Imagine yourself having a early 20th century transport truck. Used for various of purposes from transporting various amount of goods or used for military purposes. Such as transporting soldiers from point A to point B, now imagine having the same truck. But with replace the entire design of the truck with regular industry steel armor plating skirt and a 360 rotatable turret, with either a 6,5mm Colt machinegun for combat aircrafts (Kulspruta m/22) or a 37mm cannon from the Renault FT17 ( 37mm Puteaux cannon (The same gun which the French FCM.36 and H.35 Tankette uses).
The design came from the Tidaholm brukets transport trucks which they produced at the time.
The Pansarbil fm/26 (“Pansarbil 3” No.604, 604 being the register number) along with its first variants: Pansarbil fm/25 (However, were going to focus more on its last iteration, the fm/26). Are the first armoued cars Sweden has produced. The design of the armoured car was made by “Tidaholms bruket”, which was a manifacturer for special purpose vehicles. Such as firetrucks and busses. However, due to financial difficulties to the company in the 1930’s. It was reformed and named as “AB Tidaholmsverken” and functioned as a subcontractor to Bofors. The First armoured cars from the Tidaholms bruket were developed in 1925-1926 and were intended as test vehicles in order to develop a domestic Swedish armorued car tactic which the Swedish armed forces would use.
On April 1925, the design of the blueprints were made and completed by the “Artilleridepartementets konstruktionsavdelning” at KAF(Kungliga Arméförvaltningen ), for the first armoured car and the production of the vehicle started immediately after. However, before the first armoured car was completed, a decision was made to produce additional 2 more armoured cars with both of them having different designs (See image below). The Hull of the vehicle was originally suppsed to be produced in armor plates, however Bofors had problems with the deliveries of material. In which the material of the hull was replaced with 5mm commercial iron (regular industry steel) instead of the orignally planned armor plates. The idea was to harden the plates, similarly to how the Strv m/21’s were treated (see link), however it is unclear if they made this procedure.
The Pansarbil fm/26 compared to its siblings, the fm/25. The construction of the Pansarbil fm/26 was completed in 1926, which was built from the results of the experience gained from the trials of the first armoured cars back in 1925 (The Pansarbil fm/25’s were built and tested in 1925, the data and documentation they gained from the tests were then used to design the fm/26). Among the specifications were the radical change in the form of chamfering the edges of the sides of the vehicle. Allowing it to gain a more streamlined body design compared to the earlier produced armoured cars. The armament of the Pansarbil fm/26 consisted of the 6,5mm air cooled machinegun (Kulspruta m/22). However, it also temporarly carried the french 37mm Puteaux cannon from the Renault FT 17 tankette (“Putte”). On these occasions, there was at the same time also a machine gun mounted on the back of the turret (Likely the Swedish 6,5mm m/1900 Hotchkiss machine gun or the Kulspruta m/22, however I do not have any images of said armament description).
The Pansarbil fm/26 had a total weight of around 4-5 tons and had a max speed between 45-60km/h, the engine it used was the Tidaholm 4-cylinder petrol engine (which the fm/25 also used). Which gave a propulsion output of around 36-45 HP (Horse Power) and allowed the armoured car to drive up 45km/h on roads. The Pansarbil fm/26 was also provided with the same type of camoflage painting scheme as the Strv m/21 used. Which consisted of Dark green / Brown / light sand colors and with wide black color border between the different colors.
In the end, all of the produced Pansarbil fm/25 and fm/26 were placed in the K3 Kavalleriregementet (Cavalry regiment) in Skövde and were initally in a motorized platoon as armored support vehicle for the transport trucks and its occupants. In 1930’s the armoured cars were then placed in a independent unit within the K3 Regiment. However, during this time. The first Pansarbil fm/25 was scrapped in 1935. Likely due to having served it’s purpose as a testing vehicle and no longer saw any reason from the Swedish armed forces to keep it. The last fm/25 and the fm/26 served with the Swedish armed forces till the begining of World War 2, in which both of the vehicles would subsequenltly be scrapped as well. Mainly being way to outdated to be kept around and served its purpose of being testing vehicles for other armoured cars which would be designed by the Sweden.
