Military Review

The first armored personnel carrier in history. Mark ix

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"Combat buses." Currently, in almost all armies of the world, armored personnel carriers are the most common type of armored vehicles. This is not surprising, modern armored personnel carriers are distinguished by relative simplicity of design and low cost, in comparison with infantry fighting vehicles and especially main combat tanks. Thanks to this, the construction of armored personnel carriers can afford even small and poor states.


The first armored personnel carrier in history. Mark ix

The first Mark IX armored personnel carrier


The simplicity of the design and the availability of such equipment is explained by the fact that, unlike their closest relatives - infantry fighting vehicles - armored personnel carriers are not intended for direct participation in the battle. Their main task is a relatively safe and fast transportation of soldiers to the battlefield. Most often, armored personnel carriers of all countries are designed to transport small infantry units - one unit. At the same time, armored personnel carriers, of course, have weapons, but in the vast majority of cases they are machine guns that are designed for self-defense, which does not exclude the possibility of using armored personnel carriers in battle, especially against a weakly armed and poorly trained enemy, as well as performing police functions. For the tasks being accomplished in the army, armored personnel carriers even received the separate nickname battle buses (combat buses) in English, and it was Britain that became the country that gave the APC a start in life.

The first armored personnel carriers appeared long before the advent of infantry fighting vehicles. New combat vehicles designed to transport troops appeared at the same time that the first tanks entered the battlefields. Even during the First World War, the British created the Mark IX crawler transport tank, which they began to produce in 1917. It is this fighting vehicle that can rightly be called the first real armored personnel carrier.

How did the first armored personnel carrier appear?


The appearance of the first armored personnel carriers is inextricably linked with the appearance of the first tanks on the battlefield, especially when you consider that they were almost the same vehicles. Both were the first English rhomboid tanks that could not be confused with other armored vehicles because of the characteristic shape of the tracked contour covering the armored corps. The debut of the tanks took place on 15 on September 1916, when the British tanks Mk. 1 went into battle during the famous Battle of the Somme. Before the construction of the first armored personnel carriers began, there was still a year left.

Already during the first battles involving tanks, it became clear that the infantry did not keep up with the armored giants. At the same time, it was not even about speed, until the moment armored personnel carriers began to move at the speed of automotive equipment, tens of years would pass. The first tanks on the battlefield moved at the speed of a pedestrian, but the soldiers did not keep up with the armored vehicles for this reason, they were stopped by dense enemy fire. For the infantryman, mortal danger was posed not only by bullets, but also by fragments of mines and shells. In turn, many of the positions that it was possible to repel or break through with a tank attack turned out to be lost due to the lack of infantry filling and the consolidation of actions between infantry and tanks. The fact that the infantry during the attack turned out to be very vulnerable to machine gun fire made the British think about creating special vehicles for the safe transportation of soldiers.


Armored personnel carrier Mark IX at the Bovington Tank Museum


The option of landing several infantrymen in each tank was also considered, but there was little space inside, and apart from crampedness, exhaust gases created a great inconvenience, since the soldiers were in the gas-polluted compartment. The release of carbon dioxide and cordite vapor led to the fact that crew members of the first combat vehicles often lost consciousness. Often they became victims of intoxication, so they had to be carried out into the open air in an unconscious state, what an airborne potential.

That is why the idea was formulated to create a specialized combat vehicle, which would provide the soldiers with not only protection, but also mobility. The soldiers needed to be given the opportunity to get to the enemy’s positions as close as possible, while avoiding unnecessary losses from the infantry weapons and artillery shells. The second important advantage was that the infantrymen were freed from the expenditure of forces on moving over difficult, rough terrain. Thanks to this, before the attack, they had to maintain great freshness and fighting efficiency. All these considerations led the British military and designers to the idea of ​​creating the first armored personnel carrier. This concept will only reach true prosperity by the Second World War, when in Hitler Germany a whole family of half-track armored personnel carriers will be created, perfectly coping with these tasks. But the British were still the first to initiate work on creating a vehicle for transporting infantry based on a tank in the summer of 1917. The work on the creation of the first armored personnel carrier was led by Lieutenant G.R. Wreckham.

Armored personnel carrier Mark IX and its features


The construction of the first two BTR prototypes began in England in September 1917 by the largest British industrial company of the early 1899th century - Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, which specialized mainly in the production of various weapons and ships. For example, it was this company that made for Russia the world's first Arctic-class icebreaker Ermak, which was commissioned in XNUMX and decommissioned fleet only in 1963 year.


