By the late 1930s, the German military boasted with 100 + distinct vehicle designs in running, but this also resulted in considerable logistical difficulties related to spare parts and maintenance. So to standardize the vehicle fleet, the German army opted for a commercial truck which would be modified for war purposes. It was in 1938 that Opel (a subsidiary of General Motors since 1929) and Germany’s largest truck producer decided to make a truck that will be simple and yet robust.
The Opel Blitz turned out to be one of the most widely used transport vehicles in World War II by the allied powers. It was a jack-of-all-trades, being used in all avenues of the war in a variety of roles. The basic body design was a flat cargo bed with canvas cover, but it could also modified for such roles as field ambulance, mobile workshop, radio station, command posts and mobile office.
It had an enclosed steel passenger cab with wooden bodywork, although some were built with timber and cardboard, to conserve steel. It had a payload capacity of 3 tons and was powered by an Opel 6 cylinder engine with a 4x2 (4 wheels, 2 driven) arrangement. But this arrangement left a lot to be desired in cross country performance and so, a limited number of units were produced with 4 wheel drive. The Blitz also had several variants in bus and van form.
After the war, Opel Blitz underwent minor changes such as a more rounded design and a shortened hood, but still remained the market leader in light trucks despite strong competition from Mercedes Benz, Hanomag and Ford. Between 82,000 to 1,30,000 units were built before production ended in 1975.