Lanchester 6x4

Lanchester 6x4 (1928)
United Kingdom - 35 built total

A 6x4 armored car for colonial duties

The Lanchester motor company, founder in 1899 and based in Armourer Mills, Montgomery Street, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, was a prolific and recognized car maker. It had produced the famous Lanchester 4x2 armored cars during World War One, which gained a reputation for endurance and reliability, notably on the Eastern and Russian fronts. This time, the War Office requested a 6x4 chassis, for longe range operations in remote provinces of the British Empire, colonies and with the territorial army. Lanchester proposed its design in 1927, and was awarded a contract to build two prototypes on 19 July 1927.

Development

These prototypes, D1E1 and D1E2, ready in March 1928, tried different turret shapes and armaments, and the latter had additional driving controls at the rear. But it appeared, during their trials, that their chassis was not strong enough to cope with rugged terrain and make successful cross-country drives. So a second series of 22 vehicles was ordered, the Mk.I and Mk.Ia (command), while two vehicles (two other prototypes D1E3, D1E4) were kept for instruction. Another serie will be ordered later, the Mk.II.

Design

The chassis had no civilian car or truck correspondent, as it was purpose-built, and strengthened. It had many similarities with the famous WW1 Rolls Royce armored cars in its body shape, but the twin axles at the rear allowed, in theory, for larger turrets and a roomier fighting compartment, as well as more storage, over the rear-end axle. Two large storage boxes were positioned over the mudguards, right behind the fighting compartment, while a payload could find its way in between. The crew could access the vehicle either through the rear doors, or the side ones, on each side of the fighting compartment. The crew counted a driver, co-driver/commander, and two gunners/loaders. The large, cylindrical two-man turret accomodated one 0.5 in (12.7 mm) and one 0.3 inches (7.7 mm) Vickers liquid-cooled machine guns in a coaxial fashion, or dual mount. The turret was topped by a small observation cupola which could rotate independently. The fighting compartment was extended to the co-driver seat, which could received an additional Vickers 0.3 in (7.7 mm) machine gun. On radio command vehicles (Mk.Ia and Mk.IIa), it was swapped for a No. 9 radio with a whip type antenna, and the co-driver was now in charge of the radio.

Production and active service

The Mark I (18 built) had doubled rear tires, and the Mark Ia used a radio instead of the left-hand-side machine-gun. 18 and 4 were delivered, respectively. The seven Mark IIs had single rear tires, a sloped side turret cupola (or a light tank alternative turret), and six command versions were built. First deliveries began in January 1929 with the 11th Hussars, but were finished in 1934. The regimant was relocated in Egypt to replace the 12th Lancers, whereas a squadron of the 12th Lancers was sent, for peacekeeping operations, in the Saar region in 1935. In December, two other squadrons were relocated to Egypt, in response to the Italian invasion of Abyssinia. By 1936 they returned to Great Britain and were re-equipped with more modern Morris LRCs. In 1939, 22 of these Lanchesters were sent to the Far East, affected to the Selangor and Perak battalions of the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, the Singapore Volunteer Corps, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force and the 2nd Battalion of Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in Malaya. They took an active part in the Malayan campaign against the Japanese. The others were kept in the Territorial army, 23rd London Armoured Car Company and 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry. In 1940, one was converted as a VIP transport and two were allocated to the 1st Belgian Armoured Car squadron. One is on display at Bovington today.

Links about the Lanchester 6x4

The Lanchester 6x4 on Wikipedia

Lanchester 6x4 specifications

Dimensions 6.10 x 2.02 x 2.83 m (20 x 6.6 x 9.2 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 7 tons (14,000 lbs)
Crew 4 (driver, co-driver gunner/radio, 2 gunners)
Propulsion Lanchester 6-cyl. petrol, 90 hp (67 kW), 12.9 hp/ton
Suspension 6x4 coil springs, front drive
Speed (road) 72 km/h (45 mph)
Range 320 km (200 mi)
Armament 1 x 0.5 in (12.7 mm) + 2 x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers
Armor 9 mm front & sides (0.35 in)
Total production 35


A Lanchster Mark I of the 12th Lancers. This was a heavily armed vehicle for the time, compared to the Rolls Royce, with a heavy MG and two Vickers medium MGs. The first could destroy light tanks when equipped with AP bullets.


A vehicle of the 12th Lancers, B squadron in Malaya, 1941. This particular vehicle (now on display in a museum) was reequipped with a light tank Mark III turret and had two Vickers 0.3 in machine guns instead of three. The Lanchester 6x4 had good off-road capabilities, and was rugged and reliable, but too heavy and slow for effective operations in reconnaissance units.

Lanchester Mark IA of the 12th Lancers, A squadron
A Lanchester Mark IA (command version) of the 12th Lancers, A squadron.

Lanchester 12th Lancers training
12th Lancers Lanchesters in training.

WW2 Tanks

Argenginian tanks of ww2Australian tanks of ww2Blegian tanks of ww2Bolivian armor in ww2Bulgarian tanks of ww2Canadian tanks of ww2 Chinese tanks and interwar AFVs Czech tanks of ww2Finnish tanks of ww2French Tanks of ww2Hungarian tanks of ww2Indian tanks of ww2Irish armor in ww2Italian tanks of ww2Imperial Japanese Tanks of ww2German tanks of ww2New Zealand tanks of ww2ww2 polish armorww2 romanian armorww2 south african armorww2 soviet tanksww2 spanish civil war AFVsww2 swedish tanksDucth ww2 tanks and afvsBritish ww2 TanksAmerican ww2 tanksYugoslavian ww2 tanks

WW2 tanks posters

tanks posters - Soviet Armour 1941

Tanks aces series

T34/57 Exterminator - tank ace Lt. Gorobetz, battle of MoskowOtto Carius Tiger winter 1943-44otto Carius Tiger, battle of Malinovo july 1944SovietKV-1 Eskranami Tank ace Zinoviy KolobanovSherman III Canadian Tank ace Sydney Rad ValpyLafayette G. pooleOtto CariusKurt Knispel TigerKurt Knispel Tiger IIT34/76 1941 Tank ace Dmitry Lavrinenko posterErnst BarkmannTiger Michael Wittmanww2 aces: Renault B1 Bis Eure

Singles series

otto Skorzeny M10 ErsatzPanzer IV Ausf C France 1940Panzerbefehlswagen VI Ausf H1Grizzly I cruiserOstu Gata Sensha battle of Harbin 1932JagdtigerWiesel 1 HOT posterChurchill NA75Churchill CDLSherman M4A6 PosterChar B1 bis Butcher of Stonne

Soviet Army