It's 1944, pick a month. If you're a GI you should be on the lookout for advice that can save your life. After all, you want to go home!

It’s 1944, pick a month. If you’re a GI you should be on the lookout for advice that can save your life. After all, you want to go home!

We argue over the meaning and first use of the word jeep. Was it used because of a Popeye character that first appeared in 1936? Or was it due to a contraction for GP or general purpose because the QMC could only procure general purpose vehicles when the jeep was initiated. Was it because Ford referred to their vehicle as a model GP? What about the use of the word before the 1/4-ton? Some say it goes back to WW1!

Well, forget all that for the moment…what did the Germans call a jeep…at least in German…

German for jeep

German for jeep

A couple of umlauts (spelling?) and three very long words equal jeep.  Certainly is a mouthful. The above drawing is from a US WW2 Intelligence Bulletin, Vol III, No. 4, dated December 1944.  It is chock full of information needed by GIs to defeat the WW2 Japanese and Germans.  It covers certain tricks employed by the enemy.  Things to look out for.

For more about the WW2 jeep, especially the early jeeps, check out Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942. It’s a great book of about 228 pages presenting the US Quartermaster’s view about how the jeep was developed and procured during WW2.  The best part is that it includes all the footnotes as this is a reproduction of the original manuscript by Rifkind.
For more about the very first jeep, the Project Management in History: The First Jeep (Project Management in History Series) (Volume 1) provides an excellent history of its design and construction. The author has written about about jeep history coupled with lessons in project management.  The author’s effort does not distract from the early jeep facts.  This book coupled with the Rifkind really provides a good history of the jeep.
 Another great book that does a wonderful job of explaining the early jeep history. The Warbaby is a huge book and a labor of love from William Spear.  He has been a long time advocate for clarification of the history related to the early jeeps…particularly that of the American Bantam Car Company.