An intriguing little quirk of military technology, courtesy of our esteemed Blogmaster\'s family connections: the Vespa 150 TAP.


This Italian Vespa scooter was built under license in the 1950s by Ateliers de Construction de Motocycles et Automobiles (ACMA), fitted with the US-made M20 75mm recoilless rifle, and employed in some number by the French armed forces (about 800 were deployed in Algeria and Indochina).


The aim was to provide airborne forces (TAP stands for Troupes Aéroportées) with a lightweight, but effective anti-armour weapon. Each gun crew consisted of two men on Vespas - one mounting the gun itself, the other carrying the ammunition and other equipment. To fire, the gun was taken down and deployed on a tripod carried by the team - not, sadly, fired from the Vespa while moving...