As a comment on the need for semi-tracked load carriers, it may be noted that quite a number of standard semi-tracks were converted to that purpose. The principal characteristics of the "Maultier" vehicles are shown in Table 13.
    James S likes this.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    The German General Staff held the view that the semi-track was the ideal military tractor, and discouraged the introduction of other types. However, on Hitler's orders, two other tractors, one wheeled and one tracked, were developed. The former was a complete failure, and production was discontinued after a few hundred specimens had been produced. The latter, though rather a crude little vehicle, was produced in large numbers and became practically the sole motorised vehicle available to ordinary infantry formations.

    There were, of course, a large number of different types of commercial tractors, of many nationalities, as well as captured military tractors pressed into service. The former included agricultural tractors and wheeled road tractors. However, none of these can be regarded as standard German military vehicles.

    The tracked tractor referred to above was known as the Raupenschlepper Ost ('tracked tractor, east') or RSO and was primarily intended for use on the Russian Front. Its value should therefore be assessed in the light of the conditions prevailing there, rather than in the West where road performance played a much larger part. The vehicle was developed by the firm of Steyr during 1942 and full scale production started early in 1943. Production appears to have ceased in 1944. Besides the original firm, the vehicle was manufactured under licence by Auto-Union, Gräf and Stift, and Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz.

    The design showed traces of Russian influence. The vehicle, which is best described as a tracked lorry, had a payload of 1 1/2 tons and was rated to tow 2 tons. It had the exceptionally good ground-clearance of nearly 55 cm., a figure believed to have been specified by Hitler himself. The maximum speed was about 16 Km.p.h.

    The engine and transmission in the original model RS0/01 (Fig. 108) were practically identical with those of the Steyr 1 1/2 ton lorry, the drive being applied to sprockets at the rear through a non-controlled differential with a hand-operated lock. The engine was mounted inside the cab. In the latest model, the RS0/03 (Fig. 109), a 4-cylinder in-line air-cooled diesel engine designed by Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz was used instead of the V-8 Steyr air-cooled petrol engine, and other improvements, chiefly directed to winterisation, were incorporated.

    The track and suspension arrangements were very crude, and gave rise to excessive vibration. The bogie-wheels, made of steel pressings and without rubber tyres, were mounted, 4 per side, on an H-shaped sub-frame, which was mounted on the main frame by a quarter-elliptic leaf spring at each corner. The track was an all-steel, dry-pin, 'skeleton' type, the heads of the track-pins being on the inner sides, and a pair of cam-plates were mounted on the chassis to push the pins back should they tend to work loose. There was no other securing device for the track-pins, simply by driving the latter back and forward a short distance with a hammer.

    Steering was also very crude and was effected by self-reinforcing disc-brakes mounted internal to both the idlers and the rear driving sprockets, the brakes on each side being operated by a separate lever in the driver's cab through hydraulic linkages. The use of self-reinforcing brakes together with an ordinary differential precluded any possibility of fine steering and the fitting of a Cletrac controlled differential, as used in the 3-ton semi-track, was envisaged. It must be concluded that this vehicle was intended to be used almost exclusively for operating in roadless country. Its large ground clearance would make it suitable for mud and snow conditions, under which the Germans had some difficulty with the semi-tracks, owing the the tendency of the front wheels to dig in.

    The wheeled tractor, known as the Radschlepper Ost (wheeled tractor, east) model 175 (Fig. 110), was designed by Dr. Porsche on a suggestion from Hitler. Its most characteristic feature was the use of large steel wheels (of a similar type to those used on agricultural tractors) which could be provided with cleats or spikes. The vehicle had a 4-cylinder in-line air-cooled petrol engine of 6 litres capacity, and had 4-wheel drive, the transmission incorporating a fluid coupling. The unladen weight was about 8 tons, the payload 4 tons and the trailed load rating 5 tons.

    A very adverse report on this vehicle was given by the Kümmersdorf vehicle proving establishment, and production was terminated after about 200 had been manufactured by the parent firm, Auto-Skoda. The chief weakness lay in the wheels, which did not provided sufficient traction and gave rise to excessive vibration, besides tearing the roads up very badly.

