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Prior to outbreak of WWII, the British Army was planning a wheel armoured commander vehicle to provide the armoured troop commander and staff an appropriate command post.
CS9/LAC 4x4 chassis from Morris and Guy Lizard 4x4 chassis were adopted from 1937 to 1939, and 36 armoured commander vehicles completed. Those vehicles were used in inland UK. A few Guy Lizard armoured commander vehicles were sent to North Africa, saw services with the 8th Army. At the same time armoured regiments were blooming, obviously more armoured commander vehicles were needed.
Associated Equipment Company (AEC), who was best known by London double deck buses, was awarded with a contract from the Ministry of War Transport in April 1940, to produce a Matador 4x4 artillery tractor and an armoured commander vehicle with Matador 4x4 chassis. By 1941, AEC devoted itself to military needs totally, and the armoured commander vehicle entered mass production. With armours up 10-12 mm thick and weight up to 12.2 tons, the vehicle was able to accommodate up to 7-8 personnel. High Power and Low Power versions were built, with different radio equipment. A total of 415 were produced. It was nicknamed Dorchester by the troops, after the luxury hotel in London because it is very comfortable. The AEC Armoured Command Vehicle firstly saw service in North Africa Campaigns in the British Army service and throughout the war. 7 vehicles were handed to the Australian troops.
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