AEC Armoured Car is a series of heavy armoured cars built by the Associated Equipment Company during the Second World War.
AEC of Southall, Middlesex was a manufacturer of truck and bus chassis and its Matador
gun tractor was used for towing medium field and heavy anti-aircraft guns. The armoured car based on the Matador
chassis was developed initially as a private venture and shown to officials in 1941
during Horse Guards Parade in London, where it made a favourable impression on Churchill
. 629 units were produced in 1942
AEC tried to build an armoured car with firepower and protection comparable to those of contemporary tanks. The first version carried a Valentine Mk II turret with 2 pounder gun. Subsequent versions received more powerful armament - a 6 pounder or 75 mm gun. The vehicle also carried two machine guns, smoke grenades discharger and No. 19 radio set.
The Mk I was first used in combat in the North African Campaign late in 1942, where a few vehicles were reportedly fitted with a Crusader tank turret mounting a 6 pounder gun. The Mk II / Mk III took part in the fighting in Europe with British and Indian units, often together with the T17E1 Staghound.
The vehicle remained in service after the end of the war until replaced by the Alvis Saladin. The Lebanese Army used the car at least until 1976.
- Mk I - original version with turret from a Valentine tank. 129 units built.
- Mk II - heavier turret with a 6 pounder gun, redesigned front hull, 158 hp diesel engine.
- Mk III Close Support Armoured Car - Mk II with 6 pounder replaced by a 75 mm gun.
- AA - a version mounting Crusader AA turret with twin Oerlikon cannon capable of high elevation to engage enemy aircraft. Did not enter production due to Allied air superiority in Northern Europe.
References and external links
- George Forty - World War Two Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Self-Propelled Artillery, Osprey Publishing 1996, ISBN 1-85532-582-9.
- I. Moschanskiy - Armored vehicles of the Great Britain 1939-1945 part 2, Modelist-Konstruktor, Bronekollektsiya 1999-02 (И. Мощанский - Бронетанковая техника Великобритании 1939-1945 часть 2, Моделист-Конструктор, Бронеколлекция 1999-02).
- AEC Mk II at Taxheaven.com