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Armadillo Armored Truck

Mark 3


Country of Origin/Used by: Great Britain
First Produced/Service Dates: 1940-1942
Manufactured by: Chassis: Bedford Vehicles*; Armor: London, Midland & Scottish Railway
Crew: 5*
Armament: (1-3) .303 Lewis Light Machine Guns. Mark 3: Also mounted (1) 1 1/2 pounder (37mm) Coventry Ordnance Works (COW) Gun.
Engine: 6 Cylinder Gasoline*
Miscellaneous Info: After the British Expeditionary Force evacuated France in 1940, the British Army was woefully under-equipped with military vehicles.  Like the Bison Concrete Armored Trucks, the Armadillo Armored Lorries were built to help equip the army in the interim until the production of modern vehicles replaced those lost.  The Armadillos were originally for the British Home Guard to defend against German invasion forces and by the Royal Air Force to defend their airfields. The Mark 1 Armadillos initially used any truck available, mostly impressed commercial lorries.  The cab was fitted with steel (boilerplate?) armor around part of the cab and mounted a wooden box on the rear flat-bed.  These boxes were constructed with two wooden walls containing pebbles or gravel sandwiched in between.  Their armament usually consisted of (1) Lewis Gun and the crew's personal weapons. Approximately 312 were built.

Fairly quickly after the first Armadillos were built, the Mark 2 variants appeared.  These were built using military trucks instead of civilian models.  Although sources are murky, it appears the Mark 2's were built exclusively using the Bedford OX and OY trucks (mentioned below).  However, this is not definitive.  These new models were more capable and better armored than their predecessors, specifically the front cabs.  Approximately 295 were built. The final and definitive Armadillo built was the Mark 3. These exclusively used the Bedford OY 3-ton truck due to the weight of the newly mounted 1 1/2 pounder (37mm) Coventry Ordnance Works (COW) Gun. Also, as a result of the heavier weapon fitted, the rear boxes were a bit shorter than those mounted on the earlier Mark 1's and 2's. Only about 55 of the Mark 3's were built.
  Finally, there is some indication that a few of the Mark 3's had their rear wooden boxes removed and replaced with either steel or "plastic" armored enclosures.  Please note the "plastic" material supposedly used was not the contemporary petroleum-based material we're accustomed to, but a mixture of bitumen and stone flakes.

A large number of the Armadillos (specifically the Mark 2 and 3's), were built using the Bedford OX 1 1/2-ton and OY 3-ton trucks.  However, the Mark 1 vehicles were built using impressed civilian trucks available from many manufacturers.  Besides Bedford, there are indications that Fordson and Morris-Commercial trucks were also used to build the Mark 1's. 
Data Sheet Available:   None Available


Reference Source/Provider
      Armadillo Mark 1 Armored Truck Photos Imperial War Museum
  Armadillo Mark 2 or 3 Armored Truck Photo Imperial War Museum
    Armadillo Armored Truck Photos Imperial War Museum

References Available


Reference Source/Provider
Armadillo Armored Truck Information & Photos Nevington War Museum
"Armoured Beasts" (KeyMilitary) David Fletcher


Reference Author
 "The Bison, the Armadillo and Other Armoured Beasts" (March 2021 Issue of Classic Military Vehicle Magazine) David Fletcher
British Armoured Cars: 1914-1945 B.T. White
Encyclopedia of Armoured Cars Duncan Crow and Robert J. Icks
Through the Lens: Vehicles of the Home Guard (Historic Military Press) Martin F. Mace

Hobby Modeling

Kits and Accessories

Model Kit Manufacturer Scale Other Information

Bedford OYD Armadillo Mk-III Model Kit (K150)

Accurate Armour 1/35 Multi-Media
Aftermarket Set Manufacturer Scale Other Information

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider