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Great Britain's AEC Matador truck

Design

A War Office specification was issued for a truck to tow 4.5", 5.5", and 6" howitzers.1 It needed to have enough room for the gun crew and ammunition.1

Cab

Later production trucks had a hatch in the top of the cab for air observation.1 When not being manned there was a canvas cover for the hole.1

Construction

Wooden timbers made up the body with a dropping tail gate and a side door for the gun crew.1 In the floor were runners so that ammunition could be easily unloaded.1

The cab's construction was steel sheets over a wooden frame.1

Equipment

There was a 7 ton winch that had 250' / 76 m of cable.1

Production

  • AEC Matador: 8,6121
  • Self Propelled Gun Carrier: 1751

Variants

  • AEC Matador: 4x4.1
  • General Load Carrier: The body was all steel with the sides and tailgate able to be dropped down for loading and unloading.1
  • Dorchester: An armored cab was placed on the chassis and used as a command post.1 Radio equipment was added.1
  • Self Propelled Gun Carrier: A 57 mm / 6 pdr gun was mounted in the rear with an armored box around it.1
  • Power Equipment 20 kVA:
  • Power Equipment 50 kVA:
  • Air Traffic Control:
  • 25 pdr Portee: Only a prototype made.1

Usage

North Africa

In North Africa some crews cut off the top of the cabs.1 They were also used sometimes for towing transporter trailers.1

Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force used around 400 Matadors.1

After World War II

The Matadors were used into the 1970s.1

Specifications

  AEC Matador truck
Crew  
Passengers  
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight - Empty 15,848 lb1
7,189 kg1
Weight - Loaded 23,304 lb1
11,024 kg1
Length 20' 9"1
6.32 m1
Height 10' 2"1
3.1 m1
Width 7' 10.5"1
2.4 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Engine (Make / Model) 1: AEC1
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 61
Capacity 7.58 l1
Net HP 951
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel1
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 36 mph1
58 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 360 miles1
579 km1
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site