Daimler Armoured Car

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Daimler Armoured Car
Daimler Armoured Car Mark 2.jpg
Daimler Armoured Car Mk II
Type Armoured car
Place of origin United Kingdom
Production history
Manufacturer Daimler
No. built 2,694
Weight 7.6 t
Length 13 feet 1 inch (4 m)
Width 8 feet 1 inch (2.46 m)
Height 7 feet 5 inches (2.26 m)
Crew 3

Armour 7–16 mm
2 pounder QF
52 rounds
1 × coaxial 7.92 mm Besa machine gun
2,700 rounds
1 × 0.303 (7.7 mm) Bren light machine gun AA
Engine Daimler 27 4.1 litre 6-cylinder petrol
95 hp (71 kW)
Power/weight 12.5 hp/tonne
Transmission 5 speed (both directions) with fluid flywheel
Suspension 4 × 4 wheel, independent coil spring
200 miles (320 km)
Speed 50 miles per hour (80 km/h)

The Daimler Armoured Car was a successful British armoured car design of the Second World War which continued in service into the 1950s. It was designed for armed reconnaissance and liaison purposes. During the postwar era it doubled as an internal security vehicle in a number of countries.

Former British Daimler armoured cars were exported to various Commonwealth of Nations member states throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 2012 some were still being operated by the Qatari Army.[1]


The Daimler Armoured Car was a parallel development to the Daimler Dingo "Scout car", a small armoured vehicle for scouting and liaison roles. It was another Birmingham Small Arms design. A larger version designed upon the same layout as the Dingo fitted with the turret similar to that of the Mark VII Light Tank and a more powerful engine.[2] Like the scout car, it incorporated some of the most advanced design concepts of the time and is considered one of the best British AFVs of the Second World War. The 95 hp engine was at the rear linked through a fluid flywheel to a Wilson preselector gearbox and then a H-drive arrangement with propshafts to each wheel. Four wheel steering similar to early models of the Scout car was considered but not implemented following experience with the Dingo.

The prototypes had been produced in 1939 but problems with the transmission caused by the weight of the vehicle delayed service entry until mid-1941. 2,694 armoured cars were built by Daimler.

The Daimler had full independent suspension and four wheel drive. Epicyclic gearing in the wheel hubs enabled a very low ratio in bottom gear - it was credited with managing 1:2 inclines. The rugged nature combined with reliability made it ideal for reconnaissance and escort work.

Combat history[edit]

The Daimler saw action in North Africa with the 11th Hussars and the Derbyshire Yeomanry. It was also used in Europe and a few vehicles reached the South-East Asia theatre. A typical late war recce troop in north-west Europe would have two Daimler Armoured Cars and two Daimler Dingo scout cars.

A British Indian Army armoured car regiment, 16th Light Cavalry, which formed part of Fourteenth Army troops partly equipped with Daimlers, served in the reconquest of Burma.[3][4]

To improve the gun performance, some Daimlers in the European Theatre had their 2-pounders fitted with the Littlejohn adaptor which worked on the squeezebore principle. This increased the gun's theoretical armour penetration and would allow it to penetrate the side or rear armour of some German tanks.

Daimlers were used by the territorial units of the British Army until the 1960s, outlasting their planned replacement, the Coventry Armoured Car. It was still being used by 11th Hussars in Northern Ireland as late as January 1960. It was operated with B Squadron of the Hussars which also had Daimler Dingoes.

Daimler Mark I armoured car at the Bovington Tank Museum

An Indian Army regiment, 63 Cavalry was raised with Humber Armoured Cars as one of its squadrons which was later hived off as an independent reconnaissance squadron and the integral squadron re-raised with Daimlers.[5] In the early sixties Humbers and Daimlers of the Indian Army formed the mounts of the President's Bodyguard and were deployed in the defense of Chushul at heights above 14,000 ft during the 1962 Indo-China War.[6][7]



  • Mark I.
  • Mark I CS - close support version with 76 mm gun.
  • Mark II - improved turret, modified gun mount, better radiator, driver escape hatch incorporated into roof, WP Grenade container fitted in turret and smoke generator container modified.[8]
  • A turretless regimental command version, known as SOD ("Sawn-Off Daimler").





  1. ^ a b c "http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Daimler_Armoured_Cars.pdf" (PDF). France: http://the.shadock.free.fr. 3 December 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.  External link in |publisher=, |title= (help)
  2. ^ Fletcher, David (1989). The Great Tank Scandal: British Armour in the Second World War - Part 1. HMSO. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-11-290460-1. 
  3. ^ Fowler, William (26 February 2009). We Gave Our Today: Burma 1941–1945. Orion. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-297-85761-7. 
  4. ^ Davies, R. Mark. "British & Indian Armoured Units Of the Burma Campaign : A Painting Guide" (PDF). Fire and Fury Games. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Sandhu, Gurcharn Singh (1987). The Indian Armour: History of the Indian Armoured Corps, 1941–1971. Vision Books. p. 312. ISBN 978-81-7094-004-3. 
  6. ^ "The President's Bodyguard". The President of India. The President's Secretariat, Government of India. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Bhat, Anil (2011). "A Tryst with India's History". Salute magazine. Archived from the original on 23 June 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Boyd, David. "Daimler Armoured Car". www.wwiiequipment.com. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 


External links[edit]