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Great Britain's Dorchester Command Vehicle

Design

Canopy

Early models had a canopy that could be unrolled and had side panels that formed an extended work area.

Chassis

The chassis of the Dorchester was a modified AEC Matador. The fuel tank was relocated and the winch was replaced by a generator that powered the radios.

Production

  • 1941 - 1945: 380

Variants

  • Dorchester Mk I: One large room used for the office and radio room.
    • Dorchester Mk I LP: Low Power. Had No. 19 LP and HP radio sets.
    • Dorchester Mk I HP: High Power. Had RCA (radio crystalline amplifier) receiver and a No. 19 radio.
  • Dorchester Mk II: Had separate office and radio rooms.

Usage

The Dorchesters were used in Europe and North Africa.

Afrika Korps

The Afrika Korps captured three Dorchesters in July 1941. Two were used by Rommel as his HQ vehicles and were named "Max" and "Mortiz." They were designated Mammute (mammoths).

Specifications

  Dorchester Command Vehicle
Crew 7
Driver, radio operators (2), officers (4)
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 10.33 tons
10,500 kg
Length 20' 9"
6.32 m
Height 10' 2"
3.1 m
Width 7' 10"
2.4 m
Ground clearance  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 0.303" Bren light MG
1: 7.7 mm Bren light MG
Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 12
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) AEC
Cylinders 6
Net HP 95
Transmission  
Fuel type Diesel
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 36 mph
58 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 360 miles
579 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Tires  

Sources:

  1. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site