United States Constabulary - Equipment

Equipment

From the beginning, the Constabulary set high standards for itself.

The troopers were selected from the best soldiers available, and it was desired that all of them be volunteers. They were to be trained as both soldiers and policemen. They were to operate in an efficient, alert manner calculated to inspire confidence and respect in all persons they met, whether Germans, Allies, or Americans. Next to its need for well-qualified men, the Constabulary depended most, for success in its mission, upon its system of communications and upon vehicles suited to the needs of the job and to the condition of the German roads. Better radio equipment was being furnished at the end of 1946, though it was not yet of the standard of that used by State Police and Highway Patrol forces at home. The German telephone system, hampered by a lack of spare parts, was not in good condition. The jeep, while excellent for combat, did not prove to be the best vehicle for Constabulary patrol work. There were far too many accidents and some of them were undoubtedly due to defects in the design of the jeep with reference to the road conditions encountered. The jeep's best points were that it had the power and the sturdiness to travel German roads, then in a bad state of repair. If the roads were better maintained, the sedan would be a more satisfactory patrol vehicle.

To maintain its mobility, the Constabulary waged a constant struggle to overcome deficiencies in its transportation facilities. The vehicles originally issued to the Constabulary, numbering approximately 10,000, were taken from the large concentrations of combat motor vehicles left behind by units returning to the United States for demobilization. Many of these vehicles were already worn out in the campaign and many others had deteriorated in disuse. The original condition of the vehicles placed a severe test upon the Constabulary which, at the time it was inaugurated, had no service elements.

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