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Post Info TOPIC: WW1 French truck markings


Brigadier

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WW1 French truck markings
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I have some photos of French trucks in service and i was curious about their markings. On the rear side it says TM - 65. Is TM an abbreviation for Batallion or some such? On the front side of the body it says PM 3000 and PU 3000. I presume that this is its weight limit, but what does PM and PU stand for.

This probably demonstrates my ignorance of the French language for which i am wholly ashamed.

thanks

Tim

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Lieutenant-Colonel

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PU stands for "poids utile", the loading weight for the vehicle.

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Brigadier

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Excellent. I thought it might be something like that. I have also just discovered TM means "Transport de Materiel", so this is the same as transport section.

Thank you

Tim

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Lieutenant-Colonel

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As you say, the TM indicates transport de materiel, a section being equipped with 3000kg or 4000kg capacity vehicles calculated to transport 35tonnes to support a 1914 division, with a group of four sections supplying a corps with 140 tonnes. By 1918 one division was calculated as needing 200 tonnes daily. (See " Camions de la Victoire", Boniface et Jeudy, Editions Massin 1996.)
Each section had between 15 and 20 vehicles. As you know, many types were used, including significant numbers of imported vehicles. The section had a workshop vehicle carrying essential spare parts, a vehicle to transport personnel, a car to transport the officer commanding the section,  a motorcycle to scout the route, and a bicycle for liaison. A TM eqipped with American transport vehicles comprised 19 3 t0nne vehicles, 1officier, 3 sous-officiers, 2 brigadiers, 39 drivers, one of whom drove the officer's "voiture de tourisme", 4 mechanics, 4 additionel personnel, (1 motorcyclist, 1 cyclist, 1 cook, 1 medic.) They were expected to maintain a speed of 12-15 kph over a range of 100km in a column 800 metres in length with 1 officer commanding 50 men, compared with a horse drawn column of 4kph and a range of 30 km requiring 180 vehicles commanded by 4 officers with 230 men, 340 horses and a column of 1800 metres.
The TM units often carried insignia in addition to the load capacity markings and the 8cm. individual "nombre de matriculation"
The TP units were the "transport de personnel" vehicles, using such vehicles as the Paris bus, and trucks fitted with seats, a section being capable of transporting 250 men.
There were also artillery munitions vehicles, (SMA), communications, (TPT), road maitenance, (TMR), Sections Sanitaires, (SS, which inorporated ambulances, radiology, and mobile surgery and support vehicles, and the Sections de ravitaillement en viande fraiche, carrying meat in converted Schneider PB2s, etc.
( My apologies to purists for the absence of the appropriate accents; I do not know where to find them!)

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Brigadier

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Excellent. Thank you.

Tim

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Corporal

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Hi:   TM-65 , may refer to the Reserve Mallet section 65, this was made up entirely by American volunteers. France also needed drivers for material trucks, besides ambulances. These brave young men wanted adventure and to give something back to France, before the U.S. joined the war. A great site about the A.F.S. is http://www.ourstory.info/
Hope this can help but it makes for good reading
Chris Anderson


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Brigadier

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Thank you for that. That is very interesting.

Tim

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