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Reference Image El Alamein to Italy (Monty's Caravans at war)

Smeggers

ADC
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
El Alamein to Italy

A report from Autocar magazine 5 May 1944

I found this article in a book titled WW2 Allied Vehicles Military Portfolio 1939-1945 ISBN 1 85520 5467 (Brooklands Books) and felt it useful for laying background information to the Build I am engaged upon. Take a read, it's interesting!


IMG_20200519_125750.jpg


General Montgomery 's two caravans, his "battle headquarters" during the victorious North African campaign: Originally of Italian construction, the bodies were mounted, after capture by our forces, on British and American six-wheeler chassis.
Every British subject knows well the history of the North African Campaign in which the "Desert Rats", the tough Eighth Army, under the superb leadership of General Sir B. L. Montgomery, KCB, CB, DSO turned the tables upon the encroaching German and Italian enemy and fought him back tooth and nail and hard by yard, over 1,500 miles of desert from the borders of Egypt to the coastline of Tunisia, where as is now a glorious page in history, he was finally decimated or driven into the sea and the myth of German invincibility was shattered once and for all. This was the campaign which turned the tide of the war, first arrested in the Battle of Britain by the RAF.

Small wonder that this Master Soldier, General "Monty", as a Lancashire lady christened him, should have been converted into a national hero, with a grim and grateful British public, intensely interested in his personality, inspired to make the uttermost effort to give him all that he needs in the tremendous effort still to come. That is why ceaseless crowds have thronged the tents where the two caravans have been on exhibition during the Salute the Soldier Campaign 31st Birmingham, and why similar crowds are gathering and queueing in London now that the vehicles are again on view. Crowds of Human beings stars at the Spartan simplicity of a seasoned campaigner's living quarters; not out of curiosity, but from an intense desire to try to share the mind of the man who carries the tremendous responsibility of all our hopes and of our family lives, and whose guide is his Bible.
It is said that the hard-core soldiers around him in North Africa held him in the highest regard.That his men always come first with him. That he impresses his officers that they are in a sense shepherd's who must look after their flocks. That he is always bright and cheerful, and in the line is rather like a foreman with his men. That he laughs and jokes, and hands out cigarettes; he is abstemious and a non-smoker himself, but no crank. That his personal fitness is proverbial. That he is no respecter of persons where military efficiency or discipline is concerned. That he wins the respect of all by his absolute impartiality and even-handed justice. The General is fond of birds, and carried a pair of budgerigars on his caravans in North Africa. Their cage was slung outside in the daytime and taken inside during the often surprising cold of the desert nights.

His two caravans were never far from the line of battle, just out of shell range, no more. Nevertheless, his camp took it's regular dose of Stuka strafing with the rest, worked about twenty-six hours a day, like the rest, and shared the all-pervading sand - which leaves a fine deposit even in a drinking cup - and the flies and the burning heat of the sun in daytimee, together with the cold at night. In such conditions as these to upset accidentally the daily ration of two pints of drinking water was a catastrophe. From such small details may be obtained just a faint trade of the working atmosphere surrounding the two caravans which are about to be described.
Both these caravans were captured from the enemy, though not in their present state. One might wonder why it was that a British General had to make use of a captured caravan, when equally good or perhaps better caravans can be built in Britain. The answer to that natural question is that in the early stages of the war no provision of the sort had been made, and during the campaign in North Africa our people were glad to lay hands on a travelling home in place of a tent.

