Benz-Bräuer Kraftprotze

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.

Sources:

  • 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.
  • https://landships.activeboard.com/t63818562/unrealised-german-projects-of-1918-year/
  • http://landships.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=63528&p=3&topicID=17703236
  • https://strangernn.livejournal.com/37824.html
  • https://strangernn.livejournal.com/314939.html
  • https://stage-chronik.mercedes-benz-classic.com/en/benz-braeuer-kraftprotze-undergoes-inspection/
  • https://autoreview.ru/articles/gruzoviki-i-avtobusy/arocs%D0%BA%D0%B0vator
  • http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/name-that-vehicle.5241/page-99
  • http://mercedes-benzclubvenezuela.blogspot.com/2013/09/para-recordar_16.html
  • https://books.google.ru/books?id=HN3AUx_3Mn4C&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=Benz-Br%C3%A4uer&source=bl&ots=5pzSfCaR-G&sig=CjbXPfmip_lUrR3BFw6YUrUsFrs&hl=ru&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi95IzDleDcAhWLO5oKHWLmCYoQ6AEwC3oECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Benz-Br%C3%A4uer&f=false

Vickers wheel-cum-track tank

UPDATE: thanks to foreign comrades,  I now have additional details and have added them to this article.

Digging in British Imperial War Museum website I found this very pretty photo of a clearly experimental vehicle.

In the note to the photo it says that this is an”unidentified Vickers armored car”. I also did not know anything and did not see any mention of anything like that. The museum’s website, claims that this photo was taken in the First World War period, but this is wrong

In fact, the photo shows a prototype of a wheel-cum-track tank built in 1927 on the basis of the Wolseley-Vickers wheel-cum-track car, which was built in 1926 on the basis of standard Wolseley car.

In the photo you can see a fairly common for the post-war time wheel-cum-track idea of combining wheel and caterpillar drives with the ability to switch from one to another, obviously for maximum mobility both on roads and off-road. Visually and conceptually looks like the KH-50 tank, developed in the first half of the 1920s.

It can be assumed that the British wanted to create some kind of intermediate link between armored cars and tanks, which can take advantage of fast movement on ordinary roads and go to a crawler drive to overcome the WWI-style battlefield (what was expected in the future war).

Crew – 4 people. The armament was to consist of 3 Vickers machine guns, but only one dummy machine gun is visible in the photo. Speed on the road was about 25 miles per hour and 15 miles per hour on tracks.

Sources:
* Imperial War Museum
*
Maximietteita blog
*
trecut.wellcome.ro
* Unusual Locomotion