GAZ-AA Truck (1931)

Soviet trucks Soviet Light 4x4 Utility Truck (1930-38), A Million built

The "Polutorka", legendary interwar Soviet truck

GAZ-AA
The GAZ AA, nicknamed the "Polutorka" was the most common truck in service in the Red army when the war started with about 155,000 for one million produced, used by the civilian services of USSR. It was a licence-production version of the famous Ford AA, and in 1938 was declined into the simplified GAZ MM and 6x6 GAZ AAA. They were also the base for numerous utility vehicles and gained fame during the siege of Leningrad.

Development and production

From 1919, the Soviet State started to prospect abroad for trucks in helping rebuilding its devastated economy. One pf the most prominant manufacturer for its mass production, Ford, was contacted. The purchased commision therefore obtained the Ford Model TT and later the Ford Model AA truck as it was available from 1928. Both were imported into the Soviet Union, the latter to around 10,000 vehicles. From 1926 already however it was established Soviet Union would need its own production vehicle to be less dependent of imports and a possible embargo.

In 1928 so, the Soviet Union funded and created a company called NAZ. About 3,000 employees were hired in order to start an assembly line, however without the training and infrastructure, help was sought from Ford. With the proper tooling, setup and basic training, NAZ started to assemble locally knock-down kits arrived by shipping, of the Ford Model AA.

In 1931, the NAZ-AA started service with the civilian but mostly military use, as well as passenger versions of the Ford Model A (NAZ-A). By 1933 the factory was expanded, modernized, and renamed GAZ for "Gorky Automobile Plant" ("Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod"), based in Nizhny Novgorod.

Therefore both vehicles became the GAZ-A and GAZ-AA. The truck quickly became very popular in civilian service. GAZ would assemble also the Chevrolet G7107 and G7117 from parts shipped from the USA under Lend Lease. Also, the company produced en masse the GAZ-AAA, a 6x4 2t truck variant, from 1934 to 1943. There was even an experimental GAZ-AAAA 8-wheeled car in 1936 and the GAZ-410 (or GAZ-S1) dump truck produced from 1934 to 1947 and using a lot of common parts. The company also produced the GAZ-64 4x4 field and staff car (1941–1943).



Gaz AA towing a 37 mm antitank artillery piece

Production

The total number of GAZ AA is unknown for certain, and only could be estimated. Most authors agreed that around one million of these were delivered until 1938. However Ford reguisted licence copies attested than 985,000 AAs were built by GAZ in the from 1932 to 1950. The AA was replaced by the MM at that date, no longer covered by the licence. From 1932, 60 trucks exited the factory each day. At some point, over 65% of all automobiles manufactured in the USSR were GAZ-AA. 1,023,000 copies off both AA and MM are known to have been used.

In addition to the Gorki plant, Gossudarstwenny Avtosprotschny Sawod imeni or "KIM", a German state-owned car assembly plant assembled the model in Moscow from kits in "Zavod Moskva-19" from December 1932, 30% of the production went through the KIM plant. In August 1933, it became a branch of GAZ until 1939.

The successor: GAZ MM

The GAZ-MM had a maximum usable weight of 1.5 tons and was delivered unti 1942 as a simplified version of the Ford Model AA made under licence. More than 150,000 were used by the Red Army. It was given a better 50 HP engine (1938) but still internally called GAZ-AA by the Factory. The name was generally accepted as the standard wartime model with for some versions, no doors, front brakes or front bumpers and front plain welded fenders, single headlight. From mid-1942 wooden doors for the with sliding part were added; Amazingly despite the age of the design, production of the MM went on until 1950, via UAZ (1947-1950). It was the equivalent of the ZIS-5V. The GAZ MM and its variants will be the object of another article as well as the AAA.

