The first two trucks to be purchased for such experimental purposes were a 1 1/4-ton Aldcn Sampson and a 1 1/2-ton White. Then Captain Williams noticed a small ad in a newspaper that would eventually lead to one of the most poignant success stories in truck development and production.
What Captain Williams discovered was a fledgling vehicle builder located in a small Wisconsin town named Clintonville. Ottow Zachow and his brother-in-law, William Besserdich, had patented the first double-Y universal joint encased in a drop-forced ball-and-socket, which was the basis for their four -wheel-drive concept. Other earlier designs using chain had failed or were so limited in steering capability they were essentially useless in any road conditions.
Captain Williams took a train to Clintonville and was given a ride in the second vehicle that the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) Auto Company had built. It was a large touring car later transformed into truck iteration. The all-important test drive, which included wheeling through plowed fields, mud holes and sand pits and even up the steps of the local Lutheran church, so impressed Captain Williams that he purchased an FWD car for S1,900. (To be precise, some records show SI,904. others 51,940.) It was equipped with an army escort wagon box for military use.
Wisconsin has been called the " badger state." and the Badger Four Wheel Drive Auto Company of Clintonville, Wisconsin, revolutionized motor vehicle design one century ago. (The Badger name had been dropped in 1911 and the company became known as FWD.) FWD trucks of World War I, along with Nash Quads, made a very significant impact transporting soldiers and materiel in a widespread theater of war at a time when there were very few paved roads and four-wheel drive was essential to slog through mud and snow across Europe."
"Even though all the trucks in the test had broken down at various points and had to be repaired along the way, Captain Williams proved that such vehicles could be used in the back country in certain situations. A second test from Dubuque, Iowa, to Sparta, Wisconsin, using the same trucks along with the repaired Sampson, plus a Kelly-Springfield, Kato, Mack, Saurcr, Velie, Packard and a Graham, involved supplying a provisional regiment during the long practice march. All were two-wheel-drive except the FWD and the Kato.
Captain Williams proved that trucks could be very useful to the Army, provided certain design deficiencies were overcome. The primary trouble was that all the trucks were required to amble along at the speed of the marching infantrymen, which was about 3 to 4 mph. This tended to overheat almost every motor. The three trucks that were selected out of the whole group for further use were the Mack, White and FWD. The Kato, although four-wheel-drive, had major power distribution problems due to inadequate transmission/transfer design. Although the rest of the "Army grey beards," as Automobile Topics Magazine called them, were still uncertain of moving forward with mechanization, Captain Williams had broken the ice and opened a few minds to new ideas.
As war exploded across Europe in 1914, it soon became clear that motorization would become a major factor in the new century. The first momentous turn of events occurred when General Gallienis famous "taxi-corps" army saved Paris in the first Battle of the Marne, outrunning the approaching German infantry by using every available motor vehicle to arrive ahead of the enemy. Some 12,000 taxis and sundry vehicles hurried 4,985 troops 28 miles in that all-important battle. This should have been a wake-up call for rhe U.S. military, but somehow it was overlooked."
ќтрывок из книги American Military Vehicles of World War I: An Illustrated History of Armored, American Military Vehicles of World War I: An Illustrated History of Armored, , Albert Mroz перевод отрывка, ниги.
|¬недорожные транспортные средства (Land Locomotion Ц Mechanical Vehicle Mobility LL-MVM) Home|