World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Great Britain's flag

Great Britain's Armored Car, Rolls-Royce (1914 Admiralty Turreted Pattern)

Photos

Royce armored car:
Great Britain's Rolls Royce armored car
©IWM

Design

Origins in World War I

In 1914 the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) sent to France and Belgium a squadron of vehicles and aircraft.4,6 British officers noticed how the Belgians were using armored cars to raid the Germans and decided to convert some of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost touring cars.4,6

These were modified in Dunkirk by adding armor plate to the sides.4 A machine gun was setup behind the driver.4

The Admiralty decided, based on their success, to design an armored car based on the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost chassis.3,4,6 These designs were finished in France in 1914.4

The chassis had it's suspension springs strengthened.3,4 Armor and a turret were added.4 The turret had a Vickers or Maxim machine gun added.4

The radiator had an armored door, and the turret roof armor could be removed.3,4 Behind the turret was a storage area where stores and a machine gun were located.4

Production

  • Rolls Royce 1914 Pattern: >2505

Variants

  • Rolls Royce 1914 Pattern:
  • Rolls Royce 1920 Pattern: Louvers were provided over the radiator to help keep the engine cooler.3 Steel disc wheels.3

Usage

The maximum armor thickness was 9 mm/0.35".4

Service Life

It remained in service until 1942.4

Usage in World War I

In October 1914 the Royal Naval Armoured Car Division was formed by Commander E. L. Boothby RN in which the first squadron was outfitted with Rolls Royce armored cars.3 Once the trench warfare stage started the squadrons were used in anti-invasion patrols along the east coast of England.3,4

The first RNAS squadrons, under the command of the Duke of Westminster, were first used in France in March 1915.3,4 The first usage was to patrol the coastal areas along the Belgian and French coasts.4

The cars were turned over to the British army, but they showed little interest in them.4

They were used in the North West Frontier of India, Gallipoli, German South West Africa, and in Uganda.3,4,6

At Gallipoli the RNAC Squadrons Nos. 3 and Nos. 4 were sent but they spent most of the time situated in trenches to prevent their destruction by artillery fire.3

In German South West Africa the Rolls Royce squadrons found it difficult to go on the soft ground along the coast and had to be moved by rail inland.3 They were used for ambushes and the headlights were used to light up German targets.3

Nine Rolls Royce armored cars and 28 cars and ambulances were formed into a rescue group under the command of the Duke of Westminster.3 Their mission was to rescue the survivors of the sunk SS Tara located in North Africa.3 They crossed log distances of desert and succeeded in rescuing all the survivors.3

After World War I

The Rolls Royce armored cars remained in service with the British Army until 1922.6

Usage in World War II

Some were used in India.4,6

Armored Car, Rolls-Royce (1920 Pattern) in the Western Desert

Used for patrolling against Italians in Western Desert during early part of war.

Specifications

  Rolls-Royce 1914 Pattern
Crew 35, 3 or 44,6, 43
Crew - RNAS 33
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 7,480 lb6
3.5 tons3,4, 4.7 tons5
3,400 kg6
Length 16' 6"4,6, 16' 9"3
4.93 m5, 5.03 m4,6
Height 7' 7"3, 8' 4.5"4,6
2.55 m4,6
Width 6' 3"3,4,6
1.91 m4,6
Ground clearance  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: .303 MG5
1: .303 Vickers MG3,6
Vickers or Maxim MG4
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 3,0003
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 93,4,6, 125
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) Rolls-Royce3,4,6
Cylinders 63
Net HP 40/503,4,6
Power to weight ratio 11.1 HP/ton3
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse3
Sliding pinion gearbox3
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4,6
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph5, 60 mph3,4,6
72 kph5, 95 kph4,6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 150 miles3,4,6
240 km4,6
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Tires  
  Rolls-Royce 1920 and 1924 Pattern
Crew 41,3
Crew - RNAS  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 7,840 lb
3.79 tons1, 3.8 tons3
3,860 kg1
Length 17'1,3
5.18 m1
Height 7' 6 "1, 7' 8"3
2.33 m1
Width 6' 3"1,3
1.90 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: .303 Vickers MG3
Boys ATR
7.7 mm (.303") Vickers MG1
Secondary  
MG Boys LMG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 3,0003
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 93
Hull Front, Upper 10
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) Rolls-Royce1,3
Cylinders 63
Net HP 40/503
Power to weight ratio 10.5 HP/ton3
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse3
Sliding pinion gearbox3
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 50 mph3, 60 mph1
95 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 150 miles1,3
240 km1
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Tires  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. AFV #9 Early Armoured Cars, Major-General N. W. Duncan
  4. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  5. Atlas of Tank Warfare From 1916 to the Present Day, Dr. Stephen Hart, 2012
  6. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site