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Old 11-12-2008, 05:02 PM
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Default Gun Trucks

I have reading a lot about Vietnam Era gun tucks which where generally built from M35A1, 5 ton cargo trucks of the time period. Many of these vehicles had interesting names brightly painted on there sides. Names like "Eve of Destruction" "uncle Meat" "Canned Heat" "The Assassin !" to name a few.

Often times these trucks where equipped with scavenged heavy infantry weapons like the 7.62 M60 machine gun, .50 M2HB as well as the GE 7.62 Vulcan Mini gun. Most trucks only had a few machine guns a one known as "Nancy" was eqquiped with a Anti-aircraft M2 qaud mount.

These trucks where equipped with improvised armor plated that was welded to the bed to give the gunners protection from ambushes and roadside bombs. Some of the trucks had stripped M113 armored personnel carriers sitting in the back of the bed to provide a fighting platform with overhead protection as well as turrets for the machine gunners.

Or course these trucks where laden with ammunition, spare tires ect. Many of them where armed/armored Maintenance trucks for the repair as well as defense of other trucks in the convoy.

Has anyone used anything like this in there twilight gaming sessions? I had a group of Czech troops driving around a stolen Ural that had a ZPU-2 in the back.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:20 PM
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This was from someone's (graebarde's??) 5th division reorganization document


275 Cavalry (provisional)
‘MAD MAX’

The ADA battalion was in a like situation, due to lack of viable air threat, and missiles to place on target. Matthews, at the urging of the Air Cavalry commander, authorized the formation of what was referred to as the ‘Mad Max’ Battalion. It consists of highly modified HMMWVs, 5-ton cargo trucks, all converted into gun platforms reminiscent of the Vietnam era gun trucks, and a few home-brewed FAVs. Theses are located in the 275 Cavalry, a provisional unit based on one of the division attack helicopter battalions. These vehicles are ‘farmed out’ for convoy escort, base security, and fire support for light battalions as needed, or available. The number and types of vehicles in the battalion continues to grow, based on salvaged weapons and platforms, with a current battery of 23 vehicles.

Headquarters 12
Maintenance and Log 18
Vehicle crews 105

Mod 1 5-ton 1x 7.62 minigun crew 4-6 3x
‘GRIM REAPER’ ‘SHOGUN’ ‘ACE OF SPADES’

Mod 2 5-ton 1x 30mm chaingun crew 5-6 1x
‘UNDERTAKER’

Mod 3 5-ton LWB 4x 2.75” rocket pods crew 4-6 1x
‘SWOOSHER’

Mod 4 5-ton 1x AGL, 2x GPMG crew 5-7 3x
‘REBEL ROUSER’ ‘BABY CAKES’ ‘SPIRIT OF AMERICA’

Mod 5 5-ton 1x HMG, 1x AGL, 2x GPMG crew 6-8 1x
‘ROAD WARRIOR’

Mod 6 AVENGER 4x HELLFIRE, 1x 25mm chaingun crew 2-3 2x
‘HELL’S ANGEL’ ‘PAUL’S REVENGE’

Mod 7 HMMWV 1x AGL crew 2-3 1x
‘SCORPION’

Mod 8 HMMWV 1x HMG, 1x GPMG crew 4-5 2x
‘THUNDER’ ‘BLITZKREIG’

Mod 9 HMMWV 3x GPMG crew 4-5 3x
‘SALLY ANN’ ‘TWISTER’ ‘BALLS TO THE WALL’

Mod 10 FAV 1x AGL crew 2-3 1x
‘LITTLE THUNDER’

Mod 11 FAV 1x HMG crew 2-3 2x
‘DAISY CHAIN’ ‘SLEEPY JOE’

Mod 12 10-ton HEMET 1x 23mm quad, 1x 82mm ‘pickle’ mortar, 2x 30mm AGL, 2x GPMG
‘THE BEAST’ crew 10-12 1x

Mod 13 5-ton 2x 7.62 minigun, 1x AGL crew 6-8 1x
‘VALKYRIE’

Mod 14 5-ton M165 Vulcan ADA APC chassis crew 4-8 1x ‘BUZZ SAW’
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother in Arms
Has anyone used anything like this in there twilight gaming sessions? I had a group of Czech troops driving around a stolen Ural that had a ZPU-2 in the back.
The PCs in my campaign just jacked a Polish KAMAZ 6x6 with a ZU-23-2 mounted in the bed. I'll try to post some pics sometime soon.