At the time when these notes were written the two caravans were in the keeping of Wolseley Motors Ltd., Who were engaged in reconditioning some of the bodywork, which was the worse for hard wear, and at the same time adding improvements to the weather protection and the watertightness. The Autocar is indebted , therefore, to Wolseley's for the privilege of making an examination and preparing illustrations, having first obtained General Montgomery's permission to do so.
Captured in 1941
Caravan No. 1, which is now mounted on a six-wheeler Leyland chassis, carries a brass plaque inside hearing the words Parco Automibilistico Loboratia; Tripoli; December 1940 XIX: which sonorous inscription denotes when and where it was constructed. It was captured during February 1941, by a flying column of the famous 7th Armoured Division at the end of General Wavell's campaign at Beda Tomm, south of Benghazi, from the Italian General Bergonzoli, usually called "Electric Whiskers"
At that time the caravan was based upon a chassis of Italian make, but it was sent back to Alexandria, and there the body was transferred by an Ordnance depot to the present redoubtable Leyland Retriever chassis. Thereafter it was used by Commanders of the Eighth Army including, Generals Ritchie and Auchinleck, until General Montgomery took over in August 1942. He lives in it throughout the advance from El Alamein to Tunis, and during the advance on Tripoli it moved as much as 120 miles across the desert during a day.
Altogether No.1 has covered 36,790 miles and Driver G.H.Woods, RASC, of Nottingham,who is greatly attached to the vehicle, states that the four original tyres are still on the back wheels. Thereby hang two tales.
One is that Dvr Woods' attachment is so comp let's that on the near side of the body is a plate with his name on it, put there hopefully that the vehicle comes his way when he leaves the service. This little human touch has amused General "Monty" and the plate remains in place. "Jungle Goddess" or Caravan No.1 particularly conjures up imaginative visions of that epic campaign across North Africa. It has a tawny appearance, and it's furled canvas windscreen and quick-release sun awnings give it a romantic and at the same time eminently practical look.

The second story is that Dvr Woods has his own ideas about tyre-inflation pressure. He prefers a broad, easy trip for sand, and therefore does not run his tyres board-hard as per regulations. The present condition of the tyres, after more than 36,000 of heavy going varying from the all-pervading sand to rocky outcrop, certainly suggests that Dvr Woods' ideas have worked out in practice.
Incidentally Dvr Woods and his wife have lived in Africa hence the name "Jungle Goddess" across the top of the Leyland Radiator. "Audrey" is the name of his wife. He says that the caravan is capable of nearly 60 mph, and the surprising thing about it is that it rides wonderfully easily, and that the fittings inside do not get shaken to bits, although the vehicle is always running light. This light loading may in part account for the long life of the lower-pressured tyres, which certainly account for the comfort.

Both he and Dvr C.M. Turner RASC of Cardiff, who is responsible for caravan No.2, found life a little difficult in the matter of opportunities for maintenance, greasing and so forth, as the C-in-C was either in a vehicle at work with his staff, or the vehicle was on the move.So they had to do their stuff whilst the C-in-C was having meals in the Mess tent.

IMG_20200519_125914.jpg

Symbols that mean much
Now for details of the Leyland Caravan No.1. It is a large six-wheeler with a cab for the driver. It looks much the same as any service lorry. Over he can is a canvas good with roll canvas partition between the peak and the dashboard. There is no bonnet, for the engine is in the cab between the driver and his mate. Between the cab and caravan body itself is a gap, partly filled in with the petrol tank, the spare wheels and, above, a 31-gallon gravity feed water tank for the wash basin and shower. Mounted on the offside of the front of the dash is a white-painted heraldic shield hearing a yellow cross quartered with little symbolic sketches and the names Egypt, Tripolitania, Tunisia and Sicily with Italy worded vertically down the centre.
Rectangular in shape with a curved roof, the caravan body has a canvas outer skin stretched on timber framing and an inner skin of plywood with gender inside. There is a small air space between the two skins to afford insulation from heat, cold and damp. At present the body is painted in the more or less familiar style of camouflage patterns, but this camouflage is changed by painting or nets to find in with the landscape where the vehicle may be operating. On each side of the body are three sliding glass windows with a quick opening awning over each for Sun protection or black-out.
Interior Equipment
Entry is through a door in the back, leading into the main compartment and having a large locker on each side. On the right side is a low cupboard which touches the end of a day and night bed reaching right up to a partition. On the left side of the compartment is a cupboard set high on the wall and below it are two wide hinged flap tables which run the length of the wall and form the desk for maps and documents.There are two roof electric lights, twin lights over the tables and another on the partition. A small folding night table is carried by a partition close to the head of the bed. The interior is plainly finished in varnished light-coloured veneer. A sliding door in the partition discloses a small toilet chamber with a sliding window on each side. The interior is finished in white paint. On the right side is a corner cupboard and on the opposite wall a wash basin with a mirror above and a shaving light. In the centre of the wall is a flush-folding shelf and table with various plates fittings around it. On the right is a small chemical lavatory.
The whole interior is of the utmost simplicity, very different from the sybarite atmosphere of the lavishly equipped trailer caravans of the British country-lovers. This particular caravan has chiefly been used a s General Montgomery's office and the second vehicle as his living quarters. Both HM the King and Mr Winston Churchill have slept in caravan No.1, while among it's distinguished visitors have been General Eisenhower, Prince Bernhardt, Mr Wendell Wilkie and Admiral Cunningham.

