Bedford OY AA

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Bedford SPAA.png
Bedford OY AA
Type 3-ton Truck SPAA
Armament Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
Maximum Speed 70 km/h

Even before it felt the sting of Blitzkrieg, the British Army had devised a doctrine that called for tanks to penetrate enemy lines while infantry followed up to consolidate gains. If, however, the tanks raced ahead too quickly for troops to keep up, they might win a great deal of ground but not hold it for any length of time. The army needed to make infantry fast and mobile, and the answer was trucks. Throughout the war, Britain relied primarily on the four-wheeled, two-wheel-drive Bedford OY series that could haul up to 8,500 lb (3,800 kg) despite its three-ton (3,000 kg) designation.

In 1923, General Motors (GM), an American company, sold its first truck, a Chevrolet, in the U.K. Two years later, GM bought Vauxhall Motors and in 1931 started producing the Bedford brand of trucks with Vauxhall’s assembly lines. Bedford trucks had become a popular and respected breed by the mid 1930s: sales broke 30,000 units in 1937.

When war broke out in 1939, the War Department controlled some 85,000 vehicles, including more than 26,000 it had shanghaied from civilians. Vauxhall, in the meantime, was casually developing a 4x4 military truck and while war hurried the development process, production geared up to produce Bedford 4x2s, including more of the OY family.

The Bedford OY was a commercial design made ready for service with simplified bodywork and single rear tires. Early-war models had wooden rear bodies. More OYs were produced during the war than any other British three-ton truck, numbering more than 72,000 of all the 250,000 Bedford trucks made.

The OY series, in particular the "Truck, Three-Ton, 4X2, Bedford OYD" general-service truck, played a variety of roles: mobile workshop; office; and transporter of troops, machine guns, supplies and as a makeshift anti aircraft platform.

With Luftwaffe roaming free and with a catastrophic death of anti-aircraft guns to deter them, good old British ingenuity intervened. First employed as a field modification in the Royal Navy, where the Bedford protected ports and other vital installations, the modification was subsequently approved for general production. By the end of 1940, hundreds of these nifty little road warriors equipped the British Army as it scrambled to fight back the Wehrmacht.

Game Play

In WWIIOL, the Bedford SPAA is best used as the support vehicle it is, that is, some distance behind the main firing line. because of its general vulnerability to everything. It CAN be fired when on the move, however, you will meet with rapidly diminishing returns unless you are on flat ground and/or multicrewed. Use its good turn of speed to keep up with armoured columns, or bring it forward to where enemy aviation is making life hell for your friends.

see the AA guide for more details.

Control Variations

The Driver has a backview (key Del) to look behind. The Commander must deploy (key Z) to operate his binoculars and to clear the Oerlikon gun for action. The Gunner has a single gun view magnification (numpad . or Del key) and is allowed to fire on the move as soon as the Commander has deployed.