Diesel powered vehicles used by Heer

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Diesel powered vehicles used by Heer

Post by Huck » 04 Aug 2006 20:12

I'm trying to compile a list of the Diesel vehicles used by Heer (not the other services). I'm especially interested in vehicles that were major production types, say larger than 1000 units, regardless of their country of origin (as long as they were used by Heer). Can anyone help? I'd also be very happy to find out the number of units in which these trucks have seen service with Heer. Thanks.

Edit: I replaced trucks with vehicles, because I'm looking after any kind of diesel powered vehicles, halftracks, tractors, cars, armored cars and so on, and not exclusively trucks.
Last edited by Huck on 05 Aug 2006 14:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jon G. » 04 Aug 2006 21:16

The Germans used a myriad of beute-LKWs, some of them no doubt diesel-powered. As I understand it the Waffen-SS was even more diligent in requisitioning local vehicles for its own needs. Most civilian trucks of the time were petrol engined.

As far as I know the only domestic German diesel truck built in larger quantities was the Einheitsdiesel. That type was dropped already in 1940 because it was too costly to build in the numbers envisaged for the expanding Wehrmacht.

Edit: The list of manufacturers from the site Ilinked to above is very long. It is probably fair to assume that the Wehrmacht (if not necessarily the Heer) operated most of the truck makes listed.

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Post by Huck » 05 Aug 2006 13:46

Thanks Jon. What I am trying to do here is to see whether Heer's monthly Diesel fuel consumption of about 50,000 tons is reflected in the number of Diesel trucks in service. I would say that they had to operate at least 20,000 Diesel trucks (in a month) to reach such a high consumption.

I compiled this list from Oldtimer site. Summing up the production numbers on this page we get about 55,000 diesel trucks produced in Germany. It would be very helpful if someone would add/rectify the production numbers for the trucks produced in large quantities. Thanks again.

"Tatra 111, 1942-1944, 6x6 6,5/8-ton truck, V-12-cyl. diesel, 14825cc, 175/210hp, 906 built"
"Tatra 81, 1939-1942(?), 6x6 6,5-ton truck, 8-cyl. diesel, 12,5-Ltr., 158hp, 220 built (incl. 81H)"
"Tatra s. WS. (schwere Wehrmacht-Schlepper), WW2 end, 4-ton half-track, V-8 diesel, 10 L., 40hp, ? built"

"Mercedes-Benz L3000, 4x2 2,65-ton 4-cyl diesel 65hp, 1938-1939, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz Lo2750, 2,75-ton, 1933-1936, 4-cyl diesel 65hp, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz LG63/LG3000, 6x4 3,0-ton 6-cyl diesel 95hp, 1935-1938, 7434 units"
"Mercedes-Benz L3000A, 4x4 3,02-ton 4-cyl diesel 75hp, 1940-1943, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz L3000S, 4x2 3,1-ton 4-cyl diesel 75hp, 1940-1942, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz L3750, 4x2 3,75-ton, ?-1936-?, 6-cyl diesel 100hp, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz Lo3750, 42-passenger bus, ?-1936-?, 6-cyl diesel 100hp, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz L4500R Maultier, half-track 4,5-ton 6-cyl diesel 112hp, 1943-1944, 1486 units"
"Mercedes-Benz L4500A, 4x4 4,685-ton 6-cyl diesel 112hp, 1941-1944, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz L4500S, 4x2 4,95-ton 6-cyl diesel 112hp, 1939-1944, ? units"
"Mercedes-Benz L6500, 4x2 6,5-ton 6-cyl diesel, (1936?-)1938-1940, ? Units"
Rare vehicles and prototypes:
"Mercedes-Benz nz LG65/3, 6x6 3,0-ton 6-cyl diesel 95hp, 1935, few units."
"Mercedes-Benz nz LG65/4, 6x6 3,0-ton 6-cyl diesel 100hp, 1936, few units"
"Mercedes-Benz Mannheim 380 Diesel, 1933 (car)"
"Mercedes-Benz 260 D (car)"

"Hanomag Rekord and Rekord-Diesel (car)"

