Development and testing
Specs and parts
Colors and markings
Pieter (Piet) Herman van der Trappen, an artillery officer in the Dutch army, teacher on the Dutch military academy, was a passionate motorisation fan.
The Dutch army had been concentrating on protecting the borders and leaned on the strategy of fortifications and inundation. All happened on a budget, and the idea of turning a standard, low cost 4x2 truck with the TraDo ( van der TRAppen - van DOorne) evolved into a motorisation program for the Dutch army.
Armour was pioneered with simply hanging sheets of iron on truck chassis's and with the 12 M36 an 14 M38 Landsverk armoured cars on Daimler Benz chassis equiped the first 2 esquadrons. Huub van Doorne had his booming company in trailers and traction conversion gears "DAF" and pioneered a self supporting box with van der Trappen and wachtmeester-monteur J. Addink around a Ford V8 and his traction parts. The PanTrado (GePantserde Trado, armoured TraDo) was an idea in 1934 and was marketed with a huge model and plans to the Dutch Army. Van der Trappen publishes the plans for the PanTraDo 2 in the military spectator, a Dutch military periodical in 1936. It's a complete survey of the armoured car of that day. It weights pro's and con's of the features and then introduces the PanTraDo 2. Pictures of a scale model (that survived!) and plans are in the article. After a hesitation from the Dutch officials the combination of production costs and expected performance turned into a test example that performed very well.
Intended to form a 3rd and 4th Eskadron, the order for 12 M39's was given (39 stands for model 1939) and the intended 4th eskadron would receive M40's. (Parts and armour were intended to be delivered in 1940)
The excellent book on all the development and the fighting unit's from Drs. Bom is a must have, although it is in Dutch.
The period of the first test trails without a turret, with the turret of a Landsverk, and a self constructed dummy turret, and the first introductions to the troops in Amersfoort and on the Isabella kazerne in Den Haag will have given all kinds of improvements. The delivery of the 12 car's was delayed by welding problems in the MG sponsons and delivery of the canons.
The actual combat actions that a few of them saw, are documented, and so is the destruction of two of them. The facts where the German army used them is more difficult. Repairing them and fitting a turret gun would have been easy.
One is shipped with a Landsverk and tested by the German test facility near Stettin. It seems logic that it was used in the last days of defending against the Soviet army.
The test vehicle is shipped to the Dutch military museum, where it stays during the war. After the war, it is lent back to the DAF factory ca 1946 in the plans to produce a post-war series, but there are many surplus armoured cars to pick from, and it is lost somewhere down the line.
The post war version would have been the same vehicle with all-wheel drive, a locally produced Ford or GMC engine, a British or American made 3.7 Bofors en 3 3 Belgian (FN) produced Brownnig .30's. It would have had smoke dischargers and a radio.