Rolls-Royce Armoured Car; digital image by Les Still - Mystic Realms

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Rolls Royce Mk1 Armoured Car 1941
 Rolls Royce Mk1 Armoured Car 1941; digital illustration rendered in 3dsmax by Les Still
Rolls Royce Mk1 Armoured Car 1941; digital illustration rendered in 3dsmax by Les Still
Rolls Royce Mk1 Armoured Car  1941
      The Rolls-Royce armoured car was a British  armoured car developed in 1914 and used in World War I and in the early  part of World War II.
                          The Royal Naval Air Service raised the first  British armoured car squadron during the First World War. In September  1914 all available Rolls Royce Silver ghost chassis were requisitioned.  In October 1914 a special committee of the Admiralty Air Department  among whom was Flight Commander T.G. Hetherington designed the  superstructure. The first three vehicles were delivered on 3 December  1914. The vehicle was based on a Rolls Royce 40/50 hp car chassis (the  engine had a maximum output of about 80 hp), to which were added  armoured bodywork and a single turret for a Vickers machine gun.
Crew:- 3
Armament;- One 0.303in Vickers machine gun.
Armour;- 8mm or 9mm (0.31 in or 0.35 in)
Dimensions;- Length 16' 2" (4.92m), width 6' 4"   (1.93m), height 8' 4" (2.53m).
Weight;- 7,840lbs (3556kg) - 1914 pattern; 8,512lbs   (3861kg) - 1920 Pattern Mark 1; 9,296lbs (4217kg)   1924 Pattern Mark 1.
Engine;- Rolls-Royce six cylinder inline water   cooled petrol engine developing 40 - 50 bhp.
Performance;- Speed 45mph (72.5kn/h), range 180   miles (288km).
History;- Produced by the Admiralty for RNAS   armoured car squadrons in 1914, and modified by the   War Office in 1920 for service with the Army and   RAF. Supplied to Eire and various colonies and still   in service for internal security duties in India in   1945.
Development;- The Rolls-Royce was the most   successful of the rash of armoured cars built on to   existing commercial chassis in the first days of   World war 1. A simple body of thin sheer steel was   built on to a Silver Ghost car chassis and a light   round turret placed above the crew compartment. At   the back was a short platform for carrying external   loads. Twin rear wheels were fitted and two spare   wheels were carried, There were no episcopes or   vision blocks, the crew using slits in the armour to   see out. The single Vickers gun was mounted on a   yoke in the turret and projected through a hole in   the armour plate. Some protection for the gunner was   provided by a moving plate on the turret face. In   this guise the Rolls-Royce became the most widely   used armoured car in the entire war. It saw action   in France, Egypt, the Dardanelles, East Africa,   Russia and the guerilla warfare in Arabia. It   survived to be used in police work throughout the   Empire in the inter-war years. In 1920 the War   Office built a batch of cars based on the 1914   Pattern, but improving on it, the wheels were disc   type instead of the original spoked pattern, the   turret was built up slightly and louvres were put in   to the armoured doors over the radiator. In 1924   another pattern emerged with a slight variation to   the body and turret, a cuploa for the commander was   added to the turret top, the extra weight requiring   larger wheels and wider tyres. The Vickers was given   a ball mounting in the front of the turret.
In 1940 there were roughly 75 of these cars still in   service with the British Army, and at least as many   in the colonies and dominions. Those in Britain were   used for local defence but never saw action. At   Habbaniyah in Iraq a small number of RAF cars fought   against Rashid Ali's uprising in 1941 and the 11th   Hussars used them in the early desert campaigns in   1941. These Egyptian cars were basically 1924   Pattern but had been further modified for desert use   by the fitting of an open topped turret and the   changing of the armament to a Boys anti-tank rifle   on the right of the turret and a large smoke   discharger on the left. A Bren light machine gun was   on a pintle mount at the rear of the turret. Sand   channels were carried along the running boards,   water and petrol cans were strapped on both sides   and the platform at the back was loaded with   camouflage nets and bed rolls. By this time the old   Rolls was quite unsuited for modern warfare and as   soon as some modern cars were delivered the Rolls   cars were quietly withdrawn and scrapped.

from The Illustrated   Encyclopaedia of the Worlds Tanks and Fighting   Vehicles - Salamander Press
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