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Weapons of World War Two

Bren Carrier

Bren Carrier

After the Great War, many armies continued projecting very armed and armored tanks, insisting on the already outdated concept of breakthrough on an immobile enemy line. But in Britain, from 1920, it is considered the idea of building small, fast and agile tanks, for exploration and transport of troops and artillery. So, in 1925 made apparition the prototype of a small armored vehicle with a sole crew member, projected by Commander Sir Gifford Martel. Then came the tanks Carden Loyd, Armstrong Siddeley, Morris and other types. Finally, the Army, after understanding that such lightly armed and armored vehicles could not be used as battle means, decided that it was useless and uneconomical to continue producing several types of diverse models, each for a particular task. Because of this it was decided to produce a basic type, adaptable with small modifications to every mission.

So it was born, in 1934, the tracked vehicle VS 250, produced by Vickers-Armstrong, from which in 1939 would come the definitive model of the multi-purpose vehicle, which would be universally known as Bren Carrier. The name was given by the excellent machine gun of Czechoslovak project Bren (acronym formed by the letters of the city of Brno, where it was projected, and the company Enfield, which produced it serially), which in the first models was its main armament. This small tracked vehicle, which could carry up to six men, would be produced in three basic models which would differ only in the engine. The Type 1, produced in England, would have a Ford of eight cylinders in V and 65 horsepower; the Type 2, a Ford GAEA of eight cylinders in V and 85 horsepower; and the Type 3, with the same engine, would be produced in Canada.

Its reduced size and the regularity of march, even in rugged terrain, made of it an optimal vehicle for reconnaissance and transport of troops. Besides its armament was very enhanced, replacing the Bren at prow by an antitank carbine. Apart from the aforementioned missions, the Bren Carrier would be used in versions modified for other purposes. We would have the type MMG (Medium Machine Gun), with a machine gun as main armament; the type OP (Observation Post), as center of observation and fire control for artillery; and finally, the Mortar Carrier, armed with a 81-millimeter mortar, and the Flamethrower Carrier.

The Bren Carrier, truly appreciated by those troops that used it, was many times used by the Axis forces, which captured them in large number, specially in France and Africa. In production since 1939, the Bren Carrier granted valuable help in all the fronts of the conflict, and continued serving in many armies many years after having ended the war, demonstrating so the full validity of their design.

Year: 1939

Weight: 4.5 tonnes

Length: 3.65 meters

Width: 2.10 meters

Height: 1.60 meters

Ground clearance: 20 centimeters

Maximum armor: 10 millimeters

Engine: Ford V8 of 65 horsepower

Maximum speed: 48 kilometers/hour

Operational range: 250 kilometers

Crew: 3-6

Armament: One 14-millimeter antitank carbine Boys; one Bren machine gun or two of 7.7 millimeters; one 55-millimeter mortar

Maximum surmountable trench: 1.40 meters

Also in Weapons of World War Two

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