FRES 2: The Revenge aka MIV

The problem with recce by fire with MBTs is that you are even more readily discovered and engaged then drawn into a battle that then requires reinforcement etc, because...you've got MBTs engaged right?

Perhaps the early German WW2 solution should be re-examined:

View attachment 399417

Phenomenally complex machine, needed high quality manufacture, skilled mechanics and skilled operators.

The American answer was the Willys Jeep,
Cheaper, better off road, anyone could drive and fix it, and it kept you dry(ish)
 
Phenomenally complex machine, needed high quality manufacture, skilled mechanics and skilled operators.

The American answer was the Willys Jeep,
Cheaper, better off road, anyone could drive and fix it, and it kept you dry(ish)
Phenomenally complex? Needed high quality manufacture? Skilled mechanics and operators?

It had a locking diff and forward and reverse ratio gears that's all - it's hardly a space shuttle. It was superbly maneuverable and much loved by those who needed its fantastic x-country performance. It was used by soldiers FFS and thousands were built - only stopped by Allied bombing in 1944.
 
Phenomenally complex machine, needed high quality manufacture, skilled mechanics and skilled operators.

The American answer was the Willys Jeep,
Cheaper, better off road, anyone could drive and fix it, and it kept you dry(ish)
No doubt @California_Tanker knows the unit. But during the second innings some of their Reccie units along with Jeeps, were also using Harly Davidson WA45s. Some of them also had Radios.
There is one story of a Biker out on a Reccie and he is credited with liberating a Belgium village.
 
Phenomenally complex? Needed high quality manufacture? Skilled mechanics and operators?

It had a locking diff and forward and reverse ratio gears that's all - it's hardly a space shuttle. It was superbly maneuverable and much loved by those who needed its fantastic x-country performance. It was used by soldiers FFS and thousands were built - only stopped by Allied bombing in 1944.

Compare that Helmut contraption with a Harley or Matchless.
German thing was stupidly complex to make and operate compared to any comparable motorcycle Of the day.
It was an object lesson in bad military design, needless complexity to achieve almost no advantage.
It was quintessentially ‘German’.


 
Last edited:
The Americans could turn out three Jeeps for the cost of one of the BMW or Zundapp combinations, the Jeep was more adaptable to carrying stretcher casualties and the Germans were plagued with lots of different varieties of "field cars", with differing engines, tyres, gearboxes,etc. and like the many different types of Sdkfz half-tracks, they were great to look at in the propaganda movies but head-melting to maintain. The Germans loved the Jeep, anytime they captured them and the only thing they had that matched it was the Kubelwagen.
 
I go back to projected use: the commonly sold threat is an incursion by Russia into the Baltic States and/ or Poland.
Since both were run by the Soviets/Russians for decades, one might reasonably assume that the entire region was surveyed and mapped at some point?
Ergo, unlike BAOR, where advancing Soviet forces would have little idea of what lay where, we can reasonably assume that a Russian adversary in the Baltics/ Poland has every forestry block, every industrial complex, every housing estate, etc etc, pre plotted into its routes, and it's artillery plotting.
Now, whether NATO drops a para brigade ( notwithstanding Russian air defence assets), or the allies push armour forward, the enemy can guess, with a high percentage of accuracy, every likely hiding place, MSR, bridge point and so on.
I would suggest that alone leads to a requirement to rethink any deployment there?
 
No doubt @California_Tanker knows the unit. But during the second innings some of their Reccie units along with Jeeps, were also using Harly Davidson WA45s. Some of them also had Radios.
There is one story of a Biker out on a Reccie and he is credited with liberating a Belgium village.
The official US name for the Jeep is "1⁄4-ton 4×4 Reconnaissance Truck" (and variations on that).
SNL G-503 Standard Nomenclature List Willys MB Ford GPW

Some may find the following interesting. It is a US study on how reconnaissance was organised in various armies though WWII, and how it changed over the course of the war.
https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/combat-studies-institute/csi-books/scouts_out.pdf

In general though different types of kit had pros and cons depending upon local conditions and what sort of opposition they were facing. It doesn't seem to be possible to make sweeping generalisations in this regards.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
A decision which has been repeatedly kicked down the road...
But we know it ******* works, and we built it, it's in service (admittedly not here) it's all so Arrrrrgggghhh.
 
Compare that Helmut contraption with a Harley or Matchless.
German thing was stupidly complex to make and operate compared to any comparable motorcycle Of the day.
It was an object lesson in bad military design, needless complexity to achieve almost no advantage.
It was quintessentially ‘German’.


My bold - you seem to have a bee in your bonnet because it is German (sorry, Helmut :roll:). I'm not the one comparing it to the peerless Willys Jeep, you are - and the two were very different in time, if not in space. The Jeep's comparator is the Kubelwagen and perhaps, the Schwimmwagen if you wanted to go wet - both were pretty good.....

And as for Harleys and Matchless (my Grandad loved his) bikes - both generally excellent, just like a Zundapp or a BMW.

