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Author Topic: WWII British - Vehicles  (Read 11004 times)
fred.
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« Reply #45 on: 31 July 2020, 04:33:40 PM »

Certainly the scout carrier, and perhaps the bren carrier, only had a single rear passenger compartment so looked quite different to the universal carrier.

I'm not sure why the bren carrier name is the one that has stuck in common parlance. As well as Brens, they would carry 2" mortars and PIATS, and could be fitted out to carry all sorts of different loads.

I think the way to think about is that Bren, Scout and Universal are the 3 different classes of vehicle. But for some reason Universal carriers were nicknamed Bren carriers. I suspect at the time they were all just called carriers (which now means a big ship with aircraft on it...)
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sultanbev
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« Reply #46 on: 31 July 2020, 04:41:31 PM »

The Bren Carrier was the original carrier. It has a sloped back compartment and space for only 3 men including the driver. pre-war training documentaries show them racing up and dismounting a two man Bren team and the Carrier driviing off.

The Scout Carrier came next which was a bit of a one-off.

Then the Universal Carrier in late 1940, is called the Universal Carrier regardless of whether it was carrying a Bren Gun, a fifty cal HMG, a Vickers MMG, a PIAT, a Boys, a PTRD41, a stowed 3" mortar, or a 25mmL73 SA34 anti-tank gun. This has the boxed rear superstructure, and carries a driver and 3 dismounts - I can't remember off the top of my head whether the War Establishments allowed for a fifth man or not. There are pictures of them carrying whole squads (eg in Palestine in 1949) and no doubt the Soviets carried an entire platoon of SMG troops on them at times.

The Universal Carrier was the most common variant, the original Bren carrier generally disappearing during 1941. That troops (and subsequent postwar commentators) called the Universal Carrier a bren carrier was just a hangover from when the original Bren Carrier existed.

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paulr
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« Reply #47 on: 31 July 2020, 10:17:04 PM »

A very good summary, the extra crew was on the left in the Bren and the right on the Scout

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gUa5TdHPCk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gUa5TdHPCk</a>
On the right Scout carriers of 51st Highland Division with Light Tank Mk VIs of 1st Fife and Forfar Yeomanry visible in the background, 19 March 1940.
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ianrs54
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« Reply #48 on: 01 August 2020, 07:09:14 AM »

There were several others as well such as the Cavalry carrier which had seats for 8-10 unprotected in the rear area
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sean66
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« Reply #49 on: 06 August 2020, 01:31:12 PM »

When will the Guards Divisions vehicles be painted ?  Shocked
those vehicles are far too dirty for the guards maybe ok for some common Divisions from the county's  :-
But surely not for His Majesty's Guards  Cheesy
regards
Sean
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steve_holmes_11
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« Reply #50 on: 06 August 2020, 07:40:16 PM »

Certainly the scout carrier, and perhaps the bren carrier, only had a single rear passenger compartment so looked quite different to the universal carrier.

I'm not sure why the bren carrier name is the one that has stuck in common parlance. As well as Brens, they would carry 2" mortars and PIATS, and could be fitted out to carry all sorts of different loads.

I think the way to think about is that Bren, Scout and Universal are the 3 different classes of vehicle. But for some reason Universal carriers were nicknamed Bren carriers. I suspect at the time they were all just called carriers (which now means a big ship with aircraft on it...)

I think the name thing owes lot to the first model effect.

How many of us:
Store our food in a 'Fridge (even if it's made by Electrolux or SMEG).
Hoover our carpets (even if the device is by Hotpoint or Dyson).

How many GIs would hitch a ride in a Jeep, even if it wasa Willys, Bantam or a Ford.
How many german grenadiers would dive for their foxholes yelling "Achtung Spitfeur", even if being straffed by a Typhoon or Tempest.
And how many British tankers would tell tales of their fight against a Tiger outside Caen (whether it was a Panzer IV or the Genuine article).

You get the picture - names, once established, stick..
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John Cook
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« Reply #51 on: 07 August 2020, 02:18:35 PM »

As I understand it, in simple terms, the Bren Gun Carrier was descended from the Machine Gun Carrier designed to carry the Vickers MMG.

