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Post Info TOPIC: Major Samson armored truck


Lieutenant

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Major Samson armored truck
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Caption on the French postcard says:"armored car of Major Samson who killed quantity of Uhlans"
Uniform is definitely British, war WW1. Any info?



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Legend

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Its a converted B type bus See following item of mine.

In September of 1914 the Eastchurch squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service under the command of Commander Charles Rumney Samson was sent to Dunkirk from where it carried out attacks on German airship bases. Samson was somewhat of a fire eater and always ready to take offensive action. He had already made a name for himself in 1912 by being the first man to fly an aircraft off a ship. He was later to be a pioneer in the use of torpedo bombers. The squadron was equipped with a number of tenders, cars and lorries. One of these used by Felix Samson (the Commander’s brother) was armed with a machine gun. From the nucleus grew a collection of armoured vehicles as various officers’ touring cars and parts of the squadron’s transport pool were clad with armour plate and had machine guns mounted on them. This was not always successful; at least one car had a habit of shedding parts of its armour when hit bumps in the road. Nevertheless the armoured cars were used for raids into the, fluid, German lines in Belgium. It was soon found that the armour fitted was inadequate, a heavier vehicle was required. Part of the squadron’s transport consisted of commandeered London ‘type B’ buses. Two of these were adapted and became armoured lorries. The cab was covered with armour plate and the main body work was replaced with what was effectively an open topped armoured box with sloping sides over which a squad of Royal Marine riflemen could fire. These vehicles were intended to act as armoured personnel carriers allowing infantry to support the operations of the lighter armoured cars. Unfortunately the weight of armour made the vehicles too slow to keep up with the armoured cars and the armoured lorries were mainly used as mobile blockhouses guarding cross roads.

As the German advance through Belgium progressed this improvised armoured force was thrown into Antwerp to provide cover for the evacuation of a force of Royal Marines based in the port. In the course of these operations German light field guns were encountered and it became evident that an armoured vehicle mounting an artillery piece was needed to support the lighter armoured cars. One of the B type bus ‘lorries’ was fitted with 3 pounder naval gun. This proved successful at providing cover for the armoured cars and two Mercedes Daimler lorries were adapted to carry the same weapon. These vehicles were not powerful enough to be able to combine the weight of the weapon with that of adequate armour. However they did provide a model for a more considered development. Back in Britain the RNAS selected a powerful American truck manufactured by Seabrook as the basis for a series of sixty armoured lorries. The chassis of these lorries had purpose designed armoured cabs fitted to them. An armoured box in the rear contained the 3 pounder gun. This box had drop down sides allowing the gun to be traversed. These lorries served in a number of theatres. The success of Samson’s improvised armoured force encouraged the Royal Navy to take a serious interest in the development of the armoured car and a number of designs were tried out. These led eventually to a the series production of a significant number of vehicles including the classic Rolls Royce armoured car that served in some numbers in almost every theatre of war and remained in use right up until the early years of World War Two


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Lieutenant

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Super....thx

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Legend

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Side view might have looked as per attached - crew protection not great but more armour would have slowed it down even further

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Corporal

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Just a point of detail.  The Seabrook trucks were not actually manufactured by Seabrook.  The Seabrook brothers were importers of cars and lorries which they sold in the UK under their own name.  The Seabrook chassis used for the armoured lorries were imported Standard lorries from America.

Gordon McLaughlin

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Field Marshal

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I have the same picture from a russian magazin 1914.
Here: http://www.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=63528&p=3&topicID=14249548
I think, chassis is from english Lorry AEC. Mybe Albion or Leyland. the wheels are typical english.

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Legend

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According to The London B-Type Omnibus 1910-1927, this vehicle arrived in Belgium as Bus number B752. The body was completely removed and replaced with the arrangement shown. The chassis is therefore AEC.

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Bill Ward

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B752 was a workshop lorry from the Atholl St LGOC garage before the war. It was converted to an armoured bus in 1914 at the Forges et Chantier works at Dunkirk. The "armour" was only ordinary boiler plate and not very effective.

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