Thursday, July 14, 2011

Israeli Defense Force (IDF) 20 liter Fuel Can, Sandrik 20 l Jerry Can

For today's posting I'll be covering my Israeli Defense Force (IDF) 20 liter fuel can.  Most people would think, "It's only an old gas can", but actually it's a pretty interesting bit of military history!

This can was manufactured for the Israeli Defense Force in 1999 by the Czechoslovakian company of Sandrik.  It is painted in IDF light green paint and is labeled as "Diesel Engine", in Hebrew.  The can is imprinted with a Hebrew symbol on one side, which I believe indicates the IDF.  The other side is imprinted with 20 l, Sandrik, and the date of 1999.

Now here's the interesting part.......... The fuel cans, also known as Jerry Cans by American GI's, are identical to the original WW2 German Wehrmacht Kanister fuel cans!  In fact, the Sandrik company was the sole manufacturer of fuel cans for the Nazi SS during WW2!  After the Germans invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia during WW2, the Sandrik factory was dedicated to pumping out equipment for the German war machine.  After the war, the factory went back into civilian production and was later awarded the contract for fuel cans for Israel.  From what I understand, back in the 1990's, the Sandik company started stamping out fuel cans using their old Nazi SS dies and selling the cans as original, old stock, WW2, SS fuel cans!  It's all a bit ironic that the world's sole Jewish State contracted to have their WW2 German patterned fuel cans manufactured by the same company that made the fuel cans for the Nazi SS...............

Here's the mechanical specs for the Israeli Defense Force fuel cans and a photo of an original WW2, Sandrik SS can:

Here are the photos of my Israeli Defense Force fuel can:

Here are a few period photos of Israeli Defense Force vehicles carrying the IDF cans.  The first photo shows the same color paint as my can is painted with, coating the inside of an armored transport vehicle (No fuel can in the photo though).

IDF Military Vehicle Museum
IDF Military Vehicle Museum


R-Tactical said...


The Hebrew writing says
Top: Diesel
Bottom: Engine

The last two pics look like they were taken at the latrun armored corps museum


Sharky said...

Thanks for the better translation! An acquaintance from work, who speaks Hebrew, told me it said something like "Sun" and "Auto", meaning gasoline. Your translation makes much more sense.
I Use the fuel can for my extra fuel on my trek through the Nevada desert, on my way to Burning Man. I have actually had folks visiting from Israel stop by my camp when they spotted the can! They more than surprised to see an IDF fuel can so far from home and in such an unlikely place :)

reinout said...

Can't remember these fuel can's had this colour when I was carrying them around.

Jerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry said...

FYI Sandrik was not the only WWII supplier, in fact they may not have made any for the Wehrmacht. Ambi Budd Pressewerk was by far the largest supplier.