I think Targan's players had a HMET bristling with all kinds of weapons.

IRL, the Soviets employed various ad-hoc gun-trucks on convoy escort duty in Afghanistan.

BTW, B.I.A., I am a big fan of gun-trucks. Any particular books on the topic you could recommend for me?
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:19 PM
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Raellus

Technically I think both the Ural I mentioned and the KAMAZ these days would be called technicals (a sorry attempt at a pun) I think the difference between the two would be the ad hoc Armor that the gun trucks had.

I didn't know the soviets used them in Afghanistan....the US used gun trucks again in Iraq, For the same basic purpose as in RVN.

There are a ton of pages about gun trucks. In fact one group of fellows rebuilt a gun truck in new jersey and collegue of his wrote a book called

The Hard Ride
by James Lyles
Volume I
ISBN #971-93037-1-9

Its an exspensive but awesome book volume 2 should be out soon and it covers other gun vehicles. Like Jeeps 3/4 tons ect.

Check out the interweb though you wont be disappointed.

Brother in Arms
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:22 PM
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Oh I found this today though its more about technicals than gun trucks it shows some pretty crude armed vehicles in Somalia in the early 90's I think this is totally the sort of stuff that would show up in T2K

http://membres.lycos.fr/France40/techphot.html
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother in Arms
Technically I think both the Ural I mentioned and the KAMAZ these days would be called technicals (a sorry attempt at a pun) I think the difference between the two would be the ad hoc Armor that the gun trucks had.
So, armor is the difference between gun-truck and "technical"? My understanding is that a "technical" is just some sort of truck (civilian models, especially) where someone has plunked an HMG or light AA gun on the back. I think the term was coined in Somalia. If I remember correctly- and I probably don't- Somali militias came up with it (the name, not the concept).

It seems like a purely semantic distinction to me.

The KAMAZ I mentioned is purpose built as a SPAA gun. I'll post a pick or two this weekend some time.

Graebarde, I like your list. A "Flying Battalion" is a cool idea and one that I fully endorse.

May I suggest "Boudica" as a truck name, in honor of the photo O'Borg posted.
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
Graebarde, I like your list. A "Flying Battalion" is a cool idea and one that I fully endorse.

May I suggest "Boudica" as a truck name, in honor of the photo O'Borg posted.
I like that "Boudica". Armed to the gills, and crewed by women. Hummmm.. gives me ideas for some other names too, and female crew, or at least commanded by a female.

Thanks for jarring the rust.
Grae
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:09 AM
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Here is an MTVR currently used by US troops in Iraq. Up armored truck are coming out as soon as war starts.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:38 PM
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There was a Challenge magazine article that dealt with gun trucks; they were M-113 chassis mounted on trucks mostly, but some were custom-built. Lots of machine guns and Mark-19 AGLs installed. One variant had an M-901 TOW vehicle mounted, so instant anti-armor vehicle.

One author called the Vietnam gun truckers "Mad Max" types, and one does wonder if the creators of that character had the gun truckers (the Aussies had them too in SVN) in mind. Incidentally, one of the gun truckers won a MOH, so be warned: those vehicles can be dangerous (along with their drivers).

Our group has one gun truck: a captured Ural 375 truck with a ZU-23 mounted in the back. The gun's on its second truck: it was previously mounted on another 375 before some marauders got lucky and RPG'd the truck's engine. That was their last bit of good luck, as they didn't survive the resulting fire-fight.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:21 AM
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Probably some of the earliest Technicals were used by the LRDG :



This is a posed photo, but note the passenger side MG has no trigger - that's because its a Vickers K model salvaged from an aircraft and the firing mechanism is worked by pushing the home-made shoulder stock forwards.
The LRDG & later SAS liked the Lewis MG because its high rate of fire worked well when firing on the move. Plus the pan magazines fitted nicely into an army issue biscuit tin for easy storage

Not that the LRDG were the first people to modify their vehicles...

