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Author Topic: Toyota gave trucks to the Somalis?
snopes
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Comment: I have recently heard that Toyota gave trucks to the Somalis when
we were fighting them back in the early 90's if that is true I cannot buy
from them. Please if you can set the record straight for me.

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Joe Bentley
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You know I'm about 90% sure I know where this is coming from. The insurgents in Mogadishu used converted armed civilian pick up trucks called Technicals. Similar vehicles were encountered in Afghanistan. There was an article at some point that stated that the vast majority of those vehicle were manufactured by Toyota, which if you think about it makes sense since they are by far the largest maker of pickup trucks outside the US. I actually remember a news article were a Toyota representative made some sort of statement about their use and said something to the effect of "While we don't approve of our vehicles being used in this fashion, it just goes to show that Toyotas have the durability and power that people look for." I'll see if I can find a link to the article.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
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Still, that falls considerably short of the Toyota Motor company giving trucks to the Somalis. I am fairly certain that if one of the worlds largest auto-manufacturers was giving vehicles to insurgent enemies of the United States, there would be a bit more press about it.

Also, the tacoma pick-up, which was used in the fashion Joe described, is manufactured in the United States.

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greenerben
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...And the Tacoma pick-up is also named after my hometown right here in the US of A!
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Bela Lugosi's Dead
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My Toyota Corolla was made in the USA also.
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Delta-V
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quote:
Originally posted by Bela Lugosi's Dead:
Also, the tacoma pick-up, which was used in the fashion Joe described, is manufactured in the United States.

The Tacoma that is build in the NUMMI plant in California is for the US market. It wasn't named 'Tacoma' until after the events in Somalia anyway. The pickup the Somalis used were likely the Land Cruiser 70 (FJ70), produced for the Africa market by the Toyota plant in Kenya.

Toyota pickups are ubiquitous in the third world, not only because of their reputation for reliability, durability over whatever passes for roads in those countries, ease of mantainance, and not least because Toyota builds vehicles in the area where they are marketed. Toyota produces the FJ70 both for civilian use and for a number of armies around the world.

The ones used in Somalia were certainly not given freely by Toyota. Some might have been 'liberated' from the Toyota dealer in Mogadishu, or from the Somalian army after the government collapsed.

Incidentally, 'Technicals', the term for these heavily armed trucks, seems to have originated from the aid organizations in Somalia. As the situation in Somalia deteriorated, the were forced (extorted) to hire local gangs equipped with these vehicles to 'protect' their aid convoys. Payment for these gangs was listed on expense reports as "Technical Assistance".

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
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[/quote]Incidentally, 'Technicals', the term for these heavily armed trucks, seems to have originated from the aid organizations in Somalia. As the situation in Somalia deteriorated, the were forced (extorted) to hire local gangs equipped with these vehicles to 'protect' their aid convoys. Payment for these gangs was listed on expense reports as "Technical Assistance".[/quote]Thank you for explaining that. One of my Xbox games (Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction) feature Russian Mafia supplied armored light trucks with machine guns in the back that your mercenary can "borrow" for missions. The trucks are called "Technicals" in the game, and I was curious why. Thanks for clearing that up for me!
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Joseph Z
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I have a hard time believing Toyota actually giving their cars to terrorists. I can see a group of terrorists making themselves civilians buying off the cars without Toyota's knowledge of evil or finding cars and stealing them or buying them from other civilians who have "FOR SALE" written on their window.

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Joseph Z

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Jaeger
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I thought the US were officially there on a humanitarian/peacekeeping mission and were therefore supposed to be neutral. Were the Somali insurgents the "enemies of the US" anyway?

- Jaeger

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Delta-V
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The Somalis we ended up fighting weren't technically insurgents, since there wasn't a government in place anymore to rebel against. Somalia was controlled by armed gangs who made a habit of attacking aid convoys to steal food and supplies for their own use. The US troops, part of the UN forces there, were supposed to make sure those supplies got through. That put them in conflict with the gangs that controlled various parts of the country.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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abby 68
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Isn't the Toyota landcruiser or pickup in 2nd place in worldwide sales behind landrover/rangerover? [Razz]
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Joseph Z
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Technically, but legal dealerships aren't known to give away their cars to terrorists.

Terrorist used vehicles are occassionally
* Stolen from the lot, owner, junkyard, off the street via carjacking
* Purchased from the previous owner, junkyard, or from the dealer using stolen or false identification
* Once was good now bad and already owned the vehicles prior
* Got from a chopshop who ferried off the body parts and kept the performance parts and wheels on in case someone wanted the car as it was

If one is a terrorist, they just don't buy the car off as he is or even announcing that he's a terrorist and is going to use it to blow up civilians in IRAQ or wherever to the dealer and claiming the vehicle. They'd be identified and sent away by the police.

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Joseph Z

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mccliii
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* Ryder Rentals
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Zipper69
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It's galling for a Brit to see how Land Rover (LR)have let the African, Middle and Far East market slip away from them.
LR began exporting to these markets in the early 50's and for years they were THE only 4x4, used by military, farmers and aid workers.
Due to years of complacency, poor quality control and laissez faire treatment of customers they let Toyota steal the market from under their nose.
Even today LR owners love the machines but admit they can be less than watertight, poorly finished and expensive to maintain.

