1st Kings Dragoon Guards - WWII Vehicles

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by James M. Green, Mar 10, 2023.

  1. James M. Green

    James M. Green Active Member

    Hi all,

    I'm interested to hear people's views on the vehicles that 1KDG used during WWII. There are some good videos that the Tank Museum have put out on YouTube, but it would be awesome to hear others thoughts too.

    09/39-01/40: Vickers-Amstrongs Light Tank Mk. VI B

    01/40-02/43: Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car

    11/42-05/43: A.E.C. Armoured Car

    02/43-11/43: Humber Armoured Car

    11/43-05/45: Daimler Armoured Car

    12/43-05/45: Staghound Armoured Car

    And a couple that they had in Italy

    Dingo Scout Car

    M3A1 White Scout Car

    And a couple as mentioned by Gary

    Humber Scout Car

    AA Humber Armoured Car

    If there is any of note that I have missed, please let me know!

    I would also be super interested to hear if anyone still has one of these vehicles and can therefore give a first hand review. There is a good site called Daimler fighting vehicles which has many ownership histories of the vehicles mentioned.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2023
  2. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Wheeled AFVs don't seem to get quite the same attention as the tracked variety. I did make an effort a while back to get a better understanding of the armoured and scout cars (and light recce cars) used by the British Army during the war. The above list is pretty much a chronology of the equipment of the Armoured Car Regiments, at least from the desert campaigns onwards. As I recall the M-H vehicles were numerically quite valuable in North Africa. I think the early marks were though only machine gun armed, and there are references and pictures showing how crews 'up-gunned' them with various acquired weapons. Then the Humber armoured car arrives, with a more punchy 15-mm Besa, followed by the Daimler with the 2-pdr. The AEC cars for 1942-43 would, I think, have been the 2-pdr version only, with a few being delivered for use in North Africa. I recall seeing a note in AFV papers for the theatre saying along the lines of that they were being used for convoy protection more than recce work.

    Then from late 1943 the Armoured Car Regiments got an organisational makeover, with the old three Squadron, 58 car Regiment being enlarged to four Squadrons and graduating to the Corps recce unit, Armoured Divisions getting an Armd Recce Regt instead. At the same time the Armd Car Regts in 21 Army Group went onto a mix of Daimler and Staghound armoured cars, and either the AEC Mark III (75-mm) or the M3 GMC halftrack (also 75-mm). I know the equipment situation in Italy was a lot more complex and while I've tried to gather some more info on that of late I haven't made any sense of it yet.

    Units in Home Forces had been on establishments from 1942 that integrated scout cars into the basic Troop, which had been three armoured cars since 1938 at least (and I think pretty much throughout the 1930s). The authorised organisation became two armoured cars and two scout cars in a Troop, though there are plenty of examples of units making adjustments to suit the tactical situation (Inns of Court, I'm looking at you...). There was also something of schism, with the Recce Regiments of the Infantry Divisions going onto the Humber armoured car and the Armoured Car Regiments the Daimler armoured car, plus Staghounds and whatever for their heavy cars.

    The White scout cars were intended for the personnel carrier role, as they could seat eight men, and were referred to as trucks, personnel, 15-cwt, 4x4 in war establishment tables. You can also add the Humber scout car to your list, which was used by the Intercommunication Troop of the Armoured Car Regiments (rather than the Daimler). Also, the AA Humber armoured car, which saw little actual use in 21 Army Group at least, I don't know whether it saw more in Italy.

    Chris C likes this.
  3. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Marmon Herringtons were a South African design based on a Ford truck chassis, I think? They came in two marks early in the desert, and I suspect that the K.D.G. would have had MH2 for most of 1941, switching to MH3 thereafter. The vehicle was ubiqitous, the South Africans loved their recce regiments and fielded hundreds of these armoured cars.

    As Gary notes, they did not have heavy weapons, being equipped only with a Boys ATR and a Vickers or Bren .303 machine gun. Upgunning of a vehicle per troop was quite usual to enable hitting back at the cannon-armoured German and Italian armoured cars, utilising captured Italian Bredas or lighter AT guns. There's a famous picture of that on the IWM site.

    All the best


    Attached Files:

  4. James M. Green

    James M. Green Active Member

    Gary thanks for the extremely detailed info and other vehicle suggestions. Really helps give a picture of what they were working with at the time. I will have to remember that some were used for convoy protection too! If you would like to see some photos of the vehicles they used in Florence, then I've uploaded them on the thread about my Gdad. I would love to learn more about what roles the Inns of Court lot had in WWII, I guess Wikipedia would be the place to start trawling? I reckon my Gdad might be sat in the front of a White Scout Car in some of our photos....

    Andreas thank you for that info and the file, and that's a great photo indeed on IWM. I had no idea the Marmon Herrington was so popular with the SA regiments, that would of been a site to behold for sure. You are right I have also heard and read that it was the drive chassis that was the Marmon Herrington part, and the rest of it was wholly Ford - therefore the designated name is a bit confusing!


Share This Page