The army and the Unimog, two good friends.
Despite that Albert Friedrich didn’t develop the Unimog for the army, was the Unimog mostly produced for military purpose. The first model created, the Unimog 70200, was already used by the Swiss army. Later on followed the French army as well. The Unimog proved to be so successful at his job that the French military demanded a Unimog that had to be designed for the army purpose only.
Mercedes created the Unimog 404s. After the first army Unimog there followed more other types for army employment: the 405.110, 419 (for the USA), U1300 and the 426.
Unimog 404 S
The 404 isn’t a agricultural vehicle but more a small off-road truck that only weighs 1,5 ton.
The Mercedes-Benz designed the 404S as a military vehicle but also as a firetruck.
Many of these small off-road Unimogs where produced between 1955 and 1980.
Unimog 419 “Small Emplacement Excavators”
The Unimog 419 is a army Unimog-series vehicle developed on the basis of the Unimog 406 as a military vehicle for the US Army. Daimler-Benz built this vehicle from 1986 to 1991 at the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant, all vehicles were delivered to the US and used exclusively by the US Army and the Marines. There were four models. The Unimog 419 was sold under the brand name Freightliner. Most vehicles were so-called Small Emplacement Excavators, short SEE Tractor.
Technically, the vehicles are based on the Unimog 406, but a more powerful 81 kW engine was installed. Although the vehicle was produced in Gaggenau in Germany, many parts were delivered from the US to meet the wishes of the US military. This includes the entire 24-volt on-board electrical system. The paintwork with the American military paint turned out to be costly.
These unique Unimog 419 can do a variety of jobs in one compact unit. On the front of the truck is a front end loader bucket with teeth for moving materials and loading trucks. On the rear is a Case backhoe attachment with many uses. The Unimog FLU can dig up to 14′ deep with a reach of over 17′. You can dismount the front end loader and the backhoe making a small very agile truck. The Army vehicle also has hydraulics for running a variety of tools like a jack hammer, rock drill, impact, chain saw, and all other kinds of attachments.
Unimog 426 “South American deployment”
The 426 is a special German Unimog that was produced under license by the Argentine, Chilean, Peruvian and Bolivian military.
405, not your everyday Unimog
New military Unimogs
Unimogs designed for military purposes and taken into service by armed forces are still in use today. Mercedes Benz is even producing new army unimogs. The Unimog U4000 / 4023 and U5000 / 5023 are still widely produced with military forces from various countries as final destination. Usually these unimogs are optimized by specialized companies that prepare the unimog for battle. Think of armor or (water) cannons and guns that are installed.