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Weapons of World War Two

The Campaign of Tunisia (Nov 1942 - May 1943)

Jeep Willys

Jeep Willys

The United States Army, in the years of the Second World War, could be surely defined as the least orthodox army of those existing back then. This was at least according to the certainly somewhat narrow canons with which the European, without exception, had gotten used to judge a military organization. The uniforms of slightly neglected appearance, the large variety, many times turned into heterogeneity, of the available means, or the singular sense of camaraderie, which often seemed to cross the limits imposed by the military graduation, created an undeniable aura of interest around this army, which was a young one in comparison with others. But soon this interest was almost always followed by fear on the part of all of those - and they were the majority - who finally realized about the industrial potential of the country which some had believed to be able to crush with certain initial victories. This army, on its going across Europe, made the population with which they contacted to know habits and fashions of American origin which they carried with themselves: Coca-Cola, "chewing gum" or "boogie-woogie". But not all of the American products had such a basically consumerist purpose. The motor industry, for example, turning the view toward the military necessities, had produced in large numbers a small vehicle suitable for multiple uses (General Purpose) which would soon become the universally known symbol of this modern and fully mechanized army. Because of the pronunciation of the GP initials the vehicle was soon familiarly known as "Jeep". It was a vehicle adapted to the travel on any type of terrain, with the four wheels driven, and a weight slightly above one tonne. The engine, of four cylinders in line and of gasoline, achieved a maximum power of 54 horsepower with 2199 cubic centimeters, and it was capable of climbing slopes of 60 percent. Its square-like shape, once the windscreen was folded forward, gave it the appearance of a cute box on wheels. The speeds were five, four forward and one backward, this latter working with a reduction gear. Lacking any armor, the Jeep was intelligently used by taking full advantage of its main strengths: agility, speed and operational range. It was successively used as reconnaissance vehicle, transport vehicle, ambulance, mobile command post and, in especially adapted versions, anti-aircraft or anti-tank vehicle, granting an excellent service in every front, from North Africa to Russia and the Pacific. Adopted by all of the services of the United States Army, and successively by all of the allied armies, the Jeep was built mainly by Willys Overland Motors Company from December 1941. At the end of the war more than 640000 exemplars had been built. Unlike what happened with many vehicles which were built exclusively for war purposes, the operational life of the Jeep did not end with the war. It had so a new existence, without any doubt a better one. Built for the war, since 1945 this vehicle has been used in almost all of the entire world as an ordinary and pacific means of transportation.

Year: 1941

Weight: 1377 kilograms

Length: 3.36 meters

Width: 1.58 meters

Height: 1.77 meters (with raised soft top)

Engine: Of gasoline with four cylinders in line, of 2199 cubic centimeters and 54 horsepower

Maximum speed: 105 kilometers/hour

Operational range on road: 483 kilometers

Maximum surmountable slope: 60 percent

Fording: 45 centimeters

Also in Weapons of World War Two

7TP light tankMitsubishi A6M ReisenM18 Hellcat tank destroyer

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