And thanks for the film - it adds nothing to the discussion but is a fun watch nevertheless.
 
Compare that Helmut contraption with a Harley or Matchless.
German thing was stupidly complex to make and operate compared to any comparable motorcycle Of the day.
It was an object lesson in bad military design, needless complexity to achieve almost no advantage.
It was quintessentially ‘German’.


That was good, just a shame they can't restore that film. Seems their Don Rs were part of the Canadian Armoured Corp.
 
My bold - you seem to have a bee in your bonnet because it is German (sorry, Helmut :roll:). I'm not the one comparing it to the peerless Willys Jeep, you are - and the two were very different in time, if not in space. The Jeep's comparator is the Kubelwagen and perhaps, the Schwimmwagen if you wanted to go wet - both were pretty good.....

And as for Harleys and Matchless (my Grandad loved his) bikes - both generally excellent, just like a Zundapp or a BMW.

And thanks for the film - it adds nothing to the discussion but is a fun watch nevertheless.
There are few running Zundapps these days thanks to their stupidly complex and over finicky drive.

The Combo gets bogged?

German answer? A stupid complex two wheel shaft drive system with a diff lock.

The Allied answer, passengers jump off and push.

Over engineering - and across the board, it’s why the Germans lost.

The perfect is the enemy of good enough.
 
Last edited:
The Americans could turn out three Jeeps for the cost of one of the BMW or Zundapp combinations, the Jeep was more adaptable to carrying stretcher casualties and the Germans were plagued with lots of different varieties of "field cars", with differing engines, tyres, gearboxes,etc. and like the many different types of Sdkfz half-tracks, they were great to look at in the propaganda movies but head-melting to maintain. The Germans loved the Jeep, anytime they captured them and the only thing they had that matched it was the Kubelwagen.

Operability, Reliability and field maintainability didn’t seem to figure in the German mindset.
FWIW, the only really durable and reliable army truck it had, (other than its captured British ones), was the Opel Blitz, a half brother of the GM Deuce and a half.

Iirc, it was General Marshall who said the US Army could have anything it wanted, as long as it could be used and maintained by a Kansas farm boy.
 
There are few running Zundapps these days thanks to their stupidly complex and over finicky drive.

The Combo gets bogged?

German answer? A stupid complex two wheel shaft drive system with a diff lock.

The Allied answer, passengers jump off and push.

Over engineering - and across the board, it’s why the Germans lost.

The perfect is the enemy of good enough.
There are few Zundapps because the Germans lost the war and BMW had a bigger name and more surviving industrial capability across a wider product base.

I have no beef with the German 'over-engineering' argument, just not when it comes to bikes. Your 'stupid complex two wheel shaft drive system with a diff lock' was remarkably effective and saw the BMW and Zundapp combos used incredibly effectively throughout the war.

If you'd ever served then you'd understand that 'getting out and pushing' is a solution that can be applied just as well to a MC combo as a Jeep or any other vehicle.

Over engineering was a part of why the Germans lose at war but nowhere near the reason why - to say so is laughable.
 
Last edited:
I go back to projected use: the commonly sold threat is an incursion by Russia into the Baltic States and/ or Poland.
Since both were run by the Soviets/Russians for decades, one might reasonably assume that the entire region was surveyed and mapped at some point?
Ergo, unlike BAOR, where advancing Soviet forces would have little idea of what lay where, we can reasonably assume that a Russian adversary in the Baltics/ Poland has every forestry block, every industrial complex, every housing estate, etc etc, pre plotted into its routes, and it's artillery plotting.
Now, whether NATO drops a para brigade ( notwithstanding Russian air defence assets), or the allies push armour forward, the enemy can guess, with a high percentage of accuracy, every likely hiding place, MSR, bridge point and so on.
I would suggest that alone leads to a requirement to rethink any deployment there?
The Russians actually had us mapped out pretty well. Partly due to the availability of maps to the general public.


Russia’s Cold War Maps of Britain | Landmark | Land & Property Data Technology Experts
 
The combo Beemers and Zundapps, were used in places where m/cs had no right to go. You see them in photos, bouncing over the Russian steps three up over laden with kit!
Thing is unlike their Panzers, their as reliable as fcuk!
 
The official US name for the Jeep is "1⁄4-ton 4×4 Reconnaissance Truck" (and variations on that).
SNL G-503 Standard Nomenclature List Willys MB Ford GPW

Some may find the following interesting. It is a US study on how reconnaissance was organised in various armies though WWII, and how it changed over the course of the war.
https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/combat-studies-institute/csi-books/scouts_out.pdf

In general though different types of kit had pros and cons depending upon local conditions and what sort of opposition they were facing. It doesn't seem to be possible to make sweeping generalisations in this regards.
"General Purpose" = "GP" = "Jeep" . . . ;) .
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
C Army Reserve 3
TheIronDuke The NAAFI Bar 84
schweik The NAAFI Bar 45

Latest Threads

Top