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Senovinių transporto priemonių gerbėjai
Dabar yra 2019 Rgp 17 Šeš, 13:07

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V dalis. Skyrelis „Auto/moto mįslės“
1) Leidžiama talpinti tik tokias mįsles, kurių autorius tiksliai žino atsakymą.
2) Temos pavadinimą turi sudaryti: mįslės numeris, vartotojo vardas, transporto priemonės tipas [motociklas / autobusas / sunkvežimis / kita]. Jei mįslės objektas yra automobilis – temos pavadinime to nurodyti nereikia. Kiekvienas vartotojas dėdamas savo mįsles pats kontroliuoja savo mįslių numerius. Mįslės numeruojamos įprasta tvarka.
3) Pateikiant atsakymą į mįslę autorius turi nurodyti atsakymo šaltinį ir pateikti kiek įmanoma daugiau mįslėje buvusios transporto priemonės aprašymo ir (ar) charakteristikos. (Išimtis - nesant jokios literatūros ar šaltinių ta tema. Šiuo atveju autorius turi pagrįsti savo atsakymą).
4) Kai mįslė atspėjama, temos pavadinimas turi būti pakeičiamas, paliekant tik metus (pageidautina), transporto priemonės pavadinimą ir tipą (jei tai ne automobilis).

Plačiau: Visos taisyklės



Naujos temos kūrimas Atsakyti į temą  [ 27 pranešimai(ų) ]  Eiti į Ankstesnis  1, 2
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StandartinėParašytas: 2006 Geg 23 Ant, 18:32 
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Užsiregistravo: 2004 Geg 31 Pir, 19:39
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Raimis rašė:
AWD rašė:
WANDERER rašė:
Koks tai automobilis ? Kas ji gamino ir kada si automobili?


Vyrai, pabandysiu užvesti jus "ant kelio" - gamintas šis monstras Rytų Europos šalyje, skirtas Rytų frontui, bet naudotas tik Vakarų fronte.

Tai gal gamintas Čekijoje?

Taip


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Užsiregistravo: 2004 Vas 09 Pir, 11:24
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Praga?

_________________
Forume rašome lietuviškai. :Lietuva: !!!


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Užsiregistravo: 2004 Geg 31 Pir, 19:39
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Praga?

Ne,ne PRAGA


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Užsiregistravo: 2004 Geg 20 Ket, 8:16
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Tatra


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Paulius43 rašė:
Tatra

Ne ir ne TATRA


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Užsiregistravo: 2006 Sau 08 Sek, 15:47
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Tai gal ŠKODA ?


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Gintukas rašė:
Tai gal ŠKODA ?

Taip atspejai tai "SKODA RSO" 1942-44m.
Ir siek tiek istorijos(anglu kalba):The various wheeled and semi-tracked tactical military
vehicles which the German government and industry had
designed and produced during the '30s were the cream
of contemporary automotive engineering. For the
takeover methods and the blitzkrieg tactics of
lightning war and a quick victory the elaborate and
sophisticated motor vehicles which the Wehrmacht's
"elite divisions" used when they overran their
neighbouring countries in 1938 - 40 were ideal. They
also came out extremely well in parades, propaganda
films and the like, but were far less suitable for the
reality of the Eastern Front when the fighting there
dragged on and got stuck in the winter of 1941/42. The
extra hard work under arduous sub-zero temperatures,
combined with maintenance problems, took its toll.
Additional difficulties stemmed from the chronic
shortage of motor vehicles, both on the Eastern Front
and elsewhere. Artillery tractors in particular became
scarce, partly because of the large amount of prime
materials required, not to mention the man-hours
needed for their elaborate manufacture. Supply just
could not keep up with demand. There was also an acute
shortage of horses for the horsedrawn equipment in
infantry units.

The transport shortage was solved to some extent by
the pressing into service of captured enemy equipment,
altough on the other hand this only added to the
maintenance and repair problems. Moreover, few
vehicles were able to cope adequately with the
atrocious going and severe temperatures encountered in
Russia. Both the duration of the conflict and the
vaste distances into enemy territory had been grossly
underrated and these miscalculations were to cost
dearly.

It was General von Schell who attempted to reorganize
soft-skin vehicle production in Germany. His "Schell
Programm" reduced the extensive overall variety of
models per category - from motorcycles to trucks - to
an acceptable minimum, abandoning the less suitable
types and concentrating on mass-production of the
best. Typical examples of this simplification scheme
were the Volkswagen Kübelwagen, the 1.5-ton Steyr
1500(A) range and the 3-ton Opel "Blitz" trucks

But it was Hitler himself who in November 1941 stated
that there was no point in keeping in production at
high expense semi-tracked artillery prime movers which
would in theory last for 120 years when everybody knew
that they could hardly survive more than two years of
actual combat life. A new generation of much
simplified tractors would have to be devised.
Sophistication and superfluous detail had to be
abandoned forthwith, if only to preserve high-grade
materials - a very valid point indeed.

