Universal Carriers

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Peter Clare, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  2. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

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  3. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Fahrgestell Bren (e) with 3.7 cm PaK gun.
     

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  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    One of my favourite British vehicles of WW2. My father drove these in Italy for a while - he said that on a good road you could get quite a speed up, so much so that the carrier lifted up onto its back track section effectively doing what we would call a 'wheelie' ! I would love to test that theory out someday!
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Five basic types, somewhat depending on country of manufacture,
    well covered by the excellent Maple Leaf Up website but a hugely complicated subject so sticking to 'carrier' is a good start.
    On top of those types several different requirements were fulfilled, many unarmed sub-variants such as specialised engineer, command, tank starters, ammunition carriers etc. Significant among these was the use of the carrier as an ambulance.
    Those that carried weapons for the British include several loyd variants with a 2pdr AT gun, mortars & AA adaptations, there were even a few Smith Guns mounted by home guard units. One or 2 turreted prototypes were tried and dismissed. Maybe one of the strangest variants not to have passed prototype being the 'praying Mantis' as a possible solution to the hedgerows in Normandy.
    [​IMG]

    The canadians and Aussies had their own variants all discussed on the above websites, most peculiar for me being the Canadian one mounting a rack of PIAT's for area fire. I'd also recommend the excellent Tanks! website for good info on variants.

    Paul, if you ever fancy one a tatty one was offered last year for about £12.5k, I too love watching 'em roar about, some variants (carden-lloyd I think) steer by the strangest track-bending mechanism that is truly alarming to watch, looks like they're about to pop off.

    A fine example at Beltring this year going surprisingly quickly:
    [​IMG]
    Drone drone blah blah.... Top truck.
    Hope that helps a little Peter, some balance for the amount I pick up about planes from reading the flyboys threads.
    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  6. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Drone drone blah blah.... Top truck.
    Hope that helps a little Peter, some balance for the amount I pick up about planes from reading the flyboys threads.
    Cheers,
    Adam.


    :goodnightsign:

    :biggrin:
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    When did they go out of service?
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I suspect they were phased out fairly shortly after the war as vehicles like the landrover and wheeled armoured cars could do the same sort of job better for less money and complication, you see them a lot in pictures of postwar training and the odd parade, lots of the survivors seem to have passed through training establishments after their active life was ended. I wouldn't be at all surprised though if a few were still on the strength of some armies, for some reason Latin America springs to mind, Brazil et.al. seem to have been the home of retired smaller allied vehicles until surprisingly recently. Found an excellent website on 'em here with a more precise explanation of the basic types.
     
  9. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hope that helps a little Peter, some balance for the amount I pick up about planes from reading the flyboys threads.
    Cheers,
    Adam

    Many thanks Adam, I now know a little more of the subject.

    Regards
    Peter.
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  11. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Nice pics Owen. I must put in a plug for an extrodinary series of books. Planned as a 3 volume series, Volume 1 was launched at Beltring. Written by a very enthusiastic Carrier owner, Nigel Watson and just called 'Universal Carriers'. All you would need from a book on carriers and more.

    Edit: Website added http://www.desertplatoon.org.uk/
     
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Nice pics Owen. I must put in a plug for an extrodinary series of books. Planned as a 3 volume series, Volume 1 was launched at Beltring. Written by a very enthusiastic Carrier owner, Nigel Watson and just called 'Universal Carriers'. All you would need from a book on carriers and more.
    Annoyingly I thought volume 2 had arrived yesterday, but the missus had fouled up slightly and it was another volume 1, got to wait 'til April for the next one now.
    Based purely on the first book, I second the recommendation, Watson's filled a yawning gap in the vehicle bookshelves.
     
  13. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Nigel Watson has just announced over on Maple Leaf Up that Volume two is to be launched at Beltring this July. I for one will be queing up in the model tent (Victory marquee) for a copy.
     
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    In theory mine should already be paid for... Hmmm, wonder if it'll just turn up in the post soon, that'd be nice.
     
  15. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Even though I´m fairly convinced that the Bren Carrier was just as useful as the Boys gun (almost no good, that is), I dare to ask the experts about combat situations in which the small tracked contraption was something more than a deathtrap for its crews, Buna style.

    However, looking like a weird but cute little iron sandbox, I must admit it has some sort of appeal to me, being a fan of ugly ducklings as I am...
     
  16. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Warlord,

    The carriers where some of the best kit the British had. Dont think of it as tank, think more of it as a tracked jeep. Dont underestimate the need for a general purpose vehicle, its easy to get caught up in the glamour of big flash kit, the real work in any war is done by the humble Tommy and he needs food, bullets, transport, anti tank guns, ambulances,etc etc. Theres a good reason carriers appear in virtually evey photo of the British army, they where damn usefull.

    Kev
     
    von Poop and Owen like this.
  17. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Well, seems then that I had the wrong idea about the machine, since I thought of it like an Italian L3, or a downgraded British Mark VI. You learn something new every day...

    Was it then more like, using Kfz´s terms, the american jeep (all around stuff) with a rear deck machine gun for self-defense? I mean, what made me look the wrong way in this case was the Bren (or Boys) that the thing was equipped with, together with some other minor hardware.
     
  18. The Auck

    The Auck Junior Member

    Hi everyone, this is my first post and plug having reached here by way of references to my book on Universal Carriers which I launched at Beltring this year. Thank you for the plug. I know I am a wee bit biased but these vehicles were terrific for their size and versatility. Those of you who managed to Beltring may have seen my own carrier on our Living History Display, only desert camouflaged carrier at the show.
    "Loved by many who encountered her, disliked by others, spoken about fondly by her drivers and complained about by others, this small armoured tracked vehicle was driven by soldiers from every nation involved in the conflicts during WW2."

    Now the plug! Universal Carriers Vol1 and Vol2 available from Universal Bren Carrier Book or www.desertplatoon.org.uk

    The Auck
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Hi everyone, this is my first post and plug having reached here by way of references to my book on Universal Carriers which I launched at Beltring this year. Thank you for the plug. I know I am a wee bit biased but these vehicles were terrific for their size and versatility. Those of you who managed to Beltring may have seen my own carrier on our Living History Display, only desert camouflaged carrier at the show.
    "Loved by many who encountered her, disliked by others, spoken about fondly by her drivers and complained about by others, this small armoured tracked vehicle was driven by soldiers from every nation involved in the conflicts during WW2."

    Now the plug! Universal Carriers Vol1 and Vol2 available from Universal Bren Carrier Book or www.desertplatoon.org.uk

    The Auck
    A very warm welcome aboard 'The Auck'.
    I think we might just be able to work out your real name though ;).

    Splendid books on a strangely neglected subject, that finally replace the rather sparse offerings from Chamberlain & Ellis and Osprey on such a significant vehicle. Volume 2 dropped through my letterbox only last week.
    Plug away.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  20. The Auck

    The Auck Junior Member

    Thanks for the welcome Adam.

    Nigel
     

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