    Wheeled road tractors, extensively used in German industry for road haulage purposes, were comparatively little used by the Armed Forces, probably partly because they lacked the cross-country performance essential in military vehicles and partly because the Germans made very little use of transporters for moving tanks by road, preferring to use rail transport or to move them on their own tracks. The most important of these vehicles was probably the Hanomag tractor (Figs. 111 and 112), a 4 x 2 vehicle with a 100 b.h.p. diesel engine, designed to tow up to 20 tons at 40 km.p.h. on roads. It was used by the German Air Force for towing petrol tankers etc. on aerodromes, and for various trailers used in connection with the A 4 rocket. The largest appears to have been the Kaelble 6 x 4 tractor (Fig. 113), having a 13.3 litre diesel engine, and designed to tow 24 tons. The latter was probably the nearest German approach to the British Diamond-T tractor, though it appears to have been used only for general traction purposes. It was chiefly used by the Railways for towing very heavy loads at low speeds in conjunction with a multi-wheel trailer.
    James S likes this.
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    The 18-ton semi-track was frequently used as a heavy recovery vehicle, for which purpose it was sometimes provided with a spade. Above this weight, the problem was solved by converting old pre-production models of tanks for recovery purposes, and by having a certain proportion of the production model tank chassis fitted with winches and spades. The Panther armoured recovery vehicle was one of the best-known examples.
    James S likes this.
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    As indicated above, the Germans made comparatively little use of tank transporters, preferring to move tanks by rail whenever possible. The only tank transporter trailer in common use throughout the greater part of the war was one 22-23 tons capacity. An earlier type introduced before the War, for use with the PZKpfw I, existed in two models, one with an 8-ton and the other with a 10-ton rating. Trailers of 45 and 60 tones have been mentioned in German documents, without, however, being encountered in the field; while a few specimens of a 68-ton trailer designed for the Tiger II were captured.

    The 8 and 10-ton types, both known as Sonderanhänger (special trailer) 115 were low-loading trailers having a single pair of twin wheels with pneumatic tyres at either end. The front axle was arranged for 'fifth wheel' steering, and supported the raised front end of the platform through a large ball-race. The rear wheels were mounted on a detachable bogie, which was provided with screw-jacks for raising the rear end of the platform form its loading position on the ground. Ramps could be inserted from the loading platform to the top of the raised front portion enabling the entire trailer to be used as a ramp for loading the tank on to a railway flat or heavy lorry, the latter being sometimes employed for transporting this class of A.F.V.

    The 22-ton transporter (Sonderanhänger 116) later rated to carry 23-tons (Fig. 114), differed from the foregoing in having the loading platform suspended between two bogies, each with two pairs of single pneumatic-tyred wheels. Both pairs of wheels on the front bogie steered from the draw-bar, by means of an arrangement of tie-rods. There was a similar arrangement at the rear, where a light draw-bar was provided for handling the bogie, when detached, but in addition, a steering wheel with a compressed air servo mechanism was provided for the use of an operator who was required to look after the rear end of the vehicle during travel. For raising and lowering the platform, hand operated winches were used on the earlier models, and hydraulic jacks on the later ones. There was no winch for loading the tank, but provision was made for leading the cable from the winch of the semi-tracked tractor, used for towing, through the front bogie, for this purpose. The drawbar could be locked in the central position, presumably to facilitate this. The earlier models were provided with special ramps to enable them to be used for loading railway flats over the front end of the transporter.

    This vehicle was regarded as clumsy and crude when compared with Allied tank transporters.

    The 68-ton tank transporter trailer (Fig. 115) ran on 24 wheels each with dual solid rubber tyres, arranged in two suspension units which carried the load-carrying platform. Each suspension unit consisted of a bogie made in two parts articulated together in such a manner as to distribute the weight evenly between three axles which each carried four wheels and were mounted on 'fifth wheel' pivots for steering. All the wheels took part in steering, by means of a system of rods and levers connected with the drawbar, which could be used at either end of the trailer. The loading platform consisted of two narrow longitudinal members connected together at their centres by a tranverse one. The overall width of the platform was less than of the Tiger II tank, so that the latter overhung when loaded.

    Experience of this vehicle showed that it was unsuitable for towing at speeds much above 8 Km.p.h., and that it was therefore useless for fast tactical movement of tanks; but in any case it would have been a negligible factor, owing to the small number available. As in the case of the lighter transporters, it was probably intended for recovery purposes.
    James S likes this.
  15. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    - (i) AMPHIBIANS

    In view of the German General Staff's lack of enthusiasm for seaborne operations, it is not surprising that the few known amphibians were only designed for operation in inland waterways. The amphibious Volkswagen has already been mentioned. It appears to have been designed largely for reconnaissance purposes in RUSSIA, where its ability to cross rivers and lakes would render it independent of the existence of bridges, and it is perhaps significant that when the Germans were forced to retreat from that country its production was discontinued.

    Another, and rather larger, amphibious car (Fig. 118) was that designed by a certain Herr TRIPPEL, and named after him. It was never adopted by the German Army, but a few specimens were used by the Waffen S.S. Amphibians were TRIPPEL's hobby, even before the War, and, by virtue of his connections with the Nazi Party, he was able to obtain the use of the Bugatti Works at MOLSHEIM, ALSACE, after the fall of FRANCE for the purpose of developing this projects. Several models were produced, but only in insignificant numbers.

