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Truck Production by Allies and Axis

Discussion in 'Sacred Cows and Dead Horses' started by brndirt1, Nov 20, 2009.

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  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Jul 7, 2008
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    Well said, this happens to be a subject "close to my heart". And yes the deuce and a half was the main supply truck chassis of the "allies. That query also exposes another "flaw" in the Nazi war machine.

    Too many different things doing the same job. Here is a partial list of the German trucks available to the Nazis from 1933 on: Adler, AEG, Afa, Audi, Bergmann, Bergmann-Metallurgique, Bleichert, BMW, Borgward, Brennabor, Breuer, Büssing-NAG, Daimler-Benz (Mercedes-Benz), Demag, Deuliewag, Deutz, DKW, Esslingen, Famo, FAUN, Ford, Framo, Freund, Fuchs, Goliath, Hagedorn, Hamor, Hanomag, Hanno (Hoffmann), Henschel, Horch, Kaelble, Klöckner-Deutz (KHD), Kramer, Kraus-Maffei, Krupp, Lanz, Magirus (Klöckner-Deutz), MAN, Manderbach, Maschinenbau Lüneburg, MIAG, Neander, Normag, NSU, O&K, Opel (GM), Ostner (OD), Phänomen, Primus, Renger, Sachsenberg, Saurer, Schlüter, Stoewer, Talbot (former Goosens), Tempo, Trippel, VW (Volkswagen, KdF), Vögele, Vomag, Wanderer, Zettelmeyer, Ziel-Abegg, and Zündapp.

    Which of these companies continued to build cargo trucks in any number is unknown to myself, but I would suppose that the larger companies would have continued to build them, even if at a reduced rate. I know that Adler, Borgward, Daimler-Benz, Ford Werke AG, MAN, and Vomag built quite a few. Most of them were 4X2 or 4X4 trucks of two ton capacity and less. There were some 6X6 trucks in two ton + size, but only a few were made before the war by Benz. The Nazis also incorporated into their "auto park" trucks from occupied nations, including these Austrian trucks: Austro-FIAT, Austro-Daimler, Fross-Büssing, Gräf & Stift, ÖAF, Perl, Saurer, and Steyr-Puch. These Czechoslovakian trucks: Jawa, Praga, Skoda, Tatra, and Walter. Not sure about the Hungarian trucks, but since their numbers were few it probably would not matter.

    The Nazis also absorbed and used both Belgian Ford and French truck transport into their service, but I cannot find a decent list for those trucks. I would guess that Citroen, Peugeot, and Renault were the most numerous French units. I have no idea what they did with the Polish trucks, or if they even restarted the companies to build them. One of them would have made sense (sort of) since it was a FIAT plant built for the Polish government by Italian FIAT. Speaking of Italy, their other main partner on the European continent, Italy produced these trucks of their own: Alfa-Romeo, Benelli, Bianchi, Breda, Ceirano, FIAT, Frera, Motomanuali, Gilera, Isotta-Fraschini, Lancia, Moto Guzzi, and Spa. I have no idea how many if any were used by the Nazis until after the collapse of Mussolini's government. But a quick look at the sheer number of different models exposes a MAJOR flaw in the transport of goods for the Nazis. No parts commonality.

    Now, the Axis partners of Japan also made a great variety of trucks for their armed forces, but only these Japanese trucks are listed. I also do not know how many went to each branch of the armed forces, or even how many were produced of what capacity: Chiyoda, Daihatsu, Hino, Ikegay, Isuzu, Kurogane, Mazda, Minsei, Mitsubishi, Nippon Diesel, Nissan, Nissha, Rokko, TGE, Toyota, and Tsukuba. Something really weird (as an aside) concerning Japanese Army vehicles (non-truck) was the most common motorcycle used by the IJA as a courier. Rikuo was a company set up to build Harley-Davidson motorcycles under license in Japan right after the big "Tokyo quake" in the mid twenties. They kept building H-D clones right up to the "45" (750 cc) V-twin, when their license was cancelled. American GIs were astounded to find what appeared to be Harleys laying around in camps after they occupied an area!

    Now as far as the "allies" go, the US actually had the best idea, and implemented it to great effect. Just before the war production really got up and running full steam, the production of all different motorized vehicles for use by the US Army and Navy was standardized. In the truck department the Army would be supplied with the GM designed(CCKW, and DUKW) cargo trucks built by others as well as GM, smaller one ton 4X4 trucks for ambulance and "command car" applications would be built by Dodge/Chrysler. International would supply the Navy/Marines with their transport units, with the products of the two smaller plants of Studebaker and REO going to our overseas allies.

    This was NOT a hard and fast rule, but a generally followed one since Britain also received Dodge, GM, and International trucks to supplement their own "park" which undoubtedly included the AEC Marshall, Albion, Austin, Bedford, Bradford, Bristol, Commer, Crossley, Daimler, Dennis, ERF, Foden, Ford, Fordson, Garner, Guy, Hillman, Humber, James, Jowett, Karrier, Leyland, Maudslay, Morris-Commercial, Nuffield, Reliant, Rolls-Royce, Scammel, Standard, Thornycroft, Trojan, Vauxhall, Vulcan, and Wolseley. I would doubt that the Brits continued truck production in many if any of those plants during the war years. I suppose that the Canadian truck production of the CMP style trucks were also was incorporated into the UK's truck forces, but since some of the others were off-shoots of GM, Ford and Chrysler, I do not know where to put them.

    Ford (US) built mostly "jeeps (GP-W)" to be interchangeable with the Willys production, as well as Consolidated "Liberators" at Willow Run, and tanks and their engines. If they built many trucks over the 1/2 ton jeep size (GP-W) I cannot find a reference. BTW, GP does NOT mean General Purpose. It denotes carrying capacity and wheel base in the Ford nomenclature, half ton, eighty inch wheel base, government contract. Just like DUKW of "Duck" fame was a GM nomenclature, not an Army one.

    The Soviets closed down or altered the production of all but two (I believe) of their in country plants. These were the GAZ factory at Gorky built by Henry Ford himself in the twenties, and the ZiS plant built by AutoCar. The ZiS plant became the main "assembly" spot for the Studebakers shipped as "parts" rather than as complete trucks. In this way a few "assembled" Studebakers could move a whole bunch of "un-assembled" trucks to an assembly center. Frames, engines, transmissions, axles, body-work, and tires would be on separate trucks. Fewer drivers and less fuel used. The Soviets built literally millions of the GAZ-AA, but they were puny little one ton, single drive axle Ford AA "clones" designed in the twenties. While not "useless", they were pretty limited compared to the all axle drive Studebaker and REO units of 2.5 ton capacity. One of the places the little GAZ AAs shined was trying to ship goods across the frozen lake Lagada (sp?) to Leningrad. They were light enough to generally NOT fall through the ice on both ends of its "de-stabilizing" (too early, or too late) period.

    With few exceptions, the "allies" relied on the GM CCKW and DUKW (both deuce and a half 6X6s) every where but the Soviet Union where the Studebaker and REO supplemented the GAZ (Ford-AA clones) there.

    Here is another "cutie". With very few exceptions the Champion "J-8" spark plug of today will work in any WW2 low compression gasoline engine. From the little Briggs-Straton auxiliary engine to the deuce and a half. Most of the rotors, condensers and points can "interchange" as well. The rotor out of a "jeep" will fit and work in a GM CCKW, the plugs of a CCKW will fire up a Harley or a Dodge "command car"! I doubt the same could be claimed for ANY Axis vehicles.
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