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I always liked those, and ironically enough I live where one of those would be handy almost year round.
 

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Magnificent machines, but I'd have hated to be the guy who had to work on them when they came in for service.
 

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I always wondered if they had some type of steering brake activated by the handlebars. I just can't see how that little front tire could turn those things by itself after riding the 3 wheelers in the 80s. These would have to be hard to turn.
 

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I always wondered if they had some type of steering brake activated by the handlebars. I just can't see how that little front tire could turn those things by itself after riding the 3 wheelers in the 80s. These would have to be hard to turn.
IIRC,the front wheel is useless. It was only put on there to make it easier to train troops to use the machine. As they would turn the handlebars, it actuated the tracks for turning and the front wheel just went along for the ride. I have no experience with these but I'm pretty sure that's how it worked.
 

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Yes, rather neat, but given the Wehrmacht's surprisingly poor maintenance organization it probably just added another complication to an inadequate system.

I wonder how many jeeps they could have built for the production costs of just one of those. Easier maintenance, better mobility. Those crazy Germans just loved to misapply resources.

Putting tracks on such a small vehicle is like putting Kobe beef in a Big Mac.
 

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I wonder how many jeeps they could have built for the production costs of just one of those. Easier maintenance, better mobility. Those crazy Germans just loved to misapply resources.

Putting tracks on such a small vehicle is like putting Kobe beef in a Big Mac.
Not exactly. One of the stated aims of building the Kettenkrad was to have something that you could fit into the fuselage of German transport planes of the time. Kind of hard to do that with anything but the largest (and most infrequently used) types they had. The Ju-52 was the air transport workhorse of the Wehrmacht, and design specs for any vehicles had to fit. The narrow width of the Kettenkrad would also be an advantage for mountain troops using narrow paths and tracks in places like Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, northern Italy, et al.
Pat
 

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Not exactly. One of the stated aims of building the Kettenkrad was to have something that you could fit into the fuselage of German transport planes of the time. Kind of hard to do that with anything but the largest (and most infrequently used) types they had. The Ju-52 was the air transport workhorse of the Wehrmacht, and design specs for any vehicles had to fit. The narrow width of the Kettenkrad would also be an advantage for mountain troops using narrow paths and tracks in places like Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, northern Italy, et al.
Pat
True, but the Germans were fond of overly complicated solutions. Look at their halftracks, with weird angles in the hull and interleaved road wheels. Compared to the American halftrack which had a giant rubber band for the track.
 

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