Scorpions on the Canadian Plains

Here we see some very groovy light tanks, characterized as Alvis Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) CVR(T)s, specifically FV101 Scorpions.

Crown Copyright

The handy 8-ton Scorpion was meant to replace the humble Ferret of the 1950s. Designed in the 1960s and placed in production in 1973 for armored recon units of the British Army, Scorpion capable of making 50mph on prepared roads while cross-country speeds were only a bit less.

Best of all, their light weight and compactness (just 17 feet long) meant they could move around ancient narrow roadways in European towns and bridges usually off-limits for conventional armor. As such, they filled a niche between the larger U.S. M551 Sheridan (at 15 tons, a ringer for the old M3 Stuart in that category) and the much smaller West German Wiesel.

On the downside, their armor was only sufficient to stop about a .51 caliber Dshk gun round, which meant they were live bait when it came to a Mi-24 gunship, wandering RPG gunner, or SU-25 tank buster.

Nevertheless, a couple served in the Falklands in 1982 with the Blues and Royals where their onboard night vision gear was considered the best available in the whole task force. After continuing the serve in the Cold War and Gulf War, the Scorpions, armed with an ROF 76mm L23 gun, were put to pasture.

That is, except for the OPFOR unit of the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada.

Crown Copyright, and a beautiful image

There, along with a fleet of very well maintained Landrovers and FV432 Bulldogs, they continue to mix it up on the regular in month-long rotations fighting British and Commonwealth armored units across the rolling plains of Alberta in a maneuver area the size of Wales.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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