Hi Bert and Max, forgive me, its a Lecture !!!
Just to clarify the reason for the data I have and saying what I have said, is that I have compared a lot of existing vehicle chassis numbers to the theoretical numbers given out by various sources for many types of vehicle, and very often they do not match, so that is the start.
The Stoewer company and its R12 vehicles just happens to be one of the vehicles I have managed to check out more than most, but the pattern of design and development for these Reichswehr Kubelwagens is similar across many manufacturers.
There is very little written about or understood about the Kraftfahrrustungs (Reichswehr) Programm (Motorisation Programme), and I certainly do have all the information at the moment, but basically it is this, Instigated in the late 1926-7 by the Reichswehr to motorise the Army. Most German manufacturers (approx eleven) offered designs and most (approx 40 models) were accepted, hence the huge variety of Reichswehr Kubelwagens seen in photos.
But they all followed basic design ideas, but variations existed of course.;-
-use of existing civilian chassis but usually with larger wheels and lowered gearbox and differential ratios.
-bucket seats all round (Kubelsitzer)
-simple folding canvas hood
-small screens fitted on the left and right of the windscreen
-usually fitted with the front mudguards of the civilian car design, that is they were long and streamlined
-bodywork ended behind the rear seats with separate boxes secured to the chassi immediately behind the rear of the bodywork.
However production was slow and in low numbers, and the same time the new German Army, the Wehrmacht, was expanding rapidly, and the next production programme, the 1935 Einheits Program which was designing purpose built military vehicles, was late in starting, was slow in development of designs, which were also costly and had many other problems. Consequently it was decided to issue new contracts to build more of the simpler Reichswehr design vehicles to give the ever expanding Wehrmacht some vehicles.
The new contract vehicles were now called Gruppe II and the older vehicles retrospectively called Gruppe I, and of course this is where there is a break in the chassis number sequences. Like Stoewer with its Gruppe I using 27xxx numbers and Gruppe II given 28xxx numbers.
Not all the previous Reichswehr Kübelwagen models were upgraded, some older ones were dropped but other newer models were now included.
Visibly the changes were typically;-
-bucket seats simplified, but still of the bucket design.
-canvas doors replaced with steel doors.
-doors now had sidescreen mounted on them.
-the simple folding canvas hood was redesigned to fit the side screens which gave better weatherproofing for the crew.
-the small screens fitted to the sides of the windscreen were deleted .
-tricycle front mudguards replaced the long civilian designs and had more clearance.
-most bodywork was extended to include a fully enclosed boot with a lift-up or drop-down door.
-some engine sizes were increased.
However there are also Hybrid versions, where some the new Gruppe II Kubelwagens have some of the old characteristics and some of the new characteristics on them, not a problem, still a perfectly usable vehicle, its quite a common sight in photos.
Bert's Stoewer R12 photo is a full Gruppe II version, whereas as Max's photo is of a hybrid Stoewer R12 (Fg Nr 28 127), that has a Gruppe II front mudguard and chassis number, but all else is still Gruppe I, Note : the Stoewer R12 always had the extended boot area bodywork, and their bodies were mainly supplied by Schlechte of Hamburg.
The problem is that not enough people get out from behind their desks and go and look at real vehicles, the man mentioned who was the Stoewer archivist, only knew the theory from paper records and was wrong on many many occasions, but he accepted corrections gracefully when given photographic proof.Unfortunately he was unable to correct all his previous outputs of information given to many different publishers and authors in previous years.
But the big problem is that there are obviously so few of these Reichswehr type Kubelwagens still in existance, which makes building up of a picture of production and changes very difficult, so if anybody has any chassis number information from existing vehicles, please show it.
Last edited by spannermann on 10 Jul 2020 20:50, edited 1 time in total.