"Büssing-NAG 4500 S-1, 1942-1945, 4,6-ton, 4x2, 6-cyl. diesel, 7413cc, 105hp, 14813 built (all ""500"" and ""4500"")"
"Büssing-NAG 4500 A-1, 1942-1945, 4,5-ton, 4x4, 6-cyl. diesel, 7413cc, 105hp, 14813 built (all ""500"" and ""4500"")"
"Büssing-NAG 500 S, 1940-1941, 4,75-ton, 4x2, 6-cyl. diesel, 7413cc, 105hp, 14813 built (all ""500"" and ""4500"")"
"Büssing-NAG 500 A, 1940-1941, 4,77-ton, 4x4, 6-cyl. diesel, 7413cc, 105hp, 14813 built (all ""500"" and ""4500"")"
"Einheits-Diesel, 1937-1940, 2,5-ton 6x6, 6-cyl. diesel 6234cc 80hp, about 3200 co-produced by Büssing-NAG in 1938-1940"
"Büssing-NAG 900, 1937-1939, 9,5-ton, 6x4, 6-cyl. diesel, 13539cc, 130hp, about 80 built"
"Büssing-NAG 900A, 1937, 9,5?-ton, 6x6, 6-cyl. diesel, 13539cc, 130hp, prototype(s?)"
"Büssing-NAG KD, 1936-1938, ?-ton, 6x4, 6-cyl. diesel, ?cc, 100hp, 415 built"
"Büssing-NAG 801, 1933-19??, 8,5-ton, 6x4, 6-cyl. diesel, ?cc, 110hp, ? built"
"Büssing-NAG 802, 1933-19??, 8,5-ton, 6x4, 6-cyl. diesel, 12,0 Ltr., 145hp, ? built"
"Büssing-NAG s. WS. (schwere Wehrmacht-Schlepper), WW2 end, 4-ton half-track, V-8 diesel, 10 L., 40hp, 1000 built? (replacement for Sd.Kfz.6)"

"Borgward B3000, approximately 30000 built (petrol and diesel):"
" Borgward B3000D, 1939-1943, 3-ton 4x2, 6-cyl. diesel 4426cc 64hp"
" Borgward B3000S/D, 1942-1943, 3-ton 4x2, 6-cyl. diesel 4962cc 75hp"
" Borgward B3000A/D, 1942-1943, 3-ton 4x4, 6-cyl. diesel 4962cc 75hp"
"Einheits-Diesel, 1937-1940, 2,5-ton 6x6, 6-cyl. diesel 6234cc 80hp, 2463 co-produced by Borgwar"

"Hanomag SS55, 19??-19??, 4x2 road tractor for up to 15-ton trailer, 4-cyl. 55hp 5195cc Diesel:"
"Hanomag SS100 Gigant, 1936-1944, 4x2 road tractor for 20-ton trailer, 6-cyl. 95hp 8553cc Diesel:"
"Hanomag R40, ?-1945-1947-?, 5300cc, 40hp, 4-cyl. Diesel, 1200rpm, tow 3350kg, 32km/h"
"Hanomag Diesel road tractor, WH-45802, USSR, 1941"
"Hanomag Diesel road tractor, water airdrome Warnemünde or Kiel, ?-1937-?"
"Hanomag Diesel road tractor, VII 1936, airdrome Damm"
"Hanomag Diesel road tractor, IS-172012, USSR"
"Hanomag Diesel K50 full-track tractor, 1939 International AutoMotoExhibition, Berlin"

