The ability of moving loads had always been an important factor during war. Before the development of internal-combustion engines, this task was coped by different pack animals. Also in WW 2, horses played a very important part.
But already before WW 1, motorized tractors were introduced in many armies of the world. During WW 1, these vehicles demonstrated their abilities by moving heavy artillery guns. Besides wheeled tractors, the first full track tractors were developed and used. After WW 1, the first half-track vehicles were developed in France and later also in Germany. In the civil sector, agricultural crawler tractors and wheeled tractors developed for good roads prevailed.
The theoretical basics for the deployment and usage of the different tractors of the Wehrmacht were widely influenced by the lessons learned by the imperial army during WW 1 and later by the Reichswehr. For towing of guns of all kinds, of engineering equipment and for the recovery of vehicles different types of half-track vehicles were used. These vehicles were technical complicated but served very well. Though full track tractors were procured and tested by the Reichswehr, these vehicles were not able to win over the half-track vehicles. Due to the experiences of the Russian campaign in 1941, full track tractors were developed and procured in larger quantities. The wheeled tractors used by the Wehrmacht originated mainly from the civilian sector. They were used by the Luftwaffe as towing vehicles on airfields and by rail- and fortress-engineers for towing very heavy loads. In Eastern Europe, the use of such vehicles was very limited due to the missing of good roads. The wheeled tractors, half-track vehicles and full-track tractors were irreplaceable for the warfare of the Wehrmacht.







Wheel-track vehicles



Halftrack vehicles

Full-tracked tractors






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