    The other amphibian is in a different category, being a quite powerful light river tug provided with a tracked suspension for limited land use. This vehicle (Fig. 119), known as the Landwasserschlepper (amphibious tractor) or L.W.S. was ordered by the engineer branch of the Heereswaffenamt in 1935, and designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig, but was not put into service until about 1942 and then only in comparatively small numbers. It was designed for river crossing and bridging operations. The hill was boat-like in shape, but recessed at the sides to take the tracked suspension, and there was a fully-enclosed cabin, the superstructure resembling that of a motor launch. The track was an all-steel skeleton type, and the suspension consisted of 4 pairs of rubber tyres bogie-wheels per side, each wheel being mounted on an independently swinging fork. Springing was by leaf springs, each of which was common to one pair of wheels. The driving sprocket was at the front. There were twin propellers, operating in channels beneath the hull, a rudder being located in these slipstream of each.

    The amphibian was powered by a Maybach HL 120 petrol engine.
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    The Germans were unable to develop any successful mine-clearance vehicles. The principle of the British flail-tank was unknown to them before this vehicle was employed operationally, and all the German projects were based upon the use of rollers, a less satisfactory method. The B IV series of demolition vehicles had, however, a subsidiary mine-clearing function, and were fitted with switches intended to be operated by the blast if the vehicle should set off a mine; closure of a switch would cause the main charge to be detonated, clearing an area in the immediate vicinity. Such a method was obviously unsuitable for clearing gaps in deep minefields.

    The earliest attempts based on the roller principle appear to have been made about 1940, and in some of them it was proposed to drag the rollers behind a tractor with a very low specific ground pressure. Later the rollers were mounted on flexible arms, and were pushed along in front. The device was tried in front of each track of a tank, but was operationally unsatisfactory, since the rollers, which were necessarily heavy, adversely affected the performance of the tank.

    A variation of this theme was the Borgward BI remote-controlled vehicle (Fig. 129). The body of this vehicle was made of concrete, and it was designed to tow a series of rollers. Although purely experimental, it is of interest as the first of the remote-controlled vehicles developed by this firm, and a forerunner of the B IV.

    After the use of the British flail-tank in Normandy had drawn their attention to the possibility of using percussion as a means of detonating mines, a device known as the Minenräumer 3001 was developed, and a few specimens had been constructed by the end of the War. This was again a roller device, but this time the roller was hollow and of comparatively light construction, and contained an unbalanced weight which was rotated by means of epicyclic gearing contained in the roller. The device was, of course, incapable of effecting continuous clearance, as the roller was destroyed every time a mine exploded beneath it, and had to be replaced.

    In an attempt to produce a device capable of clearing mines continuously, the firm of Krupp developed a vehicle termed the Räumer S (Fig. 121). This was, in effect, a gigantic and heavily constructed road-roller, and was designed to be impervious to the effects of mines exploding beneath the wheels. It was made in two almost identical halves, each with two very heavy cast-steel wheels and a separate engine. The two halves were articulated together, steering being effected by hydraulic cylinders which caused the vehicle to flex about its mid-point. Provision was made for the wheels to have a springing movement of about 1/4 metres.

    One such vehicle was actually completed and undergoing trials by the end of the War. It is reported to have weighed about 130 tons.
  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD



    The Germans developed a number of types of remote-controlled demolition vehicles, of which several were used operationally. They were originally intended for attacking pill-boxes and other strong points, but preparations were made for using them defensively on the French coast. In neither role could they be termed a success. A subsidiary use was in clearing mines by blast.

    The smallest of these vehicles was known as the "Goliath" and carried about 83 kg. of explosive (TNT). It was a small tracked vehicle constructed of sheet-metal pressings, and the earlier model (Figs. 122 and 123), made by the firm of Borgward was driven by two electric starter motors deriving their power from accumulators. This necessarily limited the power and effective range of the vehicle, and a further model, driven by a two cylinder petrol engine, was developed by the motorcycle firm of Zundapp (Fig. 124). Remote control was effected through an electric cable which was paid out from a drum in the rear of the vehicle. The operator was provided with an control box containing switches and batteries, which caused relays in the vehicle to be actuated for steering and for detonating the charge.

    The various models of the larger of the two main types to be used operationally were know collectively sat B IV's, although several different versions existed. They were fully-tracked vehicles, and were large enough to carry a driver who controlled the vehicle during the approach marches. In action, the driver dismounted and the vehicle was controlled by radio. It carried a large charge of TNT (550 kg.), which was dropped when the vehicle reached its objective, and exploded after a delay. Meanwhile (in theory) the vehicle was steered back to its base; in practice, however, it was frequently blown up with the charge. The illustrations (Figs. 120 and 125 to 128) show the stages in the development of these vehicles.

