Carrier, 6-Pdr Gun, A.E.C., Mk I Deacon

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                Carrier, 6-Pdr Gun, A.E.C., Mk I Deacon

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Vehicle design and service history:

The AEC Mk I Gun Carrier, also known as the Carrier, 6-Pdr Gun, A.E.C., Mk I Deacon, or in simple terms, the Deacon, was a British AFV of the second world war. The Deacon was an attempt to make the QF 6-pounder anti-tank gun into a self-propelled artillery piece, in order to keep up with the demands experienced in the deserts of North Africa. The vehicle was employed in this role only during the North African Campaign from 1942 to 1943, before being replaced by better vehicles such as the crusader III.

The origins of the deacon lie in 1942 when the vehicle was developed to provide the British army in North Africa with a mobile anti-tank weapon. It was a continuation of smaller Portee artillery pieces that had previously seen service mounted in the back of trucks. The idea was that the Artillery could move quickly across desert terrain, at the expense of some of its traverse, which with 2-pounder and 20mm guns had previously proven effective. Because of this, the AEC Matador truck chassis was selected, upon which a 6-pounder gun with an enclosed armoured shield was mounted on the flatbed at the rear of the chassis.

This gun was manned by a gunner and loader, who were protected behind the shield. The armour around the cab was removed and instead replaced with a boxy armoured construction that completely covered the engine and the driver’s position. This stopgap was deemed sufficient and Production started, with a total of 175 being manufactured in total.

The Deacon would go on to be used against German armoured vehicles operating in the North African desert, which was a peculiar environment where wheeled vehicles were as manoeuvrable as tanks. Deacons were credited with action at El Hamma, where the 76th (Royal Welch Fusiliers) Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, beat back an attack of German Panzer III tanks. Deacons would be withdrawn at the end of the campaign in North Africa, as they were not considered suitable for use in Europe. some would be converted to armoured ammunition carriers, and some would also be sold to Turkey in 1943.

Vehicle specification:

Mass 12.2 tonne 26400 lb (11986 kg)

Length 21 ft (6.39 m)

Width 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)

Height 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)

Crew 5

Armour 6 to 20 mm (0.24 to 0.79 in)

Main armament QF 6 pounder (57 mm) (24 rounds)

Engine AEC A173 7.7L 6-cyl diesel 95 hp (71 kW)

Power/weight 7.8 hp/tonne

Drive wheeled, 4x2, 4x4

Transmission 4 + reverse gears, with two-speed transfer box

Suspension leaf spring

Ground clearance 13 in (330 mm)

Operational range 174 miles (280 km)

Maximum speed 25 mph (40 kph) on road

Additional Historical Photos:
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2 Likes

I’m glad someone is suggesting all these vehicles. The British SPG line definitely need some fleshing out. This one is looks like a lot of fun, with some decent protection.

1 Like

There are quite a few cool ww2 spg’s i have suggested quite a few of them and there are always more to go ;)

1 Like

I’d love to have this added. Would fill in a gap in the SPG line at low tier and be a unique vehicle with a play style that might be difficult to master but rewarding when done so. +1

Absolutely needed. Could go at 2.3 to give that BR some kind of AT.

+1 would make for a good low-tier TD

Absolutely +1
Probably 1.3 or 1.7, it’s got essentially no armor and poor mobility, plus it can’t fire forward. Definitely worse than the SU-57 and I’d argue the M3 GMC as well.