The Deacon was developed in 1942 to provide anti-tank units in North Africa with a Self Propelled gun. It was a development of the practice of carrying some guns “en portee” on the back of trucks. The gun carrier was based on the AEC Matador truck which had the cab replaced by an armoured box structure covering the driver and engine. The gun was on a pedestal mount on the flat bed of the truck. It was fitted with an enclosed armoured shield, open to the rear to protect the layer and loader.
Production began in December 1942 and a total of 175 were built, most of which were sent to North Africa. They fought in a number of actions but their height and poor cross country performance in sand counted against them. They were withdrawn at the end of the North Africa campaign, being considered unsuitable for use in Europe. Some were converted to armoured ammunition carriers and the remainder sold to Turkey in 1943.
Identical to the towed 6 pdr but with all round traverse
|Width||7 feet 9 inches|
|Height||9 feet 3 inches|
|Armour||6 to 20 mm|
|Engine||AEC A173 7.7L 6-cylinder diesel 95 hp|
|Drive||wheeled, 4×2, 4×4|
|Transmission||4 + reverse gears, with two-speed transfer box|
|Ground Clearance||13 inches|
|Operational Range||174 miles|
|Maximum Speed||19 mph|