"RSO/03, 1944-1945, 4-cyl. 65hp Diesel full-track prime mover (RaupenSchlepper Ost), some 600 made"
"Klöckner-Deutz S3000 (S330), 1941-1944, 4x2, 3,15-ton, 4-cyl. 80hp Diesel, 10850 built"
"Klöckner-Deutz S3000/SSM ""Maultier"", 1942-1944, half-track, 2-ton, 4-cyl. 80hp Diesel"
"Klöckner-Deutz A3000 (A330), 1941-1943, 4x4, 3,1-ton, 4-cyl. 80hp Diesel, 5960 built"
"Magirus S4500 (GS145), 1941-1943, 4x2 4,8-ton 6-cyl. 125hp Diesel, some 700 (S4500+A4500) made"
"Magirus A4500 (GA145), 1941-1942, 4x4 4,7-ton 6-cyl. 125hp Diesel, some 700 (S4500+A4500) made"
"Magirus 33 G 1, 1937-1941, 6x4, 3,5-ton, 6-cyl. 100 or 125hp Diesel, 3860 built"
"Einheits-Diesel, 1937-1940, 2,5-ton 6x6, 6-cyl. diesel 6234cc 80hp, about 1410 co-produced by"
"Magirus M165, 19??-19??, ?x?, 8-ton, 6-cyl. 150hp Diesel, ? built"

Soviet tractors
"ChTZ S-65 (""Stalinec""), 1937-1941, full-track, 75hp Diesel, 37626 built (ChTZ)"
"Voroshilovec, 1939-1941, 350hp Diesel, 22-ton towing capacity (HPZ, STZ - 230 built by STZ)"

"FIAT 665, 1942-1944, 4x2 5-ton truck, 6-cyl. 110hp 9365cc Diesel"
"FIAT 633, early 1930's-1938, 4x2 5-ton truck, 4-cyl. 80hp 6647cc petrol or 50hp 55 70cc Diesel"
"FIAT 621, 19??-19??, 6x4 3-ton truck, 4-cyl. 53hp 4580cc Diesel"

"Einheits-Diesel, 1937-1940, 2,5-ton 6x6, 6-cyl. Diesel 6234cc 80hp, about 700 co-produced by"
"Krupp LD 6,5?, 1939-1941, 6,5-ton 4x2 4-cyl. 5448cc 125hp Diesel, ? built"
"Krupp ? model 26-seater bus, 50hp Diesel"

"Einheits-Diesel, 1937-1940, 2,5-ton 6x6, 6-cyl. Diesel 6234cc 80hp, about 700 co-produced by FAUN"
"FAUN ZR, 1939-1946, 40-ton 4x2 road tractor, 6-cyl. Diesel 13538cc 150hp, ? built"
"FAUN L900, 1937-1939, 9,5-ton 6x4 truck, 6-cyl. Diesel 13538cc 150hp, ? built"

"Renault 70CV semitractor, 1932, 6-cyl. Diesel"

"Hansa-Lloyd Merkur"

"Praga RN(D), 1934-1939?, 4x2 3-ton truck, petrol 6-cyl, ? built, RND - with 4-cyl. Diesel engine"

"Gräf & Stift V 7 DW, 1939-1940, 6-cyl. Diesel 100 hp, 4x2 40-pass. Wehrmacht bus, 170 built"

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Post by Jon G. » 06 Aug 2006 01:16

The Motor Vehicle Industry Report from the USSBS makes for interesting reading. The borderline between civilian and military vehicles blurred already prior to the war. The German economy was more or less geared towards army requisitioning of civilian vehicles. General Schell's standardisation program cut back dramatically on the number of types and ensured that trucks built from the mid-1930s onwards would follow the same basic layout.

The Einheitsdiesel fell victim to Schell's standardisation programme as I wrote above, but a few other diesel powered types were still built. The key types were the 3-ton Borgward, the 4.5 ton Daimler-Benz, the 4.5 ton Büssing and the 8-ton Tatra. Also the 3-ton and 4.5 ton types (Lancias, Fiats and O. Ms) built in occupied northern Italy were diesels although I am not sure about this. The USSBS does not offer a production breakdown by manufacturer (let alone by propulsion system), but instead breaks down production numbers by geographical locale. That makes sense because trucks and other vehicles were built to the same standard pattern anyway.

1944 production numbers for Italian truck types give these figures:

4251 Fiat 3-tonners
2151 O. M. 3-tonners and
646 Lancia 4.5-tonners

I recall reading here that truck production in occupied Italy was sufficient to cover the Germans' needs in that theater only - i.e. Italy was neither an asset nor a liability to the German war effort as far as truck production went.

