In 1939 the British War Office placed an order with VAUXHALL MOTORS Ltd of Luton, a British subsidiary of General Motors to design a 3-ton 4x4 truck chassis which would form the basis for various vehicles. Originally this vehicle was built for the transport of 6-pound-guns type M-1 and therefore it was also called Gun-Portee. The gun was placed on the platform of the truck and thus it could not be identified. Thus the Bedford QL truck was created and from 1941 until 1945 a total of 52,245 chassis were produced. The QL was an excellent vehicle and soon became the most numerous tactical 3-tonner of the British armed forces. These models were used on almost all fronts during the Second World War and later served in Korea and the Middle East. In the British forces it was gradually replaced by the model RL.
PorteeA portee is a truck that carries a gun on its bed, such that the gun is not fixed permanently to the vehicle, can be quickly unloaded and can be fired from the truck.
While the term portee can be used to denote any truck carrying a gun on its bed, it is most often used to describe equipments used by British/Commonwealth forces in the North African Campaign of World War II. Modern terms for such vehicle are technical and/or gun truck.
- Two-pounder (40mm) anti-tank gun portee
- A 2 pounder anti-tank gun mounted on a Morris 15 cwt truck, Chevrolet WA or WB 30cwt truck CMP Ford F30 or Chevrolet C30 trucks.
- Six-pounder (57mm) anti-tank gun portee
- A 6 pounder anti-tank gun mounted on a Bedford QLT 3-ton lorry or Austin K5 3 ton lorry. Both of which had a special frame only body carrying the gun, crew, ammunition and the rarely used side shields. A F60 or C60 with cut down number 13 cab was similarly used.
- 20 mm anti-aircraft portee
- A 20 mm anti-aircraft gun mounted on a Morris 15 cwt truck
- 37 mm anti-tank gun portee
- A 37mm anti-tank gun mounted on a Bedford MW or Morris CS8 15cwt used by 106 RHA during Operation Compass at Beda Fomm.