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March 31, 2014

Bazooka Vespa, ca. 1956

The Vespa 150 TAP (Troupes Aéro Portées) is an Italian Vespa scooter modified by creating a hole in the legshield to carry a M20 75 mm recoilless rifle.

The recoil or ‘kick’ from the rifle was counter balanced by venting propellant gases out the rear of the weapon; this eliminated the need for heavy mounts, and enabled the weapon to be fired from the Vespa frame. Due to the lack of any kind of aiming devices, the recoilless rifle was supposed to be mounted on a tripod, which was also carried by the scooter.

Primarily built for the Algerian War in the 1950s, five parachutes could carry a two-man gun crew, weapon, ammunition, and two scooters. Then the men would load the weapon on one scooter and the ammo on the other, before riding away to find their enemy. Although rumor has it that the drivers were seen more often pushing it rather than riding on it...



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