March 18, 2004, 08:34 PM
I'm in my history class right now, and we're discussing the Second World War. Someone asked the origin of the word "bazooka". Where did it come from? How did it come to be applied to anti-tank rocket launchers?

Anybody know? Neither the professor nor any of us are sure.


EDIT: Looked it up (

[After the bazooka, a crude wind instrument made of pipes, invented and named by Bob Burns (1896-1956), American comedian, probably from bazoo, kazoo.]

Huh. I did not know that. :cool:

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Mal H
March 18, 2004, 08:41 PM
Scroll down to "Boom-pah-pah"

Mal H
March 18, 2004, 08:44 PM
Now for an even more obscure one - what is the origin of the word "Jeep"?

March 18, 2004, 08:46 PM
Jeep...didn't the official designation of the Jeep have "GP" in it or something, meaning "general purpose", or something like that?

Like "truck, quarter-ton, general purpose" or somesuch?

Mal H
March 18, 2004, 08:50 PM
Nope, but that's commonly thought to be the answer.

March 18, 2004, 08:51 PM
There was a character in Popeye, if I remember correctly called the JEEP or something to that effect. He could go anywhere, crawl on walls, ceilings etc.

I believe that is where the nickname Jeep came from.


Mal H
March 18, 2004, 08:57 PM
We have a winner! No more calls please. (You got it much quicker than I thought it would take.)

It was named after the old Popeye character Eugene the Jeep. He could go anywhere he wanted by entering the "4th dimension". I think it was from the early to mid '30's.

March 18, 2004, 09:28 PM
A Popeye cartoon? Really?

Well damn, how about that?

March 18, 2004, 09:33 PM
Not bad for a comparitively young pup huh?

Yep I am a wealth of useless information I tell ya.:D

March 18, 2004, 09:34 PM
Behold, Eugene the Jeep.

March 18, 2004, 09:45 PM
Yes please! Err...

I had actually been wondering that myself. Good to finally figure it out.

March 18, 2004, 09:50 PM
Jeep-gun related question.

Could you mount a .50 caliber machine gun on WWII Jeep? What about the post-war M151 family?

I ask becaue I've heard that you can, but I've heard elsewhere that the pintle wasn't strong enough, and usually a M1919, M1917, or (later) an M60 was mounted instead.

Oh, and the 2.5 ton trucks that are still in service today. Are these basically direct descendents of the World War II models?

I think I've seen a picture of a deuce and a half that had like a sunroof over the passenger's seat, with a mount for a machine gun there. How common was it to mount a machine gun on a 2.5 ton truck?


March 18, 2004, 09:52 PM
And if you want to blow your teacher's mind, the German Panzerschreck, which is a copy of the US bazooka, was not as effective as the Panzerfaust (Armor Fist), which is the throwaway large-warhead rocket you see in the "last days in Berlin" footage they show with 80-year-old guys with rocket launchers against tanks. The Panzerfaust had no warhead size restriction since it was outside the tube launcher. This directly influenced and copied over into the Russian RPGs, specifically the RPG-7 (the one from Black Hawk Down and the one they keep shooting at everyone in Iraq) get a big warhead with a small launcher.

March 18, 2004, 09:55 PM
Yes, Jeeps can mount .50s with the proper mount. M151s can as well. The long range raiding jeeps the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group), one of the SAS-like units the Brits had that drove all over Africa blowing up runways and airplanes and stuff, as well as the SAS itself, usually had a .50 on the pintle, either a M2 Browning or a VGO (Vickers Gas Operated), and a twin-Lewis gun mount or M1919 for the passenger, and one for the driver.

Deuce and a half and five ton trucks, all can take .50s, and from the ones I've seen, about 1 in 3 or 1 in 5 trucks has a mount (look at any National Guard Armory with trucks, you'll usually see a few with the ring mount for a .50).

March 18, 2004, 09:56 PM
I actually had a very interesting discussion with my professor after class about German weapons. They had some VERY advanced (for the day) designs; the FG-42, the G-43, the STG-44...but because of the edicts of Hitler, the vast bulk of the German Army went to war with KAR-98Ks and MP-40s.

The Prof asked me about the German machine guns (knowing that I'm something of a small-arms buff). The MG-42 is probably one of the best machine guns ever designed, as evidenced by the fact that it's still in service today.

The Germans had a good machine gun, good artillery, and good tanks. They lacked, however, a fully fielded semiauto rifle and a truly servicable automatic rifle. (The FG-42 could function as an AR, but it didn't have a heavy enough or quick change barrel for extended fire, I don't think.) The G-43, once perfected, was a very good design. Had they replaced the Mausers with G-43s and the MP-40s with STG-44s, they really could've had something. Ultimately, it wouldn't have had much effect on the war, but it's still interesting to ponder.

