Deacon (8th Army)
The Deacon is a weird looking machine, looking like a cross between a truck and naval vessel, it was an armoured self-propelled 6pdr anti-tank gun built on the chassis of a 4x4 AEC Matador truck. 175 were built between December ’42 and January ’43. The gun was mounted in an armoured revolving open back turret. The driver was protected in an armoured cab.
The Deacon was developed during 1942 as a highly mobile anti-tank weapon for use in the North Africa Campaign, so most Deacons were sent to the Middle East.
They were issued to divisional anti-tank regiments. The vehicles were reasonably successful but were only used in the later stages of the North African Campaign. They were withdrawn afterwards and eventually sold to Turkey.
It had a crew of 3, was armed with a Mk 1 6pdr gun for which it carried 24 rounds. Its 10mms of armour offered some protection for the crew against small arms fire. It could travel up to 25mph and had a range of 155 miles.