Design of the GAZ AA

Chassis layout and bodywork

The GAZ AA war virtually a copy of the Ford model AA, but upgraded later to the Ford BB standard. It used a classic FR layout or "Front engine, Rear drive". The chassis and body were the same, and as usual for a light truck, there were two paired roadwheels on the rear axle to support the load, simple tires on the front. Dimensions were as following: 3,440 mm (135.4 in) for the wheelbase*, 5,335 mm (210.0 in) in oervall lenght (bumper to bumper), a width of 2,040 mm (80.3 in), and height 1,970 mm (77.6 in). It had a Curb weight of 1,810 kg (3,990 lb).

*For the Ford BB it was the equivalent of the SWB (short wheelbase), of 131 in (3,327 mm). So it was longer than the original. It was also larger at 80.3 in versus 67 in (1,702 mm) on the US model.

It was a classic two-seater, with simple manual folding glass windows, a profiled cabin roof ending with a sun/rain deflector and a removable cache in it. There was a simple aeration system inside for ventilation, but the vehicle was in no way amphibious. The flatbed had a maximal load capacity of 1,500 kg hence the classification, 1,5 ton. The front wheels were protected by classic stamped fenders, but there was none over the rear axle.

Instead, the flatbed was just surelevated on two sets of wooden framing and four supports. The flatbed itself was made in two layers of wood, surrounded by wooden panels assembled by four riveted braces, mounted on hinges so that they could be lowered down, as the back panel. Five frames were mounted in sockets over it to strap a tarpaulin. There was a small window at the back of the cabin, eliminated on the GAZ MM.

The two headlights were welded on a simple bar running across in between the fenders and under the right one was situated the horn. Standard light were fitted at the rear and a hook for towing light payloads.

Engine and performances

The GAZ engine was a copy of the Ford 201 CID (3.3 L) 4-cylinder inline, coupled with a 4-speed manual geabox and reverse gear. It was also a four-cylinder gasoline engine, which displaced 3.285 liters, had an output of 29.5 kW (40-41 hp)@ 2,200 rpm. Tank capacity was 40 liters gasoline, enough to cross 215 km by road. It used a mechanical transmission with the same arrangement, four forward gears, one reverse gear and could reach a top speed of 70 km/h, even loaded. The engine went with a dynamo with preheater for winter service and handcrank. The Cylinder diameter and piston stroke were 98.43mm × 107.95mm. The compression ratio was 4.22/1 and maximum torque 16.5 kGm (162 Nm). Average consumption was 20.5 liters per 100 km.

As all Ford models of that time, made for bad roads, the GAZ AA had off-road capabilities and a spare tire strapped under the rear chassis to be easily accessible. The GAZ MM was however better optimized, notably with reinforced leaf springs and new military tyres with better grip.

Variants of the GAZ AA

  • GAZ MM: Simplified version from 1938
  • GAZ AAA: 6x6 variant, base for many other vehicles
  • GAZ-60: 1½-ton Halftrack
  • GAZ-65: 1½-ton Halftrack
  • GAZ-55 Ambulance

In Military service: The "Polutorka"

The GAZ AA, a beast of burden of the red army when the war started, was robust, reliable and could consume even the worst Russian gasoline assemblies without problem. It was the base for countless variations, mostly based on the sturdier 3-axle GAZ-AAA and halftrack GAZ-60.

Of course in military service the 150,000 GAZ AA in service were unarmed, but the driver's own personal pistol. While carrying troops, the latter still could fire in a "tank desant" mode, but the vehicle itself was neither armed not armoured. However it was capable of towing various ordnance, mortar, light gun, AA or AT, and many received a variety of weapons mounted on the flatbed, like in particular the 12.7 mm DsHk or the heavier 25mm 72-K 1940 AA gun. The GAZ AA was already used for supplying border troops close to Mandchuria, later fighting at Khalkin Gol.

