I was wondering what vehicles did the Para's use when on patrol during the Seventies and early eighties in urban situation ? Was it predominatly the pig and open topped landrover or did they use Saracen and feret as well?
DMS Boots were the most common 'vehicles' around that time, just before the advent of the NI High leg patrol boot.
I don't ever recall seeing a .30 mounted in an urban area and I was in Belfast in 1980. Couldn't see that you'd be able to use one in an urban unless you absolutely, positively just had to kill everyone the whole street.
Saracens (if my memory serves me well) around that time were used in urban areas only by the ATO and as Ambulances.
As for 'preference'......you never had any. You drove what you there was. Humbers & Lannies (open topped or Macrallon coated)
70-72, 2 PARA used landrover with windscreen folded and doors and canopy off. They worked on the basis that a stripped vehicle was easier to deploy from than an enclosed model. 1 PARA made much use of pigs (vehicles not the animal) - mostly embellished with label 'This little piggy goes to Hollywood'
No 30cal on Saracens in Belfast throughout the 70s - early to mid 80s, can recall the PRB from Ballykinler bringing their Ferrets complete with 30cal to the Falls one summer in the very early 1970s. Did, once or twice, take GPMGs on foot patrols in certain areas of West Belfast.
Don't forget those bloody awful 'Macrolon' LRs. But mostly the mode of transport was Boots DMS and later boots urban patrol NI!
CC. Granted during 'Motorman' Saracens made a brief appearance with 30cal in Atown, not afterwards I commanded a platoon working in that area circa '73 and would have appreciated the fire power on occasion!