The Unimog. Germany’s post war recovery vehicle. It has many parallels with the UK’s Land Rover.
Both were designed and built within a few years of the end of the second world war.
Both were shaped by the the lack of resources both nations faced once they stopped making military consumables, and began to transition from war to peace.
Both were aimed at the agricultural industry, war played havoc with food production.
Combatants of necessity strove to stay alive, and in the hundreds of thousands of contacts between Allied and Axis individuals, neither would have been overly concerned about collateral damage to crops, livestock, barns, or other agricultural infrastructure. Being a child of the 1960’s, I had a choice of not joining the military, unlike those children of the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s. Thus, I have no direct experience of war, and to be frank, no desire too. I have this choice by accident of birth, and share an immense sense of gratitude to those who made my world the relatively peaceful place it is today.
Once the fighting stopped, the surviving or newly appointed governments must have had a collective “Oh Shit“ moment, when it was apparent that while the war might be over, the fight was not.
The fight now though was to rebuild, and the immediate need was to produce or get sufficient food to keep your population not just alive, but to thrive, to give them the strength to rebuild.
What was left of industry was called upon to help, and this rather simplistic, over generalised, and probably inaccurate summary, leads to the Unimog.
This was mine when I was a little boy in the early 1970’s. Given I lived in six different houses with my Parents, and a further seven since then, its rather surprising I still have it, and was able to find it. It was clearly a favorite, and is best described as well used…..
Image from Google search for royalty free image.
The real thing was, like the Land Rover, designed with agriculture in mind. The first batch even had a track width specifically designed to fit between two rows of potatoes. Our German cousins reputation for efficiency is well deserved. Not only could it help cultivate the crop, it could transport it to market. It was incredibly versatile, and was adapted for many rolls in a variety of industries. Like the Land Rover, it is still in production, some seventy years later, albeit significantly modernised.
Like the Land Rover, the Unimog is also used with success in Rally competitions.
Both are extensively used by contemporary civilian services and the military.
Not the sort of thing the average chap would want as a daily driver, but if I do ever get the chance to drive one, I will be jumping at it.
Image from Google search for royalty free image