Jump to content

New Zealand MT


Recommended Posts

I have been told from official sources New Zealand had no mechanised military transport prior to WW1. While troops were stationed in Egypt in 1914 trucks were then made available there. To date I have not been able to locate a listing of vehicles used in Egypt.

Recently I have located two photos of trucks with signage showing military use.

The NZASC marked truck appears to be a Republic and could have been requisitioned. The men on the back have badges showing a red cross indicating a medical unit. The background trees suggest a NZ setting.

The second photo could be in Egypt. The question here is to identify the truck manufacturer. With vents to the rear of the bonnet sides could it be a Crossley?

The photo is not the clearest in showing the bonnet shape with the suggestion of a curved tear shaped section. ( there fore not a Crossley)

The front mud guards are different but this could be a local adaptation.




ww1 nzasc  truck.jpg

WW1 NZ Expeditionary Force vehicle.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I do not think the lower picture is a Crossley, I am almost certain it is a Minerva, The Australians had a Minerva in Egypt which had been bodied in Melbourne for the war effort, it however looked more like a staff car and proved not to be up to the desert conditions as did a Daimler and early chain drive Mercedes armoured cars, all three were provided by car enthusiasts from Victoria.


Here is a picture of a preserved 1914 Minerva, make up your own mind!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, they were built in Antwerp and used the Knight slide valve engine. My grandfather used to have one but during WW2 the germans took it and drove it in a ditch after 2 miles, total loss. In the fifties Minerva made the licence Landys.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the photo. It certainly appears to fit the model.

The next question is, was this the same vehicle as the Aussie one or is it a another?

Another line to search an answer for.



Photo with picket fence and cars painted AUSTRALIA.


Vehicles of the 1st Australian Armoured Car Section at a training camp. The section comprised two armoured cars, a tender and a motorcycle combination mounting a Colt machine gun. The two armoured cars are a Mercedes and a British Daimler which were fitted with their armoured bodies by the Vulcan Engineering Works in South Melbourne. The Mercedes, (centre) believed to be chain-driven, was fitted with a narrow, bevel-edged turret while the Daimler, the car on the right, had a large shield attached to the gun mounting instead. Colt machine guns were attached for use in both cars. The machine guns were designed by John Browning, dating back to 1895 and they were known as "potato diggers" on account of the curious action of the recocking arm. The tender, the third car, is a Minerva. All cars were originally supplied by a group of Victorian motor enthusiasts. The cars proved unreliable in the desert conditions and were returned to Australia in 1917. The motorcycle appears to be a Vee twin JAP powered bike, with 3 speed rear hub gear which would indicate that it was not built for military use as hub gears required high maintenance. It also has an unusual feature with a rear mounted magneto.


Photo with sand bags in background


Group portrait of the men and vehicles of the 1st Armoured Car Section prior to their embarkation. Lieutenant Ernest Homewood James is bellieved to be centre of the group. The 1st Australian Armoured Car Section was formed in Melbourne during 1916 and also known as the 1st Armoured Car Battery. Equipped with three armoured cars built at the Vulcan Engineering Works in South Melbourne, a 50 HP Daimler, a 60 HP Mercedes and a 50 HP Minerva. All were armoured and the Daimler and Mercedes were armed with Colt machine guns. The unit fought against the Senussi in the Sudan and Western Desert. The 1st Armoured Car Section became the 1st Light Car Section on 3rd December 1916. As their original three vehicles became worn out from hard use in the Western Desert and were irreparable due to shortages of spare parts, the unit was re-equipped with six Ford light cars. Extra drivers and motorcycles were provided. The cars were given names: Anzac, Billzac, Osatal, Silent Sue, Imshi and Bung. These were traded in for six new Fords on 11th December 1917. In May 1917 the unit was redeployed to Palestine by rail, and served throughout the campaign there.

credit AWM


The sixty horsepower Mercedes would be quite something today, I wonder if it survives.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...