Specially for the Eastern Front, the Heereswaffenamt
Wa.Prüf. 6 (the appropriate Ministry department)
arranged with Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in annexed Austria
for the design and manufacture of two new types of
artillery tractors: the Radschlepper Ost (wheeled
tractor, East) and the Raupenschlepper Ost (tracked
tractor, East). For the former requirement the
manufacturers came up, in January 1942, with a rather
ungainly modification of the standardized Steyr 1500A
1.5-ton 4x4 truck. It featured rigid axles with spoked
wheels, entirely of steel and with a diameter of 1.5
metres (nearly 5 feet). The full-track tractor wich
they designed was the well-known RSO/01 which, unlike
the wheeled one, soon entered quantity production in
their own factories as well as those of Auto
Union/Wanderer, Gräf & Stift and KHD/Magirus (RSO/03).
In addition to the standard model, there was a
multiplicity of derivatives, most of which remained in
the experimental stage. The big-wheel was never heard
of again.



For the wheeled tractor project, the HWA
(Heereswaffenamt) had approached Dr.-Ing. h.c.
Ferdinand Porsche KG at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the
well-known automotive design firm, for an alternative
proposal. Ferdinand Porsche (1875 - 1951) was a genius
and responsible for a large variety of vehicle
designs, ranging from the little KdF "people's car"
(Volkswagen, including "Kübel" and amphibious
"Schwimmer") to battle tanks. Hitler had in April 1942
made it known that for the new tractor requirement he
wanted a tall, four-wheeled, low-speed but powerful
and straightforward vehicle, not unlike the Austrian
Zugmaschinen of WW1 and Porsche was the obvious choice
because he had been largely responsible for such
machine as the Austro-Daimler M12 and M16 of that
period.

At Porsche's bureau, the order from the HWA was
executed under Design No. 175 (becoming Type 175) and
the Skoda engineering works in Plzen (Pilsen),
Czechoslovakia, were charged with the production of
prototypes. Here was another parallel with the WW1
tractors: although bearing the Austro-Daimler name,
these had in fact been built by Skoda, who at the time
were associated with the Austrian firm. Most of the
artillery pieces they pulled were also Skoda
manufacture.

Meanwhile, since time was pressing (Hitler wanted the
tractors issued to the troops for the forthcoming
winter of 1942/43), yet another alternative solution
was studied. Latil of Suresnes, Seine, in occupied
France and now working for the Wehrmacht under the
control and supervision of Daimler-Benz AG, had for
many years been supplying heavy four-wheel drive
artillery tractors for the French Army. Known as the
TAR-type, these had been used in large numbers in the
Great War and had been further developed during the
'20s and '30s (TAR3, 4, 5, TARH1, 2). Many TARH
tractors had been captured by the Wehrmacht in 1939/40
and founds to be of excellent quality. The Germans
even employed them, as Latil Schw. Radschlepper (f).
The HWA in 1942 ordered Latil to modify their TARH
design to meet Hitler's requirements, by the use of
large metal wheels, using no rubber, and to get it
ready for quantity production, with a thousand
requires before the end of the year and a monthly
delivery of a thousand units thereafter.

The large wheels were a feature Hitler had great
belief in; he probably recalled the performance of the
Austro-Daimlers in the 1914-18 conflict, when the
Austrians - his compatriots - had used relatively
large numbers of them and even the Kaiser had borrowed
some, complete with Skoda-built 30.5-cm mortars, in
the siege of Belgian forts. Unlike Porsche, Hitler
believed them to be just the job for the wretched
"roads" in Russia which were just wide tracks of deep
mud in which his supposedly mobile armies mired. But
how wrong he was! The Ostradschlepper prototypes were
tested and while they performed reasonably well in
certain types of terrain, they were next to useless in
snow, and particularly on icy surfaces and hard snow
on metalled roads. Porsche, who had been in Russia and
knew the conditions, had formed his own judgment but
strangely enough Hitler and his associates never asked
for his opinion. Porsche was asked to design the RSO,
using as little of the scarce raw materials available
as possible (no copper, no rubber for tyres) and
carried it out obligingly, without questioning, which
was probably just as well. The Reich's top civil
servants had a working system all of their own, with
strife and financial gain involved, and Porsche knew
it was wiser not to interfere with them and their
policies. One consequence of this system was that
projects like the RSO tended to drag on, without
proper supervision, taking too long and failing in the
end.

Porsche had worked hard and the first RSO prototypes
were read for trials on October 1, 1942, barely seven
months after the original orders had been given. In
late October the vehicles were put through their paces
at the Army's Berka test facilities near Eisenach and
on November 20, Albert Speer, the Minister of War
Production, witnessed a demonstration. Hitler himself
first watched the Skoda and the Latil perform on
January 4, 1943, in the vicinity of his headquarters
in East Prussia. He was not impressed and as a result
he decreed that the production order for a so-called
O-series of 200 units which already been given to
Skoda (i.e. AG Vorm. Skodawerke, as it was called
during the war) was to be halved.