At the outset of war in 1939 the Bren Gun Carrier equipped the carrier platoon of infantry battalions.  It had a single crew compartment on the left hand rear side of the vehicle.

The Scout Carrier equipped cavalry regiments in the armoured reconnaissance role, the latter together with Vickers light tanks, and scout platoons in motorised infantry battalions. It had a single crew compartment on the right hand side of the vehicle.

The Universal carrier appeared, I think, in 1940 and eventually replaced both the Bren and Scout carrier.  It had the double rear crew compartment.  I don't think any made it to France with the BEF.
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ianrs54
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« Reply #52 on: 07 August 2020, 02:48:50 PM »

No its is very unlikey any Universals made it to France. The cavalry carrier had no armoured rear compartments and seats for 10 men?
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John Cook
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« Reply #53 on: 07 August 2020, 11:17:26 PM »

I agree.  I have yet to find any images of Universals with the BEF.  As for Cavalry Carriers, these were made in relatively small numbers, not even three figures, and, although I have read that some went to France in 1939, I have not seen any images of them with the BEF either.  In fact I have never seen a photograph of real one anywhere!  It would be interesting to identify which units had them. 
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ianrs54
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« Reply #54 on: 08 August 2020, 07:12:24 AM »

I've only seen it in a profile book "the carrier story" by Chamberlin and Ellis.
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sultanbev
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« Reply #55 on: 08 August 2020, 09:22:16 AM »

I have initial service date for the Universal Carrier of December 1940.

Although the production figures in WW2 Tanks by Leland Ness show:
Bren Carrier: 2346 built pre-war, 245 in Sept-Dec 1939, 1 in 1940
Scout Carrier: 331 built Sept-Dec 1939
Univeral Carrier (Bren LMG): 1874 pre-war, 611 Sept-Dec 1939, 4955 in 1940, 6906 in 1941, 4193 in 1942, 6489 in 1943, 6890 in 1944, 1818 in Jan-Sept 1945
Universal Carrer (3") 493 in 1941, 6879 in 1942, 5084 in 1943, 663 in 1944
Universal Carrier AOP: 196 in 1940, 645 in 1941, 2160 in 1942, 2415 in 1943, 1 in 1944
Loyd Carrier: 184 in 1940, 618 in 1941, 2648 in 1942, 4878 in 1943, 9721 in 1944, 46 in Jan-Sept 1945
T16 Carrier: 4693 in 1943, 8200 in 1944, 604 in Jan-Sept 1945

That's just UK production. Notice there are no figures for Universal Carrier with Vickers MMG, or as 6pdr gun towers, so they may well have come out of the Bren LMG version totals.
So in theory some pre-war infantry battalions should have had Universal Carriers, although with 2346 Bren Carriers about that was enough for 234 battalions of infantry (at the original allocation of 10 per battalion) which I imagine would be more than enough for the entire army. Perhaps the Universal Carriers were held in reserve until the Bren Carriers broke down or were destroyed in combat?

Australia:
Universal Carrier (Bren, MMG): 160 in 1940, 1577 in 1941, 2135 in 1942, 1086 in 1943, 104 in 1944
Universal Carrer 3" Mortar: 115 in 1942, 285 in 1943
Universal Carrier 2pdr Attack: 199 in 1942

Canada:
Universal Carrier (Bren LMG): 2927 in 1941, 8595 in 1942, 9429 in 1943, 6601 in 1944, 104 in 1945
Universal Carrier 3" Mortar Carrier: 188 in 1942, 1053 in 1943, 95 in 1944
Windsor Carrier: 2006 in 1944, 2989 in 1945

New Zealand:
Universal Carrier LP2 (Bren/Vickers): 46 in 1941, 683 in 1942, 481 in 1943

The Scout Carrier is supposed to have served in the four Armoured Recce Regiments in the BEF:
http://www.niehorster.org/017_britain/40_org/non-div/armd-recon-rgt.html
At 38 per regiment, which would account for half of the production total.

Mark
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ianrs54
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« Reply #56 on: 08 August 2020, 10:18:32 AM »

Mark - the Universal is not offically a 6pdr tower, that was the Loyd, which was rather more powerful. Of course we all know that the Universal was frequently used as a tractor for the 6pdr. Taking it to extremes the inital tractor seems to have been a Quad,

IanS
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