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Wednesday, June 1st 2011, 3:42pm

Irish Armour

Irish Tanks
- Cruiser Tank Mk III (4x)
- Infantry Tank Mk II Matilda II (1x)
- Vickers Valentine heavy tank (7x)
- Cruiser Tank Mk V Crusader (24x, deliveries ongoing)

Irish Armoured Cars
- Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (qty uncertain)
- AEC Armoured Car (32x, deliveries ongoing)

Irish Armoured Vehicles
- Vickers Gun Carrier No.1 Mk I (4x)
- Armoured Carrier Wheeled, Irish Pattern (deliveries ongoing)


Monday, June 13th 2011, 3:04am

Cruiser MkIII Tank
4 ordered 1937, used for armour training and maneuvers.


Monday, June 13th 2011, 3:06am

Infantry Tank MkII - Matilda
One purchased 1937. Used in recruitment ads and the heavy armoured lance (with Valentines).


Monday, June 13th 2011, 3:07am

Vickers Valentine
Seven acquired 1939. Used in heavy armoured lance with lone Matilda.


Monday, June 13th 2011, 3:08am

Crusader Cruiser Tank
Twenty-four ordered 1939. All with 6-pounder (57mm) gun.

Following the Irish participation in the League of Nation's Afghanistan Field Force, most of the Irish Crusaders were written off due to over-use, and replaced. (Some were left in Afghanistan after being scavenged for parts.) Two Crusaders were retained as training vehicles and later used as memorials.


Monday, June 13th 2011, 3:15am

Rolls-Royce Armoured Car
Unknown quantity acquired in the 1920s. All retired by 1940.


Monday, June 13th 2011, 3:32am

AEC Armoured Car
Acquired 1939


Sunday, July 31st 2011, 12:06am

Armoured Carrier Wheeled - Irish Pattern

Armoured Carrier Wheeled - Irish Pattern
As referenced obliquely in this post, in 1940 the Irish Army has ordered a number of "armoured carriers" from Ford Ireland. Ford Ireland's factory in Cork produces both cars and trucks; and it is the latter which interests us today. In the main, the Irish Army has previously bought military trucks from abroad, but the increasing capacity of Ford Ireland (between 1932 and 1938, they produced 25,000 vehicles) has resulted in the Irish Army ordering directly from their local supplier. Among the trucks assembled at Ford Ireland are trucks of the F60 class, with the three-ton Ford F60L 4x4 (158.25" wheelbase) and the F60S 4x4 (115" wheelbase) being the largest of the breed. These chassis and their 3.9L 95 hp V8 engine were seen as the basis for an Irish armoured vehicle.

The "Armoured Carrier Wheeled - Irish Pattern" is not a single design per se, but rather an evolving series of vehicles with strongly similar characteristics, built on these two similar chassis. You might dare to call the ACW-IP an improvised armoured vehicle, which is perhaps an apt term to describe the design effort which went into it - particularly as, even when similar vehicles were delivered, the Army saw fit to modify the vehicles on an almost individualistic basis to do different roles. More than anything else, the vehicle is intended to be reliable in operation and simple in design. Two "models" - so to speak - eventually will emerge in service. Both models retain substantial similarities in design. The engine is mounted forward, with 5mm steel slats protecting the engine while providing airflow. The nose is short and somewhat angular, with the cab protected by a steel screen with hinged flaps for driver visibility. The cab features a driver's station and a gunner's station, with a rooftop mount for a Lewis or Breire gun, or a Boys AT rifle. On occasion this rooftop mount features an armoured shield on a small turret ring for the gunner - but because it's unpowered, this is a jolly heavy mount to turn by hand, but what do you expect? Behind the driver and gunner is a cabin which usually has two bench seats for several infantrymen who are friendly with each other. Troops can embark or disembark from the door on the gunner's side (left), but this requires the troops to squeeze past the gunner; and so the two aft-opening doors are preferred for accessing the infantry compartment. In addition, since the roof is usually open, you can theoretically go over the side, but most infantrymen who try it in full kit don't particularly think this is a bright idea. Particularly if they've already broken an ankle once trying it. The roof is usually open to the sky, but there are rings along the edge to secure a canvas cover (if desired) and some versions have a folding roof. Other versions have a flat sheet roof - this being particularly used for the combat ambulance variant and the command truck version. There are several hooks, rings, brackets, and baskets on the outside of the vehicle useful for securing extra supplies, such as spare ammo, shovels, packs, fuel cans, water cans, milk cans, beer cans, small dogs, the squad's most junior infantryman, and other assorted sundries necessary in the conduct of war. In other words, an ACW-IP soon assumes an appearance more akin to a Traveller's wagon than an actual armoured vehicle.

The Mk1 ACW-IP, or "Light Carrier", is built on the slightly shorter F60S chassis. In general, Mk1s are assigned more as reconnaissance vehicles (in which case they are equipped with a radio, except when they're... not), or as artillery observer vehicles (in which case they are equipped with a radio, except when they're... not) or as mortar carriers (in which case they are equipped with a mortar, except when they're... you guessed it). Some of the Mk1 vehicles with a full roof have an alteration which puts a Breire or Lewis gun in a small turret side-by-side with a Boys rifle; the turret is mounted roughly in the middle of the vehicle's aft compartment and (surprise) actually has power to help turn it. The radio operator is displaced to a spot next to the driver.

The Mk2 ACW-IP uses the longer F60L chassis and, since it has more room in the back, it oddly seems to be preferred as an actual infantry carrier. Funny thing, that! In practice, eight to ten skinny infantrymen can fit in the compartment. The Mk2 is additionally used as a combat ambulance because the aft compartment is long enough to contain two stretchers side by side. The Mk2 is also preferred by company commanders who believe that rank hath its privileges.

