Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

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iannima
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Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:08 am

A recent Ebay auction has made me notice that we hardly ever touch the historical aspect of our vehicles and that we have very little in the way of photographs of what they looked like whilst in service. Over the years I have amassed a collection of photographs of Gaz 69s in various guises, so I thought I would share these. I shall start with East German ones as the NVA is my all consuming passion...

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:11 am

In East German service the two basic photographs reproduced in all manuals are these:
2 door (obviously intended for radio too given the aerials):
Image
4 doors (one of only two photographs available... :cry: )
Image

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:14 am

Agai from a manual the camouflage scheme to be used in winter when some whitewash would be loosely painted on the vehicles and removed soon after:
Image

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:15 am

Leading a convoy:

Image

The armoured vehicle behind is a BTR40 and behind that a P3 DDR Jeep. I think the motorcycle is an MZ but I am not sure.

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:21 am

This a radio one in service with the Grenztruppen (=Border Guards) as testified by the green border on the roundels.
Image
The truck behind is a DDR produced Robur

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:23 am

Some kind of radio/direction support for that nasty looking thingy in the background
Image

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:26 am

This is rather old. It has surfaced in a batch of old photographs dating back to the first Berlin Wall in 1961.
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Probably taken somewhere in Berlin. The VP on the numberplate stands for Volkspolizei (=People's Police) as the border guards at the time were still technically a police force (Deutsche Grenzpolizei)
(As an aside, you will notice that the swapping of the lights with DDR ones, as referred to in the recent article on Eastblock's current and former vehicles, was done VERY inconsistently, with no discernible pattern)

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:37 am

This one I have scanned from one of the many coffee table books of photographs that the DDR produced to celebrate its armed forces and their fraternal comrades:
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It probably shows a parade after(or before) one of the joint exercises which the Warsaw Pact routinely did for propaganda purposes more than for anything else. The Soviets are in the vehicle first on the left. The Poles at the extreme right. The second vehicle from the left I presume to be the Czechoslovak but I have doubts as neither the uniforms nor the flag are that clearly identifiable.
The East Germans are obviously to the left of the "Czechs". Notice how they are actually riding in a 2 door Gaz unlike all the others. The NVA had very few Gaz 69A like mine. The records show only 95 held in 1991 as opposed to over 700 2 doors. So presumably on this occasion they found themselves short of one of the 95 like mine, and they had to match the others...

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:39 am

I have published this one already showing the radio equipment, but just for completeness:
Image

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:41 am

The Gaz was also used by the paratroopers but these are very special ones...
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...as they belong to one branch of the Stasi guards regiment. Their probable task in the event of war would have been the kidnap (or murder) of leading West German political figures... :shock:
... nice chaps... honestly... :roll:

Notice the NOTEK blackout light on the fender. Very much a feature carried over from Wehrmacht vehicles. The later headlight covers that clip open, which we probably all know, are part of the Nachtmarschanlage 74 (=night convoy arrangement) introduced in 1974 and implemented over a number of years.
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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:44 am

I might have shown this before:

Image

It obviously is an engine change in the field, but it is important to me as it is practically the ONLY other photograph (aside from the manuals' one at the top) of a Gaz69 A in NVA service. It can only be identified as a 4 door one by the bolt with which the canvas is attached to the top of the windscreen.

The truck is obviously a URAL with a crane
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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:50 am

This really should not count as being in East German service any more, although the officer IS East German. It comes from some photographs acquired by a fellow collector of uniforms from the family of the officer. He probably was observing a Soviet exercise. It is of interest that he is wearing the much rarer 1960s field uniform for officers with subdued insignia. These uniforms are VERY rare and fetch some money on Ebay... :shock: The German heritage (Reichswehr and Wehrmacht) of the uniform is obvious.

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The vehicles I think are Soviet. A white stripe is visible on the canvas of the 2 door one. It was used as a recognition device during exercises where all vehicles of one particular side would be marked with a white stripe across. I have seen footage of the Soviets convoys sent to suppress the Prague Spring in 1968 sporting such markings.
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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:54 am

This I guess is Soviet... but have no idea where... Afghanistan is one possibility but the Paratroopers (VDV) were the ones chiefly involved in the protracted Soviet engagement in Afghanistan and the VDV tended to have all the latest equipment which in this case would mean UAZ 469s rather than Gaz.

Image

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:56 am

This is certainly Soviet, apparently dated 1965 as it is consistent with the soldiers wearing the older uniforms of the 1943 regulations which were only superseded in 1969.
Image
the vehicle looks pretty much as it would have left the factory with a rather shiny paint finish (through the mud) and even a suspicion of Chrome :lol: on the light fittings

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:57 am

Soviet paratroopers:

Image

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:59 am

A Roumanian parade:

Image

I am not clear whether the ARO ever produced a 4 doors version, so don't quite know whether this is a Gaz or a locally produced ARO

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:00 am

Where I found these, I understand that the vehicles were in service with the Czechoslovak army...

Image

aren't they sweet? :wink: :D

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:02 am

Again I believe Czechoslovak:

Image

he probably is a vicious attack dog :shock: but he looks sweet here :roll:

Image

the three jerry cans on the tailgate is a typical Czechslovack arrangement

Eastblock

Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by Eastblock » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:23 am

Great pictures. The motorcycle is a MZ ES250.

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Re: Period photographs of Gaz 69s in service

Post by iannima » Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:55 pm

Unlike the wartime Jeep or its post-war British equivalent, the Land Rover, the Gaz 69 does not seem to have been utilised that extensively as a weapons platform. The one obvious exception to this is the 2P26 of which I only know of examples in museum but none in private hands... but then who would particularly want one :roll:? ... as it is even LESS practical than a standard Gaz :lol:

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It was intended as an anti-tank missile launcher as used by motorised rifles regiments. (The same missile system would be carried by a BTR40 in a Tank regiment). I think it was used by the Soviets too but somehow most of the photographs that have survived, show it in NVA service during the 1960s. I think the idea wa abandoned pretty quickly.

Image

(the soldier is wearing the early pattern NVA camouflage that was gradually replaced during the late 1960s and 1970s by the raindrop pattern which flooded the surplus market 15 years ago or so)