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The British Dorchester Command Vehicle

Discussion in 'Allied Military vehicles used during WWII' started by Jim, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    The first command vehicle in British service was the Morris 762kg/ 15cwt. This came into service in 1937 but was far too small to be of any real use. The next vehicle was the 4x4 Guy Lizard which entered service in 1940 and most unusually had a Gardner diesel engine but again proved to be on the small side.

    The importance of the Dorchester can be seen here as it is under armed guard. Inside the rear door is storage for a Bren gun.​


    The Dorchester Command Vehicle was based on the AEC Matador chassis but with a few modifications. The fuel tank was moved and the winch was replaced with a generator for the radio sets that were carried in the vehicle. Two different marks of vehicle were produced, but there were no external differences between them, the changes were made to the internal fit of the vehicle. The Mk 1 had a large single combined office and radio room, while in the Mk 2 there was a separate radio room. There were also two versions of each mark: the LP (Low Power) and HP (High Power) versions. The LP was fitted with No.19 radio LP and HP sets. The HP vehicle was fitted with an RCA (Radio Crystalline Amplifier) receiver and a No.19 set. The early versions of the vehicle were fitted with a canopy that, when unrolled, had side panels attached to form an extended working area. Later versions had a complete tent carried on the vehicle. There was normally a crew of seven with the vehicle, one driver, two radio operators and four officers.

    Three Dorchesters were captured by the Afrika Korps in July 1941 and two were given to Rommel to use as his own HQ vehicles. The official German designation for these vehicles was Mammute (Mammoths). The two vehicles used by Rommel were called "Max" and "Moritz" and were not recaptured by the British until the surrender of the German and Italian forces in Tunisia.

    A new and larger vehicle did enter production towards the end of the war on the AEC 6x6 chassis. In all, 380 4x4 Dorchester command vehicles were produced from 1941-45. They would see service in North Africa, up through Italy and also in northern Europe.


    Country: UK Entered service: 1941 [​IMG]
    Crew: 7
    Weight: 10,500kg/10.33 tons
    Length: 6.32m/20ft 9in
    Height: 3.1m/10ft 2in
    Width: 2.4m/7ft 10in
    Armament: Main - Bren 7.7mm/0.303in light machine-gun Secondary - None Armour: Maximum - 12mm/0.47in
    Powerplant: AEC 6-cylinder 71kW/95hp diesel engine
    Performance: Speed - 58kph/36mph
    Range - 579km/360 miles

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