SARC Mk5

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Introduction:
During 1941 the UK would make a request for new heavy armoured car to be produced which would be suited for North African. The South African Director General of War Supplies took on the task of developing an new 8-wheel heavy armoured car. This new protype would be know as the SARC (South African Reconnaissance Car) Mk5 and would feature a new 8x8 wheeled configuration as well as heavier armour when compared to the previous SARC’s. The frontal armour was to be 40mm with 20mm on the sides and with a total weight of 16 tons. The Mk5 was powered by two Albion (150hp) petrol engines which drove two of the four axels. The Mk5’s main armament would consist of a 2-pdr gun in the fully rotating turret with a coaxial LMG, the vehicle would have a crew of four consisting of driver, commander, gunner and loader. By 1942 the first protype was complete and sent for testing, during the testing the vehicle showed good performance on hard surfaces and poor performance in soft soil, digging itself in due to the weight of the vehicle. Although the vehicle was well armoured it was far too large and heavy, attempts where made to make the vehicle lighter and increase its off-road performance, but only showing limited improvements after the modifications, this ultimately lead the Mk5 project being scrapped with the focus now moved to SARC Mk6 prototype.

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Specifications:

Armament: one QF 2-pdr gun

Ammunition: AP, APCBC, APHE

Secondary armament: one 7.92 mm BESA MG

Crew: 4 (driver, commander, gunner, loader)

Engine: two Albion 6-cylinder engines

Horsepower: 300 hp (150hp from each engine)

Transmission: Manual (4 forward, 1 reverse

Drivetrain: 4x8

Weight: 16t

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Primary sources:
Surviving the Ride written by Steve Camp & Helmoed Romer Heitman (Page 42-43)

Marmon Herrington (A History of South African Reconnaissance Car) written by William Marshall (page 43)

Secondary sources:

South African armoured car production during World War 2 written by Richard Cornwell (page 39) PDF: SOUTH AFRICAN ARMOURED CAR PRODUCTION IN WORLD WAR II | Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies

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