Caravan No.2
Now for Caravan No.2. Since it came into the General's possession he has used it as his living and sleeping accommodation, for it contains not only an inbuilt bed, breeding of which rests upon a tensioner lattice-work of rubber bands, but also a flush-sided porcelain bath complete with shower. This vehicle was captured from Field-Marshal Messe, near Enfidaville, towards the end of the North African Campaign. It's detail history is somewhat obscure. It is mounted on a fine American Mack six-wheeler which displaced the Landis chassis on which the caravan was first mounted. The body, however was originally made in Tripoli, and after the Eighth Army has captured the vehicle it went back into the shops of the makers to be reconditioned. Thereafter it was used by General Montgomery throughout the campaign in Sicily and Italy, until the day he left Italy.

IMG_20200519_125810.jpg

Water Storage
Conditions for the driver appear to be considerably more comfortable on No.2, because he has a neat steel labelled cab with a high Vee windscreen and screenwipers. Above the steel roof has been built a false roof with a considerable gap between the two, so as to allow an air blanket against the year of the sun. A rather noticeable fitting by the side of the cab and close to the off-site front wing is a big cylindrical tank placed vertically and having a large pipe running into the engine compartment. The tank keeps drinking water in a cool condition. As on the other vehicle, there is a space between the cab and the body, which is used to accommodate spare wheels. Just behind the drop of the cab roof, Wolseley Motors have lately fitted a large water storage tank. A similar tank was originally carried on the roof of the caravan body, a position where it was easily knocked off, and entailed walking on the roof for refilling purposes. A certain amount of consequent damage has had to be made good, also the door has needed attention to make it watertight.
No.2 Driver's Impressions
Driver C.M.Turned is responsible for No.2, the Mack, and shared with Dvr Woods an immense admiration for the General and an enthusiasm for his vehicle. He has been in North Africa for more than four years, and his impressions of the campaign are many and varied.They embrace a contempt for the uncleanliness of captured Italian camps as compared with the scrupulous business of German camps, a considerable respect for the German as a fighter, and a thorough dislike of minefields, especially the ones with delayed actions, which wait until vehicles have pressed down the sand before they go up. He acted briefly as barman to the captured German General von Thoma, a contact which seems to have ended in a certain understanding, though neither could speak the other's language. As Woods remarked " A lot can be understood from gestures and smiling. " He said that the way in which the Arabs or "W**s" as they are called, appear from nowhere in the desert and endeavour to sell bad information and even worse eggs to both sides was a continual surprise.
To return to the details of Caravan No.2: the body is about the same size as that of the No.1 but is quite differently arranged inside, although the outward structure of canvas exterior and plywood interior are much the same. It provides a large single compartment with the door some way back on the off side. There are three main windows, a fair-sized one in each forward quarter with drop glass and sliding black-out panels, and a casement with a black-out panel in the rear. On the left as one enters through the door there is an L-shaped recess, partly enclosed by labelling and partly by curtains, which contains the excellent bath, and by the side of the bath is an inbuilt wash basin and a large oval mirror above. There is a shower spray above the bath, and electric lights are fitted in suitable positions.
A recess between the roof of the L and side of the body affords hanging space. The interior of this body is rather more sombre than the other, for it is labelled in a darker wood with black beadings. There is a complete simplicity about it, and the only fanciful object is a large locker or cabinet by the door, finished in a figured walnut veneer. This cabinet also provides a table. On the opposite side of the body is a tall hanging cupboard. Across the front end is the bed.
Barrage of Questions
Both drivers were asked many questions by the interestingness while the vehicles were on exhibition in Birmingham. They tried to answer them all and awarded the prize to the man who asked "Where do you get the air from to blow up the tyres?"
The caravans are on view for a short period during the "Daily Telegraph Prisoners of War" exhibition in the grounds of Clarence House W1, which opened on Monday and remains open until May 20th. Again the meanest interest is being displayed in with the detail of the vehicles which had so direct a share in a campaign that possessed many outstanding features to capture the public's imagination
IMG_20200519_125936_kindlephoto-17758184.jpg
 

Mufulira

War Hero
El Alamein to Italy

A report from Autocar magazine 5 May 1944

I found this article in a book titled WW2 Allied Vehicles Military Portfolio 1939-1945 ISBN 1 85520 5467 (Brooklands Books) and felt it useful for laying background information to the Build I am engaged upon. Take a read, it's interesting!


