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Thread: WWII Jeep in a Box

  1. #11
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    "Whatever we currently have and endear!" ..."If you're not with the one you love, love the one you're with". Steven Stills, 1970

  2. #12
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Jeeps in a Box

    Just to follow the theme a bit more. Seventy five years later, we just cannot appreciate how involved the US was in the war effort toward the end of WWII. A striking picture I saw several years ago showed a B-29 graveyard on Tinian or Saipan. The summary was that it was more economical to fly in a new airplane from Boeing than to maintain a supply and logistics trail to ship big parts of airplanes across the Pacific to repair a damaged or failed airplane.

    How does that play into Jeeps in a box? From reading other forums, it appears many of the Toledo Jeeps were boxed in Toledo and never fully assembled until they got to the end users. An Ordnance Depot in England could, reportedly, uncrate and assemble a Jeep in about 45 minutes. By mid to late 1944 and 1945, there were more Jeeps around England than we could use.

    By VE Day, the problem had to be addressed. Shipping them back, crated or uncrated was too expensive – and besides we didn’t need all of those Jeeps back home. Leaving them in England had two considerations. From a safety standpoint, they were left hand drive – incompatible with long established British traffic patterns.

    Economically, dumping thousands of US made Jeeps into the British auto market would have had a terrible impact on the British auto industry which had to make a transition from wartime to civilian production. Cheap surplus American vehicles would have been a mortal blow to recovery of the English auto industry.

    They couldn’t come home and they couldn’t stay in England. So, the simple and quick solution to the problem was a barge ride out into the North Sea or English Channel, and the vehicles went to sleep with the fishes.

    We find this hard to believe today, but there was so much excess war material that surplus aircraft were sold for pennies on the dollar and scrappers would recover their purchase cost by salvaging the 100-octane Avgas and retailing it as “Ethyl”, at 14-cents a gallon!

  3. #13
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    These days, we send entire brigades of vehicles overseas, then on the return trip we bring a brigade back to be "reset" in the states. Even the battle damaged vehicles were brought back from Iraq for disposal or rebuild, but the Afghanistan vehicles were mostly destroyed and sold for scrap due to the high cost of transportation.

    Included are some photos of the European scrap yards.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #14
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Oh my, man o' man... I don't know what to write. Wow what a sad story to hear and to see.

    I am sure glad we "leave no Jeep behind" anymore!

  5. #15
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Still another Story:

    Looking at the photos of the European junk/salvage yards, I wonder just how many of those vehicles ended up being recycled in some way or another.

    In the Winter 2018 issue of the Garand Collector’s Journal, (the M1 Garand is one of my other vices) someone picked up an article from an Australian trekker who allegedly discovered an undisturbed WW II battle site in the jungles of New Guinea. At the site were ( again - allegedly), undisturbed skeletons still in battle dress, a mass grave, rusted M1919 .30 caliber Browning machine guns and Japanese or Australian howitzer shells. In one of the accompanying photos, the idiot of a trekker was holding an unexpended howitzer round at what could be called port arms. I’ll go no further on how world class stupid that was.

    But, the other interesting item in this “undisturbed battle site” was the remains of an MB or GPW. Everything was gone; engine, front axle and differential, transmission and transfer case, steering mechanism, windshield, seats and frames, instruments and gauges and probably everything else outside of the photo margins. People don’t want to scavenge battle dress, howitzer shells, rusty machine guns – but they will carry just about everything on an MB/GPW out of the New Guinea jungles.
    Last edited by LarrBeard; 10-16-2019 at 05:53 PM.

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