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    question on the saracen apc

    it could carry 10 troops/fireteam what was the number/makeup of the weapons carried by those troops  . eg bren /gpmg/anti tank weapon (carl gustav recoiless rifle /charlie g ) etc


    John D Salt

    Bear in mind that the Sarrybag was in service for a remarkably long time, so the answer will change as time goes on.

    It’s hard to find a definitive ISD for the Saracen, but if it’s as early as 1952 (initial production) then the rifle section would be essentially the same as in WW2. Very shortly afterwards the adoption of the SLR and GPMG would change the equipment, but not the organisation, of the section. At full strength (which never happens — in the 1970s a section was 8 men at peacetime establishment, 10 men at war-fighting establishent (WFE) with the addition of 2 regular reserve riflemen) the section would be 10 men, with a section commander (Corporal), section 2-i-c (Lance-Corporal) and 7 riflemen, one of whom acted as no.2 to the GPMG gunner, who, as the title implies, had a GPMG. In the few years between the introduction of the SLR and the GPMG, the gun might have been a Bren LMG; TA units who continued to use the L4 Bren for years afterwards (at least until the 1980s) tended not to ride in Saracens.

    Depending on the time we are considering, the Saracen-mounted platoon might have a 3.5-in “super-bazooka” as the platoon anti-tank weapon, or, later, a Carl Gustav 84mm MAW. In either case, the gunner would carry an SMG as his personal defence weapon, and be supported by a no.2 to carry and load the ammunition, whose personal weapon would be an SLR. Usually with British post-war infantry the ATk gunner’s personal weapons are pretty much the only SMGs you will see, unless the platoon signaller is carrying one (signallers hate carrying pointless weight, and their job is to talk, not shoot). The platoon also has a 2-in mortar, and the mortarman might also have an SMG; by the time the 51mm mortar replaced the 2-in mortar I think Saracens were no longer used in roles where mortars would be used. Likewise, by the mid-1970s the mech infantry platoon is carryng an 84mm Charlie G in every section, but the mech inf in BAOR are riding in FV432s. Saracen continued in service in Northern Ireland, but there one would not expect to see mortars or MAWs, nor even GPMGs in the rifle sections.

    All the best,


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