Military Review

The first armored personnel carrier from Scandinavia. Terrangbil m / 42 KP

"Combat buses." Before the start of World War II, Sweden favorably stood out among all Scandinavian countries with a developed industry, which made it possible to create very complex military products, including Tanks. It is not surprising that, using its neutral status, the country continued to work on the creation of its own armored vehicles during the Second World War. In particular, it was in Sweden that the first armored personnel carrier was created in Scandinavia. The car was quite simple, but proved to be very practical and actively served in the Swedish armed forces until the early 1980s.

On the way to the first Swedish armored personnel carrier

Terrangbil m / 42 KP became the first armored personnel carrier of the Swedish army and the first such combat vehicle in Scandinavia. At the same time, the Swedish engineers approached the problem as simply as possible, using Volvo TLV 141 and Scania-Vabis F10 truck chassis to create their APCs. With a developed automotive industry and companies such as Volvo and Scania that do not give up their positions in the automotive market in the 21st century, such a move was predictable.

The first armored personnel carrier from Scandinavia. Terrangbil m / 42 KP
Volvo TLV 141

Scania-Vabis F10

The Volvo TLV 141 was a truly successful truck, one of the best for its time and, importantly, with the 4x4 wheel formula. During the Second World War, Volvo produced a whole gamut of three-ton bonnet-mounted trucks specifically for the needs of the armed forces. These were all-wheel drive models TLV131, TLV140, TLV141 and TLV142. Each such truck was equipped with a powerful gasoline engine delivering 90-105 hp. (For comparison, the famous Soviet three-ton ZIS-5 was equipped with 66-73 hp engines). In total, until 1949, the Swedes produced about a thousand of these cars.

But to produce trucks, staff buses and special equipment based on them is one thing, and armored personnel carriers are completely different. For example, the Soviet Union, which historian Aleksei Isaev rightly calls the "great truck power," neither before the war nor during the war created his own armored personnel carrier. Sweden, which remained neutral, was able to digest the experience of military campaigns in Europe in a calm atmosphere and study the tactics of German troops. In the new conditions of the war, the Germans increasingly used specialized armored personnel carriers - the famous half-tracked Sd. Kfz.251, gained fame in our country by the name of the manufacturer's company "Ganomag".

The use of armored personnel carriers helped motorized infantry to follow the tanks, confidently overcoming the obstructive artillery fire of the enemy. Reservation of new combat vehicles protected the landing from fragments of shells and mines, as well as small arms fire weapons, significantly increasing the combat capabilities of the advancing tank groups. As you know, the capture and retention of the territory is provided not by tanks, but by infantry. Therefore, the more infantry can follow the tanks, the better. Given the German experience in using armored personnel carriers, the Swedish military decided to get a similar car. At the same time, in the context of the great war, which had already swept all over Europe, the Swedes could not count on the acquisition of armored personnel carriers from other countries, it was necessary to create their own car. Work on the creation of his armored personnel carrier began in Sweden in the 1941 year.

Features of the Terrangbil m / 42 KP armored personnel carrier

To create an armored personnel carrier, the Swedes chose the easiest and most accessible way for them. The designers decided to install an armored hull on the chassis of a well-developed off-road truck. The development of the armored personnel carrier was mainly responsible for the specialists of AB Landsverk, which had extensive experience in the creation of tanks and armored vehicles. By 1942, the first Swedish armored personnel carrier was ready, which was reflected in its name, this year the first prototypes of the future combat vehicle were ready.

Swedish designers created an armored personnel carrier of a classic layout with a front engine and control compartment, behind which was an airborne compartment. At the same time, the chassis of the truck with the wheel formula 4x4 was left unchanged. The car also used front gable wheels and rear gable. On top of the chassis was a welded armored hull of the original form with a rational arrangement of armored plates and gable sides. The location of the armored plates produced by Bofors and Landsverk resembled the corps of the most famous German armored personnel carrier in stories - Sd. Kfz.251, but the Swedes did not have their own half-track chassis. Moreover, such a chassis would be much better suited for the conditions of Sweden. In the future, the Swedes themselves noted the insufficient patency of the chassis of a conventional, albeit four-wheel drive, truck. Managed to increase throughput only through the use of chains.

At the same time, the first Swedish armored personnel carrier could not boast of serious armor protection. The frontal part of the car body had maximum armor with a thickness of 20 mm, the sides and the feed of the body had 8 mm. An armored personnel carrier received an airborne compartment open from above; there was no roof. With precipitation in the form of rain or snow, it was possible to pull a tarp from above, which was part of the laying of the combat vehicle. The crew of the first armored personnel carrier in Scandinavia consisted of two people - a driver and a commander, later a shooter was also added to them. The airborne squad allowed transporting up to 16 fully equipped fighters who were sitting on benches with their backs to each other, but usually there were much fewer of them - up to 10 people in the back. The paratroopers exited through the door in the rear of the hull; in an emergency, the soldiers could leave the car simply by crossing overboard. For the characteristic shape of the corps, Swedish soldiers quickly nicknamed the new armored personnel carriers "coffins."