From the same site comes a graph over German army motor vehicle inventories:


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Post by Jon G. » 07 Aug 2006 06:58

On an additional note Reinhard Frank seems to have authored the books to consult on this topic. Particularly this one looks interesting. You can peek inside via the link. Several other titles by Frank have been translated and published by Schiffer.

As is often the case, the untranslated versions look more promising.

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Post by Jon G. » 07 Aug 2006 11:09

This is actually a highly interesting subject. Thanks for starting it. I hope other members will pipe in at some point.
Huck wrote:...What I am trying to do here is to see whether Heer's monthly Diesel fuel consumption of about 50,000 tons is reflected in the number of Diesel trucks in service. I would say that they had to operate at least 20,000 Diesel trucks (in a month) to reach such a high consumption...
With the total German army stock taken from the table above, it should be a trivial matter to determine how many of those vehicles were diesels if you also know the monthly Heer allocation of gasoline :) All other things being equal, of course, which they may not be: some of the diesel fuel could well have been used for static generators and the like, and railroads probably also accounted for a proportion of the Heer's monthly diesel allocation.

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Post by Andreas » 07 Aug 2006 12:43

According to Lexikon der Wehrmacht, one version of the Maultier conversion (3000 S done at Magirus) had a Diesel engine, but no numbers are given for it. A French website confirms this, and says that only few of these were built, but compared to 22,000 total Maultier, that could still be a good number.

All the best


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Post by T. A. Gardner » 07 Aug 2006 17:21

A few other vehicles of which at least some had diesels installed:

DB G3 / G3a 6x4 1.5 ton trucks 2000+ built 1928 - 34
Büssing-NAG G31 1.5 ton truck 2300+ built through 1937
Magirus M206
Krupp 2LH43 and 2LH143 6x4 2 ton truck uisng the opposed 4 engine in both gasoline and diesel
Krupp 3LH63 and 3LH163 6x4 3 ton truck
Henschel 33G1 3 ton 6x4 truck produced from 1938 - 1941. Also produced by Magirus at Ulm with a 6 cyl diesel
Tarta 6500/111 6.5 ton 6x6 truck with a 12 cyl 210 hp diesel
Tarta 8000/111 8 ton 6x6 truck with same engine

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Post by Jon G. » 07 Aug 2006 18:39

It's mentioned in the USSBS that a move towards diesel engined truck types was initiated in 1944:
...it was decided to use as much diesel fule (sic) as possible since it was easier to produce than gasoline. As early as 1 July 1944, Klockern-Humboldt-Deutz, Ulm, received orders from the Main Committee to increase its production facilities for diesel motors to the point where it could produce diesel motors for all RSOs, in addition to 2,000 to 3,000 per month to replace gasoline motors in other types of trucks. In late 1944, German technical experts were developing diesel motors that could be used in all trucks and half-tracks...
It would be interesting to know how many diesel types the 1938 Schell Program allowed for. It would appear that Mercedes-Benz built their own diesel trucks continuously whereas other major manufacturers (Ford, Opel) generally built gasoline engined models. Maultiers and Blitzs were also built at other manufacturers - the Magirus version apparently was a diesel, but the MB license version of the Blitz (the L701) had a gasoline engine.

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More diesels than you can shake a stick at

Post by Jon G. » 28 Sep 2006 10:09

Here are some numbers lifted from Frank after I managed to lay my hands on his book. It's more of a pretty picture book than a real narrative over the Wehrmacht's trucks, but the text parts of the book are definitely okay, particularly the parts on truck unit organisation.

As a note of caution, I recommend prospective readers to acquire the German language version of Frank's book since the English translation in my version is atrocious - so horrible, in fact, that I think readers who are not familiar with German will have difficulties even understanding the English text.

According to Frank 83.3% of all German trucks were gasoline powered in 1937. 12.3% were diesels and 0.3% were wood-gas burners. I wonder what happened to the final 4.1 percent, but hopefully Frank's figures can give an idea of relative proportions.

Principle German diesel truck types operated by the Wehrmacht included the famous Einheitsdiesel, built from 1937 to 1940 by the following manufacturers:

Büssing-NAG (c. 3200)
Magirus (c. 2500)
MAN (c. 1800)
Henschel (c. 1500)
Faun (c. 700)
Daimler-Benz (c. 550)
'...and probably Vomag'

Apart from Einheitsdiesels, German truck manufacturers built the following diesel powered models with production numbers given where available. Some of the numbers given conflict with Huck's figures, above.

