Sometimes the power of political persuasion is not enough and governments (of every kind: good, bad and ugly) unleash such armored vehicles to contain and thoroughly soak the unruly masses. Powerful water-canons, high-voltage electricity, sometimes even guns combine into one intimidating whole, which if not used against protesters, can be sent to raze down the scores of zombies in the "Living Dead" movies.
One of many of sad examples of using these against normal people:
Here's a collection of some of the most fearsome riot-control vehicles from all over the world, rarely seen in books or online - often information about such machines is not readily available, as governments prefer to hide them inside garages and bring them out only when needed (you will not see them at any parades, and hopefully will not see them in action, ever)
"Avalanche" system for Russian OMON (special police)
KRAZ AVC-30 from Kiev, Ukraine
Rosenbauer RWD 10000 from Austria
Russian BRDM used by Czech Police (judging by dents and scratches, used quite extensively)
The History of Intimidation
"Every power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton
It all started in Germany, in 1931. The first anti-protest vehicle equipped was built on Mercedes chassis, and already had a large water cistern in the back and a rotating turret with water-cannon. In the following years (especially after creation of West Berlin) Germany built so many of these trucks, that police forces often used them to deliver water to nearby suburban areas.
Some anti-riot trucks were repainted red and were used as fire engines. Here is the Magirus-Mercur model from 1962:
During the 70s and 80s the "popularity" of such machines increased due to their extensive employment in West Berlin, Chile and Algeria. Many repressive regimes began to pre-order these models from mostly European manufacturers, for various (mostly nefarious) uses:
Soviet Russia & Eastern Bloc People's Machines
Communist propaganda liked to show photos of such machines used against protesters in the capitalist countries. However, the Eastern Bloc had its own line-up of riot police vehicles. The very first of them, again, was manufactured in Germany and used extensively around the Berlin Wall to "cool off" the heads of workers, intent on feeing the country. From East Germany ( IFA G5 ), to Poland (Hydromil), then to Russia - originally Soviet anti-riot trucks were just the customized fire engines. On other photos you can see the Belorussian monster, made from the military MAZ chassis:
Polish Hydromil truck
This one, commissioned by Moscow militia, is pretty impressive: it's called "Lavina-Uragan" (which means "Hurricane-Avalanche") and lives up to its name, drenching protesters with powerful water-cannons, otherwise used to put out huge fires at airports and oil refineries:
With every following model "Avalanches" became more & more state-of-the-art (apparently the development of these "mass-pacifiers" has become a priority for the aging Soviet communist government)
Check out the dashboard and water-cannon control panels, featuring joysticks and a prominent "i-drive"-style controller knob mounted on the center console:
Other equipment includes lower water spouts, roof-mounted grenade-launchers and (if all else fails, a common red ax) -
Middle East Politics on Wheels
Volatile Middle East political situation cries out for the development and frequent use of such machines, and the governments are all too eager to build their own arsenals of repression. Here is an Egypt-made Fahd 240/30, which features great maneuverability combined with a high fire-power at effective long range. It can operate against tanks, armored vehicles, low flying aircraft, helicopters and any possible riot situation in urban environment:
Israel's company Beit Alfa Technologies trucks (also supplied to Russian OMON) can shoot colored and "pepper-spray" liquids:
It may look less frightening than other models, but it excels in foam & water action:
Riot Control Around the World:
Some of the Slovakian models:
Singapore's own PTU vehicle:
South Korean Jino Motors:
Another South Korean truck: Soosan / Daewoo -
Special buses were used to block the streets during 2007 APEC protests:
The Utmost in "Mobile Fortress" Technology
This British "Locomotors" vehicle, based on the Bedford truck chassis, provided enough space for 12 soldiers, was equipped with 16 grenade launchers, night vision devices, high-voltage armored plates, and could be fully self-contained (it even had a toilet inside). Only 9 such machines were made, most supplied to various tyrants in Asia and Africa. The last truck was acquired by a private collector, who goes out in it from time to time to demolish buildings in his neighborhood for fun and profit.
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