GERMAN FIREFIGHTING VEHICLES:  German Third Reich. 1935-1945.  Like the British, the German fire services developed a wide range of specialized fire fighting vehicles for use in dealing with air raids in addition to the normal range of firefighting duties expected of a fire department.  Table 1 provides a summary of the classifications and types of apparatus.  Like the British, the German fire services had a wide range of variations in vehicle models; the table summarizes only the most common types.

Table 108-1. German Firefighting Vehicles 1935-1945

Classification Designation Description Manufacturers In Service
Crew and Equipment Truck

KzS 8

2 axle open cab and open body with bench seating for 8 crew; later models introduced closed cabs, canvas tops for the body, and eventually enclosed bodies - normally deployed with a trailer pump Magirus, Metz, Meyer-Hagen, Rosenbauer, Koebe on 1 ton and 1.5 ton Opel chassis and the Mercedes-Benz L 1500 chassis 1936-1945
Light Firefighting Group Vehicle


LF 8

2 axle, closed cab and body with ladder designed for operations on roads with load limits and in confined areas, with a 1.5 ton to 3 ton chassis and 45 to 60 horsepower engine - deployed with a trailer pump 1.5 ton Mercedes Benz Type L 1500 F chassis

3 ton Opel Blitz chassis


3850 LF 8 were built

Trailer Pump

TSA 1008

single axle trailer with 800 liter per minute pump Magirus, Koebe, Metz other trailer versions included hose, portable generator, equipment, and forest fire fighting models
Large Firefighting Group Vehicle

KS 15


LF 15

Large Firefighting Group Vehicle (GLG)

LF 25

KS 25

2 axle closed cab fire truck with equipment compartments, hose reels, ladders, stretcher, cutter bars, and drafting hoses on a 3 to 4.5 ton chassis Magirus, Opel, Mercedes Benz, Henschel, Metz, Koebe 1935-1945

2650 LF 25 were built

Aerial Ladders

Light Aerial Ladder (LDL) DL 17

DL 22

KL 26

Large Aerial Ladder (GDL) DL 32

2 axle closed cab turntable aerial ladder trucks Metz and KHD

Mercedes Benz and Magirus chassis


TFL 15

TFL 25

2 axle tanker with open or enclosed cab often configured with hose reel, pump, and ladders Magirus

Opel and Mercedes Benz 3 ton chassis


750 TFL 25 were built

Hose Trucks

Hose Tenders

Heavy Hose Trucks

SKS Heavy Hose Truck

Blitz Hose Truck

2 axle trucks of a variety of designs with hose reels and/or hose stored in compartments; one model could transport 2300 meters of hose Opel, Metz, Klockner-Deutz, Magirus, Mercedes Benz  
Equipment Trucks   2 or 3 axle heavy equipment trucks typically equipped with a 3 ton crane on the rear of the vehicle Magirus, Metz  

By 1942 the variety of vehicles and manufacturers had resulted in significant inefficiencies and a drain on resources in the context of wartime manufacturing.  Starting in 1942 increased standardization and rationalization measures were implemented to reduce the number of types and manufacturers and the resources required to produce apparatus.  Table 2 shows the result of that effort.

Table 108-2.  Firefighting Equipment Manufacturing Standardization

Equipment Type

1942 1943
Types Makers Metal Workers Hours Types Makers Metal Workers Hours
Portable Pumps 31 24 165 kg 8 10 each 1 11 122 kg 2 10 each
Trailers 59 25 440 kg 8 40 each 3 7 210 kg 4 40 each
Apparatus 19 12 820 kg 7 400 each 11 5 400 kg 5 400 each

Note:  The values for metal, workers, and hours is the requirement to produce one piece of apparatus.

Sources: Foedrowitz, Michael, German Firefighting Vehicles in World War II, Atglen, Pennsylvania, United States of America, Schiffer Military History, 1997.

Entry 03108 - posted 5 October 2003