Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers

Other Vehicles => Miscellaneous Vehicles => Australian Army Haflingers => Topic started by: fc101 on March 10, 2013, 11:47:33 PM

Title: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 10, 2013, 11:47:33 PM
If you google "Haflingers in Vietnam" you get a number of hits including Wikipedia.  However they all seem to stem from one source with no other independent references.

So the simple question is - did Haflingers go to Vietnam and what is your source - verified pics would be excellent.

Thanks

Garry
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 11, 2013, 04:07:02 PM
Have you got Mike Cecil's book Mud and Dust?  It is extensively researched and includes a list of most if not all vehicles in theatre.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 11, 2013, 04:34:09 PM
Thanks Diana - no I do not have it - googling it, it looks like a great book and the sort of document that could confirm if indeed the Haffies did go.

If any one does have a copy of the book - could they have a look and see if Haflingers in Vietnam are referred to.

Failing that I think I might head down to the National Library and have a look at their copy.

Cheers

Garry
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 11, 2013, 04:36:07 PM
Yes I do have a copy, but not at work.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 11, 2013, 05:11:01 PM
If you could have look when you are able I would appreciate it - not after any details just if it is there or not.  If it was I will go down to the library and get all the details from  the book myself.

Cheers

Garry
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: FFRMAN on March 11, 2013, 08:19:42 PM
HI,

just checked in the book and they are not listed in the appendix of vehicle in Vietnam.

regards
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Tommy on March 11, 2013, 08:45:50 PM
G'day Garry

I presume you are referring to this site - http://tdc.haflinger-4wd.com/types/auarmy-haf.php

These three photos show Haflinger in Australian service. Photo 'Haf3' shows 101-850 and 101-852. 101-850 is extant in the Steyr-Puch museum.

The caption to the photos states "By the way: Australian Army Haflingers were also used in Vietnam. Helicopters carried the vehicles to remote jungle areas, where they had to transport ammunition."

Why not contact the author (Constantin Kiesling) here - http://tdc.haflinger-4wd.com/contact.php as he may have further details.

Another person (Ferraroni Massimo) posted this on the ADGIES website...http://www.adgies.net/nov2010.html

"G' day,

I write you from Italy to ask you some news on the vehicles used by the Austaralia Army in Vietman.

In 1966 Australia Army buy the 50 off-roads Haflinger of the Steyr-Puch Austriaca (you see list http://www..remlr.com/ARN/ARNs_haflinger.php ), in the various searches conducted by our club (Haflinger club Italy www.haflingerclubitalia.it ), we have discovered that some of these Haflingers have perhaps gone with you to Vietnam.

I attach photo of a Haflinger Australia Army.

I ask if this news is true and if it is possible to find some photos of the Haflingers in Vietnam.

I thank you for your attention and I want to excuse me for my English, but I use an electronic translator!!

Aspect your news, and I send you the more kindest regards from Italy.

Ferraroni Massimo
Email address via his website"
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 11, 2013, 09:48:39 PM
Thanks FFRMAN - if it is not listed in that book, given the author works at the AWM then I think we can reasonably assume Haffies did not go to Vietnam.

Tommy - I know of both the people you refer - Ferraroni also came to the conclusion that Haffies did not go to Vietnam as he also drew a blank.  Before I go back to Constantin I would like to have some evidence one way or the other.

Those pics you put up were all taken in Aust except for the bottom one which was taken in an Austrian (not Australian) museum.

Thanks for all your efforts.

Cheers

Garry
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 11, 2013, 10:45:56 PM
Just home from work found my copy and now I find I'm too late with the info.  :'(

I am wondering about the Italian guys and whether they were given information on the M274 mechanical mule that were used in Vietnam usually termed Military Mule the M274 a one man 4WD machine smaller than the Haffie that was used to transport amunition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Military_M274_Truck,_Platform,_Utility_1/2_Ton,_4X4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Military_M274_Truck,_Platform,_Utility_1/2_Ton,_4X4)
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Tommy on March 11, 2013, 10:59:20 PM
Thanks FFRMAN - if it is not listed in that book, given the author works at the AWM then I think we can reasonably assume Haffies did not go to Vietnam.

Tommy - I know of both the people you refer - Ferraroni also came to the conclusion that Haffies did not go to Vietnam as he also drew a blank.  Before I go back to Constantin I would like to have some evidence one way or the other.

Those pics you put up were all taken in Aust except for the bottom one which was taken in an Austrian (not Australian) museum.

