Lawrence of Arabia did not always fight the Turks on horseback with a sword in his hand, as he was immortalized in movies, he preferred an armored Rolls-Royce vehicle.
Lawrence went to war in one of the finest automobiles of all time, a Rolls-Royce Armored Car, the military version of the legendary Silver Ghost.
The Rolls-Royce Battle-Car moved over sand and rock with the same elegance as it did on the streets of London. Its six-cylinder, 50 hp engine allowed it to reach speeds of up to 90 km/h, and its mechanical reliability was amazing, especially in the harsh desert conditions.
Protected by a 9mm shield, its rotating turret armed with a Vickers machine gun gave Lawrence's Rolls-Royce impressive firepower.
Lawrence of Arabia and his men, engaged in exploration and sabotage missions, struck where people least expected it. And this special military vehicle was used on such dangerous missions.
The Famous Armored Rolls-Royce Car
After the war, the Rolls-Royce Armored Car remained active until 1925, when it went into reserve. But the Silver Ghost returned to action in 1940, this time against Mussolini's troops. Eventually, after several upgrades, the last Rolls-Royce "retired" in 1942, replaced by another legendary car, the Willys Jeep.
Many compliments can be quoted to these Rolls-Royce Armored Cars, but we limit ourselves to the one dedicated to them by Lawrence himself: "A Rolls in the desert is worth more than a diamond". As does Lawrence. But who was this mysterious "Lawrence of Arabia"?
Lawrence of Arabia: The Man Behind The Legend
English scholar, enthusiastic archaeologist, adventurer, military strategist, and author of the valuable work "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" - a volume that brilliantly combines details of the Arab tribes' revolt against the Ottomans and his own spiritual autobiography, T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) was a real historical character who marked many destinies. His personality still fascinates biographers and scholars, and his legend has survived numerous attempts to discredit his achievements.
The Arab uprising took place in the context of the Anglo-Turkish war. When the guns fell silent, Lawrence was called the "uncrowned king of the three Arabia". At the end of the uprising and the war, having entered Damascus victorious, he could have made a kingdom for himself but preferred to retire to the mysterious world from which he had come.
Who Was This Mysterious Lawrence of Arabia?
We have a portrait painted with psychological finesse by writer Mircea Eliade:
"T.E. Lawrence was very young when he began to organize the Arab adventure. So young, physically frail, and insignificant in appearance that he was rejected by the military commission that was to select the volunteers when war was declared. Eventually, however, he was admitted as an auxiliary: and, because he mastered written and spoken Arabic, he was commissioned in Cairo to edit an obscure Arabic propaganda newspaper and transcribe maps for the British General Staff Intelligence Office.
No one would have guessed that inside that weak, short young man, looking more like an archaeological assistant than a military man, was growing the magnificent plan of the Arab Revolt.
No one knew the mysteries of this archaeologist-poet, who turned out to be one of the bravest strategists of the War, and who was by turns, for the duration of the Arab Revolt, a spy, a staff officer, an administrative officer, an engineer, a gang leader, the most skilled train wrecker (his clever 'tulip', the special explosive fabric by which he brought down 79 bridges and blew up countless trains) and, most precious of all, the adviser of the Emir Faisal and the soul of the whole Bedouin revolt.
Taciturn, modest to the point of excess (so modest that after the peace was concluded, in order to escape honors, glory, and admirers, he disappeared for years, living under an assumed name and later enlisting as a private in the colonial army), busy pursuing his private dream, the concrete, military adventure being only the realization of the spiritual adventure he had experienced since his early youth, Lawrence had become more of a fantasy legend than a man.
The Arabs had created a whole epic around him, which they sang at night in their bivouacs or on those ceaseless marches across the desert, while 'Colonel' Lawrence, sitting well in the saddle, read verses...".