Cannon Mark V Tank


As a basis for the infantry transporter, they took the already developed Mark V tank, the hull of which was specially extended to 9,73 m (for Mark V - 8 m). At the same time, the very layout of the hull of the new combat vehicle was not much different from the related tank. The main differences were the Ricardo engine displaced in the front of the body with 150 horsepower. and the placement of the troop compartment between the power plant and the gearbox, which is located in the stern. Moreover, on the roof of the first stories The armored personnel carrier is a small superstructure and a commander’s cupola of cylindrical shape. The length of the landing squad formed inside the hull, from which all the excess was removed, was 4 meters, width - 2,45 meters. This made it possible to place soldiers in full outfit in the body of the combat vehicle up to 30.

To facilitate the location of the troops inside the combat vehicle, a water tank was installed inside. But the main innovation that made life easier for ordinary soldiers was two exhaust fans, which the designers placed in the roof of the armored personnel carrier. In addition to the 30, the first armored personnel carrier in the history also carried a crew of four people - the commander of a combat vehicle, driver, mechanic and machine gunner. The armament of the combat vehicle consisted of two 8-mm Hotchkiss machine guns. In addition, on the sides of the hull there were 8 loopholes through which the paratroopers could fire from personal small arms. Four such loopholes were located in four large oval-shaped doors that were located on the sides of the hull (two on each side), it was through these doors that the landing and landing took place.

Reservation of the first armored personnel carrier was left at the level of the Mark V. It was not possible to increase the level of armor protection, as this would automatically lead to a deterioration in the already low driving performance of the armored personnel carrier. It is not surprising when you consider that the 27-ton mass combat vehicle was driven by the 150-strong engine. As a result, the thickness of the armor in the frontal part, hull sides and aft did not exceed 10 mm, the hull roof and bottom were even weaker-armored - only 6 mm. In the tests, the newly made armored personnel carrier showed a maximum speed of 6,9 km / h, which was not bad for the first armored vehicles. At the same time, the APC easily crossed trenches up to 3,8 meters wide, but the cruising range was very small - only 32 km.


The scheme of the armored personnel carrier Mark IX


The undercarriage of the first armored personnel carrier in the history consisted of 24 road wheels with blocked suspension, front guides and rear drive wheels. The shape of the hull, the caterpillar stroke and the very structure of the chassis were characteristic of all diamond-shaped tanks, and Mark IX was no exception. The lower part of the caterpillar was supported by 24 blocked rollers, the upper part - by a guide groove (metal plate) and two tension rollers from each side, shifted to the stern. The caterpillar itself was metal with gearing. For the characteristic appearance of the front of the hull and the silhouette of the tracks, which resembled a muzzle, the armored personnel carrier created was nicknamed “Pig”.

The first English armored personnel carrier was ready for combat use quite late. Only one vehicle reached the battlefields in France, which was used as an armored ambulance. All in all, in the UK they gathered 34 specialized Mark IX armored personnel carriers, they were ready after the war in 1919 and actually turned out to be unclaimed and late to the battlefields. Only one such armored personnel carrier has survived to this day, which is today in the collection of the British Tank Museum in Bovington.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 29 August 2019 18: 04 New
    +2
    Stillborn design, given the low speed and weak booking and reliability.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 29 August 2019 18: 11 New
      +8
      However, the first TBMP (Mk V *) and TBTR (Mark IX) were British 8)))))

      In reality, they were innovators. Where did everything go after ...
      1. svp67
        svp67 29 August 2019 18: 14 New
        +2
        Quote: Spade
        Where did everything go after ...

        Where, where ... there. Although, “after” there was also something, and “Harier”, “and multi-layer booking”
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 29 August 2019 18: 29 New
          +1
          Quote: svp67
          "and multi-layer booking"

          It is believed that in "Chobham" British was only a name. Well, the place of development. And the Americans did everything with American money.
          Honestly, now I can’t find that article. Old, still Soviet from ZVO with a gray cover.
          1. svp67
            svp67 29 August 2019 18: 31 New
            +1
            Quote: Spade
            It is believed that in "Chobham" British was only a name.

            Well, at least “Harier” is theirs? crying
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov 29 August 2019 18: 35 New
              +2
              Quote: svp67
              Well, at least “Harier” is theirs?

              No longer.
              Currently, the only country that has it in service and is engaged in modernization is the United States.
              1. svp67
                svp67 29 August 2019 18: 39 New
                +2
                Quote: Spade
                No longer.

                I know, but they developed it.
                1. Lopatov
                  Lopatov 29 August 2019 18: 46 New
                  0
                  Quote: svp67
                  but they developed it.

                  ... and merged.
                  Now they are the only thing that they can develop is high-likes and the like.
                  1. svp67
                    svp67 29 August 2019 18: 52 New
                    0
                    Quote: Spade
                    Now they are the only thing that they can develop is high-likes and the like.

