This Bedford OYD GS 4×2 Truck was on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
The Bedford OY is an army lorry built by Bedford for the British Armed Forces and introduced in 1939. It was based on Bedford’s O-series commercial vehicles with a modified front end and single rear tyres.
This enormous tank presents an interesting contrast with contemporary British designs. American manufacturing techniques, using sophisticated machine tools, not only speeded up production but also ensured high reliability. Even so Britain insisted on modifications to the American design which resulted in a different turret but both types saw service with British forces. Those with the original turret were designated Lee, those with the British style turret were Grants.
The main asset of the tank, from the British point of view, was the 75mm gun which could fire high explosive and armour piercing ammunition. The former was the perfect answer to Rommel’s imaginative use of anti-tank guns and there is no doubt that Grant tanks were largely responsible for halting Rommel’s attack during the key battle of Alam Halfa.
For all that the Grant was a difficult tank to fight in. The low position of the main gun meant that it was impossible to conceal and the tank often had to swing round in order to bring this gun to bear. Riveted construction was also a serious liability by 1942 while the 37mm gun, in the turret, was all but useless.
Tanks of this type were first used in Western Desert in 1942. Mechanically reliable but soon superseded by Sherman.
Over at Duxford they have the one used by General Montgomery during the battle of El Alamein. The 37mm gun was replaced by a wooden dummy gun barrel to create more room in the turret for extra radio equipment.
The Jagdpanther was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service late in the war and saw service on the Eastern and Western fronts. Many military historians consider the Jagdpanther to be one of the best tank destroyers of the war due to the combination of the very powerful 8.8 cm KwK 43 cannon and the characteristically excellent armor and suspension of the Panther chassis.
This Jagdpanther was on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
When I visited Duxford in March 2019 they had a StuG III on display.
This was a late model StuG III supplied to Finnish forces. Has Saukopf gun mantlet introduced February 1944. It is the only vehicle left carrying original ‘waffle pattern’ zimmerit.
The final and by far the most common of the StuG series. The Ausf. G used the hull of the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M. Upper superstructure was widened: welded boxes on either sides were abandoned. This new superstructure design increased its height to 2160mm. Backside wall of the fighting compartment got straightened, and ventilation fan on top of the superstructure was relocated to the back of fighting compartment. From March 1943, driver’s periscope was abandoned. From May 1943, side hull skirts (schurzen) were fitted to G models for added armor protection particularly against anti-tank rifles. Side skirts were retro-fitted to some Ausf. F/8 models, as they were be fitted to all front line StuGs and other tanks by June 1943 in preparation for the battle of Kursk. Mountings for side skirts proved inadequate, many were lost in the field. From March 1944, improved mounting was introduced, as a result side skirts are seen more often with late model Ausf G.
In December 2019 the StuG III was returned to the Tank Museum at Bovington.
Here David Willey discusses the Sturmgeschütz III Self-Propelled Assault Gun, better known as the StuG III, Germany’s most numerously produced fully tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicle of the Second World War.
The M3 Scout Car (known as the White Scout Car in British service) was an American-produced armored car. The original M3 Scout Car was produced in limited numbers, while the improved M3A1 Scout Car saw wide service during World War II and after.
At the Imperial War Museum in Duxford is this M3A1 White Scout Car.
British WW2 4×4 armoured command vehicle fitted with radio and communications equipment.
This vehicle is one of 416 Armoured Command Vehicles built on a modified ‘Matador‘ chassis. They were used during the war as command posts for divisional (and sometimes brigade) commanders. One was cpatured by Rommel and he was so impressed he used it as his personal command post vehicle from thereon. After being stationed at Bovington post war this vehicle was used as a protected firing point on the missile ranges at Otterburn Northumberland. Wartime service unknown.
The Willys MB and the Ford GPW, both formally called the U.S. Army Truck, 1⁄4-ton, 4×4, Command Reconnaissance, commonly known as the Jeep.
At the Imperial War Museum there are a fair few Jeeps on display, which show the varying uses which were made of this useful and ubiquitous vehicles by the allies during the second world war and later.
The jeep became the primary light wheeled transport vehicle of the United States Military and its Allies in World War II, as well as the postwar period, with President Eisenhower once calling it, “one of three decisive weapons the U.S. had during WWII.”
This is the second of Montgomery’s caravans. It was Italian-built & mounted on a Lancia Chassis. It was captured by the 8th Army in Tunisia in May 1943 from Field-Marshal Giovanni Messe, Commander of the 1st Italian Army during the final stages of the North African campaign. Messe told Montgomery that it had also been used by Rommel. The caravan was subsequently mounted on a Mack chassis in Tripoli & Montgomery, promoted General after the Battle of El Alamein, subsequently used it as his bedroom for the remainder of the war.
WW2 Italian caravan body remounted on a British 6×4 truck chassis. Used as sleeping quarters by General Montgomery as part of his mobile tactical headquarters.