Thanks for all your efforts.

Cheers

Garry

After trolling the net to find more info, it became apparent that there was a lot of information 'cut and pasting' going on :(. The same information, word for word, was appearing in numerous forums etc. They all say the following "The Australian army bought some and used them successfully in Vietnam.". It may be a case of 'misinformation handball' from one person onto the next.

Diana could be right in suggesting that the Mule may be the culprit as the US Army used these in large numbers for ammo carting. Looks similar too.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 12, 2013, 12:02:43 AM
Thanks Diana - your information pointed me/us in the right direction and I appreciate your efforts.

Yes - it does seem that everything on the net does seem to come from the TDC links.  However I have sighted a recent post on another forum where Aussie Vets do recall seeing 8 Haflingers landing in the back of a Herc - I now wonder if what they saw was some Mules and the years have faded that memory to be Haffies.

Also taken from another forum - an abstract from an evalution of the Haflinger compared to the Mule

“Accession Number : AD0283254

Title : EVALUATION OF TRUCK, 1/2-TON, 4X4, HAFLINGER (AUSTRIAN)

Corporate Author : ARMY ARMOR BOARD FORT KNOX KY

Report Date : 10 JUL 1962

Pagination or Media Count : 1

Abstract : Test experience with the Haflinger generally parallels that previously encountered with other foreign vehicles. From a performance standpoint, the vehicles are equal to and, in some areas, exceed comparable US vehicles. From the standpoint of the durability and reliability required of utility vehicles they are unacceptable. It must also be recognized that their use would mean the addition of nonstandard parts, special tools, and much more comprehensive maintenance publications then are normally available. The principal advantages of the Haflinger over the M274 lie in its easier handling, smoother ride, and slightly greater speed. These features are achieved at the cost of a heavier, more sophisticated vehicle. It is questionable whether such design features would be justified in an austere, special-purpose vehicle such as the M274. (Author)
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 12, 2013, 12:38:23 AM
On a side issue - I wonder about the relevance of the Seaking (looks like a UH-3H of the US Marine Corps) on the front cover of  "Mud and   Dust" to the content of the book.

(http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e334/gazzz21/9781741107678version2highres_zps97e3dab8.jpg)
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 12, 2013, 01:04:27 AM
It may well be, IIRC at the time the RAN were still using Wessex and the Aussies otherwise were using UH1 Iraquois, the US provided most of the heavy lift capability.

Wikipedia amended.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Phoenix on March 12, 2013, 01:43:26 PM
I wonder if the research for mud and dust covered vehicles shipped to Vietnam (Navy Records) and did not include anything carried over by the RAAF in Hercs etc ??
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 12, 2013, 02:01:01 PM
I'm not sure what sources Mike used, but he was the senior curator of military vehicles in the AWM at the time.  He has also been able to inform me if particular ARN are recorded as going to Vietnam.  It is where I had confirmation of Numpty's buggy going.

Perhaps it's worth someone popping over to MLU and asking him the question.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: AGAS 5 on March 12, 2013, 02:40:56 PM
I've seen the database Mike had when he was at the AWM.... it was very detailed.... what caught my I at the time were the details of Perentie and Unimogs on operational service   ;D

Although I'm leaning towards the mule theory....   Research for books such as Mikes is only as good as the information available (found !!) during the research phase. Even organisations such as the AWM cannot undo poor archiving - something that Defence is/was notoriously bad at.

Cheers,

Pete
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 12, 2013, 02:45:50 PM
Hi Pete

Granted the truth of that comment, however at the moment, no evidence has come to light and hence information resources such as Wikipedia (as poor as they are) should reflect the lack of evidence instead of perpetuating urban myth.  It is a simple matter to update if or when evidence is found.

Diana
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 12, 2013, 02:49:07 PM
I have sent an email to a conservator I know in the Annex and am awaiting a response - however noting that the AWM only displays/stores items with a war aspect (eg no 101s can ever be displayed) there are no Haflingers on display with the Vietnam exhibit.  I did a private tour of the Annex late last year and there are no Haflingers in storage or being conserved.  Also if you do a search "Haflinger" on the AWM website you only get three hits - two relate to ARNs and the third does not seem to have anything to do with Haflingers at all.

Irrespective of how vehicles got to Vietnam - ship or air I am sure the Army being quite anal about paperwork they would have all been recorded.

Garry 
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on March 12, 2013, 02:55:21 PM
Hi Garry

Army would have been recorded everything in multiples, but also knowing where to find it is quite another matter indeed.