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Old 11-13-2008, 01:35 PM
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Was in a game where we (Chalkie and I) built the original BEAST. It was based on a Russian TEL (launcher vehicle for mid sized missiles) though don't recall the name designation. It had (IRRC) quaq 23, 82 Valsik (what we called the Pickel, from Valasic pickles) some PKs and at least on AGL. Heck the crew was numbered at least ten, with additional ride-a-longs. Campaign died before the vehicle did.

I went on to construct the list of gun trucks for my defunct OpFred campaign, though they were not directly avail to the PCs.

Grae

Last edited by Graebarde; 11-14-2008 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:30 PM
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Default The origin of "Technicals"

The term "Technical" actually has nothing to do with armor, or the lack thereof.

During the Somali famine, but before US intervention, relief groups and news crews were extorted/persuaded to hire local toughs for protection. Back in the 1990s it was not a good idea to have mercenaries and protection payments on ones balance sheet, so the mercs/militiamen were dubbed "technical staff". The name stuck.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top-Break View Post
The term "Technical" actually has nothing to do with armor, or the lack thereof.

During the Somali famine, but before US intervention, relief groups and news crews were extorted/persuaded to hire local toughs for protection. Back in the 1990s it was not a good idea to have mercenaries and protection payments on ones balance sheet, so the mercs/militiamen were dubbed "technical staff". The name stuck.
Interesting tidbit. Thanks, Top.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:35 PM
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Top, thanks for posting that piece. I had no idea. It's interesting where names come from.

Army SGT, thanks for all those great images. Sigh. This is another one of those forehead slapping moments for me. Why haven't I given more thought to gun trucks in CONUS (everywhere, really) in 2000? They ought to be darned well ubiquitous. All one needs is a truck, some steel plating for armor, a means to attach the plating, and some weapons to mount on the truck. Duh. Even the light divisions ought to have a number of these, so long as fuel exists and the truck can be kept in repair.

I'm seriously thinking that I need to revisit all of my TO&E to account for gun trucks. The matter of gun trucks begs the question of priorities. If one has an M60, does it belong on a gun truck or with a platoon of dismounts? Heavier weapons, like the M2HB, almost certainly have to be mounted on a vehicle. Of course, machine guns aren't exactly as common as hunting rifles. Only so many are going to be confronted with this choice. Still, when I think about the Vermont State Guard and the Granite Brigade (NH), these are organizations with access to cargo trucks, homemade armor, and machine guns. Do the M60s and 60mm mortars go on trucks or with the dismounts?
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Webstral View Post
Army SGT, thanks for all those great images.


I'm seriously thinking that I need to revisit all of my TO&E to account for gun trucks. The matter of gun trucks begs the question of priorities. If one has an M60, does it belong on a gun truck or with a platoon of dismounts? Heavier weapons, like the M2HB, almost certainly have to be mounted on a vehicle. Of course, machine guns aren't exactly as common as hunting rifles. Only so many are going to be confronted with this choice. Still, when I think about the Vermont State Guard and the Granite Brigade (NH), these are organizations with access to cargo trucks, homemade armor, and machine guns. Do the M60s and 60mm mortars go on trucks or with the dismounts?
Your welcome,

Gun trucks serve two purposes.

For Convoys they bring often overwhelming fire power to a convoy. Making a convoy to dangerous to attack. This fire power can travel with and at the same speed as the convoy.

