Thursday, June 25, 2009

Australian Local Pattern Universal Carriers - LP2 and 2A

As Australia was closely aligned with British military doctrine, the Army desired the introduction of a light armoured vehicle for reconnaissance and liaison work, broadly based upon the British Universal Carrier design, but modified to use local manufacturing techniques and available commercial parts.

The first design, the Carrier, MG (Aust) No.1 or LP1, closely resembled the British Bren carrier. This carrier design was seriously flawed, however, displaying many faults - not least being serious engine overheating and brake wear. After approximately 160 of these vehicles had been built, the Army called for an improved design. This was the LP2 and 2A (the designation depends upon the type of rear axle assembly), incorporating improved steering, brakes, and other modifications. In all, by the time production ended in 1943, over 4,700 LP2 and 2A carriers had been built.

Australian-produced local pattern MG carriers saw service with the Australian Army both at home and abroad, seeing action in the Middle East (Syria, Palestine, Egypt), Malaya, New Guinea, and the islands of the south-west Pacific. Some soldiered on into the 1950s, and took part in the early stages of Australia's involvement of the Korean War.

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