Bergepanzer 1 during a military exercise in 1999.

Bergepanzer 1 – History

History of the Bergepanzer 1, an armored recovery vehicle based on the American M88, previously used by the German Army (Bundeswehr).

The Bergepanzer 1 is an armored recovery vehicle used by the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundeswehr). It is a variant of the American vehicle M88, which is in turn based on the chassis of the M48 and M60 combat tanks.


The United States armed forces adopted the M88 Armored Recovery Vehicle in 1961, eventually introducing the variants M88A1 and M88A2 respectively in 1977 and 1997. It saw use during the Vietnam War, in the two conflicts in Iraq, in Kosovo and in Afghanistan.

The Bundeswehr purchased 125 of them in 1962 under the designation Bergepanzer 1, adding smoke grenade launchers and upgrading them to the version M88A1 in 1985; in 2000 it was finally replaced by more modern vehicles.

Technical features

Its main role is to operate under enemy fire to repair the damaged parts of vehicles or to recover those who are bogged down. Another use is the field maintenance and as an Engineers vehicle.

The engine is a 29.3 liters diesel providing 750 hp, for a maximum speed of 42 km/h (26 mph). Its armor is designed to withstand ammunition up to 30 mm (1.18") caliber. Its only armament, for self-defense, is a MG 3 7.62 mm (.30 in) light machine gun or a M2 Browning 12.7 mm (.50") heavy machine gun. It has a crew of 3 people.

It has a winch capable of pulling 70 metric tons (77.2 US tons) and a crane capable of lifting 35 metric tons (38.6 US tons), together with a spade used as earth-mover and as an anchor for the crane. In addition, it has also a diesel auxiliary power unit that provides power when the main engine is not operative.

From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Bergepanzer 1 on display at the Deutsches Panzermuseum in Munster, Germany.

Image sources: 1, 2

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