Weapons of World War Two
Lince armored reconnaissance vehicle
When during the Great War the British, French and German armies tested for the first time in the bloodstained plains of France the progenitors of the modern tanks, the Italian Army (Regio Esercito), involved as it was in a war which developed exclusively in a mountainous terrain, had no way to dedicate itself to the study of these new weapons. It was rather thought to orientate the investigations towards an adequate use of that new invention which the industry produced with increasingly better characteristics: the automobile.
So made their apparition in the battlefield the first armed and armored cars Bianchi and Lancia (these latter would have chance to operate in some zones even during the Second World War). Ended the war, the interests of the military high quarters were increasingly orientated towards the use of tanks, leaving discontinued the development of wheeled vehicles soon after being born. So, at the outbreak of the Second World War the Italian armored forces were equipped with few armored cars, and many were of outdated type. The modern ones had excellent mechanics, but apart from their scarce number they were too large elements destined to control and mid and long range operations. It had not been thought to develop small vehicles, of the type of the British "Scout Car", which served for exploration, control and short and mid range liaison missions.
Unfortunately, after the beginning of the operations in North Africa, it was necessary to quickly fill such gaps, because the British used effectively a great amount of elements of this kind, both wheeled and tracked, with optimal results. As it usually happens in these cases, it was tried to put a remedy to this but the study and realization of a new type would have required a long time. It was considered then to adopt the most expeditious method: to partially copy an enemy model known for having given good results. The election fell upon a small British reconnaissance vehicle produced by Daimler and known as "Dingo" (nicknamed after a type of desert dog).
The order to develop the new type was taken by two prestigious names of the Italian industry: Lancia, for the mechanical part, and Ansaldo, for the bodywork. Unfortunately, the Lince (which was the name given to the new vehicle) left the production line too late to be able to operate in the African theater, in which it would have been very useful. It was a small car originally devised for the sole purpose of reconnaissance. Divided in two fully armored compartments, one for the engine and another for the crew, it practically traced the characteristics of the aforementioned Dingo. In the mechanical part had been adapted already existing elements to save time. The engine, of eight cylinders in V and 60 horsepower, was the one used in the civilian car Lancia Astura.
The biggest difference between the Dingo and the Lince was that while the first one was unarmed the second one was armed with an 8-millimeter machine gun that allowed to carry out support operations to troops. Born too late, the Lince still had operative utilization in the Army of the Italian Social Republic. Of the almost 250 exemplars produced, the largest part would be used by the Republican armored forces, and others would be used by the Wehrmacht in the war operations that developed in the Italian theater until the end of the war.
Weight: 3.1 tonnes
Length: 3.24 meters
Width: 1.75 meters
Height: 1.65 meters
Ground clearance: 37 centimeters
Maximum armor: 14 millimeters
Engine: Lancia of 60 horsepower
Maximum speed: 86 kilometers/hour
Operational range: 350 kilometers
Armament: One 8 millimeters Breda 38 machine gun
Also in Weapons of World War Two: