The Swiss Army in the 1960s
Monday, 07 January 2008
I came across a book called "Die Strasse lebt" (the living street). It was published 1964 by Nestle and shows some very interesting colored period images of the Swiss Army from the 1960s.


A Willys Jeep CJ-3B escorted by two Swiss built Condor A580 motorbikes.

Swiss soldiers sitting in a Saurer 4CM or Berna 4UM, 4x4.
Dodge WC56 Command Car with radio equipment.
Soldiers inside an APC.
Soldiers sitting in a Saurer M4.
Soldiers sitting in a Willys Jeep with a BAT.
Soldiers sitting in a Saurer M4.
The Centurion (better known as Panzer 55/57) was the backbone of the Swiss Tank Force.
The Swiss Panzer 58 was an indigenous design and the prototype for the Panzer 61. It was powered by a V8 with 630 HP. Weight was around 35t, armed with a 90mm gun.
The Panzer 58 was designed, developed and built in Switzerland.
Panzer 55 aka Centurion.
Cross-country driving school with a Leichtpanzer 51. These are French built AMX-13.
Driver in a Panzer 55/57 (Centurion).
Convoy of Centurions.
Commander and Gunner of a Leichtpanzer 51 (AMX-13).
A platoon of Leichtpanzer 51 (AMX-13) in front of a spectacular scene.
Leichtpanzer 51 (AMX-13) at a shooting range.
Every tank column was followed by an Entpannungspanzer 56 (Centurion ARV).
Panzergrenadiers (tank hunters) used the British Universal Carrier T16 as their main transport. Over 300 units were bought.
To avoid damage to the ground and to train the soldiers in tank defense, Mowag developed a purpose built dummy tank, the so called "Panzerattrappe". Built between 1954-62 and had a crew of 2, could carry another 6 on top.

The Austrain built Haflinger AP700 can carry 400kg in cross-country conditions and is able to climb very steep slopes.
The Rotinoff Super Atlantic was the transport vehicle for moving the heavy tanks (mainly Centurions) on the road.
A Saurer or Berna 4x4 is towing a boattrailer beloning to the sappers.
The Saurer M6 (6x6) had a very powerful winch and could get himself out of trouble.
3ton trailers were used to carry goods and soldiers (in an uncomfortable way).
The combination of "Super Atlantic + Trailer + Centurion" had a weight of approx. 107tons. Those heavy transports were always attended by military police.
It could get very narrow with such a huge convoy.
Only 1 or 2 examples of the Entpannungspanzer 56 (Centurion ARV) can still be found in Switzerland.
A GMC CCKW 353 with a cargo body is climbing up a steep road. Not easy with the GMCs wide steering angle. The Swiss did not use a lot of GMCs with a cargo body, most of the had a specialised Swiss built body.
A Panzer 58 wading through shallow water.
A Swiss Mowag GW3500 in GS configuration. The Mowag is based on Dodge Power Wagon mechanical components. Soft-top cab and rear body with seats.

A Saurer M6 is towing a 10,5cm howitzer. The M6 were produced from 1940-48 and appeared with cargo and house-type van bodies. The Saurer M4, M6 and M8 range had a very sophisticated cross-country chassis with many novel features.

Note: The driver is sitting on the left side, instead of right side. The pic was published like that.

Soil auger on a trailer (Erdbohrgerät 52).
The Swiss Army heavily used horses (eg. Austrian Haflinger breed) in the mountain regions. Here they are transported on a Saurer 2CM or Berna 2UM.
A Mowag GW3500 in ambulance configuration.
Last Updated ( Monday, 20 August 2012 )