    The design of the vehicle itself seems to have been derived from a small armoured ammunition carrier and tractor developed by the firm of Borgward before the War (Fig. 129).

    Another type known as the N.S.U. Springer was also developed, but did not go into serious production. The vehicle itself rather resembled the Motorcycle Tractor, produced by the same firm, less its characteristic front wheel. This vehicle was also radio controlled, but was intended to blow up with its charge. It could be steered by a driver, who, however had to sit on the outside.

    A difficulty with all these vehicles was that it was necessary for the operator to be able to see both the vehicle and the objective, and experiments were made in mounting a television head and transmitter on the two larger types of vehicle. This however, was never used operationally. In the final stages of the War the B IV was employed, not as a demolition vehicle, but as a one-man tank, mounting either a small gun or the Panzerfaust anti-tank weapon, a tribute to its inefficiency in the former role.
  18. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    (K) FUELS

    It is not possible to discuss here the important subject of German liquid fuel production and shortages, although this had a great influence on the course of the war and the use of the Germans were able to make of mechanical transport.


    The distribution of petrol and diesel engines as between different types of vehicles was roughly that all motorcycles, cars, semi-tracks and A.F.V's and the majority of lorries of up to the 3 ton class ran on petrol, while practically all heavier lorries had diesel engines. This state of affairs existed throughout the war, modified by the conversion of increasing numbers of vehicles to producer gas operation in the later stages.

    The grades of petrol normally used for wheeled vehicles had a nominal octane rating of 70, those use for armoured fighting vehicles and semi-tracks, and octane rating of 74. They were leaded hydrocarbon fuels of somewhat variable composition.
    James S likes this.
  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    (K) FUELS


    From 1942 onwards the Germans began to pay increasing attention to the possibility of economising in liquid fuels by the use of producer-gas. At first it was only intended to convert the transport of rear formations, but eventually second-line transport and even the tanks and semi-tracks used for training purposes were fitted with gas producers.

    The Imbert producer-gas installation (Fig. 130) was the one selected for military use, the normal fuel being wood, although certain models would also burn peat and lignite. The complete installation consisted of the gas producer proper, a condensation chamber, a set of vertical cooling pipes, a final filter, a gas mixer, which replaced the carburettor of a petrol engine, and a fan for producing a draught through the system while the producer was being warmed up. The condensation chamber and cooler were generally mounted in front of the radiator, in which position they were rather vulnerable, and reduced the ground clearance. In some later patterns they were mounted behind the cab, which was also where the generator was fixed.

    Both diesel and petrol engines were converted to run on producer gas. In the case of the former, considerable modification was necessary since the fuel injection arrangements had to be replaced by an ignition system, and it was necessary to reduce the compression ratio.

    Less extensive modification was necessary in the case of petrol engines, but even here, it became common practice to increase the compression ratio to about 9:1 by fitting special cylinder heads or the use of special pistons. This, of course, made it impossible for the vehicle to run on petrol.

    There was at first some vacillation over the policy to be adopted with regard to conversion of vehicles so that they could only be run on producer gas. Eventually, however, it appears to have been concluded that producer-gas operation had come to stay, and, in view of the greater efficiency which could be achieved with the proper compression ratio for this fuel, modification of the engine became the general rule.

    A very neat producer-gas unit was manufactured for the Volkswagen. This burnt charcoal, and took the place of the usual front bonnet. The compression ratio was not altered, and provision was made for the alternative use of petrol.

    The Germans appear to have had a considerable amount of success with their producer-gas conversions, the engines developing up to about 80 per cent of their power output on liquid fuel. The great disadvantages were the bulk and weight of the installation and fuel, the large amount of maintenance required, and the lace of convenience and flexibility in use.
  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Table 1 - Approximate Number of Vehicle Models in use by German Army at the end of 1943, with Dates of Introduction.



    1. In the above table, the term 'German' includes Austrian and Czech production. The term 'Foreign' covers all other nationalities.

    2. The number of models shown is based on the manufacturer's chassis model designation and takes no account of different types of bodywork. In a comparatively small proportion of cases, the models differed only slightly form one another, and had a number of parts in common. With this qualification, the figures given are probably a conservative estimate.

    3. The term 'Semi-Tracks' includes armoured types and the so-called 'Maultier' converted lorries. It is known that a number of French semi-tracked vehicles were used by the Germans, but no analysis by models and dates of introduction is available.

    4. The date of introduction shown is the earliest known date of manufacture of the model in question. Some of the models were, of course, in production over a number of years.

    5. For explanation of the term 'Prohibited Model', see text.

Share This Page