BSAP Reserve Reconaissance

Discussion in 'Southern Africa' started by heythrop, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Please can anybody tell me anything about the BSAP Reserve Reconaissance unit, disbanded in the early 1970's. I remember an old armoured car parked at the Drill Hall, Bulawayo in 1974 but it was removed before I could examine it and nobody could tell me much about it except it kept breaking down before it was finally scrapped and had sat there for quite a time.

    Any information please: Make of the armoured car, armanent, crew, radio, and anything about the Reconaissance brnch of the BSAP Reserve.

  2. Would it have looked something like this?

    As I can remember from my childhood something somewhat like it...
  3. Blue/Green Job. I think you could be right although the particular vehicle I remember was very much shabbier than the one in the picture.

    an you tell me anything about the make of the vehicle in the picture please.

  4. Direct from Wikipedia:

    Marmon-Herrington Armoured car IV F (South Africa)

    Weight 6.4 tonnes
    Length 15 ft (5.51 m)
    Width 6 ft (1.83 m)
    Height 7 ft (2.29 m)
    Crew 3
    Armour up to 20 mm
    armament QF 2 pounder gun.
    armament 1 or 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun.
    Engine Ford V-8 petrol.
    95 hp (71 kW)
    Power/weight 14.2 hp/tonne
    Suspension wheeled; 4 x 4 drive
    range 200 miles (322 km)
    Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)

  5. Thank you Blue/Green job. That is indeed the one. I recognise the make now I have seen it in print.

    Keep the Flame Lily burning.

  6. Dunno is the answer - but there's a new book coming out called 'Blue & Old Gold' that might help.

    Checkout and ask them - I believe they are the publishers
  7. Blue and Old Gold was originally published years and years ago - my parents have a copy - so I would imagine that this will be an updated version.

    BJG - I too remember (somewhat hazily!) such a odd to see one again, it's brought all sorts of half remembered bits and pieces
  8. Thought I recognised that armoured car, we have one parked at my school in the war memorial garden.
  9. Does anyone here remember the one which was parked at the Drill Hall, Bulawayo
  10. these guys are releasing a history of the BSAP late Sept - Blue and Old Gold. The answer should be in it.
  11. Such a lumbering beast certainly was not in operational deployment by the late 70s.
    We had no armoured cars, just truck chassied APCs [Puma/Leopard/Kudu etc]
    that were been the precurser to what the SADF developed for Angola & SWA,
    and whose evolution can be seen today in Iraq & Afghanistan.

    RSA did loan the 90mm gunned Elands to the Army.
    But they took the gap before "independence".

    I believe that there was an Osprey series book on RF AFVs.
    As to a Recce Branch of BSAP I cannot recall such a named unit.
    My guess that this would have evolved as the war became more dynamic and fluid.
    We had PATU locally and the more permanent/regular Support Unit [Black Boots]
    who would be deployed in our area [Hurricane] when occassion demanded.
  12. The Reconnaisance unit was a Police Reserve thing. The one and only time I saw a designation for them on somebody's shoulder it was worn by a chap in the Drill Hall, Bulawayo in abnout May 1974 I think, who was bemoaning the fact his unit had been disbanded, although the old armoured car sat outside the Drill Hall for at least a year after that.

    I hve in my collection a white lettering on blue shoulder title 'Police Reserve Reconnaisance'. Sorry I can't work out how to add it as an attachment to this.
  13. Certainly do!

    Spent many an afternoon there as a kid messing about whilst my dad and his mates were boozing in the Glue Pot.

    Mind you there was always someone who didn't mind bunging the odd beer your way.
  14. Thanks for that posting candleford: Those pictures sure bring back some memories.