HISTORY: LONG RANGE DESERT GROUP
RECONNAISSANCE has always been an essential part of military operations throughout the history of warfare, but the concept of modern, long-range, largely covert mechanised patrolling has its roots in the British army’s campaign in North Africa during World War II.
What was to become known as the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) was formed in June 1940, with the aim of carrying out reconnaissance deep behind enemy lines to covertly monitor troop and transport movements and then radio the intelligence back to British army headquarters.
The LRDG mainly used twowheel drive Ford and Chevrolet light trucks, as they were the most readily available reliable vehicles. The trucks were stripped of all non-essentials including doors, roofs and windshields. They were then modified with larger radiators, heavy-duty suspension and lowpressure desert tyres, plus they could carry extra fuel, water, sand mats and sand channels. Jeep and Ford 4x4s were also used later on.
Should the LRDG get into a scrap their vehicles were generally fitted with a variety of machine guns and even the odd light anti-tank gun.