By the end of 1939 it was also deployed on the rare roads available during the winter war in Finland and the invasion of Poland. Most of these were lost however were lost during the catastrophic retreat from the summer to the winter of 1941 (Operation Barbarossa). The GAZ AA however gained immortality during the 3-year siege of Leningrad, carrying urgently needed food over Lake Ladoga during the winters. The driver and captain were traveling with both doors open in case the ice was about to gave up during the inter-season, ready to abandon the vehicle.

Following the 1941 pocket mopups by the Panzerdivisions, many GAZ-AA ended in German hands. They appreciated its ruggedness, well suited for Russian and used them until spare parts were unavailable. The remaining GAZ AA were still around in 1945 in small numbers. They had been already superseded by more modern or practical models such as the MM, GAZ-60 and 65 Halftracks.



gaz-aa-commemorative-stamp-1974



GAZ_AA_Polutorka_Truck_3drendition



GAZ-AA-winter2016



Ambulance_GAZ-AA



GAZ-AA_Bread_van



Bundesarchiv_GAZ-AA-German-service



GAZ-MM_Belarus



Moscow-gaz-AA-june-2016



spring_Road_of_Life_on_Lake_Ladoga-GAZ-AA

Sources/Read More

Trucks of the Soviet Union: The Definitive History, p.42.
Andy Thompson: Trucks of the Soviet Union: The Definitive History


GAZ vehicles list
More photos (cc)
On materielsterrestres39-45
On the Ford AA

Video

The GAZ AA in 3D

Standard trucks



Standard AA fresh from the factory in 1933. Note that all interwar vehicle had their roadwheel metal rims, chassis, and fenders painted black for protection.



winter camo



Winter camouflage 1941-42



U27 Snow Camouflage



GAZ AA Grey



Winter camouflage



Tri-tone camouflage



Another model



Variants



Postal Truck at Rusza, Moskow, 1950



Postal Truck, Stalingrad Oblast



Unknown GAZ AA



GAZ AA



GAZ AA in German service

Specialized variants



Cabin BM-3 version



GAZ-410 dump truck



GAZ AA with Maxim quad machine gun AA



GAZ AA with Maxim quad machine gun AA



GAZ AA with Maxim quad machine gun AA



GAZ AA equipped with an aircraft starter system



GAZ AAA, 6x6 variant

Gallery



GAZ-AA-Ostankinsky_District_Moscow,_Russia_panoramio



GAZ-AA-Myshkin_Museum_unique_technology



GAZ-AA-Women_returning_home_after_the_war



GAZ-AA-service-truck-barrage-balloon-RIAN_archive



RIAN_archive_493933_GAZ-AA_on_a_Moscow_street



GAZ-AA-museum



Civilian service 1952

GAZ-АА-museum

GAZ-АА-museum



GAZ 410 dump truck



GAZ AA in action in Minsk, 1944



GAZ AA in Kiev



GAZ MM



GRAZ with a snow plow



VDNH 21



GAZ AA maintebance, modern reenacment



GAZ AA with projector, Moskow



GAZ AA engine closeup



GAZ AA, April 1944

WW1 Vehicles

British ww2 WWI trucks
FR: Berliet CBA, Berliet Type M, Châtillon-Panhard, Latil TAR, Panhard-Genty 24 HP, Renault EG

