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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Unknown Car


john_g_4472

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I wonder if anybody can identify this car please, serving with the German Army against the Russians in November - December 1914. And why is it right-hand drive?

Regards,

John.

post-38588-1223204975.jpg

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John,

Can you play around with the image and enlarge the radiator area. it might make it easier to identify from the front on shot.

I think you will find most European cars were manufactured as right hand drive till the mid twenties. Something to do with which side of the roads the Romans used.

Regards,

Scott

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Thanks John,

I just wanted a closer look at the badge and its shape on the radiator. I realise the clarity isn't great.

I'll run it by my dad who is a vintage car tragic over the next couple of days.

Unless someone else can identify it before then.

Regards,

Scott

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Dear Scott,

Many thanks. The radiator does seem to be a distinctive shape, so recognition to those in the know may be straightforward. I have seen another of the same type of car with a Bavarian shield on the flank, so presumably its use was not uncommon.

Best wishes,

John.

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I have letters from my grand-father, traveling to the front in late December 1914 over the Russian Polish roads in his staff car, and it was quite a trial, with the passengers having to get out and push with some frequency. Unfortunately the letters are brief (Something to do with fighting a war, I think.).

Bob

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Many parts of the Austo Hungarian Empire used right hand drive cars at this time. Germany, Russia, Italy all used left hand drive. It's in the main due to which countries were occupied by France at some time in the Napoleonic period. The demarcation line in the KuK apparently marked the high water mark of French occupation with Austia divided between driving on the left and driving on the right. With Anchluss Austria went entirely over to left hand drive. Czechoslovakia went over after the German occupation as well I once knew some one who was there at the time. It seems that the Germans announced that from a certain day all traffic would drive on the other side of the road, all caught disobeying the rule would be classed as economic saboteurs, all economic saboteurs would be shot. The change over went without a hitch!

Perhaps that car is an KuK staff car? It looks like an Austro Daimler. I have seen photos of these - right hand drive

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Just as an aside, what kind of hat is being worn by the horseman on the extreme right ?? It looks similar to a British FSC ??

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Mnay thanks for these diverse replies. The information about left and right-hand drive in the KuK is most interesting. The photograph, by the way, is in the form of a cigarette card-sized card published by Immalin-Werke in the 1930s. The caption reads: 'Die Schlacht bei Lodz. 16.11.-15.12.1914. Schweres Vorwärtskommen auf russischen "Wegen" in Polen.' So nothing about whether any Austro-Hungarians are in the scene. Re the cap of the chap on the right, I think it is an ordinary peaked cap.

Regards,

John.

post-38588-1223279336.jpg

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I think its possibly a Austro Daimler Prinz Heinrich. These had a number of radiator grill variations but the same bonnet shape - see link AD

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The radiator does look a bit Bugatti-like, Ian, but as far as I am aware production of all Bugatti models was very limited.

The Austro-Daimler Prinz Heinrich lead does seem promising, Centurion, many thanks.

John.

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Evening all. Just a thought but could the original have been printed the wrong way round off the negative? See flipped copy of photo.

Regards.

John

post-28333-1223311629.jpg

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The caption reads: 'Die Schlacht bei Lodz. 16.11.-15.12.1914. Schweres Vorwärtskommen auf russischen "Wegen" in Polen.' So nothing about whether any Austro-Hungarians are in the scene.

Regards,

John.

I am too lazy to look up a map and see how far north Lodz was, but I do not think that the Germans and Austrians were co-mingled that early in the war, and certainly the Austrians were not going north to help the Germans. The Germans had something like the (in translation) the Royal Auto Corps, and many private cars were taken into service, often with the wealthy owners and perhaps their chauffeurs. So all sorts of cars could be serving the German Army in the period. I would think that many Germans bought Austro-Daimlers; their either director or technical director was one Professor Ferdinand Porsche, who designed the super motor chassis on the famous 30.5 cm Motor=Moerser, which could zip about at considerable speed.

Bob

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G'day John,

I think my uncle may have identified it. It looks to be an NSU.

Have a look at this site and the distinctive radiator-

http://www.nsu.nu/history1.htm

Paragraph 6 talks about their production of vehicles and motorcycles in world war one.

It's definitely not a Bugatti. I think the radiator is similar in shape to the Bugatti Brescia. But they were a rare and expensive beast at the time and definitely a more sporting vehicle.

Scott

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The last place I would have searched, wiki, and there it is NSU 8/40.

NSU seem to have changed from right to left hand drive between 1924 and 26

Alan

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That's the one runflat.

Scott

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Dear Scott,

Many thanks to you and your uncle - the car does seem certainly to be an NSU.

This looks like another one. (Cropped by the original photographer, unfortunately.) Note the Bavarian shield painted on the flank, and the fact that the soldiers have only one cockade on their caps. ((Does anybody know why, please?)

Regards,

John.

post-38588-1223363209.jpg

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This looks like another one. (Cropped by the original photographer, unfortunately.) Note the Bavarian shield painted on the flank, and the fact that the soldiers have only one cockade on their caps. ((Does anybody know why, please?)

Regards,

John.

At least the non-driver in the front seat has the national cockade as well as the Bavarian one. (On average the German Reich cockade is darker than the Bavarian one, might not be noticed.) Surprising, rather a subversive step, the Reds in the 1919 civil war did that. Sort of like a US soldier wearing a US flag on his uniform upside down. I may be wrong, but don't think so. Got a date for the photo? Post-war? 1919, Bavarian Republic?

Bob

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John,

It's a pleasure to help.

Looking at the vehicle on Alans link (Norsk veteran club) she appears to be a little on the light side construction wise for field work. 1583cc and 1000 kg weight. That radiator though is very distinctive.

This site may interest you if you are collecting photo's of German cars in the war-

http://www.germanautoandaerocorps.com/auto...ish/inhalt.html

It's mainly about knives, but there are photo's of uniforms and even one or two cars.

Regards,

Scott

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