Several improvements were made during these months of
tests. The petrol consumption was 2 litres per
kilometre, not excessive perhaps for this type of
machine (and 10% less than that of the Latil), but
petrol was extremely scarce and when Porsche applied
to the HWA for another 4000 litres for the
continuation of the tests, he was informed in writing
that the request would be considered. The HWA was
clearly unhappy with the RSO and in August declared
that no more petrol was forthcoming because the RSO
was a dead duck; Porsche was not amused. Unlike
Hitler, he had never really believed that a vehicle
like the Radschlepper Ost was the solution to the
original problem but he had designed it because he was
a designer, not a politician, and had been asked to
design it. He reckoned that there were enough
competent civil servants and military top brass to
decide whether a requirement was valid or not and to
what extent. Although Porsche had not entirely given
up arguing, he knew that he was backed by Hitler, who,
as Führer, had the autority to overrule both the HWA
and Speer's ministry. This was often necessary in
order to get something done but usually led to
inter-departmental conflicts.

Thus, early in 1943, the initial order for RSOs was
curtailed and later that year the project terminated
altogheter. Time had marched on and the Russian Front
requirement for a special tractor was no more....

The writer vividly remember that in the winter of
1944/45 a column of at least a dozen of Skoda RSOs
arrived in his home town in occupied Holland. They
were painted the standard Einheits shade of yellowish
sand and looked quite impressive. Twelve years old and
all eyes and ears, he was told by one of the drivers
that they were to be used (as a new and secret
weapon?) in conjunction with large ploughs, to destroy
railway tracks by breaking the sleepers like match
sticks. It sounded both barbarous and fantastic. After
a while, these Skoda's, which were highly unusual if
only because were brand new, were driven to a body
works just outside the town, to be camouflage-painted,
two at a time. En route to this works, there was a
railway level crossing, the approach to it being at a
very slight incline. This was in December or January
and the roads had frozen up. It also snowed. Now, due
to the Wehrmacht's chronic shortage of petrol at the
time, it was a rule, if not an order, for a
petrol-engined vehicle, at least when empty, to take
another (sometimes several others) in tow and the
Skoda RSOs were no exception. In the event, two of
them were struggling up to the level crossing, iron
wheels of the towing unit about to loose grip, when
the barriers were lowered to let a train pass and the
vehicles halted. After the train had gone, the first
Skoda attempted to get moving again but the huge
wheels just spinned, albeit at rather a slow rate. The
second vehicle was then started up - which took a fair
amount of time and effort - in order to move up under
its own steam, but to no avail: both machines had all
their wheels revolving but did not move an inch.
Eventually it was decided to reverse them individually
and charge the gradient at "speed"; the tragedy was
that they were back at the barriers, these were
lowered again and the whole performance had to be
repeated. One could hardly help feeling sorry for the
not-so-young soldiers who had to fight so hard to
cover just a few metres, especially since this was
nothing compared with the Eastern Front, for which
these tractors had been designed! Still, the poor guys
were probably glad that this was Holland and not
Smolensk.

What the writer happened to see that day had become
clear during the vehicle's official tests two years
earlier, when wheels with several types of treads and
cleats were tried, none of wich proved satisfactory.
In fact, a very adverse report on the RSO had been
given by the Army vehicle proving establishment at
Kummersdorf. The chief weakness, they had claimed, lay
in the wheels, which did not provide sufficient
traction and gave rise to excessive vibration, besides
tearing the road up very badly.

Although the machine was not supposed to be driven at
more than 16 km/h (10 mph), even if it could, it was
indeed most uncomfortable on metalled roads, due to
the vibration and the noise of the hardly insulated
air-cooled engine. In the meantime, something else had
happened; members of the SS division Reich, in an
effort to keep mobile in Russia in the winter of
1941/42, had been experimenting with a half-track
truck conversion. Using bogies and tracks of a British
tracked carrier, replacing the rear wheels of a
conventional truck, they had devised a relatively
low-cost cross-country vehicle with acceptable
performance. So successful was this design that the
authorities ordered several truck manufacturers to
build certain quantities of their 4x2 trucks with
these tracked bogies as original factory-installed
equipment. This type of half-track truck become known
as "Maultier" (Mule) and following comparison trials
Hitler in April 1943 decided to axe the whole
Ostradschlepper programme in favour of the Maultier,
scarce raw materials being diverted from the one
project to the other. Other simplified half-tracks,
the leichte and schwere Wehrmachtschlepper (light and
heavy military tractors) were also produced but it was
quite clear at this time that the tide had turned
against Germany and these ersatz vehicles were not
going to help to reverse the position.

How many Latil FTARH tractors had in the meantime been
completed in the West by the time the whole RSO
project was dropped is now a matter of speculation,
but it is unlikely that many were made. It can be
safely assumed that the French labour force was not
exactly eager to gets this vehicle into production in
the first place and they probably invented enough
excuses to considerably delay the action. Neither is
it certain exactly how many RSOs were built and
delivered by Skoda. Based on surviving evidence we can
only assume and estimate that it was somewhere between
one and two hundred.

