Coventry armoured car Mk II

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                       Coventry armoured car Mk II

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Vehicle design and service history:

The Coventry armoured car was a British armoured car developed near the end of the second world war, as a potential replacement for the lighter Humber and Daimler armoured cars then in service. Due to this, the Coventry was a combined development effort between the Daimler Company and Rootes Group to produce a standard armoured car design for mass production. In terms of design, the Coventry was rather advanced, though it featured a similar layout to the more compact Daimler MK II which was then in service, though it possessed a more conventional suspension and drive train. On such feature was duplicate driving controls to allow rapid disengagement from combat. The original intention would be to have two production variants of the armoured car, one for general reconnaissance and scouting and one with anti-tank capabilities which would become the MK1 and MK 2 respectively.

The Mark 1 employed a three-man turret with a 40mm QF 2-pounder gun and a 7.92 mm coaxial Besa machine gun in line with the existing Daimler armoured car. Initially, there had been plans to equip the armoured cars with a 57mm QF 6-pounder gun, but this was soon revised to a version with a larger turret sporting a 75 mm gun at the cost of one crewman, and 900 of these were ordered. Deliveries of the Coventry MK1 began from the Humber assembly line in June of 1944, and 63 vehicles had been produced by the end of the war, but unfortunately, this more modern armoured car did not see combat during the second world war. The main reason was that its production had been sidelined in favour of continuing the production of the Daimler, instead of the Coventry which had been set to replace it, in a similar twist of fate to what befell the fairy swordfish. In the end, the order for the 2-pounder equipt Coventry was reduced to 300, which were to be sent to India and the MK II did not enter production remaining a one-off prototype.

With the war over the production run concluded with a further 220 vehicles in 1945, and though the Coventry was deployed by the British army it arrived too late for wartime service. Around 40 MK I Coventry’s were later sold to the french which saw action during the Indochina War

Vehicle specification:

Mass 10.35 tonnes (11.41 short tons; 10.19 long tons)

Length 4.71 m (15 ft 5 in)

Width 2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)

Height 2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)

Crew 3

Armour up to 14 mm (0.55 in)

Main armament Ordnance QF 75 mm

Secondary armament 1 BESA machine gun (coaxial)

Engine Hercules RXLD 6-cylinder petrol engine 175 hp (130 kW)

Power/weight 16.9 hp/tonne

Suspension Wheeled 4 × 4

Operational range 250 mi (400 km)

Maximum speed 42 mph (68 km/h)

Sources:

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+1, we need more armoured cars

Here’s some additional photos.

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