Vietnam modernised the most badass-looking wheeled APCs

... a design which happened to stem from the 1940's.

I was actually a high technology vehicle back in 1950 because of its central tire inflation system. This allowed to reduce the tire pressure for driving on soft soil with less ground pressure. The shape and look was greatly influenced by the M3 lend-lease halftracks and to a lesser extent the similar German SdKfz 250 and SdKfz 251 vehicles.





It's amazing to see how long military equipment keeps at least some value. Heavy artillery pieces used to have the longest lives (up to centuries), but nowadays many vehicles and small arms from the 1950's are still usable as well.

The BTR-152's main downside (save for a late version) is its open top. This was deemed inadequate for a battlefield with NBC threats, or with airburst artillery and mortar HE munitions. It also happens to make these vehicles very unsuitable for quelling unrest, since a single Molotov cocktail thrown from a building would prove disastrous.
It's nevertheless much better than a soft lorry, the modernisation was possible with the fraction of the cost of a regular 5 ton lorry - whereas Western countries spend € 2 million and more for APCs (in excess of 20 x heavy lorries). We strived for a 95% solution, while they were content with a 80% solution and the price difference is outrageous.



  1. The old saying was " See what came in 2nd in trials for the U S military and buy that". Almost as good , usually for a lot less money and less complicated.

  2. http://www.janes.com/article/56911/paraguay-keeping-m3-stuart-m4-sherman-tanks-in-service

    Paraguay: 10
    Netherlands: 0

    1. Brazil even modernised its Stuarts during the Cold War, and so did Chile and Israel. Such antiquated tanks are almost entirely limited to employment against the own people or as targets for infantry AT training.
      The BTR-152 on the other hand still has substantial transport capacity.