Almost nothing is known about the history of this machine, but it was possible to gather some information from various sources.
This artillery tractor was demonstrated to German military authorities on tests held June 20, 1918 near Sauberg, located near the city of Gaggenau. As can be seen from the photo, the vehicle is in fact a conversion of the 3-ton Benz 3KL tractor, which had 45-horsepower engine and chain drive to the rear wheels. The new tractor was called the Benz КР (45PS) and probably re-utilized the old engine.
Front wheels had cast tires, and the rear wheels were the same with the distinct difference in that they were strewn with caterpillar treads. In fact, it was one of the first produced german half-tracks and wheel-cum-track vehicles.
After a successful demonstration the government ordered one hundred units. Of the one hundred vehicles ordered, various contradicting sources claim that anywhere that only three to fifty were actually completed by the end of the war, and none of them saw any action.
But there is another interesting relative of this vehicle. Before the end of the war, an improved model was tested. Apparently, the chassis was supplemented with hydraulic pistons to control it. Front idler wheels could be raised and lowered as needed, thereby changing the area and shape of the ground contact patch. On a solid soil it was possible to raise them higher, thus to ride practically on the wheels, on a soft ground the rollers lowered and created a large flat caterpillar. It is simultaneously a half-tracked and wheel-cum-track machine combining both schemes. This model identified as Benz CR (45PS).
Special thanks to Ki McKenzie for editing.
- Waffen Revue Nr. 70 III. Quartal 1988.
- Waffen Revue Nr. 71 IV. Quartal 1988.
- Walter J. Spielberger – Die Rad- und Vollketten-Zugmaschinen Des Deutschen Heeres 1871-1945.
- Е. Кочнев – Энциклопедия военных автомобилей 1769-2006 гг. | E. Kochnev – Encyclopedia of military vehicles 1769-2006.