AEC Command Vehicle

In 1944-1945, the Armored Command Vehicle AEC 6×6 Mk I (or AEC O857) had been producing. This machine was created on the chassis of AEC O854 and had an armored bonnet body with an open top. Armored Truck produced in two versions (high power HP and low power LP according to the type of radio), weighed 17 tonnes and was equipped with a 6-cylinder diesel engine AEC A198 with output of 150 hp and 4-speed gearbox. Maximum speed was 48 km/h. The Mk I was followed by the Mk II with short bows and a frame on the roof to take tarpaulin cover over the less critical HQ equipment like tables and chairs. 151 trucks were made.

The larger 6×6 Command Vehicles had space for a Generator Set to run in the truck, a battery room, and room for anywhere from 6-8 staff to work wireless sets and the like while on the move. They could also set up a large tent and larger antenna masts for additional connectivity as well as wired switch board interfaces.

You can see the AEC 6×6 command truck has 4 compartments. The front driver’s compartment which had a pair of control boxes for the driver and officer riding up front. The Next compartment is the staff compartment. It had space for the wireless sets, control boxes, and various work surfaces for maps, paperwork and other tasks. There were 3-4 staff in here. The next compartment is a 2 person enlisted technicians compartment for two more staff (just not officers) who assisted the staff in the main compartment. The rear compartment is the generator compartment. The batteries and 1-2 generators (Onan types) were operated here so as to provide charging of the batteries when they were low. The enlisted technicians had to manage the batteries and effect repairs to sets as well as other adjustments of the sort needed to keep the Officers in the middle compartment working.

From a space sense, these ACVs are much larger than a modern command vehicle in terms of head room and space. They do of course stick out like a sore thumb from just about every other vehicle. The proliferation of antenna from most command vehicles however doesn’t do them any justice when it comes to blending in, they’re not quite as obvious. Though with an M557 vs an M113, it’s pretty obvious which one has the staff flunkies in it.

The Command vehicles more or less had what in the larkspur days was a B-Harness. Basically multiple control boxes allowing control of multiple wireless sets for various staff. This allowed re-transmission, talking on multiple nets, coordination between nets and general sorts of command staff functions.

As far as wireless fit, WS-19s and their HP versions, Reception sets, and some of the larger long range sets like WS-53s. There were accessories for the control harnesses allowing interface of wired communications into the mix allowing a radio call to be shunted to a field phone net. Obviously this only works for a station that’s not on the move.



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