                    But how efficiently they do it ...
              2. Alf
                Alf 29 August 2019 20: 49 New
                +1
                Quote: Spade
                Currently, the only country that has it in service and is engaged in modernization is the United States.

                Therefore, a joke appeared - the Pride of American naval aviation - the British Harrier plane.
            2. Potter
              Potter 29 August 2019 18: 54 New
              -2
              And Yak, including successfully sucked by Yak-141 merikos?
              1. The comment was deleted.
          2. Undecim
            Undecim 29 August 2019 22: 34 New
            0
            American and British developments are two different things, just like French ones.
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov 29 August 2019 23: 15 New
              +1
              Apparently, the Soviet officers thought differently. I think they had enough knowledge to do this.
              1. Undecim
                Undecim 29 August 2019 23: 20 New
                0
                I would like to look at the "opinion of Soviet officers" performed by the officers themselves, and not in your interpretation.
                1. Lopatov
                  Lopatov 30 August 2019 07: 49 New
                  +1
                  I wrote Russian in white above. Do you want to - raise binder ZVO, your own business.

                  By the way, you, too, are not at all distinguished by special arguments, and I do not demand proof from you.
                  But if you insist, then please refer to the fact that the Americans did not finance the development of combined armor at the Chobem Tank Research Center, and US specialists did not participate in these studies.
                  Thank you in advance.
                  1. Undecim
                    Undecim 30 August 2019 08: 18 New
                    0
                    Convincing informative answer. Thank.
                    1. Lopatov
                      Lopatov 30 August 2019 08: 31 New
                      +1
                      I initially pointed out that everything is presumptive, besides, I won’t look for the source: “Honestly, now I won’t find that article either. Old, still Soviet from ZVO with a gray cover.”

                      But you began to assert unequivocally.
                      So I wanted to find out what your reinforced concrete statements were based on. It turns out they are completely unfounded.

                      Ps You can play your games together, right?
                      1. Undecim
                        Undecim 30 August 2019 08: 45 New
                        0
                        Actually, it is not difficult to provide a source of my information, and for this it is not necessary to stir up old waste paper. But there is a group of preoccupied individuals who see “games” and intrigues in each commentary and immediately become offended.
                        Well, take offense further. All the best.
                      2. Lopatov
                        Lopatov 30 August 2019 08: 54 New
                        +1
                        Quote: Undecim
                        do not stir up old waste paper.

                        Yeah, self-conceit is so great in you that you all declare everything written in the "Foreign Military Review" as waste paper. However, you yourself cannot confirm your own statements.

                        Quote: Undecim
                        But there is a group of preoccupied individuals who see “games” and intrigues in each commentary and immediately become offended.

                        That's it!
                        Apparently, you decided that the games are allowed only to you., And as soon as you got the same in the same place "became in a pose offended" (c)?

                        My answer is absolutely mirrored. Nearly.
                        You demanded confirmation of what I myself described as "hypothetical." I demanded from you confirmation that you stated unequivocally.
                        Why are you sure that you are allowed that which is not allowed to others?

                        Ps Regarding the confirmation of your statements ....
                        Convincing informative answer. Thank. (with)
      2. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 30 August 2019 13: 46 New
        +1
        And Vickers T-26 tanks, and jet Meteors, and engines bought by the USSR for the first MiGs ...
        And Centurions with L7.
        There were ups and downs.
    2. Graz
      Graz 29 August 2019 18: 33 New
      0
      the army for Britain is 2nd place, the first place is the fleet, and as far as I remember, the first British armored vehicles were developed in the interests of the maritime department (maybe I confuse it with the Air Force), and then there was the sunset of the British Empire
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 29 August 2019 18: 36 New
        +1
        They are not doing well with the fleet either. To put it mildly.
        Not leaders.
        Although they were.
    3. lucul
      lucul 29 August 2019 18: 38 New
      -1
      In reality, they were innovators. Where did everything go after ...

      Maybe someone worked out for them, and then stopped, and then the Britons themselves could not continue, such an idea did not occur to you? )))
    4. Paranoid50
      Paranoid50 29 August 2019 23: 28 New
      0
      Quote: Spade
      Where did everything go after ...

      The mission of the pioneers was completed, and then there was only stagnation with subsequent degradation. In this case, nevertheless, the Britons hiccup their island conservatism.
  2. Thrifty
    Thrifty 29 August 2019 18: 24 New
    0
    Sergei hi experience comes with time! Then this monster was almost the height of perfection.
    1. svp67
      svp67 29 August 2019 18: 30 New
      0
      hi
      Quote: Thrifty
      Then this monster was almost the height of perfection.

