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|Lancia Armoured Car|
|Lancia Armoured Car of the RUC
Copyright © PSNI
|The Lancia, like the Rolls Royce and Peerless armoured cars were handed over to the Freestate Army by departing British Forces in 1922. The British passed 111 Armoured Lancias to the Free State Forces between April 1st, 1922 and August 31st, 1923.
The Lancias were reportedly fitted with armoured bodies in Ireland on Lancia truck chassis to a British War Office design. A similar vehicle, based on the same chassis served with the Italian Army, in Ethopia at the start of WWII.
The Free State Army operated two type of Lancias, the 1916 IZ and the more numerous 1921 Triota. Both vehicles were very similar in appearance, with open tops (sometimes fitted with an anti-grenade cage, a similar concept to US Army Strykers, Piranha IIIs, in Iraq), engine mounted in the front, driver sitting in his own compartment lower than the troops and twin rear wheels. Apparently 2 vehicles were fitted with turrets, but later, 1923, all vehicles were fitted with armoured roofs (not turrets).
The drivers compartment could accomodate up to threee, whilst the troop compartment could accomodate approx. 10.
All Lancias were retired from Irish Army service by the beginning of WWII, however the RUC in Northern Ireland (now the Police Service of Northern Ireland) continued to operate Lancias until the 1960s.