View attachment 474913

General Montgomery 's two caravans, his "battle headquarters" during the victorious North African campaign: Originally of Italian construction, the bodies were mounted, after capture by our forces, on British and American six-wheeler chassis.
Every British subject knows well the history of the North African Campaign in which the "Desert Rats", the tough Eighth Army, under the superb leadership of General Sir B. L. Montgomery, KCB, CB, DSO turned the tables upon the encroaching German and Italian enemy and fought him back tooth and nail and hard by yard, over 1,500 miles of desert from the borders of Egypt to the coastline of Tunisia, where as is now a glorious page in history, he was finally decimated or driven into the sea and the myth of German invincibility was shattered once and for all. This was the campaign which turned the tide of the war, first arrested in the Battle of Britain by the RAF.

Small wonder that this Master Soldier, General "Monty", as a Lancashire lady christened him, should have been converted into a national hero, with a grim and grateful British public, intensely interested in his personality, inspired to make the uttermost effort to give him all that he needs in the tremendous effort still to come. That is why ceaseless crowds have thronged the tents where the two caravans have been on exhibition during the Salute the Soldier Campaign 31st Birmingham, and why similar crowds are gathering and queueing in London now that the vehicles are again on view. Crowds of Human beings stars at the Spartan simplicity of a seasoned campaigner's living quarters; not out of curiosity, but from an intense desire to try to share the mind of the man who carries the tremendous responsibility of all our hopes and of our family lives, and whose guide is his Bible.
It is said that the hard-core soldiers around him in North Africa held him in the highest regard.That his men always come first with him. That he impresses his officers that they are in a sense shepherd's who must look after their flocks. That he is always bright and cheerful, and in the line is rather like a foreman with his men. That he laughs and jokes, and hands out cigarettes; he is abstemious and a non-smoker himself, but no crank. That his personal fitness is proverbial. That he is no respecter of persons where military efficiency or discipline is concerned. That he wins the respect of all by his absolute impartiality and even-handed justice. The General is fond of birds, and carried a pair of budgerigars on his caravans in North Africa. Their cage was slung outside in the daytime and taken inside during the often surprising cold of the desert nights.

His two caravans were never far from the line of battle, just out of shell range, no more. Nevertheless, his camp took it's regular dose of Stuka strafing with the rest, worked about twenty-six hours a day, like the rest, and shared the all-pervading sand - which leaves a fine deposit even in a drinking cup - and the flies and the burning heat of the sun in daytimee, together with the cold at night. In such conditions as these to upset accidentally the daily ration of two pints of drinking water was a catastrophe. From such small details may be obtained just a faint trade of the working atmosphere surrounding the two caravans which are about to be described.
Both these caravans were captured from the enemy, though not in their present state. One might wonder why it was that a British General had to make use of a captured caravan, when equally good or perhaps better caravans can be built in Britain. The answer to that natural question is that in the early stages of the war no provision of the sort had been made, and during the campaign in North Africa our people were glad to lay hands on a travelling home in place of a tent.

At the time when these notes were written the two caravans were in the keeping of Wolseley Motors Ltd., Who were engaged in reconditioning some of the bodywork, which was the worse for hard wear, and at the same time adding improvements to the weather protection and the watertightness. The Autocar is indebted , therefore, to Wolseley's for the privilege of making an examination and preparing illustrations, having first obtained General Montgomery's permission to do so.
Captured in 1941
Caravan No. 1, which is now mounted on a six-wheeler Leyland chassis, carries a brass plaque inside hearing the words Parco Automibilistico Loboratia; Tripoli; December 1940 XIX: which sonorous inscription denotes when and where it was constructed. It was captured during February 1941, by a flying column of the famous 7th Armoured Division at the end of General Wavell's campaign at Beda Tomm, south of Benghazi, from the Italian General Bergonzoli, usually called "Electric Whiskers"
At that time the caravan was based upon a chassis of Italian make, but it was sent back to Alexandria, and there the body was transferred by an Ordnance depot to the present redoubtable Leyland Retriever chassis. Thereafter it was used by Commanders of the Eighth Army including, Generals Ritchie and Auchinleck, until General Montgomery took over in August 1942. He lives in it throughout the advance from El Alamein to Tunis, and during the advance on Tripoli it moved as much as 120 miles across the desert during a day.
Altogether No.1 has covered 36,790 miles and Driver G.H.Woods, RASC, of Nottingham,who is greatly attached to the vehicle, states that the four original tyres are still on the back wheels. Thereby hang two tales.
One is that Dvr Woods' attachment is so comp let's that on the near side of the body is a plate with his name on it, put there hopefully that the vehicle comes his way when he leaves the service. This little human touch has amused General "Monty" and the plate remains in place. "Jungle Goddess" or Caravan No.1 particularly conjures up imaginative visions of that epic campaign across North Africa. It has a tawny appearance, and it's furled canvas windscreen and quick-release sun awnings give it a romantic and at the same time eminently practical look.