On Wikipedia, who makes a point of updating information when you find it is incomplete, not referenced or incorrect?

Diana  ;)
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Tommy on March 12, 2013, 07:59:36 PM
On a side issue - I wonder about the relevance of the Seaking (looks like a UH-3H of the US Marine Corps) on the front cover of  "Mud and   Dust" to the content of the book.

(http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e334/gazzz21/9781741107678version2highres_zps97e3dab8.jpg)

Garry

A couple of years back on the MVCA forum I asked Mike why this particular image was used on the cover over other helicopters such as the more common Chinook or Skycrane.

Mike replied....

The HH-3E 'Jolly Green Giant' image was chosen because it illustrated a number of points: (1) its a comparatively heavy lift chopper: Aust deployed no heavy lift helicopters to Vietnam, so we were dependant on our friends/allies, the US, to provide this, (among many, many other items and assistance) (2) its underslung load is an Australian L5 Pack Howitzer of 105 Bty: the insertion and extraction of artillery by heavy lift helicopter (CH-47, CH-54, HH-3E, CH-3, etc) was characteristic of operations in Vietnam, and there are several images in the book to illustrate this (3) it illustrates that we were part of a coalition of forces, ie we were not operating 'solo' in Vietnam, but part of a greater and larger effort to assist the South Vietnamese Government.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on March 12, 2013, 08:43:41 PM
Thanks

garry
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Carzee on March 15, 2013, 10:15:14 PM
Garry I have looked over a lot of Vietnam paperwork this week and on some pages listing vehicle establishments etc I have been a tad forensic for Landys and a few Accos.

The Australian Army Haflinger census code was 6002. That code is not even listed on the proforma used in SVN -- where there are pages of vehicle Census codes and counts.

None seen so far. But thats not to say...
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Tommy on April 03, 2013, 09:09:28 PM

I am wondering about the Italian guys and whether they were given information on the M274 mechanical mule that were used in Vietnam usually termed Military Mule the M274 a one man 4WD machine smaller than the Haffie that was used to transport amunition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Military_M274_Truck,_Platform,_Utility_1/2_Ton,_4X4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Military_M274_Truck,_Platform,_Utility_1/2_Ton,_4X4)

Delving deeper into the 'so called' Haflinger use in Vietnam, I came across this photo of a M274 Mule on the 2 Sqn (RAAF) Association page on Picasa.

https://picasaweb.google.com/116519384704996976801/2SqnAssociation

What is interesting about this Mule is that the stencil located on the tray side frame has been sprayed over with paint. This is the same location of the stencilled US Army/USMC and vehicle ARN when in US military service. I cannot image that US military personnel would blank out this information whilst in their use. I could however, understand Australian personnel doing this if the Mule was 'on loan' from the US Army. The photo below shows the US Army and USMC stencil location.

Could it be that a member of the RAAF 2nd Squadron took this photo of a 'borrowed' Mule in Australian service.

To add more credibility to this argument, the following comments were noted on MLU: http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16263

"Now I recall the Australian army having some of these, at least we got to the stage of doing trial loadings in a Boo and C130."

and

"Actually there were trials done on the Mule in Australia in the early 60's, I found an interesting article on these trials. Basically the Mule was well liked, but the trial authorities gave it a bad report because of the tip over problem. It was found that at high speeds the vehicle had a tendency to flip over while pulling a sharp turn especially to the left where the driver sat especially loaded with a high center of gravity. During the trials a driver was killed when the vehicle flipped over. If you receive the MVPA magazines there was an article on the Mule last year in the Military Vehicle magazine and it talked about the trials.
Also Mules were used by the Aussies in Vietnam."


As Diana states, maybe the Haflinger sightings in Vietnam were infact M274 Mules. If the Australians knew of the Mules versatility from trial evaluations, it would seem plausible that the Aussies would 'commandeer' some for their own use if they became available.
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Phoenix on April 04, 2013, 10:15:12 AM
How does that photo compare to the mule at bandiana.?
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Mike C on April 08, 2013, 02:24:00 AM
Well, no need to 'pop' anywhere now, as I'm here.