Hitler did not forget about "his" tractor, though.
According to Walter J. Spielberger in his book about
tractors of the German armies 1871 - 1945 (Vol. 10 in
the series Militärfahrzeuge, Motorbuch Verlag,
Stuttgart, 1978) Hitler, in December 1944, demanded to
know what happened to the O-series RSOs which had been
ordered nearly two years earlier, since - in spite of
their known shortcomings - at least fifty of them were
required as alternative tractors "for special
purposes".

The Porsche-designed Skoda and the Latil Radschlepper
Ost were dimensionally similar but could be easily
told apart. The Latil had a much squarer front and its
primitive-looking cab was like the Wehrmacht's wooden
universal type, the Einheitsfahrerhaus. The Skoda had
more rounded contours and under the skin was
remarkably similar to the Austrian WW1 tractors
already mentioned. The wheels were driven by four
parallel propeller shafts, running fore and aft in
pairs, from a large mid-mounted transfer case which
also contained the differentials. There was a
mechanical locking device to connect the two prop
shafts on the right and the two on the left, and thus
the right-hand and the left-hand wheels. The
transmission incorporated a fluid coupling, which
reportedly was not quite up to the job, tending to
overheat when pulling away in too high gear and under
lenghty overloading; for this reason a conventional
single dry plate clutch was also provided.

The main power unit was an air-cooled four-in-line,
built up of cylinders from the Porsche-designed Tiger
tank engine. Both a petrol (Otto) and a compression
ignition (Diesel) version were planned. The four large
cylinders had a swept volume of just over 1500 cc
each, 6024 cc in total, with the valves in
amply-finned heads. With a compression ratio of only
5.45:1 a power output of 90 bhp was achieved at 2,100
rpm. the diesel version was designed to have 18:1
compression ratio and an output of 80 bhp at 2,000
rpm, but it did not reach the production stage.

In order to ensure proper starting, also under
extremely low ambient temperatures, an auxiliary
engine was provided. This unit, basically half a
Volkswagen engine, was flanged to the forward end of
the main engine; its main functions were: (a) to
pre-heat the inlet manifold, the cylinders and the
lubricating oil of the main engine, (b) to act as a
crank and (c) to provide heat for the driver's cab.
The cab seated three and there was a single bunk
across the back; in the wooden rear body there was
room for another eight beds, four of them suspended.
The non-pleasant appearance of the vehicle was spoiled
only by the large and ugly tyre-less wheels. A
pneumatic-tyred version with perhaps somewhat higher
top speed might, in fact, have been quite a useful
piece of equipment. Type 175 information supplied by
Porsche in 1982 is at variance in some respects with
that of 1942; weights, ground clearance and turning
circle figures differ somewhat, but this may be owing
to the fact that at least three different types of
wheels were experimented with: spoked, perforated and
solid, and with various types of spuds.





The Radschlepper Ost, or Porsche 175, may never have
seen active service in Russia but it is clear that a
quite few found their way to the Western Front, in
1944. After the war, some ten RSOs were discovered in
East Germany, where reportedly they stood for several
years, parked in the corner of a factory yard. They
were eventually broken up, being of no pratical use to
anyone.

Whether any have survived now is extremely unlikely.
One example, possibly the last, was dug up - literally
- at the Porsche work in Stuttgart. It had been buried
there in a dike shortly before the Allied armies'
arrival in 1945. When rediscovered and brought to the
surface in 1960 it was found to be badly deteriorated
and apparently considered not to be worthy of
restoration and preservation in the Porsche museum.
Perhaps nobody was sufficiently proud of it! Alas,
that happens to be the way it has gone with many
special-interest military vehicles.

TECHNICAL CHARACHTERISTICS
Type: Heavy Tractor, 4 x 4 (Radschlepper Ost) CHASSIS
Make and Model: Skoda RSO (Porsche typ 175) Type:
ladder frame
Manufacturer: Skoda-Werke, Pilsen, Czechoslovakia
Design: Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG, Stuttgart,
Germany STEERING GEAR
Type: worm and spindle
ENGINE
Type: 4-cyl, in-line, petrol, ohv, air-cooled BRAKES
Piston displacement: 6024 cc (115 x 145 mm) Type, main
and parking: mechanical, with contracting bands, on
all wheels
Power output/rpm: 90 bhp at 2,000
Torque/rpm: 39 mkg at 1,100 WHEELS
Compression ratio: 5.45:1 Wheel type: steel disc,
1500-mm diameter; width, front 300 mm, rear 400 mm,
with removable cleats or spikes
Carburettor: Solex 48FNVP
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
AUXILIARY ENGINE Make: Bosch
Type: 2-cyl, in-line, petrol, ohv, air-cooled Voltage:
12 (1 battery, 105 Ah)
Piston displacement: 565 cc (75 x 64 mm)
Power output/rpm: 12 bhp at 3,500 BODYWORK
Torque/rpm: 3.7 mkg at 2,000 Type: closed 3-seat cab
with bunk; drop-side body, wood, with bows and canvas
cover
Compression ratio: 5.8:1
Carburettor: Solex WINCH
Type: horizontal spindle
CLUTCH Capacity: 5000 kg
Type: single dry plate plus hydraulic coupling
Make, model: (hydr.) Voith 384T DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 3000 mm
MAIN GEARBOX Track, front/rear: 1820/1720 mm
Type: five-speed and reverse, manual, sliding gear
Overall lenght: 6220 mm, width: 2300 mm, height: 3065
mm
Ground clearance: 490 mm (under axles)
TRANSFER CASE
Type: single-speed, with four output shafts, central
differentials and loking device CAPACITIES
Fuel tank: 250 litres
FRONT AXLE
Type: rigid, with two pinions and ring gears; enclosed
steering joints WEIGHTS
Ratio: 4.00:1 Kerb weight: 7000 kg (front 4000 kg,
rear 3000 kg)
GVW: 12000 kg
REAR AXLE Trailer load: 5000 kg
Type: rigid, with two pinions and ring gears
Ratio: 4.00:1 PERFORMANCE
Max speeds (theor.) in 1st gear 2.44 km/h; 2nd gear
3.62 km/h; 3rd gear 5.73 km/h; 4th gear 9.16 km/h; 5th
gear 15.00 km/h, reverse 2.92 km/h
SUSPENSIONS Cruising range: 125 km
Front and rear: semi-elliptic leaf springs
Gradability: 33°
Max fording depth: 1180 mm
Turning radius: 14 m