The second story is that Dvr Woods has his own ideas about tyre-inflation pressure. He prefers a broad, easy trip for sand, and therefore does not run his tyres board-hard as per regulations. The present condition of the tyres, after more than 36,000 of heavy going varying from the all-pervading sand to rocky outcrop, certainly suggests that Dvr Woods' ideas have worked out in practice.
Incidentally Dvr Woods and his wife have lived in Africa hence the name "Jungle Goddess" across the top of the Leyland Radiator. "Audrey" is the name of his wife. He says that the caravan is capable of nearly 60 mph, and the surprising thing about it is that it rides wonderfully easily, and that the fittings inside do not get shaken to bits, although the vehicle is always running light. This light loading may in part account for the long life of the lower-pressured tyres, which certainly account for the comfort.

Both he and Dvr C.M. Turner RASC of Cardiff, who is responsible for caravan No.2, found life a little difficult in the matter of opportunities for maintenance, greasing and so forth, as the C-in-C was either in a vehicle at work with his staff, or the vehicle was on the move.So they had to do their stuff whilst the C-in-C was having meals in the Mess tent.

View attachment 474914
Symbols that mean much
Now for details of the Leyland Caravan No.1. It is a large six-wheeler with a cab for the driver. It looks much the same as any service lorry. Over he can is a canvas good with roll canvas partition between the peak and the dashboard. There is no bonnet, for the engine is in the cab between the driver and his mate. Between the cab and caravan body itself is a gap, partly filled in with the petrol tank, the spare wheels and, above, a 31-gallon gravity feed water tank for the wash basin and shower. Mounted on the offside of the front of the dash is a white-painted heraldic shield hearing a yellow cross quartered with little symbolic sketches and the names Egypt, Tripolitania, Tunisia and Sicily with Italy worded vertically down the centre.
Rectangular in shape with a curved roof, the caravan body has a canvas outer skin stretched on timber framing and an inner skin of plywood with gender inside. There is a small air space between the two skins to afford insulation from heat, cold and damp. At present the body is painted in the more or less familiar style of camouflage patterns, but this camouflage is changed by painting or nets to find in with the landscape where the vehicle may be operating. On each side of the body are three sliding glass windows with a quick opening awning over each for Sun protection or black-out.
Interior Equipment
Entry is through a door in the back, leading into the main compartment and having a large locker on each side. On the right side is a low cupboard which touches the end of a day and night bed reaching right up to a partition. On the left side of the compartment is a cupboard set high on the wall and below it are two wide hinged flap tables which run the length of the wall and form the desk for maps and documents.There are two roof electric lights, twin lights over the tables and another on the partition. A small folding night table is carried by a partition close to the head of the bed. The interior is plainly finished in varnished light-coloured veneer. A sliding door in the partition discloses a small toilet chamber with a sliding window on each side. The interior is finished in white paint. On the right side is a corner cupboard and on the opposite wall a wash basin with a mirror above and a shaving light. In the centre of the wall is a flush-folding shelf and table with various plates fittings around it. On the right is a small chemical lavatory.
The whole interior is of the utmost simplicity, very different from the sybarite atmosphere of the lavishly equipped trailer caravans of the British country-lovers. This particular caravan has chiefly been used a s General Montgomery's office and the second vehicle as his living quarters. Both HM the King and Mr Winston Churchill have slept in caravan No.1, while among it's distinguished visitors have been General Eisenhower, Prince Bernhardt, Mr Wendell Wilkie and Admiral Cunningham.

