Thursday, July 30, 2009

I gotta get me one of THESE!

The ACMA Troupes Aeról Portées Mle. 56, as used by French airborne forces.

While doing research on bicycle infantry I came across this major mutha. It is a French Vespa mounting a U.S. 75mm recoilless rifle. That's right. It not only transports it, you can fire it from the bike. It has a support bracket welded on!

I first found mention of it at combatreform, which linked to THIS which in turn linked to Dark Roasted Blend here.

Faced with guerrilla campaigns in Indochina and Algeria and lacking American resources to project artillery power in support of airborne forces, the French came up with this compromise of mobility and firepower.

Air-droppable with five parachutes between them, the two-man gun crew, weapon, ammunition, and two scooters would float safely to earth. The Paras would then load the weapon on one scooter and the ammo on the other, then ride away. More impressively, the recoilless rifle could be fired effectively on the move by the best of the gun crews. Total cost? About $500 for the scooter and the recoilless rifle was war surplus. About 800 of these armed scooters were used in French colonial wars in Northern Africa and Southeast Asia.

Forget, rice burners. THIS is the ORIGINAL crotch rocket.


rexxhead said...

Holicau! A Vespa that's dangerous at both ends!

oldfart said...

Dangerous at both ends and - judging by that seat - not to neat in the middle either.

Melissa "Darla" In Texas said...

THAT is hysterical!

Anonymous said...

The original,"crouch rocket"?......mthead

Brock Townsend said...

This is the first I have ever heard of this in Indochina, and I thought I had read it all.

Anonymous said...

I can just hear some gun-controller now, talking about over compensation for a too-short. . .

But from an engineering standpoint, I like this. It follows the KISS (Keep It Simple for the Stupid) principle. Short, sweet, simple, and best of all, it works!!

B Woodman
SSG (Ret) US Army

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this was designed & built by an individual, & then sold to the military / government? Or if it was a government project from the start?

Considering the simplicity, ease of use, & overall ingenuity, I favor the first.

B Woodman
SSG (Ret) US Army

Happy D said...

Things I need
2.Welding gear. Check
3.Recoil-less Rifle.