United States purchase of International Harvester 6x6 trucks began in 1941 prior to the nation’s entry into WWII. The initial purchase included 500 M-5-6 cargo trucks (M= “military,” 5= “five thousand pound capacity,” and 6= “six-wheel drive”):
425 were short wheelbase without winch.
25 were short wheelbase with winch,
25 were long wheelbase without winch
25 were long wheelbase with winch.
Production of these vehicles was completed in 1942. Virtually all of these vehicles were shipped to the Soviet Union, as were some 3,000 long wheel base cargo trucks lacking the front axle drive. These latter trucks were designated the model M-5-6x4. All of the trucks supplied to Russia were closed-cabbed vehicles.
Ultimately adopted by the United States Marine Corps, the Internationals were fitted with a variety of beds. In addition to the standard cargo beds, International 6x6s were equipped as dump, pipeline, tanker, telephone and fire trucks.
By the end of production, International built and delivered more than 30,000 of these trucks.
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