|Please click on a photo for a better image.|
|Landsverk L180 6x4 Armoured Car|
|Landsverk L180 at the
Cavalry Corps 80th Anniversary
Copyright © M. McNamara/Curragh Local History Group
|Landsverk L180 at the
National Transport Museuum
Copyright © Irish Armored Vehicles
|The L-180 was built by Landsverk in Sweden using a Scania-Vabis truck chassis which featured 6x4 wheel drive and twin wheels on it's rear two axels. Layout was mainly conventional with a driver sitting behind the engine at the front and a turret behind him, however the L180 also had an additional driver in the rear, armed with a machine gun, to facilitate fast withdrawls. It should be noted that some reports state, mistakenly, that the L180s for Ireland were powered by a Leyland engine (see separate page for the Leyland Armoured Car).
A total of eight L180s were acquired new from Sweden in the 1930s, with the first two (ZC 757 & ZC 758) being delivered in 1938 and the remaining six (ZC 5837 to ZC 5842) in early 1939. A further five were ordered (according to Karl Martin, however according to Denis J. McCarthy writing in An Cosantoir, Aug. 1978, six were ordered, whilst when one considers 5 Dodge Cars were built to complete the establishment of the Armoured Car Squadrons, it would seem that Karl Martin is correct) however these could not be delivered due to the outbreak of WWII.
The Landsverks were upgraded in several respects by the DF including the replacement of the original engine with a Ford V8 in 1957 and the replacement of the main and secondary armnament with 20mm aircraft canon and new machin guns.
The L180 was initially allocated to the 1st Armoured Car Squadron in the Curragh and remained in service with various units until the mid '80s. Although generally accepted as the Irish Army's most potent armoured car in the '60s, it is interesting that they were not sent to the Congo. Varies reports have attributed various theories for this including weight, parts availability etc. However in "Irish Army Vehicles", it attributes the reason to the fact that due to personnell shortages in the DF there were insufficient trained crews available and as the Ford was the vehicle used for training armoured car drivers it was sent instead.
The Landsverks gave excellent service to the DF and a number are preserved in various museums in Ireland and Sweden including the Irish Transport Museum in Howth..
It is interesting to note that the L180, saw service on both sides in WWII as captured Dutch models were impressed into service by the German Wehrmacht.