March 18, 2004, 09:57 PM
The real story behind the name jeep. (

Nightcrawler, here's a pic of a WW2 jeep with a .50 BMG. (

March 18, 2004, 09:58 PM
(look at any National Guard Armory with trucks, you'll usually see a few with the ring mount for a .50).

Even after switching to tracks, my own Guard unit still has 5-tons available. I never get close enough to them to examine, it seems, other than riding uncomfortably in the back. LOL

March 18, 2004, 10:04 PM
The M35s we had when I joined the Air Force in 1996 were mid eighties built vehicles.

The M35 series were originally fielded in the 50’s.

The CCKW (GMC 6x6) series of trucks was a medium duty, six-wheel-drive cargo vehicle, the US Army’s most common truck in service during World War II.

Not the same

I beleive most of the services use 5-ton trucks now.

March 18, 2004, 10:07 PM
Yeah, you see mostly 5-tons (they're good, versatile trucks. All automatic transmission now, too.)

But there are plenty of dueces floating around still too.... :)

George Hill
March 18, 2004, 10:20 PM
I feel sorry for all the cats here who have never watched "RAT PATROL".

Mal H
March 18, 2004, 10:23 PM
OEF_VET, that link doesn't really explain where the actual term j-e-e-p came from. It does explain the 'GP' though which is very interesting and dispels the old "General Purpose" theory.

I found this link: in which the statement "I don't think anyone really knows where the name Jeep came from" is closer to the truth than anything. But, the popularity of old Eugene the Jeep is a very compelling reason the GI's called the GP a Jeep.

March 18, 2004, 10:37 PM

Jim K
March 18, 2004, 10:49 PM
I have done a bit of checking without result. Does anyone have a WWII picture of a .50 MG mounted on a Jeep? The .30 caliber was mounted pretty routinely, but I think the recoil of a .50 would tip a jeep over if it were fired to the side. ("Rat Patrol" and pictures of civilian jeeps with dummy guns don't count, nor do stories. I want to see a real picture.)

FWIW, the .50 HB M2 was routinely mounted on 2 1/2 and 5 ton trucks primarily for convoy air defense, and also mounted on tanks and (later) armored personnel carriers. The .50 was served from the open hatch; the tank's coax gun was a .30.


Harry Tuttle
March 18, 2004, 11:15 PM

heres something big on a jeep:


March 18, 2004, 11:38 PM
Jim - I know you didn't want stories... but I'll give you one anyway. My dad was an infantryman with the 14th Armored Division in WWII. He told me that some guys in his company welded up a mount for an M2 on a Jeep. He said that while it was an interesting idea, it broke the mount a couple times under use and they swapped it back for the .30cal. He said he wasn't sure if it was a problem with the .50 cal recoil per se, or with the do-it-yourself welding.

BTW, he always referred to the vehicles as "peeps"... not to be confused with the disgusting Easter candy. ;)

March 19, 2004, 02:48 AM
I was told that 50 M2 could be mounted on the old WW2 model jeep aka CJ-5, but I admit that I have never seen one so mounted. Some Air Force and Marine units may have used CJ5 type jeeps in RVN, Army had the M151.
On the M151 (Vietnam era) the mount for the 50 pulled through the floor. They tried doubler plates underneath the floor pan but they also pulled through.
My platoon had eight 106RR mounted M151s. We also used some M151s with a pintle mounted M60. The M 60 gunjeep was a lot more useful in close quarters. These would look like a modern version of a Rat Patrol jeep.
We later mounted a 106RR on the right rear corner of a M113 track. It was shown on P26, Jan. 1982 of Soldier of Fortune. That is yours truly on the gun.

The recoil of a 50 will not tip the jeep over.

196th Light Infantry Brigade -- May 67 to May 68 -- I Corps -- RVN

March 19, 2004, 11:47 AM
heres something big on a jeep:

ok so what in the seven levels of the underworld IS that!!??!!

March 19, 2004, 02:51 PM
I'm sure that someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I THINK that launcher apparatus on the Jeep is what they called the "Davy Crockett" tactical nuke.

Harry Tuttle
March 19, 2004, 03:13 PM
Named for the famous Tennessee frontiersman, US Congressman and martyr of the Alamo, the Davey Crocket consists of a 279MM atomic projectile fired from a 120MM recoilless gun._ A fixed round charge of propellant and a separate piston could launch the approximately 1 Kiloton-Yield projectile to a range of 2000 meters or just over 1.25 miles.

March 19, 2004, 03:47 PM
"I feel sorry for all the cats here who have never watched "RAT PATROL".

Man I miss that show!

I know a Vietnam vet who had installed a 50 on a jeep, and also one of the high powered lights off a tank also. I believe he said it wasn't authorized, but he has a pic of him shooting it.

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