      Alas, the year 19 is gone. They already had the same "Hound", FT-17 has already appeared. This is just an attempt to make something new that can be sold to the army on the basis of the outgoing construction being removed from service. The attempt itself is reasonable, but the design is not
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 29 August 2019 18: 40 New
        0
        Quote: svp67
        They already had the same "Hound"

        Sorry, but the British immediately leaked the race in the field of light tanks. The French. And even bought them. True, produced in the USA under license.
        1. svp67
          svp67 29 August 2019 18: 44 New
          0
          Quote: Spade
          Sorry, but the British immediately leaked the race in the field of light tanks.

          Well, who, who was the master of "licking" at that time, was the Americans.
  3. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 30 August 2019 01: 32 New
    0
    Quote: svp67
    Stillborn construction

    Everything is relative... stop
  • ares1988
    ares1988 29 August 2019 18: 15 New
    +1
    30 people per 10m2. It is comfortable.
    1. svp67
      svp67 29 August 2019 18: 42 New
      0
      Quote: ares1988
      Comfortable.

      I don’t think so? Given that it was possible to get burned inside there, from exhaust gases, to get a heat stroke, because of the high temperature and to fill up cones, because of the poor suspension system, or rather, because of its complete absence
      1. Narak-zempo
        Narak-zempo 29 August 2019 20: 17 New
        0
        From personal experience.
        You UAZ "loaf" represent? Divide her salon mentally in half: in the middle half of the “compartment” with a table and seats, the rear cargo. So, 13 adults in winter clothes, plus several backpacks, can relatively comfortably accommodate in this cargo compartment. It's all about the degree of relativity.
        1. svp67
          svp67 29 August 2019 20: 22 New
          +1
          Quote: Narak-zempo
          It's all about the degree of relativity.

          Yes, yes ... So the "loaf", this is a car that has gone far in terms of comfort from this "miracle"
      2. ares1988
        ares1988 30 August 2019 05: 40 New
        +1
        I’m ironic.
  • Denimax
    Denimax 29 August 2019 18: 20 New
    0
    It turns out that it was necessary to start with armored personnel carriers, and not with tanks.
  • Thrifty
    Thrifty 29 August 2019 18: 23 New
    +2
    And so you will learn new things about a seemingly well-known technique! Thanks to the author! hi
  • prodi
    prodi 29 August 2019 18: 31 New
    0
    that's where it is convenient to land in all directions
    1. lucul
      lucul 29 August 2019 18: 40 New
      -1
      that's where it is convenient to land in all directions

      Yeah, he drove into such an enemy position - to land - opens the hatches for the landing, and a couple of grenades fly there ...
      1. Zeev Zeev
        Zeev Zeev 29 August 2019 20: 06 New
        +2
        How is it in BTR-70/80/90 did not think that the side doors are bad.
  • Undecim
    Undecim 29 August 2019 18: 49 New
    +4
    Mark IX is not only the first APC, but also the first floating APC.

    Tested in November 1918 at Dolly Hill.
  • Vitaly Tsymbal
    Vitaly Tsymbal 29 August 2019 19: 58 New
    +5
    For the author. Thanks for the article Sergey! Despite the fact that he graduated from the Combined Arms School, he learned about this technique for the first time. The only thing that struck me as an infantryman was that you couldn’t clearly determine which category the Mark IX belongs to - armored personnel carriers or infantry fighting vehicles. This is a different purpose and purpose of the machine. If this is caused by a restriction in the volume of printed material - this is one thing, if your - not understanding - that's another. But despite the inaccuracy indicated by me, the material turned out to be interesting and informative (for me personally). I look forward to new articles on this topic.
  • Zeev Zeev
    Zeev Zeev 29 August 2019 20: 05 New
    +2
    Thanks, very interesting article.
  • Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 29 August 2019 22: 30 New
    0
    In the tests, the newly made armored personnel carrier showed a maximum speed of 6,9 km / h, which was not bad for the first armored vehicles.

    The author greatly flattered this monster. He developed a speed of 6.9 km / h except on an empty highway. Judging by the rollers, according to the usual field, dug up by ditches and funnels, the tank crawled more slowly, not just running but just walking, walking, walking soldiers. Sitting inside and waiting for this huge snail to crawl to the enemy was probably torture. By the way, his armor and fragments from all sides made its way.
  • Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 30 August 2019 01: 44 New
    +1
    Thanks to the author for recalling this "constructive"! Once I managed to read about the "tank-armored personnel carrier", but it happened quite a while ago and was firmly forgotten! Even when articles appeared about heavy armored personnel carriers created on the basis of tanks and some people almost declared that the “discoverers” were from Israel ... I couldn’t “blather loudly” against such an opinion ...
  • voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 30 August 2019 13: 41 New
    +1
    Very interesting! good I did not know about armored personnel carriers based on Mark tanks