Long Range Desert Group
The Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) was a British Army unit during World War II. The unit was founded in Egypt following the Italian declaration of war (June 1940) by Major Ralph A. Bagnold with the assistance of Captains Clayton and Shaw, acting under the direction of General Wavell. The group specialised in mechanised reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, and desert navigation. The group was disbanded at the end of the war.
Formation and equipment
The unit, initially known as the Long Range Patrol Group, was founded 3 July 1940 and was assigned 150 New Zealand volunteers. Bagnold had reasoned that the New Zealanders, being mostly farmers, would be more adept at using and maintaining machinery. Later additions to the group included British and Rhodesian units.
The unit was arranged into 3 main patrols, of 40 soldiers each. Patrols were initially equipped with Ford F30 4WD and Chevrolet WB trucks, supported by Chevrolet 1311x1 15 cwt (3/4 t) command cars. The patrol trucks were later replaced with Chevrolet 1533x2 30 cwt (1.5 t) trucks, and the command cars with Willys Jeeps.
Each patrol was equipped with ten Lewis machine guns, four Boys Anti-tank Rifles, and a Bofors 37 mm anti-tank gun; later on, trucks were equipped with Browning .50 cal machine guns, captured Italian Breda 20 mm anti-aircraft guns and twin mounted .303 cal Vickers K machine guns. The troops carried Brens, Thompson submachine guns, and other weapons. The unit also used Army No. 11 wireless sets.
IMO CHIEFTAIN MODELS is producing the best 28mm (1/56) models kits for the LRDG vehicles. I was absolutely amazed how many parts you get with each kit. You can easily modify every model to your liking. The Chieftain website promised: "Crew figures sculpted by Mike "Artizan Designs" Owen, and cast by Dylan "Furry Potato" Williams complete what has to be one of the most comprehensive wargames pieces ever made. The only thing missing is the kitchen sink." and they are telling the truth! The kits are fully casted in white metal, no air bubble ridden resin here! As you can see I get a bit carried away but I was really blown away by the sheer amount of spare parts and crisp casting. Highly recommended.
The first model by me is a Willys Jeep.