This ubiquitous vehicle accompanied the British Army everywhere from 1941 to the end of World War II.
Let’s take a look at another of the important but often overlooked pieces of Wartime hardware.
By 1938 the British Army realized there was a war brewing that they were hardly ready for. The government was finally willing to pay for a crash modernization, but time was short. So a modern reconnaissance vehicle was sought, that could be rushed into production quickly. A proposal from Rootes Group involved putting an armored body by Guy on a 4 x 4 artillery tractor chassis by Karrier (I think Karrier was a previous name, or division name of Rootes? Sorry, this is all a little outside of my area!)
This was a Frankenstein’s Monster sort of creation due to the urgent need. The design was considered acceptable and ordered into immediate production even with several known faults. That Mark I was armed with a 15 mm machine gun and 7.92 mm machine gun in the turret. 300 were built and entered service during the North Africa campaign in 1941.
440 Mark IIs followed that cleaned up several of the flaws that had been recognized early on; followed by 1650 Mark IIIs with a new turret that improved crew function.
The last version of the Humber is seen here. 2000 Mark IVs were built and entered service from 1942. Their most significant change was replacing the heavy machine gun with an American 37 mm anti-tank gun. This was a common towed infantry gun by itself and the main gun in a Stuart Tank and M8 Greyhound. It did cause some crowding issues in the turret, but gave the vehicle some better fighting power at least against other recon units.
This vehicle served with the 1st Polish Armored Division in France, 1944.
This is the Tamiya kit. It was a fun and speedy build. But I will say I find Tamiya’s labeling a bit odd. It is called “British 7 ton Armored Car Mark IV”. We’ve seen a few times where model companies don’t want to pay royalties to whoever currently holds the branding rights. In some cases, with these old designs and old companies, it might not be clear who even owns those naming rights? I have no idea if Rootes, or Karrier, or Guy are still going concerns (yeah, yeah…. ask Google, but its funnier not to know).
But if its a British subject why do they use the American spelling for “Armored”? Even better, they capitalize it along with the “Mark IV” part. Like the name they just made up needs to be all in capitals. Too funny.