Right here's how the G-Wagen's historical French cousin ended up on the entrance strains in Ukraine


Whereas looking on Instagram I discovered an image that seemed mild inexperienced military-special mercedes-benz g class Which was not too long ago assigned to the forces combating on the entrance strains of Ukraine. @future_Ukraine account The car in query was labeled as not-so-preferred. mercedes gelandwagen, as a substitute it was referred to as the Peugeot P4. The P4 was a license-built French model of beloved german utility car Constructed fully with 90-degree angles on wheels.

Regardless that the Mercedes G-Wagen has strayed from its navy roots to turn into the final word standing image impressed by Hollywood and the Kardashians, Mercedes really nonetheless makes a contemporary model for navy operations. It’s referred to as the 464 G-Class Utility Truck and is meant for non-civilian use solely. Pricing info for the 464 shouldn’t be publicly shared, however the closest civilian counterpart, the W463 G400d, is north of $150,000. With a strained protection finances, Ukraine shouldn’t be spending that sort of cash on mild utility automobiles that can probably find yourself on the battlefield.

Rear 3/4 view of a row of Peugeot P4 military trucks

picture, navy personnel

That is the place the previous Peugeot P4 is available in. It’s the excellent car for the job because it was particularly engineered for navy obligation within the early 80s and is appropriate for hybrid warfare on the entrance strains. The French Military phased out use of the P4 in 2016, and examples may be discovered on the excess market, principally in France, for round $10,000. He buys a rebuilt Pug P4 prepared to return on obligation for ten grand. It completely suits the fabric and tools necessities of Ukraine within the warfare towards Russia. These combating for his or her independence want one thing low cost, comparatively mass-produced, straightforward to acquire and equipped via non-state companies (nations instantly supplying navy assist and tools to Ukraine could also be delicate). Should be, and most significantly, succesful.

The P4 has lengthy served the French Military in France and its abroad territories. Nations related to France via protection agreements additionally operated the P4, and the rationale it hasn't gained a cult following in car-nerd circles just like the Toyota Mega Cruiser or Suzuki Jimny is that it was by no means exported to some other nation. Permission was not given. Who’re related to the French military. Mild utility automobiles are just about unheard of out of doors these nations. Which means until 2016. This was when a big a part of the P4 fashions had been donated to the Cameroonian Military and the remainder ended up on the excess circuit and you’ll all the time discover good examples Particular gross sales tons corresponding to Lis Tout TerrainFor instance.

A row of Peugeot P4 navy vans

picture, navy personnel

Within the late '60s, the French Military had established that their fleet of Willis jeeps, left over from the World Conflict II days, would quickly turn into out of date. For the reason that function required a light-weight utility car, it wanted to fulfill payload necessities to be transported by air to varied French bases and battle zones. It was additionally required to hold 4 troopers with radios and customary navy tools. Most significantly, it must be French-made. The one downside was that the 4×4 market in France was not very robust on the time, with few producers producing a succesful platform that might meet the wants of the French navy. Citroën, Peugeot and Renault had been tasked with discovering an answer, and to fulfill the standards, Renault turned to its associate, Fiat, to homologate the Campagnola to fulfill the French-built necessities. Citroën got here up with the C44, which was a Volkswagen Iltis with a French powerplant.

However it was the Peugoet P4 that finally received the navy bid. The P4 was a G-Class with an engine from the Peugeot 504 and transmission from the 604. Peugeot additionally welded the vans, put in {the electrical} programs, and painted the vans at its Sochaux plant. The testing part started in 1978, and by 1981 the primary spherical of P4 examples had been delivered. Then in 1985, truck producer Panhard took over manufacturing to meet the remaining orders.

Peugeot P4 driven in a military parade in 2011

picture, wikimedia

These automobiles served till 2016, and now a few of them reside a second life within the Russo-Ukrainian warfare. ORYX maintains an unofficial listing P4 is seen among the many navy automobiles delivered to Ukraine. In response to Ukrainian navy weblog MilitarnyThe military, working from the Dnipro Protection Headquarters, bought extra Peugeot P4 fashions instantly past the examples offered by the NGO.

Many of those vans by no means noticed fight throughout their service, so that they remained in excellent situation. Practically a decade after retiring from the French navy, they proceed to serve in Ukrainian fingers – albeit in a really completely different capability.

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