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'A Bridge Too Far' German armoured vehicle replicas


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My name is Colin. I have just joined the forum and I hope some of you may be able to help me with some queries. I am currently writing a book on war movies and one chapter is on 'A Bridge Too Far.' I have read Colonel Waddy's article about the film in 'After the Battle' (1977) but still have some questions about the replica German armoured cars built for the film. Colonel Waddy's article merely mentions two 4 - wheeled and two 6 - wheeled armoured car replicas but no mention is made of what the base vehicles were. I have read on the Internet Movie Vehicle Database that one of the 4 - wheeled armoured cars was based on a 1951 Dodge chassis but would be grateful if anyone reading this can give me more information.

 

Thanks,

Colin

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I expect you have seen this where Land Rovers were put to work with good effect:

 

 

I remember seeing some of these at Charlie Mann's Museum at Gweek, Cornwall in the 1970s. Charlie is no longer with us & nor the museum.

Edited by fv1609
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I have read on the Internet Movie Vehicle Database that one of the 4 - wheeled armoured cars was based on a 1951 Dodge chassis but would be grateful if anyone reading this can give me more information.

The military vehicles and replica tanks and armoured cars used on Bridge too Far were all supplied and built by the late Charlie Mann who ran a Military museum in Cornwall, he also built the 6 wheeler Mercedes truck used in the chase scene on the original Indiana Jones film, it was based on a ww2 GMC 6X6, after he died Southerbys auctioned everything off.

The Dodge based 4x4 Armoured car was built on a 1950's US Military M43 Ambulance chassis/running gear, the replica body was not armoured but just sheet steel construction, very convincing even close up. Later on when it had been sold to another film prop hire company who I worked for, I drove it on an Agatha Christy film shot in Israel along with other vehicles we shipped out from the UK.. I have some photos of it somwhere.

It was in more recent years it re appeared at the War&Peace show for a few years then put up for sale, and I saw it again now owned and used by some French reenactors in Normandy in 2014,

I guess the other replica armoured cars on the film were probably also Dodge based too, probably later "blown up" or modified for other productions.

What other war films are you researching?

Edited by Nick Johns
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Thanks for all the helpful info guys. In due course I will also be researching Guns of Navarone,Kelly's Heroes,Where Eagles Dare,The Great Escape,The Eagles Has Landed,Saving Private Ryan,The Bridge at Remagen,,The Longest Day so may have further questions over the next few months.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Colin

 

 

 

 

 

 

The military vehicles and replica tanks and armoured cars used on Bridge too Far were all supplied and built by the late Charlie Mann who ran the Lamerva military museum in Cornwall, he also built the 6 wheeler Mercedes truck used in the chase scene on the original Indiana Jones film, it was based on a ww2 GMC 6X6, after he died Southerbys auctioned everything off.

The Dodge based 4x4 Armoured car was built on a 1950's US Military M43 Ambulance chassis/running gear, the replica body was not armoured but just sheet steel construction, very convincing even close up. Later on when it had been sold to another film prop hire company who I worked for, I drove it on an Agatha Christy film shot in Israel along with other vehicles we shipped out from the UK.. I have some photos of it somwhere.

It was in more recent years it re appeared at the War&Peace show for a few years then put up for sale, and I saw it again now owned and used by some French reenactors in Normandy in 2014,

I guess the other replica armoured cars on the film were probably also Dodge based too, probably later "blown up" or modified for other productions.

What other war films are you researching? I was in charge of all the vehicle used on "Full Metal Jacket" too[/

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Yes I have seen this footage already thank you.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Colin

 

 

 

 

I expect you have seen this where Land Rovers were put to work with good effect:

 

 

 

I remember seeing some of these at Charlie Mann's Museum at Gweek, Cornwall in the 1970s. Charlie is no longer with us & nor the museum.[/QUO

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Yes that information would be very helpful. I will be mentioning 'Force 10 From Navarone' towards the end of the chapter on 'The Guns of Navarone.' I already know that much of the film was shot in Yugoslavia using T34s and other MVs supplied by the Yugoslavian Army. The film was completed in Jersey in January 1978 and one of the MVs used was the Sd.Kfz 251 replica built for ' A Bridge Too Far' . Any other information you have would be most appreciated.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Colin

 

 

Youv'e forgotten Force 10 from Navarone! I can tell you where a lot of the vehicles and horses for that one came from. :-D
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The film was a mes from the startthoh not credited a lot of it was re-written by George McDonald Fraser. The backers ran out of money halfway through, but could not return to Britian to finish it as they would have been hit by tax, so the start and some of the woodland scenes were filmed at St Peter's Valley in Jersey. The opening airfeild scene was filmed at a place call La Ville Au Bas. Vehicles were owned mainly by Richard Le Brocq. from his private collection.

