Origin of "Snatch" (as in APV...)

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by fantassin, Sep 7, 2009.

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  1. I am of course aware of the different meanings of "snatch".... In the Land Rover APV's instance, where is the name "snatch" actually coming from ?

    Is it an official name or not ?

    Thanks !
  2. I also thought about the snatch squads but they were foot-mobile IIRC and they already existed at the time of the "Makrolon" Land Rovers....
  3. It's an official name. I'd always heard that it did come from 'snatch squads', although I suspect that there was probably some squaddy humour on the go as well, as in: "Snigger.... the Minister just said that we were deploying Snatches!"

    Another possible explanantion might be found if you look on the MOD's website: here the name is spelt in capitals, which suggests that it might have started off as a codeword.
  4. No Pb - I was the Equipment Manager for the introduction of the APV (VB 1722 or VB 1728 - sorry, memort failing) in 1984 and it was just called an APV. Riots were, in general, well gone by then although they still occurred.

    It was (badly) designed for use in urban patrol environments, mainly Belfast and Londonderry.
  5. Definitely nothing to do with snatch squads. It was brought into service as a rural patrol vehicle and didn't become the primary PO vehicle until about 2000 when we started copying the police PO tactics.
  6. As Petriburg says.
    In 1989, we had the V8 Snatch Rovers for use in public order situations. The snatch would drive forward of the shield line and the snatch squad would nip out and grab a naughty person and bring them back to the coppers for a bit of a chat. The rest of the troops were in crappy series 3 rovers with kevlar panels - about as swift as a 3 legged sloth with 2 toes.
  7. See my above mate and add about 16 years. Talk about make do and mend :evil:
  8. In Hong Kong during the late 60’s we did anti snatch duties on the China / H/K border. (Only weapon we could use was a parang). 8O
  9. But you are talking about APV (which was our main patrol vehicle in urban areas) and I am talking about SNATCH which was deployed as a rural patrol vehicle which we then used for PO when we copied the police tactics.

    My PO experience in NI only goes back as far as 1990. I have heard of snatch squads in vehicles from the 70s but I have never heard of it being used since then.

    In 1990 Army PO tactics were baselines using 6 foot shields either side of a pig with small foot mounted snatch squads. APVs were only used to carry the rest of the Pl to the scene of the riot which at that time we rarely attended because the RUC were handling it on their own.

    In 93 or 94 SNATCH came into service as a rural patrol vehicle. APV was still being used in the cities until TAVERN came into service. Some SNATCH were being used in PO where APV or TAVERN weren't available but really only to transport troops.

    In about 94/95 the pig was swapped for SAXON patrol but the tactics (6 foot shields and snatch squads on foot) stayed largely the same.

    In 96/97 as we started to see more and more PO the tactics began to change. Snatch squads were binned and only half the Pl was with the SAXONs and 6 foot shields, the rest used short shields in an effort to copy the faster, more responsive RUC tactics.

    By 2000 we had given up the 6 foots almost completely, everyone was on short shields and started using 3 to 5 SNATCH copying the vehicle tactics the police used with their TANGIAs. Those were the same tactics we were using in 2005 when we last had troops doing PO and to the best of my knowledge what the units on standby to support the PSNI during the marching season are still being taught.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Interesting and see my point about rotation. We had also given up using 6 foot shields in 1975 and as a Instructor at NITAT in 1980 we really never bothered about them except to mention they existed. During riots in Castle Steet and Unity Flats we deployed very few 6 foot shields as we use Baton Rounds and CS to keep the rioters at bay.Edited to add - 1975

    And the RUC actually copied out tactics from earlier on. In the early 1980's there were still discussions on the mobilty vs protection argument e.g Paras for light armouring i.e. boots and batons vs others for light protection behind the shield wall.

    In truth the only difference between the Snatch and the APV was an uparmouring if you could call it that!

    Oh and the reintroduction of airconditioning!

    As an aside I did the explosive and projectile attack trials on the Snatch in the early 1990's and the usual problems of protection, mobility and firepower surfaced.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. I was in the BRB in 89; Jun-Oct if memory serves; we definitely did not use the Snatch for PO. We used Pigs with the Snatches doing mobile/satellites as normal, the coy had 8 IIRC. As it was the 20th anniversary it was reasonably busy in this regard!

  12. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

  13. Dis/does Saxon in NI have the shields at the sides like the "Flying Pigs"?