3603 GERMAN HEAVY HALFTRACK L4500R MAULTIER
At the time of beginning of Barbarossa operation the most part of Wehrmacht’s transport vehicles was from lorry had been produced as per “Program of expedited production of lorries” (Schnell Programm). They had sufficient passability for seat of war in the Western Europe with its extensive motor roads network. But in the inclement climate of Russia and absence of roads with hard surface thousands vehicles stuck in mud and snow and were abandoned during the first war winter. Even all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz L4500A was not able to carry loads at the Russian lack of good roads. That is why in 1943 half-track off-road vehicle Mercedes-Benz L4500R “Maultier” was created on the base of L4500A. During that caterpillar mover from the light tank Pz.Kpfw. II was mounted instead of rear axle. Dead weight of vehicle was increased, load carrying capacity was decreased up to 4.5 tones, maximal speed was reduced up to 36 km/h, and fuel consumption was up to 200 litres per 100 km. But now “Maultier” was able to drive on any mud. L4500R was producing till 1948 and 1486 such vehicles had been manufactured.