Friday, December 16, 2011
Jeep In The SAS During World War Two
Not much is heard of the SAS Jeeps and there successful exploits against the Germans in WW2.
These were highly modified Jeeps that were deployed behind enemy lines attacking enemy airfields and destroying planes on the ground. The vehicles were obtained by the British Army through the Lend-Lease Scheme and were suitably modified for SAS use.
"Their first successful raid was on 17th November 1941, when two groups destroyed 61 aircraft at two airfields. Another raid was launched soon after; this time twenty seven were destroyed. By July 1942 the regiment had 15 specially modified jeeps in action in North Africa.
The jeeps were stripped of all non-essential parts including the windscreen, most of the radiator grille bars and even sometimes the front bumper to increase the effective load carrying capacity of the vehicle. Thus the large amount of fuel and water needed for fast long-range raids could be carried avoiding the need for slower support vehicles. A water condensing unit was fitted to the front to reduce loss from the radiator which would otherwise have had to be topped up from the limited drinking water supplies. The jeeps also carried sand mats, metal wheel channels, radio equipment and large quantities of ammunition.
The jeeps were heavily armed with combinations of both Browning and Vickers K machine guns. The ex-aircraft Vickers weapons were generally mounted in pairs and a total of up to five machine guns were carried on some vehicles. The effectiveness of this armament firing a mix of ball, armour-piercing and tracer shells can be judged from one assault on an airfield where 12 aircraft were destroyed in a five minute raid. With all guns blazing a single SAS jeep could deliver an impressive 5000 rounds per minute! The net result was that over 400 aircraft had been destroyed on the ground by November 1942."
There full story is told on the SAS Jeep Wepage HERE
at 9:56 PM