BIBLIOGRAPHY: article drawn from "Wheels & Tracks" n.
3, © ed. Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd.,
London, EnglandThe various wheeled and semi-tracked
tactical military vehicles which the German government
and industry had designed and produced during the '30s
were the cream of contemporary automotive engineering.
For the takeover methods and the blitzkrieg tactics of
lightning war and a quick victory the elaborate and
sophisticated motor vehicles which the Wehrmacht's
"elite divisions" used when they overran their
neighbouring countries in 1938 - 40 were ideal. They
also came out extremely well in parades, propaganda
films and the like, but were far less suitable for the
reality of the Eastern Front when the fighting there
dragged on and got stuck in the winter of 1941/42. The
extra hard work under arduous sub-zero temperatures,
combined with maintenance problems, took its toll.
Additional difficulties stemmed from the chronic
shortage of motor vehicles, both on the Eastern Front
and elsewhere. Artillery tractors in particular became
scarce, partly because of the large amount of prime
materials required, not to mention the man-hours
needed for their elaborate manufacture. Supply just
could not keep up with demand. There was also an acute
shortage of horses for the horsedrawn equipment in
infantry units.

The transport shortage was solved to some extent by
the pressing into service of captured enemy equipment,
altough on the other hand this only added to the
maintenance and repair problems. Moreover, few
vehicles were able to cope adequately with the
atrocious going and severe temperatures encountered in
Russia. Both the duration of the conflict and the
vaste distances into enemy territory had been grossly
underrated and these miscalculations were to cost
dearly.

It was General von Schell who attempted to reorganize
soft-skin vehicle production in Germany. His "Schell
Programm" reduced the extensive overall variety of
models per category - from motorcycles to trucks - to
an acceptable minimum, abandoning the less suitable
types and concentrating on mass-production of the
best. Typical examples of this simplification scheme
were the Volkswagen Kübelwagen, the 1.5-ton Steyr
1500(A) range and the 3-ton Opel "Blitz" trucks

But it was Hitler himself who in November 1941 stated
that there was no point in keeping in production at
high expense semi-tracked artillery prime movers which
would in theory last for 120 years when everybody knew
that they could hardly survive more than two years of
actual combat life. A new generation of much
simplified tractors would have to be devised.
Sophistication and superfluous detail had to be
abandoned forthwith, if only to preserve high-grade
materials - a very valid point indeed.

Specially for the Eastern Front, the Heereswaffenamt
Wa.Prüf. 6 (the appropriate Ministry department)
arranged with Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in annexed Austria
for the design and manufacture of two new types of
artillery tractors: the Radschlepper Ost (wheeled
tractor, East) and the Raupenschlepper Ost (tracked
tractor, East). For the former requirement the
manufacturers came up, in January 1942, with a rather
ungainly modification of the standardized Steyr 1500A
1.5-ton 4x4 truck. It featured rigid axles with spoked
wheels, entirely of steel and with a diameter of 1.5
metres (nearly 5 feet). The full-track tractor wich
they designed was the well-known RSO/01 which, unlike
the wheeled one, soon entered quantity production in
their own factories as well as those of Auto
Union/Wanderer, Gräf & Stift and KHD/Magirus (RSO/03).
In addition to the standard model, there was a
multiplicity of derivatives, most of which remained in
the experimental stage. The big-wheel was never heard
of again.



For the wheeled tractor project, the HWA
(Heereswaffenamt) had approached Dr.-Ing. h.c.
Ferdinand Porsche KG at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the
well-known automotive design firm, for an alternative
proposal. Ferdinand Porsche (1875 - 1951) was a genius
and responsible for a large variety of vehicle
designs, ranging from the little KdF "people's car"
(Volkswagen, including "Kübel" and amphibious
"Schwimmer") to battle tanks. Hitler had in April 1942
made it known that for the new tractor requirement he
wanted a tall, four-wheeled, low-speed but powerful
and straightforward vehicle, not unlike the Austrian
Zugmaschinen of WW1 and Porsche was the obvious choice
because he had been largely responsible for such
machine as the Austro-Daimler M12 and M16 of that
period.

