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Armored Cars of Great Britain Used During WWI

During World War I, Great Britain too, had their armored motor-cars, they were the Lanchester and the Rolls-Royce.
Inspired by the Minerva Armored Motor-car produced in Belgium, Great Britain's Royal Navy got into the act and converted a few of their Rolls-Royce 'Ghost' chassis that they had on hand, into armored vehicles. Which led to the production of these vehicles by the automobile manufacturers of Rolls-Royce and Lanchester.

The Lanchester itself was used extensively as a vehicle to protect air fields and retrieved downed pilots, and as the war fronts became stationary, and were no longer effectively used, were sent to Russia with their crews, the same as the Belgian armored cars were. While the Rolls-Royce model was extensively used in Africa and Arabia's desert and prove invaluable in these war arenas.
Even when the Rolls-Royce chassis wore out, the armored bodies were placed on Fordson chassis, and they continued to use these vehicles on up too, and during the second World War.
Between the two great wars, some were used by the Royal Air Force, to drag a plough across the Iraq desert as a navigation aid for the new airlines and military flights over the Middle East. Each time their was a sand storm they would have to go back out again and re-plough the line!

"NOTE"
For an enlarged image of both, the Lanchester and the Rolls-Royce vehicles, go to the Enlarged Photos of Great Britain's Armored Cars.

Lanchester Armored Motor-car
Designed to support air bases and retrieve downed pilots, the Lanchester was the most numerous armored car in service after the Rolls-Royce. When the army took control of the armored car forces in 1915, it was decided to phase this unit out. Remaining units were sent to Russia - along with their naval crews. There they served with distinction in Galicia, Romania, and Persia. Considered reliable and fast, they served as reconnaissance units before being shipped back to the England.

The Lanchester Specifications:

It had a crew of 4 men, was 16 feet long, 6 foot 4 inches wide and 7 foot 6 inches high and a weight of 10,340 pounds. It had a 60 horsepower motor and could reach speeds of 50 m.p.h. It had one .303 machine gun as it's only armament.
Rolls-Royce Armored Motor-car,
"The Rolls-Royce was considered an important arm in the Arabic army, led by the famous Lawrence of Arabia".
In 1914, the Royal Naval Air Service noted how the Belgians were using the Minerva armored car to carry out raids on the German Army. The RNAS decided to convert some of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost cars in their possession. The conversion was a success, and the Admiralty gave permission for an official armored car based on the Silver Ghost chassis. With strengthened suspension and added armor, the Rolls-Royce saw service all over the world from March 1915, notably in Africa and the Arabian peninsula, were they proved to have excellent cross country mobility. They were most at home in terrain where they could roam far and wide. They were considered an important arm in the Arabic army led by the famous Lawrence of Arabia. Officially phased out of service in 1922, some continued to serve in India during WW2.

The Rolls-Royce Specifications:

It had a crew of three to four men, it had armored plating of 9 mm. It was 16 feet 6 inches long, 6 feet 3 inches wide, 8 feet 4.5 inches high, and had a weight of 7480 pounds. It's engine was either a 40 or 50 H. P. Rolls-Royce engine, had a range of 150 miles and could travel up to 60 m.p.h. It Armament, just as the Lanchester was, one .303 machine gun.
A Rolls-Royce Silver-Ghost
The Royal Navy Air Force decided to convert some of the Rolls-Royce "Silver Ghost" cars in their possession. The conversion was a success, and the Admiralty gave permission for an official armored car based on the Silver Ghost chassis.


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