Armoured Car, Daimler, Mark II (E1963.20)

Armoured Car, Daimler, Mark II
Armoured Car, Daimler, Mark II
vehicle info
Precise Name
Armoured Car, Daimler, Mark II
Other Name
Daimler Armoured Car
Main Utility Type
Reconnaissance
Country of Use
U.K.
production
Manufactured
1941, Daimler Ltd., United Kingdom
Era
World War 2
Nationality
British
location in the museum
When the British Daimler Company took over BSA in 1939 they inherited two superb armoured vehicle designs. One was the famous Dingo scout car, which was already in production, the other this armoured car, which was still in the design stage. The two vehicles had a lot in common; they were of welded construction, without a chassis, had four-wheel drive and a Wilson pre-selector gearbox linked to a fluid flywheel. Indeed the armoured car was virtually a scaled up version of the scout car, with the addition of a turret.

Production ran to some 2,694 vehicles and this is an example of the Mark II version which had improved cooling and better escape facilities for the driver. In both versions there was a rear driver's position to enable the car to reverse quickly out of a tricky situation. The gearbox allowed the car to be driven easily in each direction.

Daimler armoured cars saw service in all theatres of war starting in 1941 and proved to be extremely popular. Our exhibit, like many others of this type, remained in service for some years after the war when new features such as the multi-barrel smoke grenade dischargers were fitted.

Precise Name: Armoured Car Daimler Mark II


Other Name: Tank, Light, Wheeled, BSA

DESCRIPTION

The Daimler Armoured Car proved to be a versatile and successful vehicle, serving with the British Army in all theatres of war from 1941 and remaining in service for some years after World War II.

The BSA Company started design work in 1939 and the vehicle was originally ordered as the ‘Tank, Light, Wheeled, BSA’. BSA was taken over by the British Daimler Company shortly afterwards. The design of the Armoured Car had much in common with BSA’s Dingo Scout Car: they both had a hull of welded construction without a separate chassis and four wheel drive via a Wilson Pre-Selector gearbox and a fluid fly wheel. (See E1985.96 Car Scout Daimler Mark II). All four wheels were fitted with independent suspension. The wheel hubs contained the final reduction gears and all wheels were fitted with disc brakes. The engine was mounted in the rear of the hull. A steering wheel was fitted in the rear of the crew compartment to allow the commander to take over the vehicle for rapid driving in reverse, enabling a quick exit from a tactically exposed position. Overall the design was probably the most technically advanced wheeled AFV of World War II.

The prototype was fitted with two Besa machine guns but production vehicles carried a turret mounting a 2 pounder (calibre 40mm) gun and a co-axial Besa machine gun. These were the first British armoured cars to carry a high velocity gun. Towards the end of World War II some 2pdr guns were fitted with the ‘Littlejohn Adapter’, a device that narrowed the bore of the gun towards the muzzle. Firing special projectiles it greatly increased the muzzle velocity of the gun and the penetrative power of the projectile. As an experiment a small number of vehicles mounted a 3 inch howitzer for close support work. Others, used as command vehicles in Northwest Europe, had the turret removed.

The Mark I Armoured Car was succeeded in production by an improved variant, the Mark II. Changes included an escape hatch in the roof of the driver’s compartment, a revised gun mounting, and a new type of radiator and armoured grill at the rear. A total of 2,694 vehicles were produced.

The Tank Museum’s example is a Mark II. It is painted in the markings of a unit that served in the successful counter insurgency operations against communist terrorists in Malaya in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The multi-barrel smoke grenade launchers fitted to the turret were a post-war modification.

FURTHER READING
British Tanks and Fighting Vehicles 1914-1945; B.T. White; SBN 7110 0123 5; Ian Allan, London, 1970

Summary text by Mike Garth V1.0
VEHICLES Features
Wheeled - 4x4
Tracks/Wheels
Gun - 2 Pounder (40 mm) Gun
Armament - Main Weapon Type
Besa 7.92mm Machine Gun
Armament - Secondary Weapon Type
5 speeds in each direction
Transmission
Daimler 6 cylinder, 4 litre, 95 bhp, water cooled, petrol
Engine
Independent coil spring
Suspension
12.6 bhp/ton
Power to Weight Ratio
Vehicle Statistics
3
Number (Crew)
7.5tons
Weight (Overall)
50mph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
16mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness - Hull)
2pdr
Calibre (Main Gun)
95bhp
Power (Engine Output)
36gall
Volume (Fuel)
250ml
Radius (Range)
52rounds
Number (Projectile)
4.03m
Length (Overall - Gun Forward)
2.44m
Width (Overall)
2.23m
Height (Overall)
5.7mpg
Consumption (Fuel)