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'A Bridge Too Far' only a few tanks involved , I would have considered sufficent real ones available ? Hardly seemed cost effective or needed by logistics to use ersatz for this film ? Or were they already available for stated purpose as realistic props well away from rolling camera ? - so did reduce a bit of hire / transportation ££ costs.

Edited by ruxy
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The makers of ' A Bridge Too Far' constructed four replica German armoured cars plus two replica Sd. Kfz 251 half-tracks plus some replica Kubelwagens mainly for use in the 'Grabner's charge' sequence at Arnhem (Deventer) Bridge which was filmed 12 times. I think they used a lot of replicas to avoid damaging real vehicles. Some genuine half -tracks etc were used in this sequence as well but they were kept well back and did not participate in the dangerous stunts which might have resulted in damage to priceless historic vehicles.

 

Colin

 

 

 

 

'A Bridge Too Far' only a few tanks involved , I would have considered sufficent real ones available ? Hardly seemed cost effective or needed by logistics to use ersatz for this film ? Or were they already available for stated purpose as realistic props well away from rolling camera ? - so did reduce a bit of hire / transportation ££ costs.
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The makers of ' A Bridge Too Far' constructed four replica German armoured cars plus two replica Sd. Kfz 251 half-tracks plus some replica Kubelwagens mainly for use in the 'Grabner's charge' sequence at Arnhem (Deventer) Bridge which was filmed 12 times. I think they used a lot of replicas to avoid damaging real vehicles. Some genuine half -tracks etc were used in this sequence as well but they were kept well back and did not participate in the dangerous stunts which might have resulted in damage to priceless historic vehicles.

 

Colin

 

Yes , I had forgotten about shoot-up scenes & fireworks ,,

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Ruxy , in those years there where less running tanks then now , the colectors scene only started in the beginning of the 80ies , the MAP vehicles where still in use by NATO armies , so what was restored where vehicles which had already a hard civy life .

All the tanks which apeared in the film are still alive , the the M4A4firefly , 105 mm vvss , 76w HVSS, and 76 VVSS, where Belgian army , the 105 VVSS , dozer chassis , and all the burning wrecks are Dutch army , even the burning M10 achiles is back to running condition again.

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Ruxy , in those years there where less running tanks then now , the colectors scene only started in the beginning of the 80ies , the MAP vehicles where still in use by NATO armies , so what was restored where vehicles which had already a hard civy life .

All the tanks which apeared in the film are still alive , the the M4A4firefly , 105 mm vvss , 76w HVSS, and 76 VVSS, where Belgian army , the 105 VVSS , dozer chassis , and all the burning wrecks are Dutch army , even the burning M10 achiles is back to running condition again.

 

I just assumed NE England was just a bit backward on private tank ownership. The first in private hands that I became aware of would be abt. 1978 to 1980 , it was ex-Portugal Sherman and arrived at Sunderland with the gun chopped in half.

Edited by ruxy
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colinmbarron1956 said:
Yes please do let me have any information you have.

 

Thank You,

Best Wishes,

 

Colin

 

Another film prop replica I have driven, from AlloAllo "Grubers Little Tank", its built on a ww2 Ford WOT2 15cwt truck

Edited by Nick Johns
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  • 3 years later...

The majority of Charlie Mann,'svehicles are now in the 'Flambards' theme park in Cornwall. However I know that a couple are in the war museum in Overloon in the Netherlands. I was in The Netherlands during the making of the film with Mr Michael Ely ( Mr Manns nephew) who was in charge of the various vehicles owned by Charlie Mann 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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