Willys M274 Mule Is a Tiny, Minimalist Military Transport Vehicle

The Willys MB Jeep (and its direct civilian descendants) will get all of the glory, however there are many army automobiles that play vital roles properly away from the entrance line. Take into consideration the vans that ship gasoline to frontline tactical vehicles, battle fires, or transport tanks and APCs…they get much less of the glory however are a important a part of any battlefield success. The M274 Mule appears ridiculous, frankly, however with extra cargo capability than a up to date Jeep and its tiny dimensions, it served a really helpful function within the Vietnam Warfare period and past.

Developed by Willys, the Mule was as bare-bones as you may get. Consider it a bit like a tiny flatbed that occurs to have an engine and a minimalist driver’s station connected. The remainder of it’s platform, capable of haul quite a lot of cargo, males, or weapons mounts. Outfitted with an actual four-wheel-drive system with excessive and low ranges, it was designed to go locations a conventional Jeep could not go due to dimension, terrain, or weight issues.

The unique idea was to develop a automobile to function a small stretcher-bearer to shortly evacuate wounded troopers, however the resultant Mule was capable of accommodate quite a lot of roles, as its half-ton cargo capability included the flexibility to utterly use the whole footprint as a load space. The steering column may very well be tilted away from the mattress so the Mule may very well be pushed backwards by an individual strolling behind. With no bodywork, the automobile was gentle and compact sufficient for simple transport by air.

After all, it might additionally carry quite a lot of weapons like recoilless rifles and sure missile programs, however with completely zero safety for the crew (aside from diving behind its small profile), it wasn’t a tactical automobile in any sense of the phrase. This example is being auctioned by RM Sotheby’s with no reserve, and is a later instance with a Continental two-cylinder engine; earlier fashions had Willys engines. It was delivered in 1968 and served with the U.S. Marine Corps.

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