RE the image of the AUSTRALIAN 105mm L5pack howitzer under the Sikorsky HH-3E 'Jolly Green Giant': heavy lift was provided by the US - there are a number of images of HH-3E, CH-47, and CH-54 Tarhe working with Australian Units, and a number are reproduced throughout M&D (pp26, 40, 45, 46, 52, 54, 171,etc). One of the points I though I had emphasized in the text was that this was very much a helicopter-supported war, and was thus fought differently to almost every war before because of the prodigious use of helicopters to support and sustain operations - even AFVs were able to stay in the boonies longer because of aerial resupply by helicopter, including delivery of heavy fuel bladders and ammunition canisters.

(Just noticed Tommy's comment above, after writing, so I'm glad I'm consistent at least!!)

Haflingers and Mules: yes, the Aust Army had both. Haflingers were not, as far as I am aware, used outside Australia, including use in SVN. I've trawled an awful lot of files and not come across even an obscure reference - let alone a piece of 'solid' evidence - to their use in SVN. Mules were only test vehicles and rejected for service. I think I wrote an article in the MVPA magazine on the M274 trials, with several images.


Mike C
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Mike C on July 30, 2013, 11:01:11 AM
I've just received the latest MVPA journal and their is an article about Haflingers in the Australian Army. As usual, it states that there were 50, and that, despite a lack of concrete evidence, they were used in small numbers in South Vietnam by Australia.

Firstly, I've only ever found reference to 46 Haflingers and 46 trailers, not the '50' number that keeps on being quoted. Even the REMLR website lists 46. Hmmm: unless there are another 4 lurking somewhere that both Richard and I have missed, then I'd guess the actual number might be 46?

The article's reference to their use in SVN is as follows: 'There are also accounts of at least two Haflingers being used in Vietnam with helicopters carrying vehicles to remote jungle areas, where they were used primarily to transport ammunition. There is no substantiation of their use in Vietnam in any official record currently available. One Australian veteran states that several were brought in to theatre via Hercules and Caribou aircraft on a trial basis but not officially assigned to any specific transport platoon. He recalls eight or so Haflingers in service in and around Nui Dat in 1970-71.'

Anyone got any opinions on the above claims?  I certainly have! Air transport to SVN from Australia was precious: only the highest priority cargoes went by air, and I doubt eight (the number just keeps on growing....) Haflingers qualify as a high priority cargo, especially when plenty of M274 Mules were available in country along with their spare parts. 'Not assigned to any particular unit' just doesn't ring true with the way army operates: someone is given/assigned responsibility, even for so called 'trials' vehicles, and if they were in SVN, then they had to be RTA at some time as a low priority backload, and there is no record of that that I've ever found. (All the Haflingers and trailers were disposed of within Australia, none in SVN).

I may be a Doubting Thomas, but until someone shows me an image of one in SVN, or a solid written reference, then I'd say the Haflingers of the Australian Army never left the Land of Oz.

The last comment I'll make is about the comment that it is unknown why the Aust Army chose to procure Haflingers when they did. That is, I think, an easy one to explain: the Pentropic organization (light, largely air-mobile divisional structure geared for tropical warfare) was still extant when the Haflingers were ordered, but by the time of their arrival in 1966, that organizational structure had been abandoned. Result?  46 'orphans' subsequently used (mostly) by RAASC as run-abouts....

OK: off my soap box now........

Mike C   


Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Diana Alan on July 30, 2013, 11:29:54 AM
Hi Mike

I think most of us doubt the existance of the Vietnam Haflingers and like yourself are waiting for some documentary or photographic evidence to come to light.

Diana
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: fc101 on July 30, 2013, 12:57:38 PM
Since getting a non mil Haffie and looking right into this - I agree 46 Haffies and did not serve in Vietnam.  All references to Vietnam service all lead back to one unsubstantiated reference by someone?.  There are no other source references only the one.

Garry
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Phoenix on July 30, 2013, 03:25:00 PM
Agreed on the 46 unless something comes to light later. 

As to the vietnam thing, kinda sounds like one of these Wannabe veterans would say if you ask me, and their facts are as solid (ie, not at all) as their military "service"
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Tommy on September 29, 2013, 11:51:07 AM
Just found this photo of a Mule in Australian hands, SVN.

I notice that the side tray railing have been modified by adding to it's height. The original rail (as can be seen in the photo) was not very high and would have been of little effectiveness if carrying a large amount of boxes etc.

Can anyone identify the TAC plate in front of the drivers position?
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: Minikeg on September 29, 2013, 07:33:14 PM
(http://4and20blackbirds.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/lg-can_of_worms.jpg)
Title: Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
Post by: aussiegregmac on September 29, 2013, 07:51:46 PM
Oh yummy.  Breakfast.