Help please with identifying these Lightweight Land Rovers

Discussion in 'REME' started by ATK106, Feb 20, 2008.

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  1. A consignment of 4 unusual Land Rovers has recently returned to England from Cyprus and we are trying to research their history.

    The vehicles were originally used by the British Army and were disposed of locally in Cyprus. All four have at some time been converted to carry a 106mm Recoilless Rifle (M40A2 we think). We have no idea where or who converted these vehicles.

    Land Rover did supply a number of Air-Portable Gunships (converted by Marshall’s of Cambridge) to Saudi, but they look nothing like these vehicles.

    We have been told that 3 PARA used eight 106mm Recoilless Rifles in Suez and Jordan on Austin Champs but we are not sure whether the Rifles were fitted to the Lightweights when they came into service in the late 1960's early 1970's.

    We believe that the vehicles were acquired by the Cypriot National Guard when they were disposed of in 1978 by the UK MOD.

    So far we have only been able to find one picture (attached) showing one of the vehicles with a visible Cypriot registration number.

    We have contacted the REME Museum in Arborfield, but they are not sure who carried out the conversions.

    We would be very grateful for any pictures or information, that anyone could provide us with, regarding their conversion as we have bought 2 of these vehicles and will be sympathetically restoring them over the next few years.


    Thanks in advance
  2. Looks like a series 9 or 10/11 airportable lannie modified for Wombat.
  3. Wiki mentions Wombat being mounted on a 3/4 T Rover

    I recall seeing one on a firepower demo mounted on a 3/4 T series 3(bloody loud it was too) but have never heard of or seen pictures etc of Wombat mounted on an Air Portable?
  4. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    During the heady days of 19 (Airportable) Brigade, based in Colchester during 1960's these vehicles were used by support companies in some battalions. IIRc 2 Greenjackets (KRRC) had some during an excercise in Norway, when in ACE Moblie mode.

    I also believe that the Duke of Boots reg had them for a deployement. They were certainly used in Cyprus during early 1960's by inf units there.
  5. Looks like a Series 2A Airportable to me by the front wings. The older 10/11 had the more normal rounded wings (and the headlights in the radiator grille). Not my bag, but in Belize in 1987 I remember they took the CONBATs ( WOMBAT deritive I was told) out to sea and dumped them as a part of decommissioning.
  6. Re WOMBAT - confirmed that this was mounted on a3/4 ton portee Land Rover.

    The picture looks wrong in a few respects. The door windows wouldn't have been fitted, nor would the canopy frame.

    The weapon seems to be a permanent fit (unlike the Wombat, which had wheels and a ramp - one reason for it being on a 3/4 tonner, rather than a 1/2 tonner).

    I'm only guessing, but I'd suggest that this modification was done by (or on behalf of) the Cypriots.
  7. I think the grunts had Wombats in Berlin in the 70s-80s
  8. For ATK 106 - Drop me a PM - I was 38 1/2 yrs in the Army - In 2 regiments and 1 Corps - 1954 -72 In the Ranks, and 1.1.72 until 19.10.91
    as an Officer. One of my tours was with 2 Para A/Tk Pl - We were equipped with 106mm RCL's - The picture you displayed was "weird" - One could never have fired that 106mm with all the clap trap of doors, superstructure windscreens etc still on it. I will be getting some photos sorted that will show my 106mm RCL on a Mk 3 LR after it was dropped onto Morphou DZ in Cyprus in May 1960.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Regarding Suez, 1SCLI anti tanks provided volunteers for the airlanding wave to man the recoiless rifles. A friends dad was a Lcpl at the time and it was so much fun that he signed on for 22 (national serviceman at the time).