National Guard Improvised armoured cars?

Discussion in 'USA' started by Listy, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Listy

    Listy Active Member

    I have in my collection, a document talking about the US National Guard wanting some improvised armoured cars, and conducting talks with the British for help with the Armour technology involved. By the description this would have been commercial vehicles, with protection attached to it. These enquiries occurred in March 1942.

    However, I have no further details. Part of the problem I fear is the UK thinks of the national guard as a single formation, not a localised state level unit (such a concept is a bit alien to us). Thus they only record it as enquiries from the US National Guard.

    Would anyone here have any indication if this plan happened, and the National Guard got such improvised armoured vehicles? Or even photo's of such home built jobs which I can view to see if they matched the protection stated?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Slightly puzzled. British LDV and Home Guard units produced a variety of improvised armoured cars which varied from the ludicrous to the realistic (in early WW1 terms) but there were no standardised designs and whatever vehicle available was used as the base. There were also a number of designs to produce emergency armoured cars using commercial chassis which were very standardised and included things like the Beavertte and the Beaverbug which were produced in some numbers and were not improvisations. The Beaverbug proved effective as an airfield defence vehicle claiming a number of Luftwaffe low level attackers. To which do you refer?
     
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Could you post the document, if possible? Sounds interesting.
     
  4. Listy

    Listy Active Member

    Sounds can be deceptive...
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Listy

    Listy Active Member

    Apparently the National Guard, were thinking along the same lines. This seems to have been in the Invasion scare period of the War, and it would make sense. There again the invasion scare was pretty short lived.
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Scout S1 maybe a direction to follow?
    Produced by the Aussies in '42, always said to have been to fulfil a request from the USAAF.
    Only 40 built. Ford F15 base.

    Think they ended up in the Pacific.
    Ford-S1-armored-car-haugh.jpg
     
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  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Hardly improvised
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Agreed, to an extent, but the sliver of document we've seen doesn't tell us much on how much extemporisation is being implied, & it's the only such vehicle that immediately springs to mind under reverse LL.
     
  9. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I am not quite sure what definition of extemporization was being used. Was the National Guard thinking of something extremely simple, like the open-topped Beaverette (very thin plates and a Bren gun) or something a little more sophisticated like the South African Marmon-Herrington (commercial US-Canadian chassis with 12mm max armor, a turret, and up to 3 MGs)? I don't know that you could call either of these 'extemporizations' since they weren't exactly the kind of thing you could knock together in a garage overnight, but they were relatively simpler and quicker to produce than entirely-purpose built armored cars like the M8.
     
  10. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I should add that I am puzzled by the fact that the Guard did not go to the auto companies in this country which had been producing armored cars for police and bank use before the war. You couldn't call those military vehicles, but the outfits which built them had to know a thing or two about armoring a chassis. Or perhaps those companies were just too busy with other war work to help the Guard?
     
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  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    That's a good idea.

    Here's a Mack Model E. I think they started making Model Es around 1936 or 37 and continued to the early fifties.

    upload_2019-9-15_20-53-36.png
     
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  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

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  13. Listy

    Listy Active Member

    from the context I am sure it would be something extremely simple in your first post.

    The reasoning is behind the protection technology being discussed. Simply put it wasn't armour plate, it was plastic armour. Now its likely that normal plate, sourced locally, was used in the final armoured cars (Is protected cars a better word?), if the National Guard even used such creations. Which is part of the information I am missing.
    There again Armour plate was expensive and required diversion from the main war effort. PA had resource links to the war effort in any way (apart from the odd repair job on a road from a bomb hit).
     
  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Found the reasoning behind it

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

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  16. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    British use of plastic armour seems to have been limited to protecting the bridge areas of merchant ships and small unarmoured warships (eg mine sweeping trawlers) it was made of stone chippings in a matrix of a bitumen like substance. It was proof against shell splinters and small calibre rounds
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Following Terrell's miniscule online trail leads to mention of the US creating their own variant in '43.
    Might fit with previous US interest in what the UK were doing.
    "This armour, made by the Flintkote Company, was improved through a series of tests and a modified armour of pure quartz gravel in a mastic of pitch and wood flour was designated HCR2."
    http://www.militarystory.org/plastic-armour/

    (A little view into Wiki there, as their short article on 'plastic' armours appears to be cribbed almost completely from there.)
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Becoming intrigued by references to the stuff & having a small pile of Google credit, I bought the ebook of Pawle's 'The Wheezers & Dodgers'.
    A fair bit on Terrell & his invention, but little specific mention of Americans. (Though several references to the Trade Department. Not sure if that's what it appears.)
    The NYPD were involved later on.
    Not sure of dates as only dipping in so far:
    Screenshot_20190916-160020.png Screenshot_20190916-160034.png
     
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  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

  20. Listy

    Listy Active Member

    I plan, After the Spigot book, to visit Terrell in another book. DMWD is possibly even more interesting, and vastly less homicidal than MD1 (although when need be they could make stuff detonate with the best of them). I suspect it will focus on Rocketry and Plastic Armour. Otherwise there's just too much to cover from DMWD.

    Well you've got about 10% of the story there... ;). I originally was planning a 1500 word article on the stuff as a little curiosity, then the more I dug the bigger the story. I reckon 20K words should be achiveable Trust me its a far more intriguing story than it appears. Its possibly the most important substance to come out of the UK during the war, and is criminally under appreciated. It also shows, interestingly the total dedication of the country to the war effort. I mean we're utilising everything to defeat Germany, even the ground we stand on.
     
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