BORGWARD built a range of 3-tonners, some petrol powered and some diesel powered. Diesels can be easily distinguished by a prominent 'Diesel' plaque on the front grill. In total Borgward built 30,000 3-tonners until the factory was destroyed in 1944.

BÜSSING-NAG built vehicles ranging from 1.5 to 9 tons, usually powered by B-Ns own designed diesels. The most numerous type was the 500/4500, which was built both in 4x4 (A) and 4x2 (S) versions, powered by a 6 cyl. 7.4 liter 105 hp diesel. 15,000 were built.

DAIMLER-BENZ built about 7,500 of the famous L4500 truck in both A and S versions and powered by 6-cyl. 7.2 liter 122 hp diesels. Also 1,500 'Maultiers' were built by DB, but it's unclear if they were also diesel powered. DB license built 3,500 Blitz trucks, and those were definitely petrol engined models.

FAUN built a range of specialized trucks (cranes, tank transporters etc.) in small numbers. The L900 truck crane came with either a 6-cyl. 13.5 Deutz diesel developing 150 hp, or an 8-cyl. 18-liter Deutz which yielded 200 hp.

HENSCHEL built the off-road model 33 in both gasoline and diesel versions - confusingly, the 33 D1 was the gasoline version* and the 33 G1 was the diesel powered version. It's stated that no less than 22,000 Type 33 trucks were built by Henschel, but no breakdown is provided between diesels and petrols, and it's somewhat unclearly stated that 11,700 of this figure may have been exported. Also, Magirus license-built 3,800 model 33 G1s powered by Magirus' own Deutz diesels.

MAGIRUS built from 16,000 to 20,000 3-tonner trucks in a variety of types. Some of them were propelled by a 4-cyl. 4.9 liter 80 hp Deutz diesel, but sadly no breakdown is given between diesels and petrols.

KRUPP built a variety of models, mostly petrol-powered. The famous Kfz. 69/70 Protze truck was however also built in a diesel version.Some Krupp trucks had license-built 90 hp Junkers diesels.

MAN built the ML4500 (10,000) and F4 (2,500) diesels under license from other manufacturers. The ML4500 came in both 4x2 and 4x4 versions. It was powered by a 7.9 liter MAN 6-cyl. diesel which gave 110 hp. The F4 came with either a 13.3 liter 150 hp or a smaller 120 hp 12.2 liter engine.

Finally, VOMAG built small series of trucks until 1942. It appears that most Vomag designs were diesel powered.

Austrian Steyrs and Czech Skoda trucks were generally petrol powered, whereas Czech Tatra trucks (in widespread use by the Luftwaffe) were mostly diesel engined models.

From the above, it would appear that most German truck manufacturers had a decided preference for diesels. However, the leading commercial manufacturers pre-war were Ford and Opel, and their trucks were overwhelmingly petrol powered. It appears that the Wehrmacht - which requisitioned civilian vehicles as a matter of routine - was more or less forced to accept petrol-powered trucks as its main types due to this circumstance, the efforts of general Schell notwithstanding.

* but note my reservations about the quality of the translation.

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Post by Homerr » 28 Sep 2006 16:29

Any of the Pz38(t) series and their offspring like the Hetzer.

Sdkfz 234 series was also diesel.

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Post by Jon G. » 28 Sep 2006 19:36

Tanks are vehicles too :) I believe that the Praga-engined Pz38s/Marders/Hetzers used a petrol engine, whereas Tatra-engined variants had a diesel. I'm not altogether sure about this, though, for the Praga RN series of trucks used in large numbers by the Wehrmacht are usually specified as having 6-cyl. Tatra diesel engines rated at 110 hp.

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Re: Diesel powered vehicles used by Heer

Post by voorst » 31 May 2008 09:38

MB L701 was not fitted with diesel engines, it used instead common gasoline engine or the "boiler" in some later versions.
My own has common gasoline engine.



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