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Army vehicles and WWII

Army vehicles Beetle
ER Classics Desktop 2022

For Auto Motor Klassiek we do not pay so much attention to army vehicles. Army vehicles are pre-eminently simple, technically generally not very interesting utensils. And what many people usually understand by 'beautiful', they are usually not. The 'staff cars', the cars for the transport of officers, were usually large pre-war civilian models that were stripped of chrome. They often had tires with somewhat coarser profiles and were stabbed in the green. 'Black out' lighting made the case fully usable.

In 2020 it will be 75 years since the Second World War was over

And that event rightly receives a lot of attention. If you are now 76 years old, you can say that you have experienced the war. But the people who actually experienced the Second World War? The people who consciously saw the first Jeeps drive into the country? They must be 80 years old. It is a disappearing generation. But the memory of the horrors of the Second World War are kept alive. It was therefore what they would nowadays call a 'major event' in marketing circles.


The war machine - that sounds nice, but it was all human work - ground meat and steel on a huge scale. In addition, WWII was the first "professional" mechanical war. In WWI there were tanks, the machine gun there was also a mechanical miracle, but it was about the mutual sacrifice of a lot of cannon meat.

The large-scale murder of the Jewish population was a "cleansing of the bourgeoisie" and as such was "collateral damage" in WWII. But the massive sacrifice of 'Russian' soldiers in one attack wave after another was an unprecedented tragedy. It has not been equally liked everywhere, and it is still a pain for Putin: but the 'Russians' have won the war.

Soldiers and army vehicles

And all those opposing parties had vehicles. Many, many army vehicles. Many of those machines were cold based on estimates of how long they could last at the front. Before they were eliminated under difficult circumstances. These army vehicles were delivered over the parties in just a few colors, mainly green, sand yellow and white, by manufacturers who had been told by the government to do so.

Army vehicles are mainly in our collective memory such as Jeeps, GMC 'Jimmy's and Chevrolets. That is because the American production of army vehicles was so massive that they were burned on our retinas by their numbers alone. But the British also supplied many army-green vehicles.

What was 'not done' for a long time?

That was to keep you busy with German army vehicles. Or with Russian army vehicles. Because they belonged to the Nazis and the Russians respectively. And after WWII, the same were the defeated enemy and the new enemy respectively. That was of course a daze thought. Because an army vehicle has never been caught on the wrong political ideas or sympathies.

The enemy counts again

75 years after the capitulation of Germany and Japan, the sympathy for Germans is again at an acceptable level and we drive Suzuki's and (less and less) Honda's smoothly. And army vehicles from Germany, Russia and Japan? They are highly 'collectible', because they are rare. As an aside in terms of rare: The Dutch army had only one tank when WWII broke out. Another Dutch rarity: the Trado Truck, the precursor of the post-war military DAF 's. As early as 1935, the Ministry of Defense recognized the value of the Trado truck for the military - with joy at such a national industrial success.

Orders for no fewer than 1200 trucks followed, which meant a considerable investment by Dutch standards. Despite this, this number was far below the required numbers. The army was hardly motorized when the number of just over 13.000 trucks was projected onto a mobilized army of approximately 240.000 soldiers. So only 13.000% of those 10 trucks came from Trado. As a result, the artillery received this traction only for heavy units, the 150 mm and 105 mm guns. These trados also had to be used to bring the heavily obsolete position guns into their positions in case of mobilization. Most of the other Trado trucks went to the engineer and the anti-aircraft. And after the capitulation to the Germans.

Also interesting: Army vehicles from after WWII

In terms of army vehicles from our liberators, the range is considerably wider

But the time when there were huge areas full of discarded military WWII veterans were over. And a moving GMC three-toner is no longer available for NLG 300. In fact, during commemorative years with increasingly impressive demonstrations, the prices of WWII vehicles are rising sharply in the years following the festivities.

A restored Kettenkrad, the unique German invention with an Opel four-cylinder, which combined the disadvantages of a tracked vehicle with that of a motorcycle, now costs around a ton. For a top restored Willys Jeep, you tap more than 30.000 euros.

This kind of historical heritage lives in a closed circle. Here in the Netherlands, for example, we have BAIV (British American Infantry Vehicles) BV from Maarheze, which is completely specialized in the restoration of old army vehicles. Up to and including tanks. But clubs like Keep Them Rolling are also sources of material and knowledge that should not be underestimated.

Remember that warfare used to be rather slow. A column speed was 40 km / h. And many WWII veterans already find 60 km / h a respectable cruising speed. In that regard you better have one motorcycle from WWII to have. Because with those machines you can still keep up on secondary roads.

An R75 Wehrmachtsspann and a DUKW. Limited traffic deployment
The Dodge Beep, a nice big Jeep

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