allied ww2 Allied ww2 Vehicles

British ww2 British Vehicles
-AEC Armoured Command Vehicle (415)
-AEC Matador
-Albion CX22S
-Albion FT15N
-Albion WD.CX24
-Austin K2/Y Ambulance
-Austin K3
-Austin K4
-Austin K4 Dropside
-Austin K5
-Austin K6 GS
-Austin K6 Gantry
-Bedford MW
-Bedford OXA Armoured
-Bedford OXC Semi-trailer
-Bedford OXD GS
-Bedford OYC Tanker
-Bedford OYD GS
-Bedford QL series (QLD, QLR/QLC QLT TC)
-CMP FAT
-CMP Truck
-Commer Q2
-Crossley Q-Type
-Diamond T tank transporter
-Guy Quad-Ant FAT
-Guy Lizard ACV
-Humber FWD
-Karrier KT4
-Karrier K6
-Leyland Hippo Mk I/II
-Leyland Lynx
-Leyland Retriever
-Mack EXBX
-Morris 15cwt
-Morris CDSW
-Morris ML Ambulance
-Morris C8 GS/FAT
-Morris Commercial CD series
-Morris Commercial CS8
-Morris C9
-Morris GS Terrapin
-Morris PU
-Scammell Pioneer SV1S/SV2S
-Thornycroft Hathi (1924)
-Thornycroft Nubian
-Thornycroft Tartar
French ww2 French Vehicles
-Berliet DGRA
-Berliet GDC
-Berliet GDM
-Berliet VDCA
-Berliet 30
-Bernard fuel carrier
-Citroën Kégresse P14 .
-Citroën Kégresse P17
-Citroën Kégresse P19
-Citroën Type 23
-Citroën 32U
-Citroën T45
-ELMAG
-Fiat France 38R
-Ford France
-Hotchkiss PKW Type 680
-Hotchkiss 686
-Hotchkiss 686 PNA
-Isobloc W843M medical bus
-Laffly S15R
-Laffly S15T
-Laffly V15T
-Laffly V15R
-Laffly W15T/R
-Laffly 20TL
-Latil TAR H2
-Latil M2Tl6
-Matford F917
-Panhard K113
-Panhard K113
-Peugeot 202
-Peugeot 402
-Peugeot DMA
-Peugeot DK
-Peugeot DK5
-Renault AHS
-Renault AHN
-Renault AHR
-Renault AGC
-Renault ADK
-Renault ADH
-Renault AHSs
-Saurer type 3CT
-Simca 5 staff car
-Simca 8 staff car
-Somua MCL
-Somua MCG
-Talbot staff car
-Unic TU1
-Unic P107
-Trippel SG6
-Willeme DU10
Soviet ww2 Soviet Trucks
-BZ-38
-GAZ AA M1927 M1932 M1941
-GAZ–MM
-GAZ AAA M1937
-GAZ AAA M1940
-GAZ-60
-GAZ-65
-Ford Marmon HH6 Katiusha
-SU-1-12
-SU-4
-SU C-6
-SU-12
-Yag-6
-Yag-10
-Yag-10 SPG
-ZIS-5/V/BZ
-ZIS-6
-ZIS-12
-ZIS-22M HT
-ZIS-33 HT
-ZIS 41 HT
-ZIS 42M HT
-FN-Kégresse T3

