SARC Mk2 (20mm Breda)

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Introduction:
Prior to 1938 South Africa had no experience in manufacturing armoured cars, but when Germany declared war in 1939, the South African army realised they had a severe shortage of armoured cars, which lead to an experimental programme to locally design and manufacture armoured cars. The first South African Recognisance Car (SARC) entered production in the early 1940, known as the SARC Mk1. The SARC Mk1 was based on a 3-ton truck 4x2 chassis from Ford Motor Company of Canada and made use of a Ford V8 engine and drive trains from Marmon-Herrington. The armoured hull and turret were developed and manufactured locally in South Africa. Not to long after the SARC Mk1 entered production, the SARC Mk2 was developed. The Mk2 had a shorter wheelbase and a full 4x4 drive train. The positioning of the un-ditching channel had also been moved and the design of the front overhanging mudguards being changed. Depending on the variant of the SARC Mk2, the turret could be fitted with .303 Vickers MG, Bren LMG or a.55 Boys AT. However by 1941, it was found that the armament was no longer suitable, especially when facing enemy armour, this lead to some SARC Mk2’s being up-gunned, usually with captured weapons of which there was a sufficient number. For this forum post we will focus on the SARC Mk2’s equipped with an Italian 20mm Breda Mod.35 gun, these SARC Mk2’s would mostly see action in North Africa being used by the Commonwealth forces.

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Specifications:

Armament: one 20mm Breda Mod.35

Ammunition: HEFI-T, API-T, HVAP-T

Crew: 4 (driver, commander, gunner, loader)

Engine: Ford V8

Horsepower: 85hp

Transmission: Manual (4 forward, 1 reverse)

Drivetrain: 4x4

Top Speed: 80km/h

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Primary sources:

Marmon Herrington (A History of South African Reconnaissance Car) written by William Marshall (page 15-28)

Surviving the Ride written by William Marshal and Helmoed Heitman Romer (page 12)

Secondary Sources:

War Wheels (Marmon-Herrington Armoured Reconnaissance Car Mark 2) Data sheet: https://warwheels.net/images/MarmonHerringtonMk2statsheet.pdf

Tank Encyclopedia (Marmon-Herrington Mk.I/II): Marmon-Herrington Mk. II (1940)

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