Dispatches - News from the National Musuem of Military Vehciles

Published 2023-05-02

Class-B Standardized Military Truck (Liberty truck) added to Museum collection.

By Staff

Class-B Standardized Military Truck - the Liberty truck - now at Museum

During World War I, the United States military faced a daunting logistical challenge: getting supplies and equipment to the front lines. This challenge was made even more difficult by the poor condition of many of the roads in Europe. To solve this problem, the US military developed the Class-B Standardized Military Truck, also known as the Liberty truck.

The Liberty truck was a revolutionary piece of military equipment that played a critical role in the Allied victory in World War I. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history of the Liberty truck and its impact on the war effort.

History of the Liberty Truck

The Liberty truck was developed in response to the US Army's need for a reliable and durable military truck that could handle the rough terrain of the European front. The US government put out a call for bids in 1917, and the Liberty truck design was chosen from several submissions.

The Liberty truck was designed to be a Class-B vehicle, which meant it had a gross weight rating of between 3 and 5 tons. It was powered by a 52-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and could carry a payload of up to 3 tons. The truck had a top speed of around 15 miles per hour, which was slow compared to modern vehicles but was considered fast for the time.

The first Liberty trucks were produced in 1917, and they quickly proved to be a valuable asset to the US military. They were used to transport troops, supplies, and equipment across the rugged terrain of the Western Front. The trucks were also used to haul artillery pieces, ammunition, and other heavy equipment.

The Liberty truck was so successful that the US government ordered more than 10,000 of them to be produced during the war. These trucks were manufactured by several different companies, including the Autocar Company, the Republic Motor Truck Company, and the Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company.

Impact of the Liberty Truck

The Liberty truck played a critical role in the Allied victory in World War I. Without the truck, it would have been nearly impossible to transport troops, supplies, and equipment across the rough terrain of the Western Front.
The Liberty truck was a vast improvement over previous military vehicles, such as the Model T Ford truck. It was more reliable, durable, and easier to repair than earlier vehicles. It was also more versatile, able to handle a wide variety of tasks on the battlefield.

One of the most significant contributions of the Liberty truck was its ability to move troops and supplies quickly and efficiently. The truck could transport large numbers of troops and supplies over long distances, allowing the US military to quickly respond to changing battlefield conditions. This ability to rapidly move troops and supplies was critical in the success of several key battles, including the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The Liberty truck also played a critical role in the logistics of the war effort. It was used to transport supplies and equipment from ports and railheads to the front lines. This was especially important in the later years of the war when the front lines became more static, and supplies had to be transported long distances to reach the troops.

The Liberty truck also had a significant impact on the post-war world. After the war, many of these trucks were sold to civilian companies and used to transport goods across the country. This helped to spur the growth of the trucking industry, which has become a critical component of the modern economy.

Legacy of the Liberty Truck

The Liberty truck was a significant technological achievement that played a critical role in the Allied victory in World War I. Its legacy can be seen in the many military vehicles that have followed in its footsteps, including the Humvee and the MRAP.
Beyond its military application, the Liberty truck also played a role in shaping American culture. The truck became an iconic symbol of the war effort, appearing in countless photographs, posters, and newsreels. It was also the subject of popular songs and poems, including "The Truckin' Song" by Vernon Dalhart and "The Liberty Truck" by Alfred Bryan and Jack Wells.

You can see the Liberty truck at the National Museum of Military Vehicles. We are a quick, scenic trip from Jackson Hole or Yellowstone. We are proud to call Dubois, Wyoming home and are quickly becoming one of Wyoming's top attractions. We would love to see you soon!