Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, June 21, 2015

America's Liberty B Truck


As America's war effort ramped up in 1917, there was a collective realization that the fleet of vehicles needed to support a semi-mechanized army needed some standardization. The Liberty truck was the solution. It was designed by the Motor Transport section of the Quartermaster Corps in cooperation with the members of the Society of Automotive Engineers. A group of leading automotive engineers was summoned to Washington in 1917 to design standardized trucks for the AEF. It took took 50 men 69 days to design a 1-½ ton "A" model and the 3–5 ton "B" model. Production of the Liberty B began in the fall of 1917, and the first models were delivered to the secretary of war on 19 October. Of the almost 9,500 produced by 15 manufacturers, more than 7,500 were sent overseas. The Liberty's four-speed transmission coupled with its 52-hp engine gave the truck a top speed of about 15 miles per hour. 

Sources: Photo, Wiki  Commons; Data, American Military Vehicles of World War I by Albert Mroz

2 comments:

  1. There is a liberty truck on display at War Memorial Museum of Virginia in Newport News

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  2. Can you imagine a 3-ton truck today with only a 52 hp. engine? True, it only made 15 mph, but it must've had great gearing to move at all.....

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