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Weapons of World War Two

The German Invasion of Yugoslavia (Apr 1941)

Bren Carrier

Bren Carrier

After the First World War, many armies continued designing heavily armed and armored tanks, insisting on the already outdated concept of breakthrough upon an immobile enemy line. But in Britain, from 1920, it was considered the idea of building small, fast and agile tanks, for exploration and transportation of troops and artillery. Thus, in 1925 it made apparition the prototype of a small armored vehicle with a single crew member, designed by Commander Sir Gifford Martel. It was later followed by the Carden Loyd, Armstrong Siddeley, Morris and other types of tanks. Finally, the Army, after understanding that such lightly armed and armored vehicles could not be used as battle tanks, decided that it was useless and uneconomical to continue building several types of diverse models, each of them for a particular task. Because of this it was decided to produce a basic type, adaptable to any mission through small modifications. This way it was born, in 1934, the VS 250 tracked vehicle, produced by Vickers-Armstrong, from which it would come in 1939 the definitive model of the multipurpose vehicle, which would be universally known as Bren Carrier. The name was given by the excellent Bren (acronym formed by Brno, city where it was designed, and Enfield, company which produced it in series) machine gun of Czechoslovak design, which was its main armament in the first models. This small tracked vehicle, which could carry up to six men, would be produced in three basic models which would differ in the engine only. 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 its going, even in rugged terrain, rendered it an optimal vehicle for reconnaissance and transportation of troops. Besides its armament was very enhanced, by replacing the Bren in the front of the hull by an anti-tank carbine. Modified versions of the Bren Carrier would be used for other purposes, besides the aforementioned missions. There would be the MMG (Medium Machine Gun) type, with a machine gun as main armament; the OP (Observation Post) type, as center of observation and fire control for artillery; the Mortar Carrier, armed with a 81-millimeter mortar; and finally the Flamethrower Carrier. The Bren Carrier, truly appreciated by those troops which used it, was many times used by the Axis forces, which captured them in large numbers, especially in France and Africa. In production since 1939, the Bren Carrier granted their valuable help in all of the fronts of the conflict, and continued serving in several armies many years after the end of 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 Boys 14-millimeter anti-tank carbine; one or two Bren 7.7-millimeter machine guns; one 55-millimeter mortar

Maximum surmountable trench: 1.40 meters

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