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Index Universal Carrier Number 1 Mark III

The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier, was a light armoured tracked vehicle built by Vickers-Armstrong from 1934 onwards.

Extensively used by British and Commonwealth forces during the Second World War, Universal Carriers could be used to transport personnel and equipment and provide fire support with their mounted BREN gun.

With some 113,000 built, it was the most produced armoured fighting vehicle in history. The Universal Carrier was adapted for airborne use, to allow Hamilcar glider to carry 2 Carriers, from 1943 onwards. Numerous changes were required after trials by the Airborne Forces Development Centre including:
Removal of the lower rear armour plate
Removal of tool rack, camouflage net and locker
Removal of mud shields and mud scraper
Removal of lamps
Removal of spare wheel
Removal of front loop hole cover
Removal of Petrol Cans
Addition of mounting for 3” mortar on rear structure

The Airborne Universal Carrier was deployed on Operations Market Garden and Varsity with some success. The Carriers, despite their thin armour, proved to be a useful vehicle to transport men and equipment.

Length 12ft (3.65m)
Width 6ft 9in (2.06m)
Height 5ft 2in (1.57m)
Crew 3
Armour 7-10mm
Armament 1 x Bren LMG
Speed 30mph (48km/h)

by Jon Baker

Paradata Survey

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