The Snatch Land Rover

We all strive to get our Landies looking good with all the correct period equipment, especially those that had extra toys such as ambulances, signals/FFR and WMIKs, but how do you know if yours is 'correct'?

To highlight some of the variations that occur in service, with this article are photos of Snatch Land Rovers in the 'transition' period.  Once upon a time, the vast majority (if I said all, somebody would prove me wrong!) saw service in Northern Ireland, the Balkans and early in the recent Iraq conflict in green paint and with V8 petrol engines.  They were then treated to a refurbishment including fitting 300tdi engines, air conditioning, 'Electronic Counter Measures' (ECM) and 'Enhanced ECM' (EECM) equipment (this is technology developed after the latest Iraq conflicted started, designed to protect against IEDs) and a coat of desert sand paint and scrim cover.

Somewhere in between, there are variations, as not all seemed to have been treated to all the upgrades.


32KK00, seen on 10th August 2008 at an open day in an RLC reservist centre.  It has screen armour (as fitted originally in its NI days), steel wheels, 'bull  bar' and the spare wheel mounted on the front, grills in the side for air con (so presume air con fitted), wire cutter (this is the metal 'pole' that extends above the windscreen 'A' Pillar, designed for cutting through low overhead wires so they don't strangle/decapitate the guy on top cover through the hatch in the roof), desert sand paint and scrim material, civilian TD5 plastic headlamp surrounds, standard Defender plastic grill over radiator.  There is no search light or cover over wing top air intake fitted, the windscreen wiper position would also indicate it is left hand drive, or LHD wipers fitted to an RHD vehicle!

 

 

 

 

 

29KK58 and 34KK88, seen on 13th September 2009, at the Defence School of Transport, Leconfield. 29KK58 has a snorkel, plastic cover over the search light, no headlight surrounds, metal radiator grill, air con grill in side locker, alloy wheels (and run flat tyres?), 'washed off' sand paint, no loose scrim, no bull bar, no wire cutter, no window armour. 34KK88 has no snorkel, metal cage over on search light, TD5 headlight surrounds, plastic radiator cover, bull bar and spare wheel, ECM antennas on roof, wire cutter, windscreen and side window grills, steel wheels and green paint.

 

 

27KK19 and 27KK92 seen on 18th October 2009, DST.  Both are very similar, EECM boxes on the front wings, plastic cover over the search light, snorkel, alloy wheels, sand paint, scrim covers, metal radiator grill, no head light surround (revealing green paint where they've been removed)*, headlight guards, unknown kit fitted to roof at rear and no windscreen or side window grills.  27KK19 has wire cutter, 27KK92 has not.  *There was a box of sand coloured TD5  headlamp surrounds for sale on one of the autojumble stands at the Kelmarsh show; probably those removed from the latest version of the conversion.

 

 

It is very easy to assume that all vehicles would be converted or kitted out to the same spec, but demonstrated here are five  similar but different Snatches, all 'post conversion' from V8 to Diesel with differing kit levels.  It is true that these were all UK based, probably used for training purposes and that those deployed on operations may have had a greater degree of standardisation.  But the point of my article is that no two Land Rovers are ever exactly the same, and there will inevitably be detail differences, especially when they get 'customised' by their own units.

 

Andy Cook (Jun 2020)