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It had a riveted hull with complete armour protection around the whole of the front and rear compartments.
After World War One the British Military foresaw the need for a tracked lightly armed vehicle capable of transporting troops armed with machine guns to be able to deal with enemy machine gun posts. The British War Department realised that producing a standard vehicle which could be easily altered to suit the various roles required by the army was a much more economical option so in 1940 the Carrier, Universal No.1 MkI appeared. During trench warfare the machine gun was responsible for the slaughter of thousands of troops on both sides as they advanced over no mans land.


Even the Germans used captured Bren Gun carriers for patrolling and policing captured territory in France and Northern Europe. In the back of the vehicle there were two rectangular compartments, one on each side of the engine.
The envisaged armoured Universal Carrier would be able to protect its crew whilst it neutralised the enemy’s strong points with its Bren light machine gun. Many were left on the beaches and approach roads to Dunkirk during Britain's withdrawal of her troops from France in 1940. It carried the No.11 wireless set and had a high sided armour enclosure for the wireless operator's behind the driver. The Mortar base plate was carried on the front of the Bren Gun Carrier and on the rear in later models.
There were many different versions of this tracked ‘Universal Carrier’ but they were all given the name Bren Gun Carriers by its users.
So many were captured, and subsequently altered, that the Germans even gave them their own vehicle designations. The Carrier, Armoured, OP No.1, MkI was another modification of the Bren Gun Carrier based on the Carrier, Scout, MkI .


They also lacked any overhead protection and the crew were vulnerable to sniper fire, shell splinters and grenades.
The Universal Bren Gun Carrier had reasonably good cross country agility and for its time was very fast. Bren Gun Carriers were mainly suited for infantry support work for which they were designed. Initially it was designed to carry a crew of three, driver and independent machine gun team.
It had a cable drum on the rear cover plate and an adjustable shutter over the gunners firing slot to facilitate the use of binoculars. The third crew member sat in the rear compartment behind the driver and his compartment had timber or rubber firing rests fixed to the armour edges. This idea was replaced with the view that the vehicle and crew were the machine gun team, able to operate inside or deploy outside the vehicle.



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