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Belgium's Flag

Belgium's Minerva armored car

Design

By the end of August 1914 armor was added to two Minerva cars at the Cockerill works located in Hoboken. The armor was only 4 mm thick and was added to the engine housing and the sides. A Hotchkiss machine gun mounting was located in a opening in the top left.

Usage

Early Use in World War I

When the Germans invaded in August 1914 the Belgians started to use mobile vehicles to counter the German numbers.

The units were used as motorized calvary that were used for reconnaissance, fire support for infantry, and long missions behind the German lines to disrupt communications. On locations the German infantry would be marching across open country and a single Minerva could disrupt them with the single machine gun.

Once the lines solidified around the Yser region and went over to the fixed trench warfare the armored cars weren't used as much.

Sent to Russia

A special unit was formed and sent to Russia to fight the Germans on the eastern front. They were sent home in 1918.

After World War I

The Minervas were eventually transferred to the Gendarmerie and used up until 1933.

Specifications

  Minerva Armored Car
Crew 3 to 6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 4 tons
Length 16' 1"
4.9 m
Height 7' 6.5"
2.3 m
Width 5' 9"
1.75 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main Hotchkiss MG
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 4
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Cylinders  
Net HP  
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 25 mph
40 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  

Sources:

  1. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site