Standard Beaverette Light Armored Car Mark III

When the Royal Army was pulled off the shores of Dunkerque in June 1940, they left most of their heavy equipment behind. With an invasion imminent, mobile defensive units had to be created quickly from whatever was on hand. The Standard car company had 500 truck chassis, and Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production, had them built with light steel (not armored steel) and topped with a slot for a Bren gun. They were issued to the Home Guard. If the Germans had invaded, these units would not have been able to compete with the Panzers, who would have shot them up easily, despite their 40 mile (64.37 kilometer) per hour speed.. They were also difficult to drive and the Bren gun mount was difficult to maneuver and fire the weapon. Still, they equipped the Home Guard, and served as functional security vehicles. This Mark III was "up-armored" with hardened steel and had an added turret on top for the Bren gun. Other cars had an open turret with a dual Vickers machine gun mount. This Beaverette is painted as a RAF airfield security vehicle. 2,800 Beaverettes were built. Beaverettes served with the Irish Army until 1960.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Saturday, January 7, 2006
Duxford Imperial War Museum
United Kingdom