The development of the Rolls-Royce armored car was an attempt to compensate for the lack of aircraft in support of the British soldiers in Dunkirk.
In August 1914, the Eastchurch Squadron of RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) was founded under the leadership of Charles Rumney Samson. Initially stationed in Ostend, they were relocated to Dunkirk shortly thereafter to defend the area against German troops. Since the unit did not have enough of its own aircraft was mounted on the used Rolls Royce Silver Ghost vehicles armor plates for protection and also mounted a 7.62 mm Maxim machine gun. After a few successful missions, the British High Command decided to use all of Britain's Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis for the British Army and to build these armored vehicles.
The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost vehicles were very luxurious in their day. Installed was a water-cooled six-cylinder engine with 80 hp, which drove a front axle and a double rear axle. For the armor was used 12 mm thick rolled steel and mounted as armament a 7.62 mm Vickers machine gun. Under the name Mk.I Pattern, the vehicle was finally officially handed over to the British Army.
From December 1914, the first armored Rolls-Royce vehicles were delivered to the RNAS squadron in Dunkirk. Until August 1915, the Rolls-Royce were in use in all six units of the RNAS until production had to be discontinued because the Rolls-Royce company no longer had to produce vehicles but instead produce aircraft engines. Also the units of the RNAS in Dunkirk were dissolved and distributed to other theaters of war.
The vast majority of Rolls-Royce vehicles were brought to North Africa and the Middle East to fight against the Ottoman Empire. The vehicles turned out to be very robust and were not prone to errors.
After the First World War, some of the vehicles in the Irish Civil War were handed over to the Free State of Ireland from 1922 to 1923 for support. In the Second World War, around 76 of the Mk. I 1924 series were used in North Africa by the British troops first against the Italian army, later against the German Afrika Korps.
|Designation:||Rolls-Royce armored car|
|Country of Origin:||Great Britain|
|Number of pieces:||120 pieces|
|Armament:||1 water-cooled Vickers 7.62 mm machine gun|
|Maximum speed:||ca. 56 Km/h|
|Engine:||water-cooled six-cylinder engine with 80 hp|
You can find the right literature here:
British Armoured Car Operations in World War I
Readers have come to expect a level of detail and critical rigor from the established military historian and author Bryan Perrett. They will not be disappointed at all here by this new publication. Focussing predominantly on the British armored car units of World War One, it also untangles many fascinating strands forming the history of modern warfare. Full of detail, it acquaints the reader with the complete history of the armored car, from invention onwards, setting the history of its Great War service career firmly in context. Well written in an accessible style, this publication serves as an impressive tribute to the armored car, one of the most effective weapons utilized by the allies during the course of the Great War.
British Battle Tanks: World War I to 1939 (General Military)
When British soldiers charged across the Somme in September 1916, they were accompanied by a new, revolutionary weapon--the tank. After a stuttering start, armored behemoths such as the Mark IV, Mark V, and Whippet Tank played a crucial role in bringing World War I to an end.
Marking the centenary of their battlefield debut, this comprehensive volume traces the design and development of the famous British weapon system, from the initial concept of a steam-powered tank during the Crimean War, to the role the British military played in creating the infamous German Blitzkrieg tactic of World War II. Bolstered by historic photographs and stunning illustrations, author David Fletcher brings us the thrilling history behind British tanks of the First World War.
The Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (New Vanguard)
The first Rolls-Royce armoured car was a privately owned vehicle fitted with a machine-gun and a limited amount of armour plate at a dockyard in France. It was used by a squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service in Flanders in 1914. Backed by First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill more and better versions followed until, by 1915 there were about 100 of them which were then handed over to the Army. "They searched the world for War" as Sir Albert Stern said of them and before long there were Rolls-Royce armoured cars operating as far apart as German South West Africa, the Western Desert, Gallipoli, all over the Middle East and the north west frontier of India.
All of them used the classic 40/50hp Silver Ghost chassis. They were fast, silent and reliable but above all strong. "A Rolls in the desert is above rubies" said Lawrence of Arabia and the Duke of Westminster would have agreed with him following his famous raid to rescue the kidnapped crew of the steamship HMS Tara. At least one car accompanied the adventurous MP Oliver Locker-Lampson on his adventures in Russia.
After the war, unable to find a better model the War Office simply copied the original Admiralty design with minor improvements. If that was not enough the Royal Air Force also acquired some to support their operations in the Middle East. A new design with a larger body and dome shaped turret also appeared for service in India. They also served in Ireland and even, briefly in Shanghai.
The 11th Hussars still had Rolls-Royces in Egypt when the war against Italy began and the youngest of these was over fifteen years old when they went into action, but after that their numbers dwindled as newer vehicles came along. But then history repeated itself. Britain was threatened with invasion and a new army of veterans was raised to assist with defence. Some battalions built home made armoured cars, on private chassis and at least three of these were based on Rolls-Royces.
Armoured Warfare in the First World War (Images Of War)
A hundred years ago, on 15 September 1916, on the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme, the tank made its debut on the battlefield. The first tanks were crude, unreliable, vulnerable weapons, but they changed the character of land warfare forever, and Anthony Tucker-Jones's photographic history of these pioneering armored vehicles is the ideal introduction to them.
In a selection of over 150 archive photographs he offers a fascinating insight into the difficult early days of this innovative new weapon, describing its technical history and its performance in combat. While the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 is often held up as the first large-scale tank battle, tanks had already served at Flers-Courcelette on the Somme, during the Nivelle offensive and the battles of Messines and Passchendaele.
His book shows that the development of the tank was fraught with technical obstacles and battlefield setbacks. It was invented by the British and the French at almost the same time to help break the deadlock of trench warfare, and the British deployed it first in 1916. Belatedly the Germans followed the British and French example. The initial designs were continuously refined during two years of intense warfare. Finding the right balance between power and weight, getting the armament right, and working out the best tactics for tanks on the battlefield was a tricky, often deadly business.