Pictures of World War I

Each Worth 1000 Words…

WW1 Cars & Trucks: Technology Innovation On Overdrive

By 1914 many of the cars and trucks already on the roads were built with a wooden chassis and had hard rubber tires. Since necessity “is the mother invention”, conversions of the automobiles and trucks, to whatever use was needed, ambulance, supply wagon or armored with pneumatic tires, became the normal manufacturing practice.

WW1 French Cars

In France Renault manufactured taxis, buses and trucks before and also T-17 tanks during World War 1. The company’s military designs were so successful that Renault was awarded the Legion of Honor for his company’s contributions to the war. In Paris 600 taxis ferried 6,000 French reserve infantry troops to the front. This legendary maneuver, “the taxis of the Marne”, ensured Paris’ safety and a military stalemate that precipitated the onset of trench warfare in 1914.

Das Auto Germany WWI

At the outbreak of World War 1 Germany was the most Industrialized European nation. Benz and Daimler were manufacturing automobiles and trucks, even some diesel engine trucks. Anticipating and planning for war they produced armored vehicles with independent suspensions and four-wheel braking systems. Their armies were already trained and deployed before war was declared.

Cars And Trucks of World War One

At this time the automobile was the “rich peoples” transport. The popularity of motor racing was a prime mover in the technological advancement of all components of the “motors”. It was not many “ordinary” people who were able to drive or maintain them. Thus the automobile and truck were slowly incorporated into the infrastructure of the ground war. The supply of gasoline and spare parts created problems for the mechanized fighting units that were, often, stationed in remote areas for protracted periods of time. The armies each had their integrated transportation corps where drivers and mechanics were trained on and maintained the vehicles.

Australian Autos In The Middle East

The 1st Light Car Patrol, of the Australian Expeditionary Force, had thousands of Model T Fords, some as standard cars, some as ambulance conversions, machine gun car conversions and utility vehicle conversions; they were manufactured in Australia and painted an olive drab color.

These cars were shipped from Australia, driven in Mesopotamia and in Palestine, where they acted as the “eyes” of the Cavalry Divisions, to which they were attached. The large cavalry units (light horse and camel) worked successfully with motor vehicles as General Allenby, Commander of the ANZAC forces, pursued the beaten Turkish Army northwards.

American Cars in WW1 Western Europe

In 1917 The American military standardized the design of their trucks; these automobiles were built with interchangeable parts and came to be known as the Liberty Trucks.
Model A Trucks weighed 1.5 tons and had 27-horsepower engines and were smaller, modified versions of the Model B.

Model B Trucks weighed 3 to 5 tons and had four-cylinder, 52-horsepower engines, 120-inch wheel wells, four-speed transmissions and could travel at 15 mph.

The Light Cars were Model T Fords that differed little from their civilian counterparts; a small cargo space was constructed on the back for cargo. They usually carried a crew of two and were armed.

British Motor Vehicles In First World War Middle East

The British had the Rolls-Royce Armoured Car squadron and Colonel T.E. Lawrence used a fleet of nine armored cars and tenders, especially adapted for desert warfare, in the “Lawrence of Arabia” escapades.

Rolls-Royce ambulance conversion cars were used by the Red Cross volunteer services on all fronts, many of these were “woodies”. The speedy, smooth ride made these ideal for transporting the injured.

Eastern Europe Cars of The Great War

The Austin-Putilov was the most important armored car the Russians used during World War 1. Many saw action the October revolution and afterwards in the Russian Civil War. After 1918 some saw service in the Polish and Japanese armies. This vehicle was a British design, produced and used in Russia. The Russians took the basic chassis and modified it considerably to cope with the harsh Russian conditions where it proved itself to be extremely rugged.

During World War 1 the USA had 213 manufacturers of automobiles and trucks and in total there were 294 makes worldwide; Fiat, Russo- Balt, Lancia, Autocar, Ferrari, BMW, Wolsey and GMC to name a few.


World War One Car and Vehicle Images