November 6, 1940

Original Source Documents:   Demonstration of Bantam, 1/4-Ton, 4x4, Pilot Model at Fort Knox, Kentucky - November 6, 1940

Contributor:    Bill Spear

Source:  US National Archives





November 6, 1940



MEMORANDUM TO:            The Engineering Officer, Holabird Quartermaster Depot, Baltimore, Maryland.


SUBJECT:                               Demonstration of Bantam, 1/4-Ton, 4 x 4, Pilot Model at Fort Knox, Kentucky.


1.  The vehicle was driven four hundred and sixty-six (466) miles from Butler, Pennsylvania, to Fort Knox, Kentucky, arriving on Sunday, October 27, 1940.


2.  On Monday and Tuesday the vehicle was demonstrated to the Armored Force Board and commissioned personnel of the Armored Force, including Major General Bruce Margruder, Brigadier General Marshall Magruder, Brigadier General Baird, Lieutenant Colonel Brett, Lieutenant Colonel Unger, Lieutenant Colonel Benson, Major Read, Captain Krautoff, Lieutenant Colonel Boone, Major Jones, Major Howie, Lieutenant Zimmerman, Lieutenant Langston; the latter, an anti-tank platoon commander.


3.  During the demonstration period the vehicle was operated over all types of terrain and through the heaviest brush, demonstrating its ability to negotiate all types of terrain.  The only failure to negotiate terrain occurred when the vehicle became bogged dawn in mud and had to be towed out.


4.  On two occasions the new anti-tank gun was towed. One demonstration was given with six (6) persons in the body and the anti-tank gun on tow, and under these conditions the most difficult terrain was satisfactorily traversed. The vehicle on numerous occasions demonstrated the ability to go through stands of saplings averaging one and one half (1-1/2) inches in diameter.


5.  On Wednesday, October 30th, the return journey to Butler, Pennsylvania, was started, and terminated on Thursday, October 31st. Enroute, the vehicle was in collision with a one and one-half (1-1/2) ton truck at a speed of forty (40) miles per hour, causing only minor damages to the subject vehicle, - a good demonstration of its ruggedness.


6.  The general reaction of the officers who witnessed demonstrations of the subject vehicle was very favorable.


7.  To successfully tow the anti-tank gun, measures will have to be taken to give increased spade clearance above the ground, although the use of the new gooseneck lunette in reverse position might give sufficient clearance. As none of these lunettes were available at Fort Knox, it was not possible to determine this point.   




Captain (INF.), Q.M.C.


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