At Porsche's bureau, the order from the HWA was
executed under Design No. 175 (becoming Type 175) and
the Skoda engineering works in Plzen (Pilsen),
Czechoslovakia, were charged with the production of
prototypes. Here was another parallel with the WW1
tractors: although bearing the Austro-Daimler name,
these had in fact been built by Skoda, who at the time
were associated with the Austrian firm. Most of the
artillery pieces they pulled were also Skoda
manufacture.

Meanwhile, since time was pressing (Hitler wanted the
tractors issued to the troops for the forthcoming
winter of 1942/43), yet another alternative solution
was studied. Latil of Suresnes, Seine, in occupied
France and now working for the Wehrmacht under the
control and supervision of Daimler-Benz AG, had for
many years been supplying heavy four-wheel drive
artillery tractors for the French Army. Known as the
TAR-type, these had been used in large numbers in the
Great War and had been further developed during the
'20s and '30s (TAR3, 4, 5, TARH1, 2). Many TARH
tractors had been captured by the Wehrmacht in 1939/40
and founds to be of excellent quality. The Germans
even employed them, as Latil Schw. Radschlepper (f).
The HWA in 1942 ordered Latil to modify their TARH
design to meet Hitler's requirements, by the use of
large metal wheels, using no rubber, and to get it
ready for quantity production, with a thousand
requires before the end of the year and a monthly
delivery of a thousand units thereafter.

The large wheels were a feature Hitler had great
belief in; he probably recalled the performance of the
Austro-Daimlers in the 1914-18 conflict, when the
Austrians - his compatriots - had used relatively
large numbers of them and even the Kaiser had borrowed
some, complete with Skoda-built 30.5-cm mortars, in
the siege of Belgian forts. Unlike Porsche, Hitler
believed them to be just the job for the wretched
"roads" in Russia which were just wide tracks of deep
mud in which his supposedly mobile armies mired. But
how wrong he was! The Ostradschlepper prototypes were
tested and while they performed reasonably well in
certain types of terrain, they were next to useless in
snow, and particularly on icy surfaces and hard snow
on metalled roads. Porsche, who had been in Russia and
knew the conditions, had formed his own judgment but
strangely enough Hitler and his associates never asked
for his opinion. Porsche was asked to design the RSO,
using as little of the scarce raw materials available
as possible (no copper, no rubber for tyres) and
carried it out obligingly, without questioning, which
was probably just as well. The Reich's top civil
servants had a working system all of their own, with
strife and financial gain involved, and Porsche knew
it was wiser not to interfere with them and their
policies. One consequence of this system was that
projects like the RSO tended to drag on, without
proper supervision, taking too long and failing in the
end.

Porsche had worked hard and the first RSO prototypes
were read for trials on October 1, 1942, barely seven
months after the original orders had been given. In
late October the vehicles were put through their paces
at the Army's Berka test facilities near Eisenach and
on November 20, Albert Speer, the Minister of War
Production, witnessed a demonstration. Hitler himself
first watched the Skoda and the Latil perform on
January 4, 1943, in the vicinity of his headquarters
in East Prussia. He was not impressed and as a result
he decreed that the production order for a so-called
O-series of 200 units which already been given to
Skoda (i.e. AG Vorm. Skodawerke, as it was called
during the war) was to be halved.

Several improvements were made during these months of
tests. The petrol consumption was 2 litres per
kilometre, not excessive perhaps for this type of
machine (and 10% less than that of the Latil), but
petrol was extremely scarce and when Porsche applied
to the HWA for another 4000 litres for the
continuation of the tests, he was informed in writing
that the request would be considered. The HWA was
clearly unhappy with the RSO and in August declared
that no more petrol was forthcoming because the RSO
was a dead duck; Porsche was not amused. Unlike
Hitler, he had never really believed that a vehicle
like the Radschlepper Ost was the solution to the
original problem but he had designed it because he was
a designer, not a politician, and had been asked to
design it. He reckoned that there were enough
competent civil servants and military top brass to
decide whether a requirement was valid or not and to
what extent. Although Porsche had not entirely given
up arguing, he knew that he was backed by Hitler, who,
as Führer, had the autority to overrule both the HWA
and Speer's ministry. This was often necessary in
order to get something done but usually led to
inter-departmental conflicts.

Thus, early in 1943, the initial order for RSOs was
curtailed and later that year the project terminated
altogheter. Time had marched on and the Russian Front
requirement for a special tractor was no more....

