Sd Kfz 9 18
Semi-Track Heavy Tractor
FAMO F 3
scale FAMO is available online from Squadron.com
The photos that accompany this article show general and
detail views of a preserved Sd Kfz 9, and will assist model makers in
their building of the Tamiya kit.
The largest of the German semi-tracked vehicles produced
during the period 1939 to 1945 was the Sd Kfz 9, designed and mostly
built by Fahrzeug – und Motorenwerke GmbH (Famo) of Breslau.
Originally producing the F2 model (externally identical to the F3, but
having a smaller 9.8 litre engine) from 1938, the F3 came into
production in 1939, and continued throughout the war.
The standard vehicle, as depicted by the Tamiya kit, was
used for the towing of tank transporter trailers (usually the Sd Ah 116
rated at 22/23 tons capacity), and for the recovery of armoured vehicles
using the integral vertical spindle winch rated at 18 000 kg straight
line pull capacity. As the weight of German armoured vehicles
increased, so did the difficulty of recovery and these tractors were
often used in tandem, or for Tiger 1s three were connected to exert the
necessary force to tow the stranded armoured vehicle. Later in the war,
an anchor spade was added to the rear of some vehicles to give greater
purchase when winching, and other variants included ones fitted with a
6 ton lifting crane and a 10 ton crane, as well as a self – propelled
gun mounting an 8.8 cm Flak.
Captured vehicles were often used by the allies, the most
well known of which was in North Africa where a Royal Army Ordnance
Corps (RAOC) Recovery Section used one for tank recovery. This vehicle
had RAOC in large white letters on the body sides to aid in recognition.
At least one REME Recovery Section is recorded as using a captured Famo
with the Sd Ah 116 trailer in the North West Europe campaign.
The preserved vehicle pictured in this article is owned by
the Wheatcroft Collection, whose proprietor Kevin Wheatcroft was the
driving force behind its restoration. The photos were taken at the
Invicta Military Preservation Society War and Peace Show, held at the
Hop Farm, near Beltring, Kent in the UK between 19 and 23 July 2000.
The Famo, as it was known to most visitors, appeared regularly on the
arena and was often driven around the display area. These trips really
showed the vehicle at its best, a big and powerful machine but
relatively quiet in running.
I am indebted to my friends Bob and Trish Fleming, who
allowed the use of their various AFVs as photographic stands during the
arena displays, and all MV enthusiasts should be grateful to Kevin
Wheatcroft and his team for the excellent restoration work and
presentation of this truly great vehicle.
Click the thumbnails to
view a larger image.
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Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Paul Handel
Page Created 04 August, 2001
Last updated 09 December, 2001
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