Soviet staff cars
-GAZ A
-GAZ M1 "Emka"
-GAZ 11-73
-GAZ 61-73
-GAZ 67 Amphibious armoured cars
-PB-4
-PB-7
-BAD-2
US ww2 US Trucks
-Ford B3000 S
-Ford V3000S
-Ford V3000A,
-Ford BB
-Ford V8-51
-Ford m1931
-Ford V8 M1937
-T1E1(M1) half-track
-T5 half-track
-T7 half-track
-T9 half-track
-G8T 2-1/2 ton 4x2 Truck
-International B2
-International model 1937
-Chevrolet m1931
-Chevrolet m1936
-Chevrolet G-506 ​1 1⁄2-ton 4x4
-Chevrolet G-7107 4-1/2 ton 4x4
-Chevrolet 3116 1-1/2 ton 4x2
-Studebaker US6x4 U7
-Studebaker US6x4 U-6
-Studebaker US6x6 U-5 6x4
-Studebaker US6 U4 bz35S 2-1/2 ton 6x6 truck
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Ambulance
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Carry-all
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton (Radio) Command Reconnaissance
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Truck, Closed Cab
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Truck, Open Cab
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton (Radio) Panel Van
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Telephone Service (K50)
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Truck, Emergency Repair
-Dodge WC-51/52 (3⁄4-ton Trucks, Weapons Carrier)
-Dodge WC-53 (3⁄4-ton Carryall)
-Dodge WC-54/64 (3⁄4-ton Ambulance)
-Dodge WC-55 (3⁄4-ton Truck, M6 Gun Motor Carriage)
-Dodge WC-56/57/58 (3⁄4-ton (Radio) Command Reconnaissance)
-Dodge WC-62/43 (G-507, 11⁄2-ton, 6x6 truck)
-Dodge M6 GMC
-GMC CCKW Cargo Truck
-GMC CCKW 353 2-1/2 Ton Truck
-GMC SWB CCKW-352
-GMC 1939 ACKWX 353 3 ton 6x6 truck
-GMC AFWX-353 3 ton 6x4 truck
-GMC DUKW 353 2-1/2 ton 6x6 truck
-GMC C.O.E. AFKWX
-Diamond T Model 980/981 12-ton 6x4 trucks (G159)
-Diamond T Model 968 4-ton 6x6 truck (G509)
-Diamond T Model 967
-Diamond T Model 970
-Diamond T Model 972
-Diamond M26 Dragon Wagon
-Diamond M19 Tank Transporter
-Diamond T Model 980
-Diamond T 4-ton 6x6 truck
-Autocar U8144T 5/6-ton 4x4 truck
-Brockway/LaFrance 6-ton 6x6 truck, G512, 514, 547, 569
-White/Corbitt 6 ton 6x6 Prime Mover
-Brockway
-Corbitt
-Ward LaFrance
-Four Wheel Drive Auto Company (FWD) SU-COE 5-6 ton 4x4
-White Motor Company
-Inl KR-11 5 ton 4x2 dump truck
-Inl M5-6 318 2-1/2 ton 6x6 swb
-Mack NR15 10-ton 6x4
-Reo 28 XS 10-ton 6x4

US ww2 Small truck/car & Misc.
Bantam Reconnaissance Car
Ford GTB
6x6 Willys 'MT-TUG' ("Super-Jeep")
-Willys MB light truck
-Ford GPA ("Seep")
Buick Century Series 60
1941 Plymouth P11 Staff Car
Ford Fordor 1942 Staff Car
Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle

Axis ww2 Axis Trucks


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Sd.Kfz 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 were half-tracks designed just before the war as prime movers, to carry supplies, ammunition, personal, and tow artillery. Many were also converted during the war as armored versions carrying AA FLAK guns (Flakvierling, 37 mm, or the legendary 88 mm Rheinmetall als used as tank hunters), or were converted as nebelwerfer (rocket launching armored vehicles). They were built by Hanomag, Steyr, Mercedes-Benz, Bussing and many other manufacturers until 1945, over 20,000 half-tracks.

German ww2 German Military trucks
-Opel Blitz
-Opel Maultier
-Mercedes-Benz L3000
-Magirus A3000
-Krupp Protze Kfz.19
-Krupp Protze Kfz.21
-Krupp Protze Kfz.68
-Krupp Protze Kfz.69
-Krupp Protze Kfz.70
-Krupp Protze Kfz.81
-Krupp Protze Kfz.21
-Krupp Protze Kfz.83
-Borgward B 3000
-Skoda Rad Schlepper
-Ost RSO Porsche 175
-Steyr Type 2000A
-Einheits Lkw Kfz.62
-Krupp LKW L3
-Bussing-Nag 4500
-Opel Blitz Omnibus
-Bussing-Nag L
-Mercedes-Benz L1500
-Beute Studebaker
-Krupp L3H
-Hanomag SS-100
-Beute Ford B3000 S, V3000S, V3000A
-Beute Ford model BB
-Beute Ford model V8-51
-Beute Tatra 111

