Alvis FV601(A) with 2-pdr Pipsqueak

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         Alvis FV601(A) with 2-pdr Pipsqueak 

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Design History:

In the years directly following the end of the Second World War, the British Army would issue a requirement for a new 6X6 wheeled armoured vehicle to replace its ageing fleet of AEC armoured cars. Design work would begin in 1947, with a contract being awarded to Alvis Cars to build two prototypes for trials. This new vehicle was designated FV601A and was originally armed with an Ordnance QF 2-pounder Pipsqueak gun. This advanced postwar gun offered exceptional penetration of around 170mm at 90 degrees, using the squeeze-bore principle that the earlier little John Adaptor was so successful in upping the armour penetration of the 2-pdr’s then in service during the Second World War. In addition due to the high reverse speed of the selected powertrain configuration, the initial Saladin was fitted with a 4th crew member, that being a rear driver, allowing the vehicle to reverse out of danger in a similar manner to axis armoured cars from the second world war such as the Puma.

Unfortunately upon rumination, the small calibre gun was deemed unsuitable for service, and Alvis instead suggested the more well-known 76mm low-velocity L5A1 cannon, which would become the gun adopted for the Saladin and then the later scorpion. Because of this the Pipsqueak equipt Saladin did not see service and was instead relegated to a footnote in British armoured car development.

Vehicle specification:

Mass 11.6 t

Length 4.93 m (16 ft 2 in)

Width 2.54 m (8 ft 4 in)

Height 2.39 m (7 ft 10 in)

Crew 4

Armour Up to 32 mm (1.3 in)

Main armament 1 x Pipsqueak QF 2pounder cannon

Secondary armament 1 × M1919A4 machine gun with 3,500 rounds
12 x smoke grenades

Engine Rolls-Royce B80 Mk.6A, 8 cyl petrol 170 hp (127 kW)

Power/weight 15.5 hp/tonne

Suspension 6x6 wheel

Operational range 400 km (250 mi)

Maximum speed 72 km/h (45 mph)

Additional photos:
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The Turret Shape was shared with the FV601(B), and differed from the later FV601(C) which was the main production, Saladin as seen in the comparison below:

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Sources:

3 Likes

I’ve always been fascinated by this particular model of the Saladin. More British armored cars should be included in War Thunder overall, and this one would be especially fun to use! +1

Under-gunned prototype? +1 for Premium, could even sit at 3.3 with the Puma.

I wouldn’t necessarily say under-gunned. Pipsqueak had better performance than the little john 2-Pdr which already had good penetration.

The limitation of post-pen would be from the small calibre. Apparently the Pipsqueak had an APDS round, so penetration would not be the problem but rather having to crew snipe.

Regardless as a recce vehicle its armament is a secondary priority, so a novelty gun better at getting assists than kills is still suitable.

Should be made up for with a decent rate-of-fire. It’s got around 17-Pdr level penetration and around 2-Pdr reload.

In regards to this, both a source i found and the wikipedia article on the 2pdr, says with its APDS it had a velocity of 1295m/s and a penetration of 85mm @60°at 900m. However in both cases there is not a direct source of this infomation.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140708143216/www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/37-40mm.htm

1 Like

The rate of fire is what makes it, high pen with a 3 or so second reload means your going to be needling people but its just enough time to aim between shots

Hi Nathan, if u need any help feel free to ask, or ping me in discord. but a few things to help out the first is a quick correction small but - shurgs- the WO wanted a better weapon with S.H capability, not alvis, prior tot his DRAC had requested a 3 inch 75mm gun, this is what was developed into the 76mm - small issue, now re the pipS gun, this might be of some use to you from the original specifications brochure I own:

it lists ammo and location. something the devs would need?

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Here we see the gun become a 3inch howitzer

and finally the armour was not the same, the very first specs called for very light armour, this was deemed unsuitable and its upped a bit, here you can see where they have penned it in to 14mm

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in the unlikely event the devs pick this- that info should be useful to you

cheers

ed

6 Likes

Thanks for the info bud :)

Ed, I think you just quadrupled the total amount of information on this vehicle online. Many thanks!

2 Likes

That’s interesting as it sounds at first like they may have considered mixing in 3 Inch Howitzer versions with the 40mm versions like 95mm Howitzers were for the wartime tanks? (Well HQ squadrons but it still works) Or weren’t yet convinced of the merits of the 76mm, and wanted a side by side full mounted test to see which version worked better I suppose.

It’s still a strange decision in my mind to swap to a low velocity potato launcher after nothing but high velocity guns (in AFVs) the whole war.
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Are we 100% sure they didn’t have a 77mm HV in mind and there was some miscommunication they were too embaressed to correct :D

I would assume it relates to the mentality that there must be two armoured cars, a anti tank version and a close support version, the pipsqueak would have been the at and this potato launcher would have been the cs, but they just decided that the at capacity from the hesh was sufficient, or it was cheaper and we got stuck with the one we have today