Caravan No.2
Now for Caravan No.2. Since it came into the General's possession he has used it as his living and sleeping accommodation, for it contains not only an inbuilt bed, breeding of which rests upon a tensioner lattice-work of rubber bands, but also a flush-sided porcelain bath complete with shower. This vehicle was captured from Field-Marshal Messe, near Enfidaville, towards the end of the North African Campaign. It's detail history is somewhat obscure. It is mounted on a fine American Mack six-wheeler which displaced the Landis chassis on which the caravan was first mounted. The body, however was originally made in Tripoli, and after the Eighth Army has captured the vehicle it went back into the shops of the makers to be reconditioned. Thereafter it was used by General Montgomery throughout the campaign in Sicily and Italy, until the day he left Italy.

View attachment 474915
Water Storage
Conditions for the driver appear to be considerably more comfortable on No.2, because he has a neat steel labelled cab with a high Vee windscreen and screenwipers. Above the steel roof has been built a false roof with a considerable gap between the two, so as to allow an air blanket against the year of the sun. A rather noticeable fitting by the side of the cab and close to the off-site front wing is a big cylindrical tank placed vertically and having a large pipe running into the engine compartment. The tank keeps drinking water in a cool condition. As on the other vehicle, there is a space between the cab and the body, which is used to accommodate spare wheels. Just behind the drop of the cab roof, Wolseley Motors have lately fitted a large water storage tank. A similar tank was originally carried on the roof of the caravan body, a position where it was easily knocked off, and entailed walking on the roof for refilling purposes. A certain amount of consequent damage has had to be made good, also the door has needed attention to make it watertight.
No.2 Driver's Impressions
Driver C.M.Turned is responsible for No.2, the Mack, and shared with Dvr Woods an immense admiration for the General and an enthusiasm for his vehicle. He has been in North Africa for more than four years, and his impressions of the campaign are many and varied.They embrace a contempt for the uncleanliness of captured Italian camps as compared with the scrupulous business of German camps, a considerable respect for the German as a fighter, and a thorough dislike of minefields, especially the ones with delayed actions, which wait until vehicles have pressed down the sand before they go up. He acted briefly as barman to the captured German General von Thoma, a contact which seems to have ended in a certain understanding, though neither could speak the other's language. As Woods remarked " A lot can be understood from gestures and smiling. " He said that the way in which the Arabs or "W**s" as they are called, appear from nowhere in the desert and endeavour to sell bad information and even worse eggs to both sides was a continual surprise.
To return to the details of Caravan No.2: the body is about the same size as that of the No.1 but is quite differently arranged inside, although the outward structure of canvas exterior and plywood interior are much the same. It provides a large single compartment with the door some way back on the off side. There are three main windows, a fair-sized one in each forward quarter with drop glass and sliding black-out panels, and a casement with a black-out panel in the rear. On the left as one enters through the door there is an L-shaped recess, partly enclosed by labelling and partly by curtains, which contains the excellent bath, and by the side of the bath is an inbuilt wash basin and a large oval mirror above. There is a shower spray above the bath, and electric lights are fitted in suitable positions.
A recess between the roof of the L and side of the body affords hanging space. The interior of this body is rather more sombre than the other, for it is labelled in a darker wood with black beadings. There is a complete simplicity about it, and the only fanciful object is a large locker or cabinet by the door, finished in a figured walnut veneer. This cabinet also provides a table. On the opposite side of the body is a tall hanging cupboard. Across the front end is the bed.
Barrage of Questions
Both drivers were asked many questions by the interestingness while the vehicles were on exhibition in Birmingham. They tried to answer them all and awarded the prize to the man who asked "Where do you get the air from to blow up the tyres?"
The caravans are on view for a short period during the "Daily Telegraph Prisoners of War" exhibition in the grounds of Clarence House W1, which opened on Monday and remains open until May 20th. Again the meanest interest is being displayed in with the detail of the vehicles which had so direct a share in a campaign that possessed many outstanding features to capture the public's imagination
View attachment 474919
Are these type of Command vehicles still referred to as 'Gin Palaces"?
 

Smeggers

ADC
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Are these type of Command vehicles still referred to as 'Gin Palaces"?
No. The "Gin Palaces" often referred to were the radio vehicles used by R.Sigs and R.A. personnel during WW2. Due to the oft times lonely nature of their location by higher command, they had to be self-sufficient. Having served with R.Sigs myself and knowing the nature of equipment and stores kept on Radio Relay and Rebro units, a "Gin Palace" was probably the lesser of all evils. Various Ruperts would visit the more accommodating units for a post prandial snorter or three.
 

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