Einheitsdiesel – German Light all-terrain Standard Truck


Einheitsdiesel in grey finish, early war German vehicle color – photo 2023

This unarmored German truck, officially called the Leichter geländegangiger Einheits-LKW 2,5t was designed between 1936 and 1937 (in Eng: Light all-terrain Standard Truck 2.5 tons). The truck came into play when the newly installed Wehrmacht took over the, in between wars, Reichswehr. The truck of the Reichswehr consisted of a diversity of civilian converted trucks. The Wehrmacht needed a good off-road truck, easy to maintain with a manageable variety of spare parts. They needed a standard type of truck. The LKW’s, short for LastKraftWagen (Eng. Truck), were built by different manufacturers. Therefore the Wehrmacht could produce a bigger amount of trucks in a short space of time.

Einheitsdiesel – photo 2023
Einheitsdiesel right side – photo 2023
A view of the Einheitsdiesel steering cab- photo 2023
Einheitsdiesel – photo 2023
Einheitsdiesel- photo 2023

Technical details

MAN from Nuremberg developed the engine, a Hwa 526 D with 80 hp, together with Henschell and Humboldt-Deutz. Large manufacturing companies collaborated on the project, like Büssing Nag, Daimler Benz, Faun, Henschel, Magirius, MAN. This specific Einheitsdiesel on display in the Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz is manufactured by Tatra. Borgward, Krupp, Vomag and other companies supported production of the Einheitsdiesel.

Performance and role

The Einheitsdiesel was a three axle all-wheel drive truck. It was reliable and had excellent off-road performance. It could climb slopes up to 55-60% in first gear, and it had a top speed of 70 km/h. Due to the complex technology the payload was low. There were cargo- and troop versions next to radio, communication, kitchen, workshop and measuring vehicles.

Einheitsdiesel- photo 2023
Einheitsdiesel- photo 2023
Einheitsdiesel – photo 2023
Einheitsdiesel- photo 2023

Plans were made for a two and four axle truck but only the three axle truck rolled off the production line. Production ran from 1937 until 1940 until newer and more powerful trucks became available, in the short construction period 12,300 Einheitsdiesel trucks were manufactured.


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