Homeguard Self-Propelled "Anti-Aircraft" Flamethrower??

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ArmchairSamurai
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Homeguard Self-Propelled "Anti-Aircraft" Flamethrower??

Post by ArmchairSamurai » 27 Jan 2021 23:58

Hello all.

I am sure you all are familiar with the many Homeguard ad hoc armored cars, Bedford OXA / OYD, Standard Beaverette, Thornycroft Bison, etc. But this thread is about self-propelled flamethrowers! The Bedford Heavy Cockatrice, Leyland Beaver Eel, and AEC Basilisk are the three I know by heart, however, there may be another. Some may be familiar with the silly notion of an "anti-aircraft" flamethrower. Lagonda produced such a device for RN vessels, which of course, did not achieve the desired effect. Now, I find that there may have been a self-propelled version of sorts, intended to shoo harassing aircraft on the ground, though I know only that. The following photo is what appears to be a vehicle, with a rotary turret, housing a flamethrower. That in itself is nothing special, except it is firing upwards. The description is what seals the deal. Forgive the translation, it is automated: "Anti-aircraft flamethrower - let's fry Goering's aces!" To be fair, I am dubious of the claim. It may well be that someone simply tipped the flame-thrower upward and thought it a nice propaganda photo. However, I cannot identify the vehicle in the photo. It has been color corrected, and likely cropped, so any detail is hard to make out given the size. What I do know is that said vehicle is definitely not a Bedford Heavy Cockatrice, Leyland Beaver Eel, or AEC Basilisk given the dimensions. Thoughts? Is this a yet unnamed Homeguard ad-hoc vehicle?

https://shusharmor.livejournal.com/317429.html

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Andy H
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Re: Homeguard Self-Propelled "Anti-Aircraft" Flamethrower??

Post by Andy H » 30 Jan 2021 16:56

Hi

Look here at around 4.30 https://www.britishpathe.com/video/defe ... ery/115715

"The Bedford Cockatrice was ordered for the defence of the coastal bases of the Fleet Air Arm in the event of glider- or parachute-dropped invasion troops. It was estimated that such troops would need roughly one minute upon landing to detach themselves from their equipment and open fire, and so the Cockatrice was believed to be the ideal fast-response defence vehicle, able to kill or terrorise into surrender a force of the small size expected to be attacking such remote airfields. Sixty Cockatrice were built and served at Royal Navy Air Stations.[1] The RAF received six Heavy Cockatrice for airfield defence"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagonda_flamethrower

Regards

Andy H

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Re: Homeguard Self-Propelled "Anti-Aircraft" Flamethrower??

Post by ArmchairSamurai » 30 Jan 2021 20:50

Andy H wrote:
30 Jan 2021 16:56
Hi

Look here at around 4.30 https://www.britishpathe.com/video/defe ... ery/115715

"The Bedford Cockatrice was ordered for the defence of the coastal bases of the Fleet Air Arm in the event of glider- or parachute-dropped invasion troops. It was estimated that such troops would need roughly one minute upon landing to detach themselves from their equipment and open fire, and so the Cockatrice was believed to be the ideal fast-response defence vehicle, able to kill or terrorise into surrender a force of the small size expected to be attacking such remote airfields. Sixty Cockatrice were built and served at Royal Navy Air Stations.[1] The RAF received six Heavy Cockatrice for airfield defence"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagonda_flamethrower

Regards

Andy H
It is settled that self-propelled "anti-aircraft flamethrowers" are a thing. It did not really occur to me that attacking paratroopers was also a facet of the design overall. I appreciate the footage, good show, but I already know what the Cockatrice is, I mentioned it in my thread opener. Whatever the vehicle is in the photo I posted, it is not a Cockatrice due to its shape and distinct lack of offset wheels... that and the massive turret on top. As you can see in the photo I attached, the door of the Cockatrice and the flamethrower are both high up on the vehicle's body whereas in the photo I posted earlier, the door is well below the turret. From what I can guess, the mystery vehicle looks like a modified Luton body style lorry.
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