Standard Beaverette

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Standard Car 4x2
IWM-H-10928-Ballykinlar-19410619.jpg
Beaverettes of 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment on manoeuvres in Northern Ireland, 1941
Type Armoured car
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Production history
Manufacturer Standard Motor Company
Specifications
Weight Mk I: 2 tonnes (2.2 short tons; 2.0 long tons)
Mk III: 2.6 tonnes (2.9 short tons; 2.6 long tons)
Length Mk I: 4.11 m (13 ft 6 in)
Mk III: 3.10 m (10 ft 2 in)
Width Mk I: 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Mk III: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Height Mk I: 1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Mk III: 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)
Crew 3

Armour Mk III: up to 9 mm (0.35 in)
Mk IV: up to 12 mm (0.47 in)
Main
armament
0.303 (7.7 mm) Bren MG or twin Vickers machine gun
Engine Standard 4-cylinder petrol engine
46 hp (34 kW)
Power/weight 17-23 hp/tonne
Suspension 4x2 wheel, leaf spring
Operational
range
Mk III: 300 km (190 mi)
Speed Mk III: 38 km/h (24 mph)

Standard Car 4x2, or Car Armoured Light Standard, better known as the Beaverette, was a British armoured car produced during World War II.

History[edit]

The first version of the vehicle was built in 1940 by Standard Motor Company at the instigation of Lord Beaverbrook, then Minister of Aircraft Production (hence the name Beaverette). It was based on commercial car chassis, on which a simple riveted armoured hull was mounted. The 11mm of steel was backed by 3 inch thick oak planks.[1] The hull was open at the top and at the rear. The armament consisted of Bren light machine gun which could be fired through a slot in the glacis armour. Subsequent versions received all-around protection and a machine gun turret - an enclosed one with Bren MG or an open-topped one with twin Vickers machine guns. Some vehicles also carried Boys anti-tank rifles. Some had No. 11 or No. 19 radio set. The production was stopped in 1942. About 2,800 units were delivered.

The Beaverette was used by the British Army and Royal Air Force for home defence service and training. The vehicle is said to have suffered from excessive weight and to be hard to handle.

Standard Mk II Beaverette II light reconnaissance cars manned by members of the Home Guard in the Highlands of Scotland, 14 February 1941.

Variants[edit]

  • Mk I - original version.
  • Mk II - had all-around armour and the radiator grill was moved from a vertical position to a horizontal one.[1]
  • Mk III Beaverbug - had shortened chassis, redesigned hull without curved front wings, with top armour and a machine gun turret.
  • Mk IV - glacis armour was redesigned to improve visibility.
  • A similar vehicle, known as Beaverette (NZ), was produced in New Zealand Railways workshops, Hutt Valley. The car used a Ford 3/4 or 1-ton truck chassis and plate salvaged from the ships Port Bowen and Mokoia for armour. They had a crew of 4 and 208 units were built.[2]

Survivors[edit]

A Mark III Beaverette is displayed at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. Another Mark III is in the Cobbaton Combat Collection, a private collection of military vehicles in Umberleigh, Devon in the United Kingdom[3] A Mark IV Beaverette is displayed at the Museum Bevrijding Vleugels in the Netherlands.

References[edit]

The Beaverette Mk III at the Imperial War Museum Duxford
Citations
  1. ^ a b Livesey, Jack (2007). Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Would Wars I and II. Southwater. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-84476-370-2. 
  2. ^ Richard Stowers - Waikato Troopers, Richard Stowers 2008, ISBN 978-0-473-13146-3
  3. ^ "Standard Beaverette MKIII 1941". Cobbaton Combat Collection. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
Bibliography
  • George Forty - World War Two Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Self-Propelled Artillery, Osprey Publishing 1996, ISBN 978-1-85532-582-1.
  • I. Moschanskiy - Armored vehicles of the Great Britain 1939-1945 part 2, Modelist-Konstruktor, Bronekollektsiya 1999-02 (И. Мощанский - Бронетанковая техника Великобритании 1939-1945 часть 2, Моделист-Конструктор, Бронеколлекция 1999-02).

External links[edit]