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"SCW Armoured Lorries - were they ever successful in combat?" Topic

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Aubrey29 May 2015 1:43 a.m. PST

I'm planning to pit my Communist Militia against my mates Italian CTV next week. I'll be using as always an Armoured Lorry. In the rules we use (Peter Pig's BAIT) its pretty worthless which reflects pretty much everything I've read about them. But is any one aware of any successes they might have had?

Martin Rapier29 May 2015 3:02 a.m. PST

It is an armoured vehicle in a conflict with few AFVs, and not really that different to the military pattern armoured cars built in the interwar period which were also just a load of armour stuck on a truck chassis.

The main issue with civilian ones is that they were usually completely roadbound. Less of a problem in an urban environment, but not great in the wide outdoors.

In the context of the SCW though, I can't say I'ever come across an account of their actual use in action, but many accounts are pretty vague and just refer to 'armoured cars' which could be anything.

Mute Bystander29 May 2015 3:29 a.m. PST

Like APCs (different from ICVs) they should be useful as "Battle Taxis" only, not fighting AFVs!

johnpreece29 May 2015 4:20 a.m. PST

To answer your question, no. I have never read of their use in a context where they are specifically identified.

As to their tactical use. I think you should be thinking of them as mobile pillboxes. Something similar to the British concrete pillbox on the back of a lorry that was built in 1940.

Even if they had been capable of an offensive role (which they weren't) they had all broken down long before the Republic had stopped fighting purely defensive actions.

In my opinion, an APC in 1936 Spain was a commandeered civilian lorry with some slogans on it.

But I'm happy to be corrected on all of the above.

Irish Marine29 May 2015 6:41 a.m. PST

It's game so do you want. I know when I was in Somalia the technicals gave us a headache and in Iraq as well. So if historically they had them use them in your game, just use them as a mobile bunker or base of fire.

Legbiter29 May 2015 10:24 a.m. PST

I think one did have some success on the Government side during the Easter rising, a hastily-converted Guinness truck IIRC.

scrivs29 May 2015 11:25 a.m. PST

Don't forget the morale effect of having a lovely big truck bristling with guns and sporting some natty trade union slogans on your side.

Mallen29 May 2015 11:43 a.m. PST

in 15mm, they make excellent fishing weights.

Mike O30 May 2015 8:11 a.m. PST

"Durruti in the Spanish Revolution" by Abel Paz has this to say:

"With respect to the armored vehicles, they were trucks fitted with light metal plates, fabricated between July 22 and the morning of July 24 [1936]. The real armored vehicle — which got to the Column later — was the celebrated "King Kong" (driven by Antonio Bonilla)."

Paz's earlier book "Durruti: The People Armed" has this photo showing that it had been produced in a factory run by the CNT rather than hastily improvised:


King Kong was one of a series of 37 tiznaos produced at the Torras Herreria Y Construcciones works of which there were six variants, some with turrets, some without.
(Blindados: Los medios blindados de ruedas en España. Un siglo de historia (Vol. 1) – Francisco Marin and JM Mata)

"Durruti: The People Armed" goes on to mention Torras King Kong still in use in October 1936 when it and another tiznao supported the International Group against a Nationalist offensive in the Perdiguera area. The Internationals became surrounded and when a relief force managed to break through;

"In the first car "King Kong", Bonilla, the only survivor, was still shooting at the Moors who were howling around the motor as though possessed."

Some video of tiznaos here (King Kong briefly appears on the 22nd down):

However even with the factory tiznaos they were still having to use available commercial trucks or buses and there was always a poor power-to-weight ratio. There was a lot of experimentation with different designs, some better than others and the concept of many larger, turreted versions was similar to a modern IFV; APC and fire-support. Some of the poorer designs couldn't even mount the kerb, never mind leave the road.

As others have mentioned, the morale effect on an enemy without vehicles or heavy weapons could be out of proportion to actual effectiveness. As during the RCW the mere rumour of an enemy "tank" could spread panic amongst inexperienced troops.

Come on, who isn't impressed by the sheer wonder that is the Constructora Field No.2 ??


Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2015 9:00 a.m. PST

They must have had some benefits in combat because the Republic turned out a lot of them, some jerry-rigged and some planned in the first two years of the war. How they were used and effectiveness could vary widely. Most rules for the SCW cover their use. Chain of Command has varient rules for free covering the war and the armored vehicles:

PDF link

Aubrey01 Jun 2015 6:42 a.m. PST

Thankyou to everybody for their responses. Its provided some useful food for thought.
Special thanks to Durruti for the time put into his response.
The newly rechristened 'King Kong' (not that my Armoured Lorry looks anything like the real one but its such a great name)is taking the field against the CTV tonight. I live in hope that this time it will achieve something.

Mike O02 Jun 2015 4:16 a.m. PST

No problem, mate, I've been researching these beasts for myself so happy to share.

Hope your game went well and here's another example of an armoured truck in action…sort of! evil grin

YouTube link

Aubrey03 Jun 2015 2:49 a.m. PST

Thanks again Durruti.

Great clip. I'll be sure to look out for the full length film.

Game was a disaster for the Communists. Half my force we're holding a village with the rest including the Armoured Lorry to come on as reinforcements. Unfortunately, the Italian attack was far too strong and the men in the village broke really quickly. This meant that the Italians were ready by the time the reinforcements arrived clustered round the dubious protection of the Lorry. Down the road trundled a CV33 Flamethrower tank blasted the Communist infantry and what was left surrendered.

Oh well fighting the Moroccans next week and I'm resisting temptation to use one of my different Republican forces.

Thanks again.

BlackWidowPilot Fezian05 Jun 2015 9:07 p.m. PST

Come on, who isn't impressed by the sheer wonder that is the Constructora Field No.2 ??

That is one of my all time favorite improvised AFVs EVER! I like to think of it as the "Iron Hippo" due to its passing resemblance to a hippo…evil grin

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

Mike O07 Jun 2015 12:28 p.m. PST

I like to think of it as the "Iron Hippo"

Definitely something a bit zoomorphic going on there! How about this one??


Aubrey09 Jun 2015 3:55 a.m. PST

I like that one Durruti. It looks like an animal made out of empty cereal packets. Very Blue Peter-ish.

BlackWidowPilot Fezian10 Jun 2015 12:47 p.m. PST

It's a zoo I tells ya:




And this one especially when viewed from the front looks to my eye like a particular Leafhopper insect on wheels:


Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

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