Humber Armoured Car Mark IV

This ubiquitous vehicle accompanied the British Army everywhere from 1941 to the end of World War II.

img_0599

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.

img_0602

img_0600

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.

img_0601

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.

img_0603

Humber with other light British Armor.

img_0604

Assortment of wartime armored cars.  The Humber is perhaps most similar to the Sd.Kfz.222 but has significantly better firepower (37 mm main gun vs 20 mm) in the Mark IV variant.  It is armed the same as the M8 Greyhound, although the Greyhound is otherwise more modern with a lower profile and 6 x 6 drive.

About atcDave

I'm 5o-something years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I was an air traffic controller for 33 years and recently retired; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
This entry was posted in Armor, Britain, Poland and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Humber Armoured Car Mark IV

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    I like it when you show the model with other vehicules.

  2. jfwknifton says:

    The best place to look in my opinion is here…..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootes_Group
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karrier
    My own knowledge extends to the fact that a number of car companies became part of Rootes. Humber was one of them and the one that produced the best quality cars (ie staff cars for the British forces). Financial difficulties in the 1970s led to Rootes being taken over by Peugeot who had a large factory of their own in Coventry. I personally did not know that Renault were involved (as Wikipedia says). Peugeot probably belong to somebody else by now !

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks John, that is interesting. Peugeot just merged with Fiat-Chrysler, but last I knew Renault was partnered with Nissan in a whole different collective.

      Oh and sorry about the moderation thing. Sometimes WordPress gets fussy about the links, but it used to take more than two!

  3. Jeff Groves says:

    Nicely done, Dave! The armored cars are an interesting niche.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s