Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseIn Apr 1936, the French Army issued requirements for a fully armored fuel and munitions supply vehicle that would help extend the operational range of tank units. The Lorraine company completed a prototype tracked carrier in 1937 and received approval for production later in the same year. It was designated the Tracteur de ravitaillement pour chars 1937 L, or 37L for short. Three orders were made in 1938 totaling 278, and another three orders in 1939 totaling 274; the demands of war would eventually increase the total order size to 1,012 vehicles. The first vehicle was delivered in Jan 1939, by the start of the European War a total of 212 were delivered, and by the time the French signed the armistice with Germany in 1940, between 480 to 490 were delivered. These vehicles were un-armed, which was reported as a major shortcoming by their crews during the short German invasion of France.
ww2dbaseIn 1939 and 1940, 37L tracked carriers were produced mainly in the Lorraine factory at LunÃ©ville. In early 1939, it was decided to erect a factory in BagnÃ¨res-de-Bigorre in southern France to create a second production location in the case of a German invasion. This factory was not complete by Jun 1940. After the establishment of the Vichy puppet government, the factory was completed and secretly produced 150 examples of a simplified tracked carrier designated 37L 44. These vehicles, sometimes mounted with machine guns, were used in fighting by resistance fighters.
ww2dbaseThe Germans captured about 360 37L tracked carriers and pressed them into service initially as Lorraine Schlepper (f); later, the designation changed to Gefechtsfeld-Versorgungsfahrzeug Lorraine 37L (f) (used for general supplies) or Munitionstransportkraftwagen auf Lorraine Schlepper (used for ammunition). A great number of them were mated with guns to create Marder I self-propelled guns to provide the German Army desired mobility in its field guns.
|Self-propelled gun conversions||Quantity|
|7.5 cm PaK40/1 auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f)||170|
|10.5 cm leFH18 (Sf) auf GeschÃ¼tzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f)||24|
|15 cm sFH13/1 (Sf) auf GeschÃ¼tzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f)||94|
|Obervation vehicle conversion||Quantity|
|Beobachtungswagen auf Lorraine Schlepper (f)||30|
ww2dbaseAfter the war, a great number of 37L tracked carriers were used in the heavy construction industry.
Last Major Revision: Jun 2020
|17 Apr 1936Â||The French Army issued requirements for a fully armored fuel and munitions supply vehicle that would help extend the operational range of tank units.|
|9 Jul 1936Â||The French Army started its first evaluation of the Lorraine 37L armored tracked carrier.|
|4 Aug 1936Â||The French Army completed its first evaluation of the Lorraine 37L armored tracked carrier; it was rejected due to an inadequate powerplant.|
|22 Sep 1936Â||The French Army started its second evaluation of the Lorraine 37L armored tracked carrier.|
|29 Oct 1936Â||The French Army completed its second evaluation of the Lorraine 37L armored tracked carrier; it was accepted.|
|11 Jan 1939Â||The French Army took delivery of its first 37L tracked carrier.|
|26 May 1940Â||By this date, the French Army had taken delivery of 432 37L tracked carriers.|
|25 Jun 1940Â||By this date, the French Army had taken delivery of 480 to 490 37L tracked carriers.|
|Machinery||One Delahaye Type 135 6-cyl inline engine rated at 70hp|
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