Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car

Following the evacuation at Dunkirk and the fall of France there was an urgent need to replace all the vehicles that had been lost in France. Consequently when the Italians launched their invasion of Egypt there were precious little, by way of armoured cars, that could be spared to be sent to North Africa. Fortunately, the South Africans had, since August 1938, been developing an armoured car design of their own. This design,which went by the name of, South African Reconnaissance Car Mk 1 had rapidly been put into production, and was based on a shortened and strengthened Ford truck chassis, but still with only two wheel drive. One hundred and thirteen of these SARC Mk.1s were built, with some seeing action with the South African armoured car companies against the Italians in East Africa.

In September 1939 production commenced on an improved Mk.11 version.The Ford chassis with a V8 engine at the front was modified by a four-wheel drive kit supplied by the American firm of Marmon-Herrington. THe SARC Mk.II began to become available in November, and in an act of generocity the South African government agreed to supply the British Army with 400 of the 887 vehicles on order.

These cars would see considerable service in the Western Desert, providing much needed reconnaissance of Axis troop movements. Nevertheless, despite its South African pedigree, these armoured cars were, in British service, always known as the Marmon-Herrington Mk.11

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