Heavy Weapons platform. The accompany dismounts or support base defense. They use the longer range of the heavy weapons to keep away from enemy dismounts while bring direct fire and indirect fire in support of their own.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:04 PM
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In Tw2k your likely to use captured enemy wagons for gun trucks. If you lose one......... meh. While desperately using your own that you do have parts for as haulers.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:05 PM
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It would be hard to overstate the value of armored fire support vehicles in CONUS in 2000/2001. Really, in any location in the world in which the local bandits and warlords don't have access to heavy weapons, a gun truck would play a key role in enabling government troops to assault marauder and warlord strongholds. By the same token, functional gun trucks would enable those who would be law unto themselves to overcome the defenses of lightly armed militias.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webstral View Post
If one has an M60, does it belong on a gun truck or with a platoon of dismounts? Heavier weapons, like the M2HB, almost certainly have to be mounted on a vehicle. Of course, machine guns aren't exactly as common as hunting rifles. Only so many are going to be confronted with this choice. Still, when I think about the Vermont State Guard and the Granite Brigade (NH), these are organizations with access to cargo trucks, homemade armor, and machine guns. Do the M60s and 60mm mortars go on trucks or with the dismounts?
A couple of the color plates in the Osprey book show M60Ds (helicoper door guns with spade grips and ring sights intead of a butt-stock and a pistol grip) mounted on gun trucks. It seems to me that, with very few aircraft still airworthy, this would be a natural use for old door guns.

It's almost ridiculous how many MGs some of those Vietnam-era gun trucks carried. We're talking 3-5 M2HBs and 2-4 M-60s per truck, in some instances. One even had two 7.62mm Miniguns! Most of them carried an M-79 too. I was surprised that none of the images in the book show AGLs as a gun truck weapon. I know that they were widely used on PBRs by the Brown Water Navy. I wonder why they never caught on as gun truck weapons.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:16 AM
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Coax machineguns from knocked out AFVs would be useful on trucks also. The added bulk of makeshift butts and trigger mechanisms wouldn't matter that much when mounted.
You might also see coax weapons on tripods and used as SFMG in the indirect role. It's possible they could even be used on trolleys - imagine a pram reworked to carry a machinegun instead of a baby....
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
A couple of the color plates in the Osprey book show M60Ds (helicoper door guns with spade grips and ring sights intead of a butt-stock and a pistol grip) mounted on gun trucks. It seems to me that, with very few aircraft still airworthy, this would be a natural use for old door guns.

It's almost ridiculous how many MGs some of those Vietnam-era gun trucks carried. We're talking 3-5 M2HBs and 2-4 M-60s per truck, in some instances. One even had two 7.62mm Miniguns! Most of them carried an M-79 too. I was surprised that none of the images in the book show AGLs as a gun truck weapon. I know that they were widely used on PBRs by the Brown Water Navy. I wonder why they never caught on as gun truck weapons.
Speaking for the Vietnam-era AGLs, it was an experimental Honeywell design that was hand-cranked. The first real AGL is the XM-174 by Aerojet. Both designs used either a 12rd drum or a 50rd box and fired standard 40mm grenades (the barrel on the XM-174 is the same one fitted to a M-79).

GIs also took the time to strip any crashed gunships and stripped them of their M-75 40mm (Cobra) and the M-5 40mm (UH-1 gunships).

There is a photo in the national archieves that shows one gun truck fitted with no less than six 40mm AGLs!

There are also pics of twin M-60 mounts mounted on each corner of the truck bed.

Another favorite mounted on some gun trucks was the E8 35mm 16-tube CS gas grenade launcher, I've seen at least three pics that shows at least two of these units mounted.

If you have a chance to check out a copy of Shelby's Vietnam Order of Battle (pg 303), there is an great pic of a M-151 jeep, protected by sandbags and armed with a M-134 7.62mm minigun for the passenger and a Honeywell handcranked GL on a pedestal mount!
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:56 AM
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Do the M60s and 60mm mortars go on trucks or with the dismounts?
A quick WWII reference: some US units used Willy's jeeps fitted with 60mm mortars in the bed. They could be fired from there are dismounted. If the light jeep could safely fire a 60mm from it's bed, I'd say just about any military four+ wheel vehicles (and some civilian ones) could as well.

(at most you might need a single layer of sandbags under the mortar to absorb the recoil and protect the body).
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:47 PM
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My philosophy on vehicles in T2k is this:if you can, put a gun on it

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Old 01-22-2019, 06:23 PM
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Just one?
Seriously though the better idea is to try and keep the opposition well away from the vehicles, or better yet totally unaware you even HAVE vehicles!
Until it's too late for them of course and you're already driving over the top of their splattered corpses.
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