Hi everyone, today i am suggesting another 20mm eqiupt SPAA truck for the british tree, this one being the Bedford MWG equipt with the 20mm Oerlikon portee gun mount. I have previously mentioned this gun mount during my suggestion for the Truck, 15-cwt, 4x2, A.A ( Ford F.15 Chassis), as it was a mass produced mounting that saw serious usage by the british LAA regiments on a variaty of 4X2 chassis. The british used 4 main 4x2 trucks for 20mm SPAA during the second world war, the Ford, Chevy and Fordson and Bedford, with the early version of the Bedford variant being the most visually distinctive of the 4 types, as it lacks a drivers cab to provide wider gun arcs for its anti aircraft gun. The later variant on the other hand is incredibly similar to the aforementioned Ford F.15 chassis visually, but it like the earlier variant is 10 mph slower than its competitor of canadian origin.
The Bedford MW was a mass produced truck built for a specification issued by the war office for a W new 15 cwt 4x2 military truck for service with the British Army in 1937. It was sucessful in trials and over 66,000 examples where made during the second world war, and it remained in british service until the mid 50s. The MW was intended mainly to be a workhorse for the British Army’s infantry battalions, but throughout the war it saw service in a number of roles it was not originally intended to fill, with one of them being as a SPAA compatible with the 20mm oerlikin portee gun mount.
To fulfill this role two seperate types of Vehicle where made, one with and one without the drivers cab. The history of the ones with a drivers cab are much clearer than the cabless variant, as 200 where ordered by the british to be manufactured at the bedford plant in the run up to d-day to equip the numberous British light Anti Air regiments that where about to be deployed in North West europe. These vehicles where build on the MWC water tanker chassis of the bedford MW and atleast one contempory example survives into the present day.
The second variant is easily the rarest of the 20mm portee SPAA deployed by the british during WW2, and was built on the earlier open topped MW chassis Not much is known of this vehicle except for a few pictures, but it can be inferred that it served in a similar role as the more numerous MWC chassis variant.
Photo’s of the Later Water Chassis variant,pictured here without the gun:
Picture of the earlier open topped MWG carrying the 20mm oerlikon:
A 60 round drum magazine its loaded onto the top of the gun, and is taken from a ammunition supply (600 rounds) stored behind the drivers seat in a large ammo box. The trigger is located in front of the right handgrip. After shooting, the empty cases are ejected under the weapon into a mesh-reinforced bag intended to protect the gunner as well as allow the brass to be easily collected. The vehicle has a crew of three: the gunner; the observer/commander, identifying targets for the gunner; and the loader, who supplied the weapon with ammunition. The vehicle was intended to be used as an anti-aircraft weapon, but if nessassary could be used against infantry and soft targets. A light wheeled carriage was used, this was designed to allow 360’ traverse and is capable of high-speed travel, though with the MWG’s reduced cabin it is not able to completely depress over the forward arc, additionally no gun shield was fitted.
Oerlikin 20mm Characteristics:
Calibre: 20 mm
Weight: 480 kg without ammunition
Traverse: -15° with + 90°
Practical maximum range: 2000 meters
Muzzle Velocity: 820 m/s
Rate of Fire: 450 rounds/minute
- Chris Bishop (ed), The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, London: Metro Books, 1998, page 109, ISBN 1-58663-762-2.
- Pat Ware, A Complete Directory of Military Vehicles, Wigston: Anness Publishing Ltd, 2012, page 106.
- Budge, Kent G. (2014). “20mm Oerlikon Light Antiaircraft Gun”. The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
- F15 4x2 A/A platform - MLU FORUM
- British Data Book, 1944, page 616