Opel Blitz – the workhorse of the Wehrmacht.

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blitz4x4i0 The history of the Opel Blitz begins in the early fall of 1930, when there was a contest to name a new truck Opel acquired in 1929 by the Corporation General motors. The contest results were announced on November 25, 1930 at the meeting of the Opel dealers in Frankfurt am main. The first owners of the vehicles were private carriers. Initially, the army did not consider this model as a standard vehicle, as the car was owned by an American company.
on February 28, 1935 came into force the provisions governing the tax liability for owners of vehicles as an incentive for manufacturers of trucks. In order to receive benefits for taxation, owned by the person, the vehicle had to meet the following conditions: – corresponding weight for load – high engine at least 5 forward gears – high ground clearance – long wheelbase. Fulfilling these conditions in the second half of 1936, Opel starts production of 3-ton truck model Blitz S (designation S derived from the word standard, that is,

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the basic version). Initially, 3-ton Opel Blitz was equipped with an engine of 3.5 liter capacity 65 HP, but in 1937 he received a new power unit of a Buick with a volume of 3.6 liters and capacity 75L.with. (it is worth noting that competing companies in their projects planned to meet these conditions only to the next year). During the construction of the Western Shaft (the so-called Siegfried line), who headed the project Fritz Todt appealed to companies and government institutions to provide 11 thousand trucks for industrial purposes. A large number of vehicles were exactly Opel Blitz, thanks to their good controllability, reliability and simple design. Thanks to the good reputation that has earned modification Blitz -3600 in the construction of the Western Shaft, the Wehrmacht takes the decision to purchase these vehicles for military purposes. The first batch of cars number of 1200 units entered the army in early 1937. The car passed all the tests with excellent results. He could climb the slope up to 34%, to overcome water barrier to a depth of 0.5 m In March 1939 the Reich Marshall Hermann Goering signed documents indicating the number of required trucks. Not unparalleled in the class of 3-ton truck Opel Blitz was the main truck of the German army.

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Opel Blitz 3,6-3600S was produced in many versions, depending on the tasks for which it was intended. Namely: standard side – for the transport of troops or materials, fire truck, tank, huge limousine for VIP-persons. A car with a metal body could be used as a staff or radio, technical assistance for the repair of automobiles, vehicles for transportation of prisoners, ambulance, postal car more. Vehicle design has evolved throughout the period of production. Initially, increased capacity and power gasoline engine, which turned out to be better than less reliable and more difficult to use diesel. The car has received a high estimation of the armored units like tanks and armored vehicles used the same type of fuel and the Opel Blitz. Throughout the war, Opel produced spare parts for their trucks, so many repairs can be done in the field workshops. Since 1942 springs are equipped with an additional sheet to avoid frequent breakdowns due to constant congestion. In 1940, Opel has introduced another innovation to his truck – drive on both axes. This modification Opel Blitz gets the index 3.6-A (letter a – from the German word Allrad denoting the all-wheel drive). Blitz wheel-drive could climb the mountain with slopes up to 70%. The actuator on the front axle was driven by the gearbox, which was under the control of the driver in the cab. Another innovative solution was the implementation of the crawler drive – this version was called Opel Blitz Maultier. In 1940 Opel was able to produce only 1,000 Blitz trucks per month and each subsequent month of the war, the demand for trucks onlyopel_blitz_5 was increased. The production was unable to meet the demand, which led to the confiscation of trucks from civilians for the mobilization of the army. Lack of fuel caused the search for new types of power vehicles. Most companies that produce trucks (including Opel), began to install in their cars gas installation. In the period from 1943 to 1944 due to the use of forced labour, the production of the Opel Blitz was able to increase to 2,500 units per month. Release Blitz trucks on the most modern at that time the plant in Brandenburg was completed on 6 August 1944, when production facilities were destroyed by American bombers “Liberator” from the 8000m. In the period from July 1937 to August 1944 was released 82 356 cars Oplel Blitz S 3,6-3600, and about 25,000 all-wheel drive versions. However, in 1944, the production of trucks Opel resumed competing Corporation Daimler-Benz AG, which ceased production, the main rival to Blitz in the class of three-ton trucks – Mercedes. Opel Blitz for some time was made on the production capacity of Daimler-Benz AG under the name Mercedes L 701.

TO SEE PICTURES OF THE OPEL BLITZ

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