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Great Britain's Carriers


In the early 1930s Vickers Armstrong designed the Carden-Loyd carrier from the Carden-Loyd light tank.

It could carry a machine gun or tow a light gun.

Loyd Carrier

In 1939 Captain Vivian Loyd developed a simple cross country vehicle primarily from existing parts from different manufacturers. The main components was a 4x2 Fordson truck that had tracks and suspension from a Vickers light tank added.


The Carriers were easy to drive as they had a steering wheel like a truck.


The suspension was a two-wheel Horstmann type. On each side was a large coiled spring with a single unit behind. The drive sprocket was located in the front while the idler was in the rear.

The Carden-Loyd Universal Carrier was driven by rear sprocket and had a 5.83:1 gear ratio.

The Carrier, Tracked, Loyd was driven by a front sprocket and had a 6.6:1 axle gear ratio.


The driver was on the right side with the machine gunner on the left. Four passengers could be carried in the rear area.

When the Carrier was towing a light gun the four man crew would be located in the Carrier.


The Carriers were powered by a Ford V-8 engine which was considered unreliable.

The Carrier, Tracked, Loyd had a British built Ford V-8 engine. This engine was mounted in the rear.


In 1935 the first prototypes were constructed. Numerous modifications were made and in 1936 there were 13 more constructed. Late in 1936 an order for 41 carriers was placed.


  • Carden-Loyd:
    • Manufacturer: Aveling-Barford, Ford, Sentinel, Thornycroft, and Wolseley.
    • Britain: 35,000
    • Australia: 5,600
    • New Zealand: 520
    • Canada: 29,000
    • United States: 14,000
  • Bren Gun Carrier:
  • Carrier Cavalry Mk I:
    • 1937: order for 50
  • Carrier Scout: 667
  • Carrier, Tracked, Loyd: ~26,000
    • Production started in 1940
    • Manufacturer: Vivian Loyd & Co, produced by five companies in seven countries
    • Order for 200 placed in 1939


  • Bren Gun Carrier: It was produced to carry the Bren light machine gun. It could be used from the carrier itself, or dismounted to be used by the crew.
    Some had the Boys antitank rifle (ATR) installed.
  • Carrier Cavalry Mk I: Driver and gunner in front. Had seats for six cavalrymen sitting back to back. It was found in combat that the six soldiers were too exposed.
  • Carrier Scout Mk I: Adopted by cavalry regiments as a radio vehicle. It carried six men.
  • Carden-Loyd Universal Carrier: Was originally intended to carry 18 pdr ammunition across areas that couldn't be safely crossed by the trucks of the Army Service Corps. It was transformed into an infantry support carrier, which transported 2" (50.8 mm) and 3" (76.2 mm) mortars as well as anti-tank guns.
    In inclement weather some crews would use a frame that held a canvas cover to help keep the bad weather out.
  • Carrier, Tracked, Loyd: Had British Ford V-8 engine. Could carry 8 - 10 men. Also used as a battery slave that was used to start other tanks or charging their batteries. The Loyd could tow a 57 mm / 6 pdr anti tank gun or carry the 107 mm / 4.2" mortar.
  • Armored Observation Post (AOP): Used by Royal Artillery.
  • Carrier Armored OP: The Royal Artillery used this radio vehicle for forward observation officers. There was a cable drum that allowed line to be laid back to the gun position.
  • Praying Mantis: Had ladder installed to help scale cliffs.
  • T-16: Version produced in the United States.
  • WASP: Had a R.P. Fraser, of Langonda, designed flamethrower installed. This was first tested in July 1942.
    Every infantry battalion received 6. Saw action in north-west Europe and Italy, starting in August 1944.


In 1938 each infantry battalion was issued ten Carriers.


The Carrier Cavalry Mk I was used by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France.

North Africa

The Bren Gun Carrier was used by the 8th Army in North Africa.


  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. -
  3. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site