Sources: Google Life photo archive & Personal Archives
In the early years of the Lebanese Civil War, it was a common to see vehicles continually changing owners. Here is an example of such uses and customs found in the Levant: A Staghound Mk.III which changed owners more than once. Two assumptions can be noted, the vehicle originally belonging to the Lebanese Army, was either captured by Palestinian factions and recaptured and used here on the picture by the Kataeb militia or directly used by the Kataeb and the crew being ex-Lebanese Army soldiers. The vehicle still bears its previous owners tag on the back, which can be either “Jeish Akka” which can be translated as “Army of Acre”, or “Jeish Akkar” translated as the Army of Akkar, a region in North Lebanon. The debate is still on since the arabic letter R isn’t clearly identifiable. Further photos of this vehicle will be needed to confirm either assumption. The vehicle was retagged with “Jeish Bayrut” or “Army of Beirut” on the front end by the new owners.
A new assumption that occurred lately, maybe the most accurate and logical one, is the explanation given by César Jachan which can be found in the comments to this article: “It can be also a vehicle owned by “Jaych Barakat”. If you look at the tag, you will note something similar to a “T” at the end, even if the whole spray tag is unclear. In 1976, some christian units of the ex-lebanese army (Barakat Army) were defending the area close to “binayit el béton” in downtown Beirut. You can see the lower part of the building, on the right side of the photo.”
Photo Credits: Vintage Images
The ECPAD is the French Army center for multimedia archives. Thousands of photos covering the middle east area are available for sale, the Lebanese conflict being one of the best covered department in those archives. As a customer and regular visitor of the Fort , I can only express my satisfaction with what can be found there. Here are some photo samples of what the center proposes, also found on their website.
ECPAD website: http://www.ecpad.fr