WW2 Jeep (1941-1945)

Article by Mark Trotta

The Second World-War was a major event that defined global history. More than a 300 million soldiers worldwide took part in the hostilities, and estimates show between 60 to 80 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives.

World War Two Jeep

Jeeps During World-War Two

Jeeps worked in every theater of operation with every Allied army, with endless versatility. Some were fitted with special wheels to run on railway tracks, and were capable of pulling up to ten tons by rail. Others plowed snow from roads, while some became tractors, and still others were fitted with fire-fighting pumpers.

Jeep Ambulance

Many Jeeps were used to carry wounded soldiers. Early in the war, Jeeps were crudely converted to ambulances in the field using the back seat made as a stretcher. Soon after, an attachment of several stretchers on welded frames were seen, held in position in the cabin, and overhanging several feet up front.

WW2 Jeep ambulance

image courtesy of

The WW2 Army Jeep also saw use helping lay communication lines.

Ford Jeep In WW2

Jeeps were often put into service transporting high-ranking officials.

Common items fitted to World War Two Jeeps include a "Jerry" gas can, shovel and ax, field radio, rifle rack, first-aid kit, and canvas sides and doors. The spare seat was often used for carrying ammunition and spare gasoline.

Anti-Tank Jeep

The speed and small size of the Jeep made it a good choice for taking out opponent's tanks at short range. A modified twin-bazooka set-up fitted on a central pintle mount was often used.

WW2 Jeep with machine gun and cannon

Scout Vehicle

With a crew of two or three, Scout Jeeps were often equipped with medium-range radios and fitted with an M1919 air-cooled Browning placed on a central pintle mount. Sometimes, the heavier M1917A1 liquid-cooled gun was placed above the engine hood.

WW2 Army Jeep with gun

image courtesy of

Lend-Lease Program

American Jeeps were part of the Lend-Lease programs with Allied countries. About 30% of Jeep production, mostly Ford GPA's, were included with the Lend-Lease effort. These were largely distributed among British and Commonwealth, Free French, and Free Polish forces.

The Soviets also benefited from Lend-Lease Jeeps, which ultimately became their GAZ-67B military vehicle. The production of the Soviet version started in September 23, 1943, and lasted until 1953, with over 92,000 produced.

WW2 Jeep Production

The war effort saw over 360,000 Willys MB's produced, with Ford producing over 270,000 examples. In total, over 640,000 Jeeps were built during the years 1941-1945.

Read: American Automotive Industry During World War Two

The Jeep rode on a very short and narrow wheelbase, with a tall body sitting high above the frame and running gear. By all accounts, it was a rough and bouncy ride. The number of deaths from Jeep rollovers during WW2 was alarmingly high, but most will agree that those numbers are insignificant in the big picture.

American Army Jeep WW2

Read: U.S. Army Jeep History


In many theaters of operation during World-War-Two, motorcycle dispatch riders proved to be the fastest way to send orders that were too secret for wireless transmission.

What Harley was used in WW2

Read: Harley-Davidson WLA Military Bike