David Garden explores the history of a Ford G917T used in Wehrmacht service during World War Two and later restored by a collector in France

 An illustration showing a side view of the Ford 917T

have had many conversations with people who think the Nazi regime had plentiful supplies of war material, but this was not the case. Nazi Germany took every vehicle it could capture or acquire from civilian sources. Trucks were always in short supply and period photographs show several types in use with a single unit. This often led to a maintenance and spare parts supply headache.

Typical of the civilian trucks taken into Wehrmacht service were the Ford G types – the G917T, G987T, G997T and G987T. These were built at the Ford plant in Cologne from 1939-42. At first, they were not taken into military service as they were not considered ‘pure German’. However, war practicalities meant that this dogma was overturned. The Germanbuilt Fords can be identified by a non-split windscreen.

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