1/35 German FAMO & Tank Transport
click to enlarge
As World War II progressed, the vehicles used on the battlefields became larger and larger. When these mammoth machines broke down or became damaged, the task of bringing them back from the front lines was not an easy one. This need was especially felt by the German Wehrmacht, who were fighting on a wide range of battlegrounds: from the scorching desert of N. Africa to the railroad lacking plains of Russia. Bringing damaged vehicles back from these difficult conditions was indispensable to replenishing fighting strength to the army. The German 18 Ton Heavy Half-Track "FAMO" and Tank Transporter Sd.Ah.116 was one of the vehicles that contributed to this task. Including all variations, over 2500 18ton half-tracks were produced by the end of the WWII. One of the major types was the tank recovery half-track, which was a mighty towing vehicle equipped with two rows of seats and a flatbed in back for the storage of equipment such as a draw-bar and spare wire rope. Tool storage compartments were found on each of the outer sides of the flatbed. In addition, the underside of a vehicle was equipped with a winch. Its powerplant was a Maybach HL 108 12-cylinder engine, which put out 270hp. Tank transporting was conducted by either direct towing with a draw bar, or by loading the tank atop a massive trailer. Officially known as "Sd.Ah.116", the Type 116 Trailer connected with the 18ton heavy half track, which allowed for the transportation of 22-23 ton class tanks such as the Pz.Kpfw.III, Pz.Kpfw.IV and other heavy artillery.