Scammell Explorer 94BD17, Halftrack 13ZA37 and Trailer 20BD57
The Scammell Explorer 94BD17 is popular, popping up on the web with in-service Libya photos (not just mine) if you know where to look, at shows of late as this vehicle has survived and even elsewhere on this forum with photos and where the son of a previous ‘in Libya’ army driver has made inquiries about it! I shall post something there too on this forum as his father may be the subject in my photos of the vehicle! Isn’t that great, connecting family to their forbears, possibly.
You will be presented with more of this splendid vehicle, 94BD17, only later on as I don’t want you over-indulging in a Scammell Explorer fest.
Station Workshops or an OFP in Tripoli? Anyone recognise the working area layout or sheds or type of activity from visits to those locations? We could then name the place!
The Halftrack is an extremely poorly (look closely) IHC M9A1, designed as a prime mover for artillery pieces and typically towed a 17pdr gun. It’s not the troop-carrying IHC M5/M5A1 as the internal layout arrangement differs. Britain had a few thousand of these two types during WW2 which carried on in service in ever depleting numbers up until the very late 70s, usually by then converted to REME LAD variants (17 BVD Monchengladbach in 1978 had at least a dozen ‘runners’ of these, some with different types of folding jibs and raised superstructures, parked up for disposal). Notice here the one extended headlamp, on a stalk, what’s that about? What is the bracket-thing sticking up in the air just behind the cab door? Poor paint job too. In fact, the paint finish on army vehicles in Libya always seems to have been of questionable quality, 'washing' off easily, to expose the previous or original green (deep bronze?) livery. An exception of course to the tatty appearance would have been for annual reviews, parades etc. Towards the end of British military presence in Libya, vehicles were extremely tatty and battered, taking on appearences that would not have earlier in time, been permitted (I have some photos to prove this). Oh, this Halftrack here is also not a White M3 Halftrack as the type had very evident differentiating features (if you know what you’re looking for) is another story and probably none were ever in Libya post-war, unless you know different (oh, to be THE world-wide acknowledged expert on these matters!).
Is the trailer a Cranes/Tasker 20 ton low-loader? What was the correct FV number for it, when did it come into service and when did it go out? Where can I find more information about the type, dimensions, drawings, layout, operation, photos etc.? Ah, a User Handbook perhaps; has anyone got one I could peek at? What about VRN range of numbers. Poor trailers, they are so over-looked! Notice how ‘they’ are just dragging the casualty of the side of the trailer, rather than taking the wheels off the trailer and pulling it down the ‘ramp’ on it’s wheels and tracks with dignity. Now I remember what the REME letters really represented .....