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6x4 Militant Why?


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why did they make a 6x4 militant? Surely a 6x6 is better?

 

A big mistake. They were always getting bogged down and then had to be recovered by their older sister Matty. Anyway, that's what I've been told by ex service men who were around at the time. Why ? because the people who take these decisions live in offices and know the least about what is required by the blokes who have to actually operate this stuff.

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Why did they only make one 6x6 Antar?

 

Why was that Mike ? Hardly an off road vehicle but one might have thought it would assist traction and be useful in some situations.

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the reason I asked, is that having driven my 6x4 militant in the snow, on any more than a slight lock and the steering was gone, which resulted in the miltant going where it wanted. To be clearer with the original question... was the 6x4 planned originally but replaced by the 6x6? - or did they start off with both variants from the word go? (I'm sure I posted this originally in 'I may be stupid but', but perhaps I'm mistaken, or was it moved to a more appropriate section?) Either way, I'd be interested to read your views.

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That and the fact there is clearly no direct answer to the question to be had and rather than leaving the topic stone dead, I thought I would try to open it up.

Well I suppose an answer is that they were built so that it would save on build cost, running cost, fuel and maintenance for that part of the Militant fleet that was intended to be used as transport away from the battle area, were they would remain on metalled roads and 6x6 would have been un-necessary and would have remained unused.

 

Is everybody happy now?

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the reason I asked, is that having driven my 6x4 militant in the snow, on any more than a slight lock and the steering was gone, which resulted in the miltant going where it wanted. To be clearer with the original question... was the 6x4 planned originally but replaced by the 6x6? - or did they start off with both variants from the word go? (I'm sure I posted this originally in 'I may be stupid but', but perhaps I'm mistaken, or was it moved to a more appropriate section?) Either way, I'd be interested to read your views.

 

All of the early examples of militants that I'm aware of were 6 X 4. I've been told many times at shows by ex servicemen that the 6 X 4 performed very poorly off road. Loosing the steering on slippery roads was one of the faults I've been told about. I'm not sure if the 6 X 6 was available at the very beginning of production....I have got a list of all chassis numbers somewhere that would give us some idea. I'll see if I can find this list.

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Chassis numbers won't help because the 6x4 start O859, and the 6x6 start O860 .

 

There are two series so both the 6x4 series and the 6x6 series should start with 001.

 

I mean there will be a chassis 001 for the first 6x4 built and a chassis number 001 for the first 6x4 to be built, but the prefix will be different.

 

Military Vehicle number might help though...

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All of the early examples of militants that I'm aware of were 6 X 4. I've been told many times at shows by ex servicemen that the 6 X 4 performed very poorly off road. Loosing the steering on slippery roads was one of the faults I've been told about. I'm not sure if the 6 X 6 was available at the very beginning of production....I have got a list of all chassis numbers somewhere that would give us some idea. I'll see if I can find this list.

 

Not really a fault of the lorry, sounds like they were being made to take them over terrain they were not intended for. The Thornycroft and Albion 10 tonners were also 6x4, they would follow the lines of the WW2 Hippos and Fodens which they would have replaced. It is horses for courses. When Fodens came back into the army, many of them were 6x4. Then later when DROPS was introduced, you had the 8x6 Leyland which was Medium Mobility and for heavier going the Foden 8x8 Improved Medium Mobility.

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for that part of the Militant fleet that was intended to be used as transport away from the battle area, were they would remain on metalled roads and 6x6 would have been un-necessary and would have remained unused.

 

Is everybody happy now?

 

What about the 6 X 4 Gun Tractor ? Would that have been intended for use away from the battle area ?

 

After about 1958 all Militants were 6 X 6 whatever role they were intended for.

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Mike, the points you raise did occur to me, but my militant is an artillery tractor not a GS truck, and as such being 6x4 it doesn't strike me as being an ideal choice. I wondered if there had been a rethink regarding 6x4 to later 6x6, or whether the order was just placed for x amount of 6x4 and x amount of 6x6 etc. Also, although there are 6x4 militant examples around, the majority seem to be 6x6, so again I wondered if the powers at be realised that the 6x4 wasn't much cop off the road, and so didn't build that many. Again this is all assumption on my part, I don't know which is why I ask the question. The answer to it was never never meant to be.. because they did.

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Mike, the points you raise did occur to me, but my militant is an artillery tractor not a GS truck, and as such being 6x4 it doesn't strike me as being an ideal choice. I wondered if there had been a rethink regarding 6x4 to later 6x6, or whether the order was just placed for x amount of 6x4 and x amount of 6x6 etc. Also, although there are 6x4 militant examples around, the majority seem to be 6x6, so again I wondered if the powers at be realised that the 6x4 wasn't much cop off the road, and so didn't build that many. Again this is all assumption on my part, I don't know which is why I ask the question. The answer to it was never never meant to be.. because they did.

 

Only some of the Militants were Gun tractors, Were mobile cranes intended for the battle front? Or the 6x4 tanker just posted on the gallery?

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Were mobile cranes intended for the battle front?

 

All the Militant based Coles cranes I worked on were 6x6 and yes they would have to get up the front at times as their main role was bridging and it would be impossible to avoid soft ground if that was where the bridge was to be built.

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All the Militant based Coles cranes I worked on were 6x6 and yes they would have to get up the front at times as their main role was bridging and it would be impossible to avoid soft ground if that was where the bridge was to be built.

I stand corrected regarding use for bridging, but didn't some of the the Militant cranes follow the 6 wheel O854 "Matador" coles crane, into use for lifting on airfields and the like? What about the 6x4 tanker recently posted in the gallery?

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Why was that Mike ? Hardly an off road vehicle but one might have thought it would assist traction and be useful in some situations.

 

That information came from a book I bought, but it isn't substantiated by any reference to a contract number, chassis number, Registration, date or any other corroberating evidence (The Thornycroft Society have no photograh of it but have plenty of other experimental Antars) so it may not actually have been built.

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I think the highly successfull Pioneer was 6x4 Tom ! :cool2:

 

And it wouldn't surprise me if it was more successful than the 6x4 Militant gun tractor due to less weight on the front axle and a shorter wheelbase and more appropriate gearing (maybe).

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That information came from a book I bought, but it isn't substantiated by any reference to a contract number, chassis number, Registration, date or any other corroberating evidence so it may not actually have been built.

 

I bought a book like that once. Even the photographs had been cropped.:-(

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Why did they only make one 6x6 Antar?

Why do you need front wheel drive on an Antar? If it gets bogged at the back end ain't no front axle gonna drag that thing out!! It must be heavy enough not to need front wheel drive just to get about on a greasy surface. And cost. And complexity.

 

Commander didn't need front wheel drive either.

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I think the answer to all this lies in the War Office thinking at that time. The Rolls Royce B range of engines was to have been the standardised power unit, with front line vehicles being petrol presumably. The Martian fitted this of course as did the Scammell Explorer, being petrol, no Martian recoveries at this time. The AEC, Thonycroft, Albion 10 ton ranges may have been intended as support vehicles........

 

There was a 6x6 Militant gun tractor, FV11002 classed as Medium/Heavy AA.

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And it wouldn't surprise me if it was more successful than the 6x4 Militant gun tractor due to less weight on the front axle and a shorter wheelbase and more appropriate gearing (maybe).

 

People do tell me....and I'm sure it's true... that the Matador had some special qualities that couldn't be defined in cold engineering terms that made it such a successful design. There does appear to be an 'X' factor that makes everything gell and work really well in some vehicles and not others..

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