Beaverette Armoured Car

Beaverette Armoured Car

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3604331)

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

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. The hull was open at the top and at the rear. The armament consisted of a Bren light machine gun, which could be fired through a slot in the casemate armour. Subsequent versions received all-around protection and a machine gun turret - an enclosed one with a Bren MG or an open-topped one with twin Vickers machine guns. Some vehicles also carried Boys anti-tank rifles. Some also had a No. 11 or No. 19 radio set. Production was stopped in 1942. About 2,800 units were delivered.

Describing the vehicle in 1941, a correspondent for The Light Car magazine reported "touching the 60-mark [60 mph (97 km/h)]" while following one along a road. Restricted vision meant the Beaverette driver had to rely on an observer to relay information about other road traffic and also to consider situations well in advance, for example, when making a turn, the driver had to base his steering on "observations made something like ten yards [30.00 ft (9.14 m)] back".

The Beaverette was extensively used by the Home Guard (United Kingdom), British Army and RAF Regiment for home defence service and training. The vehicle is said to have suffered from excessive weight and to have been hard to handle.

George Forty - World War Two Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Self-Propelled Artillery, Osprey Publishing 1996.

I. Moschanskiy - Armored vehicles of the Great Britain 1939-1945 part 2, Modelist-Konstruktor, Bronekollektsiya 1999-02.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3604329)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607518)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3604330

(IWM Photo, H-2506)
Beaverette of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Armoured Corps, 25 July 1940.

(IWM Photo, H-10928)

Beaverette cars, Bren gun carriers and motorcycles of 53rd Battalion The Reconnaissance Corps during manoeuvres at Ballykinlar in Northern Ireland, 19 June 1941.

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