Excercise regulations on how the armoured vehicles were to be used:
"Pansarbilförbands användning grundas på de för dem utmärkande egenskaperna stor rörlighet på goda vägar, stor eldkraft och ringa sårbarhet för eld från gevärskalibriga vapen. Stillastående förstöras de lätt av artillerield. Under mörker kunna de i allmänhet icke användas för spaning och strid. Pansarbilstropp bör hållas samlad: enstaka pansarbilar oskadliggöras lätt. Besättningen bör icke avstiga i fiendens närhet. Samverkan med andra förband, särskilt skyttegrupp, kan ofta vara fördelaktigt. Företag med pansarbilsförband utföras överraskande och om möjligt då fienden är minst i stånd att möta dem, såsom vid hans uppbrott, intagande av förläggning, utrymning av ställning mm. Pansarbilförband förslitas lätt. De böra sparas för viktiga företag och erhålla materielvård. Pansarbiltroppen används under spaningstjänst för att göra snabba framstötar för att hastigt utforska hur fienden framrycker. För att fienden inte skall bliva i tillfälle att vidtaga åtgärder mot pansarbilarna böra de icke längre tid uppehålla sig inom samma område. Förbanden böra i regel erhålla självständiga, alltid väl begränsade uppgifter. Samverkan med övriga spaningsorgan kan vara fördelaktiga. Under frammarsch kan pansarbilstropp stundom underställas spetsen. Den framgår härvid ansatsvis före förpatrullen. Under tillbakamarsch uppträder pansarbiltropp stundom under direkt samverkan med spetsen, vilken den i allmänhet underställes. Under anfallsstrid kan pansarbiltropp verkställa anfall mot fiendes flank och rygg, därest vägnätet är gynnsamt. Är så icke fallet kan den tilldelas frontalt uppträdande truppförband, men hålles i reserv."
“The use of armored car units is based on the characteristics of their great mobility on good roads, high firepower and low vulnerability to fire from rifle-caliber weapons. At standstill, they are easily destroyed by artillery fire. In the dark, they can generally not be used for reconnaissance and combat. Armored personnel carriers should be kept together: individual armored vehicles are easily rendered harmless. The crew should not disembark in the vicinity of the enemy. Collaboration with other units, especially the firing squad, can often be beneficial. Companies with armored car units are carried out surprisingly and, if possible, when the enemy is least able to meet them, such as when he breaks up, occupies a position, evacuates a position, etc. Armored car units wear out easily. They should be saved for important companies and receive equipment care. The armored car troop is used during reconnaissance service to make rapid advances to quickly explore how the enemy is advancing. In order for the enemy not to have the opportunity to take action against the armored vehicles, they should no longer be in the same area. The unions should generally receive independent, always well-limited information. Collaboration with other reconnaissance bodies can be beneficial. During advance, the armored car strap can sometimes be subordinated to the tip. In this case, it appears approximately before the pre-patrol. During retreat, armored car troops sometimes appear in direct contact with the tip, to which it is generally subordinate. During an assault battle, an armored car troop can carry out an attack on the enemy’s flank and back, where the road network is favorable. If this is not the case, it can be assigned to front-line troop units, but is kept in reserve.”
Armaments used by the Pansarbil fm/26:
37mm Puteaux cannon (same as from the FT 17 Tankette):
|Armor||5 mm Regular Industry Steel/Commercial Iron|
|Engine||36-45 Hp 4-cylinder Tidaholm petrol engine|
|Max Speed||45-60 km/h|
|Armament||6,5 mm Flygplanskulspruta m/22 or 37 mm Puteaux Cannon|
|Crew||4-5 Crew Members (See second image within “Additional Images”).|
Additional Images (Contains both the fm/25 and fm/26, similarly to some images above:
At the front: Pansarbil fm/26, at the back: Pansarbil fm/25’s
The first Pansarbil fm/25, was originally built with rear wheels. But was redesigned, being able to fit a track tred at the back and snow skis at the front in order to maneuver in winter conditions. But did not show any significant success and refitted the wheels after the testing was done.