--------------------
What shall be tomorrow think not of asking.
Each day that Fortune gives you, be it what it may, set down for gain.
(Horace)

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chillins
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One of my favorite stories actually.

In the mid 70's Libya attacked Chad with soviet tanks and weapons. Specifically on the ground they used t-60's. Chad's military did not have the force to put a stop to the t-60’s so they dropped howitzers on Toyota truck frames. The Toyotas were remarkably easy to maintain and the moved faster then the tanks. They fought on the ground by racing past the tanks and hitting them with the howitzers. It would take a few shots to completely take a tank out. On top of being destroyed by the Toyotas, the Libyans had a hard time maintaining their tanks. Eventually after heavy casualty they lost morale and gave up the attack. It was a significant victory for Chad.

It’s a pretty brief version, I learned about it originally from one of my professors. It’s a little bit hard to find info about it, but a little bit is out on the net. I’d really like to read a book about it if any of you know of one. It’s a nice story of how ingenuity can overcome force, and as far as I can tell the first use of a Toyota truck in war.

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Zipper69
I Saw Three Shipments


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In WW2 it was not unknown for open backed 6x6 trucks to have light field pieces or anti-aircraft cannon bolted into the bed for use in ground assault.

--------------------
What shall be tomorrow think not of asking.
Each day that Fortune gives you, be it what it may, set down for gain.
(Horace)

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Delta-V
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quote:
Originally posted by chillins:
One of my favorite stories actually.

In the mid 70's Libya attacked Chad with soviet tanks and weapons. Specifically on the ground they used t-60's. Chad's military did not have the force to put a stop to the t-60’s so they dropped howitzers on Toyota truck frames. The Toyotas were remarkably easy to maintain and the moved faster then the tanks. They fought on the ground by racing past the tanks and hitting them with the howitzers. It would take a few shots to completely take a tank out. On top of being destroyed by the Toyotas, the Libyans had a hard time maintaining their tanks. Eventually after heavy casualty they lost morale and gave up the attack. It was a significant victory for Chad.

I don't think a Toyota pickup would handle the recoil of even a small howitzer. There are some truck-mounted ones, but they're usually on heavy (4-5 ton) truck chassis, not pickups, and they require some stability outriggers (similar to a truck-mounted crane) to handle the recoil. Hardly quick enough for 'shoot-and-scoot' tactics.

The Chad army did, however, mount a variety of weapons systems on Toyota pickups, including Anti-Tank missiles (mostly the French-made Milan). The Lybians were equipped with Soviet-made T-55 tanks (T-60's were old WWII recon tanks, but you may have meant T-62's). The T-55 has a slow turret traverse and a very slow rate of fire. The Chad pickups would show themselves on one side of a Lybian tank column, then fall back while another group attacked from the opposite flank. Because the tanks had traversed the turret to counter the threat to the opposite side, the new group was able to shoot while the T-55's slow traverse kept the tanks from engaging.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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chillins
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Cool,

Even beter, thank you so much for posting.

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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The old 106 mm recoilless rifle is often thought to be like a cannon mounted on SUVs. Some used to be jeep mounted, so it would not surprise me if some were mounted on Toyotas for the Chad battles.

My father worked on one in the 1970s, so the time would be about right.

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Delta-V
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Good point, hadn't thought of the recoilless rifles. I suppose the uninitiated could call them howitzers.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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Revolution 9
The Red and the Green Stamps


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This sounds like classic corporate slander to me. Any footage I've ever come across of conflicts in the third world have featured all manner of knackered old vehicles that were made in Japan, the USA, and the USSR. Some of them may well have been Toyotas, but I can't really see any large company giving aid to a conflict in a country that doesn't concern them greatly, especially one that the US were fighting against, considering just how much business Toyota would lose if they were seen to be sponsoring the enemy of a major market, in a similar style to Coca Cola and Pepsi's troubles in Isreal and Palestine, where they lost a whole lot of business in areas supporting one side by being seen to endorse the other. Besides that, the vast majority of vehicles used for these purposes are secondhand, or purchased from another country's military without any kind of endorsement or condemnation of either side by that squad. If you look at a number of conflicts on TV you'll see a mish mash of vehicle nationalities, Soviet tanks and UAZ 469 4x4s, for example, fighting alonside Indian Mahindras, and all manner of Japanese, Isreali and other countries equipment. You're unlikely to see a fleet of shiny new Land Cruisers, much less Toyota offering the Somali military said shiny new Land Cruisers for free or with massive discounts. For any large company, who'se aim is of course profit, business is business, and if a client orders a number of Land Cruisers to be delievered to Somalia, and there's no reason why they legally shouldn't, then they may fulfil an order for new or secondhand Toyotas, but I find it hard to believe that Toyota's MD called the Commander in Chief of the Somali military up and said "Hey guys, we at Toyota really love you guys, here's a bunch of new pickups". I doubt they even did sell them new vehicles, but even if they did, they're hardly 'giving the Somalis' new vehicles in support of their cause. As I said, the US military may have encountered some Toyotas, but they were almost without a doubt not aquired by partisan Toyota salesmen flogging them free motors in support of their cause. Besides that they were probably just as likely to encounter UAZ 469s, GAZ 69s Mahindra Jeeps, or Mazda B Series'.
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