Willys MB
Late Model
Early Model with »Slatgrille«
Willys MB, truck ¼-ton, 4x4, Command Reconnaissance
The Willys MB was produced from the December of 1941 on, the first 25,808 with the welded steel grille (»slatgrille«).
In order to fulfill the increasing contract numbers, Willys sub-contracted with Ford in January 1942 to build the MB under license agreement with Ford Motor Co.
These units built by Ford, known as the GPW were almost identical except for a few differences (U-shaped front crossmember instead of a tubular unit).
The great majority of the almost 50,000 »jeeps«, delivered to the Soviet Union in WW2, consisted of the Willys MB and the Ford GPW.

Parts of them arrived disassembled in containers (»crated«) and were assembled at the Plant #4 in Kolomna, Moscow region, and possibly at the Gorkiy Auto Zavod (»GAZ«).

1944/5 installation of BM-8-8 82mm Rocket Launcher
As the Red Army advance was reaching the Carpathian mountains in summer 1944, the demand arose to provide mobile rocket fire support even in mountainous regions.

The ingenious Russian designers eventually found a solution by combining the mobile BM-8-8 82mm rocket launcher with the notoriously passable »Willysov«.

As comtemporary photographies are virtually non-existent (at least afaik), it must be assumed that only very small numbers of MBs have been converted in that way.

Special thanks to Mr. Vladimir Shevchenko, Volgograd (!), for providing just the one photo it often takes to accomplish a drawing.

Widespread hardtop field modification
towing the 120mm Heavy Mortar 1938/43

 

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Last Updated: June 22, 2007