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280128 German RSO/01 or RSO/03 Tracked Light Weight Vehicle

Regular price $ 26.00

Raupenschlepper Ost (Caterpillar Tractor East) was a fully tracked, lightweight vehicle used by the Wehrmacht in World War II.
After the Wehrmacht’s first fall and winter (1941–1942) on the Eastern Front, they found that the extremely primitive roadways in the USSR and seasonal mud required a fully tracked supply vehicle to maintain mobility. Steyr responded by proposing a small, fully tracked vehicle based upon its 1.5-tonne truck (Steyr 1500A light truck) already in use in the army. The vehicle was introduced in 1942 as the Raupenschlepper Ost (more commonly abbreviated to RSO).

Initially designed as a prime mover and artillery supply vehicle, it eventually served in a wide variety of roles. Immediately after the vehicle reached the Eastern front, the combat units started using it for general transport duties. It gave outstanding service due to its reliability, its ease of maintenance, and its capability to take over a variety of roles - in every kind of terrain - which other vehicles lacked. The four road wheels per side, all in a single line as part of a “slack-track” system with no return rollers, comprised a much simpler suspension system, much more able to handle the rasputitsa mud season and Russian winter conditions, without mud or snow freezing between the wheels of the complex overlapping/interleaved Schachtellaufwerk suspension systems that German half-track vehicles like the SdKfz 7 possessed.

The original version (RSO/01) had a pressed-steel cab with a truck-like configuration similar to the wheeled trucks. The next two versions – RSO/02 and RSO/03 – had a simpler, soft-top, slab-sided metal cab. All models had wooden, drop-side cargo beds typical of light trucks of the era. It was originally powered by a Steyr 3.5L V8 petrol engine, which in the RSO/03 was replaced by the Deutz air-cooled diesel engine. Approximately 23,000 RSO of all versions were produced.

Product Highlights:
- Option to build either a RSO/01 or RSO/03
- One-piece slide-mould cab for ease-of-assembly
- Open or closed rear trunk side panels & tailgate
- Optional rear canvas racks & tarpaulin top
- Optional snow/bog track extension pad
- Full detail track links
- Driver included

Product Code: 280128

Number of Parts: 84 pieces / 2 sprues + 1 slide-mould cabin