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World War II Wiki
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World War II Wiki

The Vickers-Peerless was a Greek-made armored car model from the 1920s which served in various duties with the Greek police, until it was pressed into emergency military service during World War II.[2]

Description

The Vickers-Peerless armored cars were built on the chassis of the 1916 4-ton TC4 4x2, an American truck built by the Peerless company. Like the TC4, the Vickers-Peerless featured a 40 hp inline engine and chain-driven wheels.[2]

The cabin, in the front behind the engine compartment, was crewed by two: a driver and an assistant driver. The rear box could transport a maximum of 15 soldiers to combat or, alternatively, three machine gunners.

For armor, the Vickers-Peerless featured 5.3 mm plates around its main body. The raised troop box in the rear was made from 8 mm of steel. The top was originally left open, but later a fence-like iron roof was added to protect the crew from hand grenades and stones landing inside. This protection still proved insufficient, and so eventually the roof was covered with steel plating. These later steel-plate roofs featured latches around the edges which could be opened or closed for better visibility. [2]

The trucks's main weapons were a number of M1914 Hotchkiss guns, which fired through circular ports in the rear box's armor. Most examples featured at least two machine guns on the left and right side, while some had a third Hotchkiss in the rear, pointing backwards. [2] [1]

Additional armament was provided by holes cut in the armor, similar to the machine gun ports. These holes, however, were left empty and designed for passengers to use with their own weapons.[2] [1]

Description

Built in 1923, the Vickers-Peerless armored cars were the result of a £7,162 contract sent to Vickers by the Greek government, ordering the company to “Armor 10 Peerless lorries”.[3]

Greek soldiers in the back of a Peerless-Vickers make use of the rifle ports in the sides of the armor.

The vehicles were put into service with the Greek police soon after their completion, where they were used in the Greek civli unrests and coup d'etats of the 1920s and '30s.[3]

During the Greco-Italian War, the Vickers-Peerless trucks were still in service, and may have seen some scarce use against Italian forces.[2]

British troops in urban combat, supported by a Peerless-Vickers.

By the time the Greek conflict involved both Germany and Great Britain, at least one of the armored cars was still in service, and supported British troops at Thessaloniki.

It is unknown if any Vickers-Peerless cars survived the war, but none are known to exist today.

Variants

The Vickers-Peerless were very diverse in construction and, as such, many variations exist. The main difference between units was the style of the roof. Most of the vehicles' roofs were iron-mesh, but a few Vickers-Peerless cars were up-armored with steel roofs.[2]

A Vickers-Peerless with a steel plate roof. Note the latch opened at the front of the vehicle, and the crew inside.

The number of machine guns present was another common variation, numbering anywhere from 1 to 3.[2] [1]

References

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