The writer vividly remember that in the winter of
1944/45 a column of at least a dozen of Skoda RSOs
arrived in his home town in occupied Holland. They
were painted the standard Einheits shade of yellowish
sand and looked quite impressive. Twelve years old and
all eyes and ears, he was told by one of the drivers
that they were to be used (as a new and secret
weapon?) in conjunction with large ploughs, to destroy
railway tracks by breaking the sleepers like match
sticks. It sounded both barbarous and fantastic. After
a while, these Skoda's, which were highly unusual if
only because were brand new, were driven to a body
works just outside the town, to be camouflage-painted,
two at a time. En route to this works, there was a
railway level crossing, the approach to it being at a
very slight incline. This was in December or January
and the roads had frozen up. It also snowed. Now, due
to the Wehrmacht's chronic shortage of petrol at the
time, it was a rule, if not an order, for a
petrol-engined vehicle, at least when empty, to take
another (sometimes several others) in tow and the
Skoda RSOs were no exception. In the event, two of
them were struggling up to the level crossing, iron
wheels of the towing unit about to loose grip, when
the barriers were lowered to let a train pass and the
vehicles halted. After the train had gone, the first
Skoda attempted to get moving again but the huge
wheels just spinned, albeit at rather a slow rate. The
second vehicle was then started up - which took a fair
amount of time and effort - in order to move up under
its own steam, but to no avail: both machines had all
their wheels revolving but did not move an inch.
Eventually it was decided to reverse them individually
and charge the gradient at "speed"; the tragedy was
that they were back at the barriers, these were
lowered again and the whole performance had to be
repeated. One could hardly help feeling sorry for the
not-so-young soldiers who had to fight so hard to
cover just a few metres, especially since this was
nothing compared with the Eastern Front, for which
these tractors had been designed! Still, the poor guys
were probably glad that this was Holland and not
Smolensk.

What the writer happened to see that day had become
clear during the vehicle's official tests two years
earlier, when wheels with several types of treads and
cleats were tried, none of wich proved satisfactory.
In fact, a very adverse report on the RSO had been
given by the Army vehicle proving establishment at
Kummersdorf. The chief weakness, they had claimed, lay
in the wheels, which did not provide sufficient
traction and gave rise to excessive vibration, besides
tearing the road up very badly.

Although the machine was not supposed to be driven at
more than 16 km/h (10 mph), even if it could, it was
indeed most uncomfortable on metalled roads, due to
the vibration and the noise of the hardly insulated
air-cooled engine. In the meantime, something else had
happened; members of the SS division Reich, in an
effort to keep mobile in Russia in the winter of
1941/42, had been experimenting with a half-track
truck conversion. Using bogies and tracks of a British
tracked carrier, replacing the rear wheels of a
conventional truck, they had devised a relatively
low-cost cross-country vehicle with acceptable
performance. So successful was this design that the
authorities ordered several truck manufacturers to
build certain quantities of their 4x2 trucks with
these tracked bogies as original factory-installed
equipment. This type of half-track truck become known
as "Maultier" (Mule) and following comparison trials
Hitler in April 1943 decided to axe the whole
Ostradschlepper programme in favour of the Maultier,
scarce raw materials being diverted from the one
project to the other. Other simplified half-tracks,
the leichte and schwere Wehrmachtschlepper (light and
heavy military tractors) were also produced but it was
quite clear at this time that the tide had turned
against Germany and these ersatz vehicles were not
going to help to reverse the position.

How many Latil FTARH tractors had in the meantime been
completed in the West by the time the whole RSO
project was dropped is now a matter of speculation,
but it is unlikely that many were made. It can be
safely assumed that the French labour force was not
exactly eager to gets this vehicle into production in
the first place and they probably invented enough
excuses to considerably delay the action. Neither is
it certain exactly how many RSOs were built and
delivered by Skoda. Based on surviving evidence we can
only assume and estimate that it was somewhere between
one and two hundred.

Hitler did not forget about "his" tractor, though.
According to Walter J. Spielberger in his book about
tractors of the German armies 1871 - 1945 (Vol. 10 in
the series Militärfahrzeuge, Motorbuch Verlag,
Stuttgart, 1978) Hitler, in December 1944, demanded to
know what happened to the O-series RSOs which had been
ordered nearly two years earlier, since - in spite of
their known shortcomings - at least fifty of them were
required as alternative tractors "for special
purposes".

The Porsche-designed Skoda and the Latil Radschlepper
Ost were dimensionally similar but could be easily
told apart. The Latil had a much squarer front and its
primitive-looking cab was like the Wehrmacht's wooden
universal type, the Einheitsfahrerhaus. The Skoda had
more rounded contours and under the skin was
remarkably similar to the Austrian WW1 tractors
already mentioned. The wheels were driven by four
parallel propeller shafts, running fore and aft in
pairs, from a large mid-mounted transfer case which
also contained the differentials. There was a
mechanical locking device to connect the two prop
shafts on the right and the two on the left, and thus
the right-hand and the left-hand wheels. The
transmission incorporated a fluid coupling, which
reportedly was not quite up to the job, tending to
overheat when pulling away in too high gear and under
lenghty overloading; for this reason a conventional
single dry plate clutch was also provided.

