The Bren Gun Carrier

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, Dec 26, 2005.

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  1. Just watching a prog on the History Channel and a Brit Bren Gun Carrier cums chugging/rattling along.
    What was the purpose of this machine ?
    I understand it was an Infantry weapon
    It's not a light tank, It's not a troop carrier and It's not a weapons carrier.
    Or it's all three and not an effective anything.
    I know it was used from France 39 onward, just seen it in Italy at Anzio on the TV.
    When did it go out of service and just what was the 'Idea' behind it ?
  2. Spike Milligan talks about his unit using them in Italy to run Artillery observers out in the face of small arms fire etc
    Apparently an extremely useful little tool, partly because they where pretty quick in their day.
  3. The last incarnation was an interesting and versatile vehicle. Quite successful in it's time, and effective.

    Many of them were made in Canada, if memory serves, by Ford Motor Company.
  4. The Swiss adopted them too.
  5. Dangerous when tps playing about. They turned extremely quickly. Lad sitting on deck coaming at rear catapulted off and most often run over by the tracks.
  6. Basically it was an early form of APC. The idea was to bring troops along with the tanks for a fast moving war. When the tanks went in they would often leave their support infantry behind hence the Bren Gun Carrier a tracked vehicle that could keep up with the tanks and would have a squad of infantry with it, and being tracked it could go most places that the tanks went. Later in the war the Sherman's would have their turrets removed to carry infantry.
  7. 1KOSB had a Carrier Platoon in Ballykinler on their return from the Korean War in 1953, still had them when they departed for Malaya in 1955. When were Bren Carriers withdrawn from service?
  8. Ther was an article in one of the Army Doctrine journals about 18 momnths ago, where some Colonel from the Infantry was conducting low level trials on a modern version of the Bren Gun Carrier.His philosophy was to use said carrier as a Infantry support vehicle, carrying the Troops or more likely to carry their kit.He put forward the argument that on a modern battlefield the amount of ammo,milan etc that a company would need was making it difficult for the troops to move under the burden.
    I don`t know the outcome or wether hus idea was taken seriously.
  9. Could be very useful if only too lug bergans and spare ammo around .
    Take a gpmg in sf roll first scale ammo is 5000rds so thats nearly 200kgs with the gun barrels ammo c2 sight tripod and thats probably the lightest support weapon system . Though since thet tried to use saxon as an
    apc guess it would hard to stop people trying to use it as a mini warrior .
  10. My great uncle actually lost a leg in one of the modified Shermans. He was the commander with one of the Scottish Battalions and his APC was hit by aniti-tank fire killing his entire section inside he survived because as the commander he was sat at the top and I believe blown clear.
  11. A mate's grandfather (now deceased) operated a "Wasp" flamethrower variant Bren carrier during the Italian campaign as a Sapper. He remembered it as a "dangerous fcuker" (quote), especially when firing the flamethrower uphill (as he allegedly did at Cassino)!

  12. I have seen it stated that the Universal Carrier was withdrawn in the "Mid-1950's" (because the Army took about a decade to get the funding its equipment?) The were certainly employed in Korea until the end of the war, by UK as well as Commonwealth forces.

    So the Battalion's deployement to Malaya would be almost contemporary with its withdrawl from service it would seem.
  13. msr

    msr LE

  14. Woody said:Could be very useful if only too lug bergans and spare ammo around .
    I beleive that was the thinking behind his trials, carry useful stuff up to the front , and other stuff back ,probably in a hurry, keep the troops supplied and fighting.
    I thought he made a lot of sense, thats probably why no one has heard from him since.