In terms of mobility, the ACW-IP isn't half-bad. On a road - by which we mean something wide, flat, and moderately hard-packed - you'll make 45 miles per hour (75kph), particularly if you really rev that engine up and make it howl like an alley-cat choir. Transmission's a manual of course, with five forward and five reversing gears, though the fifth reversing gear is most often used when backing into a tree or ditch. Off-road, you'll be looking at maybe 20 miles per hour tops, though you can probably push it faster if you want to be bounced out. That's not to say the suspension's bad, but when you don't have a roof overhead you might want to think about these things beforehand. Just note that the driver's seat isn't provided with any special cushions or springs, and the infantrymen in back have a wooden bench. Whatever you decide, the tyres can probably take the punishment, as they're military-style.

Armour-wise, soldier, you're better off in the ACW-IP than you are outside of it, provided you're not facing tankers. The frontal armour is calculated to deflect a .303 armour-piercing round at a hundred yards, and so is the side armour. Non-armour-piercing rifle and small-caliber MG rounds will be deflected at lesser differences. Pistol caliber rounds will similarly be rejected. But don't try shooting your Browning directly into the side armour at point-blank range to prove it - it'll deflect off the armour and shoot your eye out, you dumbace! The armour's also decent against a Boys rifle at, oh, four or five hundred yards, and if the angle's right it might stop a 20mm round at eight hundred yards or so. We don't really need to discuss actual tank calibers, do we? Look, if the tank can hit you, then the shell will go through, that's the hard facts, kids.

Speaking of hard facts, let's give a rough overview of them in the list form.

Mk1 ACW-IP (as recon car)
Weight: 4.8t
Length: 4.75m
Width: 2.2m
Height: 2.5m
Crew: 3 (driver, gunner, radio operator)
Armament: Boys Rifle plus Breire or Lewis gun in turret

Mk1 ACW-IP (as command car)
Weight: 4.7t
Length: 4.75m
Width: 2.2m
Height: 2.4m
Crew: 2 (driver, gunner)
Capacity: 4 men
Armament: Boys Rifle, Breire gun, or Lewis gun in pintle mount

Mk1 ACW-IP (as mortar carrier)
Weight: 4.8t
Length: 4.75m
Width: 2.2m
Height: 2.45m
Crew: 6 (driver, gunner, 4 mortar crewmen)
Armament: Boys Rifle, Breire gun, or Lewis gun in pintle mount; 60mm mortar in the back

Mk2 ACW-IP (as infantry carrier)
Weight: 5.0t
Length: 5.0m
Width: 2.2m
Height: 2.5m
Crew: 2 (driver, gunner)
Capacity: 8-10 men
Armament: Boys Rifle, Breire gun, or Lewis gun in pintle mount; infantry small arms


Saturday, January 19th 2013, 3:15am

CKD LT vz. 42 Tank
The LT vz. 42 tank was designed in Czechoslovakia between 1939 and 1942 as the successor to the LT vz. 38 light tank and the ST vz. 39 medium tank. In April 1943, the Irish Army ordered thirty-six regular tanks and two training tanks to replace worn out Crusader cruisers.

-- Length: 6.13m (hull)
-- Width: 3.2m
-- Height: 2.755m
Weight: 22.7 tonnes
-- 75mm/L43 (modified Skoda 7.5 cm kanon PL vz. 37)
-- 0.303 heavy machine gun (Coaxial)
-- 0.303 heavy machine gun (pintle mounted)
-- Turret face: 45mm (sloped)
-- Glacis: 25mm-45mm (sloped)
-- Sides: 25mm
Crew: 4
Engine: Two Tatra V910 V-12 diesels, 180-207hp each
Speed: 55kph (road)
Range: 250km (road)
Transmission: Manual
Suspension: Torsion spring pendant arms
Power to Weight Ratio: 18.23 hp / tonne
Constructors: CKD (primary developer), Skoda


Thursday, June 26th 2014, 3:24am

The MICA vehicle family.

GTÉ MICA (Mechanized Infantry Carrier, Armoured)
The MICA was developed between 1940 and 1944, drawing on the experience the Irish Army gained in Afghanistan with the improvised ACW-IP infantry carrier. These 'armoured trucks' were non-standardized and cramped, but nevertheless played vital roles in peacekeeping campaigns. As a result of the lessons learned, the Irish Grúpa Thionscal Éireann undertook design of a more refined infantry carrier based on a Ford 6x6 all-terrain truck chassis. A fourth unpowered axel was added to lower ground pressure. The troop cabin came equipped with semi-armoured folding hatches, allowing the troops the benefit of vertical protection while permitting the possibility of mounted soldiers opening the hatches in order to fire their weapons. The double rear doors were significantly wider than those of the ACW-IP, and the floor was lower in order to prevent troop injuries while disembarking.

The first prototype emerged in early 1942, and the Irish Army extensively tested the design over the course of two years, providing GTÉ with detailed feedback in order to make a number of improvements. In 1944, the Irish Army ordered the vehicle into production, and GTÉ embarked on marketing the design to a number of smaller European armies.

Weight: 10.0 t
Length: 6.25 m
Width: 2.45 m
Height: 2.2 m
Crew: 2 crewmen (driver, gunner/commander); 9 troops embarked
Armour: 8mm - 15mm
-- 1 x 12.7mmm MG
-- 1 x 0.303" MG
Engine: GTÉ 575 V-6 diesel engine (5750 cc, 165hp)
Suspension: 6 x 8 wheels
Operational range
-- 300 km (loaded)
-- 500 km (unloaded)
-- Max Road Speed: 82 km/h
-- Max Continuous Speed: 60 km/h
Manufacturer: Grúpa Thionscal Éireann