The AEC had an AEC engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 58 km/h. In order to operate at maximum efficiency, the AEC required a crew of up to seven men.
The total weight of the AEC was around 10,500 kg and the total length was 6.32 meters. For crew protection, it had around 12 mm worth of armor. Furthermore, the AEC carried one Bren Mk. II on board to defend against enemy attacks.
The maximum range of the command vehicle was 579 kilometers. Although other forms of battlefield communication were available, such as setting up a headquarters in a captured building, the AEC was different in that a command post could be set up quickly and in around the same amount of time be taken down and moved. The fact that it was mobile meant that it could move along with the troops and it could always act as an observation post.
The chassis of the "Dorchester" was based on that of the AEC Matador with the few necessary modifications made so that the additional equipment could be added. The vehicle was well-liked by troops and commanders because of its good equipment and reliability in the field. In fact, the vehicle was a luxury for German troops who had captured it.
During World War II, there were only two additional variants of the AEC Command Vehicle. The first was known as the HP or "High Power" thus making the original from 1944 on known as the "LP" or "Low Power". It was a 6x6 design that had new and more powerful engine along with improved radio equipment. Also importantly, the original type of LP and HP was also grouped into the main category of Mk I with the introduction of the Mk II model which had separate radio and commander compartments.
The "Dorchester" was first developed in 1941 as part of Great Britain's series of purpose built command vehicles. It first saw service throughout the North African Campaign and was nicknamed "Dorchester" after a luxury hotel because of comfortable design. Three examples were captured by the Afrika Korps during the campaign and were used by Erwin Rommel for the rest of the campaign. After North Africa, they continued to follow the Royal Army for the rest of the war. In total, around 400 were built.
- ↑ http://www.warwheels.net/DorchesterACVindex.html
- ↑ http://www.wwiivehicles.com/unitedkingdom/armoured-car/dorchester-command-vehicle.asp