World War II Military Vehicles

First Ledo-Burma Road Convoy to China, U.S. Army Photo, 1945
First Ledo-Burma Road Convoy to China, U.S. Army Photo, 1945. Click photo for larger version.

During World War II the American Army became highly mechanized, more so than any armed force in history. Even the vaunted German Army, with their celebrated tactics of Blitzkrieg, never achieved the scope and degree of mechanization as the U.S. forces. The U.S. also supplied large numbers of vehicles to Allies. In many ways it was Detroit, representing the vast production capacity of the American economy, that enabled the Allies to win World War II.

For World War II vehicle photos, be sure to visit the Military Vehicle Charts that start here. Hundreds of US military vehicles, soft-skin and armor, from WW II to present are listed, linked to individual pages with background information and photos. Many other pages about WW II military vehicles can be found by using the Directory or via Search.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of World War II US military vehicles at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup.

Today in WW II: 16 Sep 1940 Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 signed by Pres. Roosevelt, beginning the military draft of US men aged 21-36.  More 
16 Sep 1941 German encirclement of Soviet forces in Kiev completed, to be followed by ruthless German attacks to annihilate the trapped Red Army troops.
16 Sep 1943 Malaya Zemlya enclave of Novorossiysk port on the Black Sea, after holding out against Wehrmacht for 225 days, liberated by the Red Army.
Visit the World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: wwii vehicles. Then click the Search button.

Especially recommended:

  • Vintage Military Trucks has an excellent set of photos of various restored vehicles, WW II and newer, mixed with images of jeep advertising and other goodies.
  • The Wheatcroft Collection is one of the largest private collections of restored military vehicles of WW II. It is not open to the public, but is described in this website. The photographs in the book Allied Vehicles & Equipment 1939-1945 is primarily based on Wheatcroft vehicles.
  • White Star is dedicated to military vehicles dating from the World War II period and features many photos of military vehicles from museums and reenactment events, primarily in Europe.
  • This site is called simply World War II Vehicles. It has a huge collection of photos, technical data and links for many vehicle types from the main Allied and Axis countries. Don't miss this one.

See also the page about Military Museums.

Camp Davis, VA troops riding in 2 1/2 ton truck during WW II. Middle man identified as Cpl. Peterson
Camp Davis, VA troops riding in 2 1/2 ton truck during WW II. Middle man identified as Cpl. Peterson. (Photo: Cape Fear Museum)

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