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The MAP45 Armoured Personnel Carrier is a Rhodesian/Zimbabwean 4x4d heavy troop-carrying vehicle (TCV) first introduced in 1978 based on a Mercedes-Benz truck chassis.

History[edit | edit source]

The MAP45 Armoured Personnel Carrier (‘MAP’ stands for mine and ambush protected in Rhodesian military jargon) was developed in 1977-78 by the Rhodesian Army Workshops as a light version of the MAP75 TCV. Production started early in 1978 at Army Workshops but in order to meet the increasing demand, manufacture was contracted out to the Rhodesian private firm Zambesi Coachworks Ltd of Salisbury (now Harare).

General description[edit | edit source]

The MAP45 consists of an all-welded body with a cut-down troop compartment built on a modified Mercedes-Benz 4.5 ton Series LA911B truck chassis. Adapted from the MAP75 TCV, the open-topped hull or ‘capsule’ is faceted at the sides, which were designed to deflect small-arms’ rounds, and a flat deck reinforced by a v-shaped ‘crush box’ meant to deflect mine blasts. Three inverted U-shaped low ‘Roll bars’ were fitted to protect the fighting compartment from being crushed in case the vehicle turned and roll over after a landmine detonation. Due to the shortened top hull, their reduced height presented less of a problem since it did not hampered movements inside the troop compartment as in the MAP75.

Protection[edit | edit source]

The hull was made of 10mm mild steel plate.

Armament[edit | edit source]

Rhodesian MAP45s were usually armed with a FN MAG-58 7.62mm Light Machine Gun (LMG), sometimes installed on a locally-produced one-man MG armoured turret to protect the gunner. Vehicles assigned to convoy escorting duties (‘E-type’) had a Browning M1919A4 7.62mm heavy machine gun mounted on an open-topped, cylinder-shaped turret (dubbed ‘the dustbin’). For ‘externals’ twin Browning MG pintle mounts were sometimes fitted, placed behind the driver’s compartment. The Zimbabwean vehicles after 1980 sported single pintle-mounted Soviet-made 12.7mm and 14.5mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMG) instead.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • Troop-Carrying Vehicle (TCV) – is the standard IFV/APC version, armed with either a single LMG (Rhodesian SF 1978-79) or HMG (ZNA 1980-present) and capable of carrying 12 infantrymen.
  • Convoy escorting version - designated ‘E-type’, this is a basic IFV/APC version fitted with the Browning MG ‘dustbin’ turret.
  • Command vehicle – command version equipped with radios and map boards.

Combat history[edit | edit source]

Prior to 1980, the Rhodesians employed the MAP45 in their cross-border covert raids (‘externals’) on ZIPRA and ZANLA guerrilla bases in the neighbouring Countries. After the war, they went to serve with the ZNA forces in Mozambique guarding the Mutare-Beira oil pipeline in 1982-1993.

Operators[edit | edit source]

  •  Rhodesia – some 200 or 300 vehicles in service with the Rhodesian Security Forces in 1978-1980 passed on to successor state.
  •  Zimbabwe – Still in service with the ZNA.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Peter Gerard Locke & Peter David Farquharson Cooke, Fighting Vehicles and Weapons of Rhodesia 1965-80, P&P Publishing, Wellington 1995 ISSN 0-473-02413-6

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