The following military report on German and Italian military vehicles in North Africa was originally printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 20, March 11th, 1943.
Representatives of a well-known Canadian motor vehicle manufacturer recently inspected enemy vehicles captured by the British in North Africa. The vehicles examined were German Ford and Opel-Blitz trucks, and Italian Spa trucks, varying from 1 1/2 to 8 tons. While the vehicles in question were not recent models, the following observations by the manufacturing representatives are of interest.
The front and rear springs of the vehicles inspected were heavily built. The leaves were wide and long. All front springs were equipped with two rebound leaves mounted on top of the spring. The first rebound leaf was three-quarters the length of the main leaf, and the top leaf was half the length of the main leaf. There appeared to be no broken springs on any of these vehicles.
The large diameter of the gasoline-filler neck greatly assists in refueling from small cans in the field. The gasoline tanks were enamel-plated on the inside to prevent rusting. The spare gasoline cans were similar to the American 5-gallon can, except that they were enamel-plated on the inside and that the neck was equipped with an attached, snap-on top instead of the threaded type.
Nearly all vehicles were equipped with oil-bath air cleaners. There were two types: one using a single metal-screen cone, and the other a double metal air cone, immersed in cylinder oil. The double unit takes in air over the top, but cleans the air twice through two conical metal screens, one inside the other, with an air space between them. The single unit takes air in from the bottom, and the air is cleaned once through a conical metal screen. The representatives were much impressed with these air cleaners.
Practically all radiators were built of tubular removable sections, and this feature would assist considerably in repairing radiator cores.