The main power unit was an air-cooled four-in-line,
built up of cylinders from the Porsche-designed Tiger
tank engine. Both a petrol (Otto) and a compression
ignition (Diesel) version were planned. The four large
cylinders had a swept volume of just over 1500 cc
each, 6024 cc in total, with the valves in
amply-finned heads. With a compression ratio of only
5.45:1 a power output of 90 bhp was achieved at 2,100
rpm. the diesel version was designed to have 18:1
compression ratio and an output of 80 bhp at 2,000
rpm, but it did not reach the production stage.

In order to ensure proper starting, also under
extremely low ambient temperatures, an auxiliary
engine was provided. This unit, basically half a
Volkswagen engine, was flanged to the forward end of
the main engine; its main functions were: (a) to
pre-heat the inlet manifold, the cylinders and the
lubricating oil of the main engine, (b) to act as a
crank and (c) to provide heat for the driver's cab.
The cab seated three and there was a single bunk
across the back; in the wooden rear body there was
room for another eight beds, four of them suspended.
The non-pleasant appearance of the vehicle was spoiled
only by the large and ugly tyre-less wheels. A
pneumatic-tyred version with perhaps somewhat higher
top speed might, in fact, have been quite a useful
piece of equipment. Type 175 information supplied by
Porsche in 1982 is at variance in some respects with
that of 1942; weights, ground clearance and turning
circle figures differ somewhat, but this may be owing
to the fact that at least three different types of
wheels were experimented with: spoked, perforated and
solid, and with various types of spuds.





The Radschlepper Ost, or Porsche 175, may never have
seen active service in Russia but it is clear that a
quite few found their way to the Western Front, in
1944. After the war, some ten RSOs were discovered in
East Germany, where reportedly they stood for several
years, parked in the corner of a factory yard. They
were eventually broken up, being of no pratical use to
anyone.

Whether any have survived now is extremely unlikely.
One example, possibly the last, was dug up - literally
- at the Porsche work in Stuttgart. It had been buried
there in a dike shortly before the Allied armies'
arrival in 1945. When rediscovered and brought to the
surface in 1960 it was found to be badly deteriorated
and apparently considered not to be worthy of
restoration and preservation in the Porsche museum.
Perhaps nobody was sufficiently proud of it! Alas,
that happens to be the way it has gone with many
special-interest military vehicles.

TECHNICAL CHARACHTERISTICS
Type: Heavy Tractor, 4 x 4 (Radschlepper Ost) CHASSIS
Make and Model: Skoda RSO (Porsche typ 175) Type:
ladder frame
Manufacturer: Skoda-Werke, Pilsen, Czechoslovakia
Design: Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG, Stuttgart,
Germany STEERING GEAR
Type: worm and spindle
ENGINE
Type: 4-cyl, in-line, petrol, ohv, air-cooled BRAKES
Piston displacement: 6024 cc (115 x 145 mm) Type, main
and parking: mechanical, with contracting bands, on
all wheels
Power output/rpm: 90 bhp at 2,000
Torque/rpm: 39 mkg at 1,100 WHEELS
Compression ratio: 5.45:1 Wheel type: steel disc,
1500-mm diameter; width, front 300 mm, rear 400 mm,
with removable cleats or spikes
Carburettor: Solex 48FNVP
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
AUXILIARY ENGINE Make: Bosch
Type: 2-cyl, in-line, petrol, ohv, air-cooled Voltage:
12 (1 battery, 105 Ah)
Piston displacement: 565 cc (75 x 64 mm)
Power output/rpm: 12 bhp at 3,500 BODYWORK
Torque/rpm: 3.7 mkg at 2,000 Type: closed 3-seat cab
with bunk; drop-side body, wood, with bows and canvas
cover
Compression ratio: 5.8:1
Carburettor: Solex WINCH
Type: horizontal spindle
CLUTCH Capacity: 5000 kg
Type: single dry plate plus hydraulic coupling
Make, model: (hydr.) Voith 384T DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 3000 mm
MAIN GEARBOX Track, front/rear: 1820/1720 mm
Type: five-speed and reverse, manual, sliding gear
Overall lenght: 6220 mm, width: 2300 mm, height: 3065
mm
Ground clearance: 490 mm (under axles)
TRANSFER CASE
Type: single-speed, with four output shafts, central
differentials and loking device CAPACITIES
Fuel tank: 250 litres
FRONT AXLE
Type: rigid, with two pinions and ring gears; enclosed
steering joints WEIGHTS
Ratio: 4.00:1 Kerb weight: 7000 kg (front 4000 kg,
rear 3000 kg)
GVW: 12000 kg
REAR AXLE Trailer load: 5000 kg
Type: rigid, with two pinions and ring gears
Ratio: 4.00:1 PERFORMANCE
Max speeds (theor.) in 1st gear 2.44 km/h; 2nd gear
3.62 km/h; 3rd gear 5.73 km/h; 4th gear 9.16 km/h; 5th
gear 15.00 km/h, reverse 2.92 km/h
SUSPENSIONS Cruising range: 125 km
Front and rear: semi-elliptic leaf springs
Gradability: 33°
Max fording depth: 1180 mm
Turning radius: 14 m


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