German ww2 German Staff Cars

-Horch 81
-Horch 108
-VW 182 Kübelwagen
-VW Schwimmwagen
-Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad
italy ww2 Italian Military trucks
L. Trucks (Autocarro Leggere)
-Breda-32
-Breda-40
-Breda-41
-ОМ-32 Autocarretta da Montagna
-ОМ-36DM
-Camioneta SPA TL.37
-Camioneta AS.43
-SPA CL39
-SPA ТМ40
-Fiat 618

Med. Trucks (Autocarro Medio)
-Alfa Romeo 430RE
-Alfa Romeo 800RE
-Breda Dovunque-41
-Bianchi Miles
-Ceirano-50СМ
-FIAT-626 NM
-Isotta Fraschini D65
-Isotta Fraschini D80
-SPA Dovunque-35
-SPA Dovunque-41
-SPA AS.37
-SPA-38R
-Autocarro Dovunque SPA 41/42

H. Trucks (Autocarro Gigante)
-FIAT-633NM
-FIAT-634N
-FIAT-666
-Fiat 661
-Lancia Ro
-Lancia 3Ro
-Lancia EsaRo
-ОМ Taurus
-ОМ Titano
-Autocarreta Mod.35
-Autocarri Unificati Ursus

italy ww2 Artillery tractors
-Breda 51
-Breda 52
-Breda 61 (licenced SdKfz-7)
-Fiat-SPA T.L.37
-Pavesi Р4.31 (L140)
-Fiat 727 - half-track artillery tractor
-SPA TM40 - wheeled artillery tractor

italy ww2 Staff Cars -Alfa Romeo 6С2500 Coloniale
-Fiat 508M/CM Ballila
-Fiat 1100 (1937) (Balilla-1100 Coloniale)
-Lancia Aprilia Coloniale
-Bianchi VM 6C
-Fiat 2800 CMC

italy ww2 Motorcycles
-Benelli 500 M36/VLM
-Bianchi Supermil 500
-Gilera 500 LTE
-Moto Guzzi Alce/Trialce
-Volugrafo Aermoto 125
Japan ww2 IJA/IJN ww2 vehicles
-Toyota 4x4 Su-Ki (Amphibious truck)
-Isuzu Type 94 truck
-Type 94 6-Wheeled Truck
-Type 95 Mini-truck
-Type 97 4-Wheeled Truck
-Type 1 6-Wheeled Truck
-Type 2 Heavy Truck
-Toyota KB/KC Truck
-Nissan 80 Truck
-Nissan 180 Truck
-Amphibious Truck "Su-Ki"

Japan ww2 Tractors
-Type 92 5 t Prime Mover "I-Ke"
-Type 98 6 t Prime Mover "Ro-Ke"
-Type 92 8 t Prime Mover "Ni-Ku"
-Type 95 13 t Prime Mover "Ho-Fu"
-Type 94 4 t Prime Mover "Yo-Ke"
-Type 98 4 t Prime Mover "Shi-Ke"
-Type 96 AA Gun Prime Mover
-Type 98 20 mm AA Machine Cannon Carrier
-Type 98 Half-tracked Prime Mover "Ko-Hi"
-Type 98 20 mm AA Half-Track Vehicle
-Experimental Heavy Gun Tractor Chi-Ke
-Experimental Crawler Truck
-T G Experimental Crawler Truck
-Fordson Prime Mover
-Pavessi Gun Tractor
-50 hp Gun Tractor
-Komatsu 3 ton Tractor
-Light Prime Mover
-Clarton Prime Mover
-Holt 30

Japan ww2 Staff cars
-Toyota AA/AB/AC
-Type 93 6/4-Wheeled Passenger Car
-Type 95 Passenger Car "Kurogane"
-Type 98 Passenger Car
-Model 97 Nissan Staff Car, Nissan 70

Japan ww2 Motorcycles
-Rikuo Motorcycle
-Rikuo Type 97 Motorcycle
-Rikuo Type 93 side car

Japan ww2 Misc.
-Type 94 Ambulance
-Type 94 Repair Vehicle

Cold War