An interesting feature of the machine was that the first armored personnel carriers that entered the troops had no weapons at all. It was assumed that the paratroopers themselves would fire at the enemy, rising above the side. Later on, armored personnel carriers began to install a machine gun turret, which was located above the cockpit. A pair of two 8-mm water-cooled Kulspruta m / 36 machine guns, which were a copy of the American Browning M1917A1 machine gun, were installed here. On some versions of the armored personnel carriers, the Swedes installed two such turrets, one located in the rear of the hull. Also, as part of the upgrades, the armored personnel carriers received two three-barrel smoke grenade launchers, which were located in the front of the hull above the wings.

The heart of the armored personnel carriers were Scania-Vabis 4 402-cylinder engines with 115 horsepower. at 2300 revolutions per minute, or 6-cylinder Volvo FET with 105 hp at 2500 rpm. The engine power was enough to accelerate a vehicle with a combat weight of 8,5 tons and a length of almost 7 meters to a speed of 70 km / h, the cross-country vehicle could move at a speed of 35 km / h, but in practice such a speed was practically unattainable, and cross-country ability armored personnel carrier left much to be desired.

Production and operation of Terrangbil m / 42 KP armored personnel carriers

Serial production of the Terrangbil m / 42 KP began in the 1943 year, the first vehicles entered service with the Swedish army in the 1944 year, when the first armored personnel carriers were transferred to the 38 military. Prior to the completion of mass production, more than 300 combat vehicles were assembled. It is known that the production of armored personnel carriers was carried out by two companies Volvo, which received 100 cases, and Scania, which received 262 cases. Both companies installed them on their Volvo TLV 141 and Scania-Vabis F10 all-wheel drive trucks, respectively. Armored personnel carriers manufactured at the Volvo plant received the designation Terrangbil m / 42 VKP, and vehicles assembled at the Scania plant received the Terrangbil m / 42 SKP, respectively. In addition to the armored personnel carriers themselves, a number of command post and ambulance vehicles were also executed; the latter allowed transporting wounded on a stretcher to 4 inside the hull.

Already the first months of operation of new cars revealed their shortcomings, which included insufficient cross-country ability, problems with the transmission, which were considered not entirely successful, as well as poor visibility from the driver's seat. Later, weak reservations began to be attributed to shortcomings. Moreover, during operation, the armored personnel carriers were modernized several times, which allowed to extend the period of their active use until the beginning of the 1980-s. In particular, in later versions, archaic water-cooled machine guns were replaced with more advanced KsP 58 machine guns under the standard NATO cartridge 7,62x51 mm. Also, a full roof appeared over the landing squad, the armored personnel carrier became airtight, but now no more than 7 people were transported in the landing squad.

Despite the fact that Sweden maintains its neutrality, the armored personnel carriers created during the Second World War managed to take part in the battles. The Swedish military used their vehicles during peacekeeping missions in Africa, as well as armed them with peacekeeping units of other countries. In 1960, 11 armored personnel carriers were used by the Swedes in the Congo, where they arrived by decision of the UN, here armored vehicles first took part in the battles. Later, 15 Swedish armored personnel carriers were specially purchased by the UN for arming the Irish and Indian peacekeeping battalions. In addition to the Congo, Terrangbil m / 42 SKP armored personnel carriers were used as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus until the 1978 year. Finally, the last modernized armored personnel carriers were removed from the armament and storage of the Swedish army only in the 2004 year.

One of the latest upgrades to the Terrängbil m / 42D SKP at the Swedish Armed Forces Museum
Photos used:
Articles from this series:
Armored personnel carrier from "Sherman"
Light multipurpose armored personnel carrier Universal Carrier
The first armored personnel carrier in history. Mark ix
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  1. polpot
    polpot 22 October 2019 18: 11
    Thank you for the article an interesting instance
    1. DRM
      DRM 23 October 2019 09: 34
      Very similar to the reprint from the "Foreign Military Review" 1984.
  2. Cut Samshitov
    Cut Samshitov 22 October 2019 18: 14
    A coffin, he is also a coffin in Sweden.
  3. tlauicol
    tlauicol 22 October 2019 18: 25
    It looks archaic, but the thickness of the armor is impressive even today
  4. Undecim
    Undecim 22 October 2019 18: 31
    Managed to increase throughput only through the use of chains.
  5. Undecim
    Undecim 22 October 2019 19: 12
    At the same time, Swedish engineers approached the problem as simply as possible, using the Volvo TLV 141 and Scania-Vabis F10 truck chassis to create their APCs.
    The author was mistaken. Scania-Vabis could not use the chassis of the F10 car, which was an all-wheel drive version of the Scania-Vabis L10 car for the production of armored personnel carriers, since the specified car was just beginning to be produced at the end of 1944.
    Used Scania-Vabis F11 Lastebil Car Chassis
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 22 October 2019 19: 14

      Chassis SV-F1112-45-04
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 22 October 2019 19: 18

        Tgbil W / 42 SKPF
  6. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 22 October 2019 19: 47
    When looking at the Swedish armored personnel carrier, I immediately remembered "Captain Michel's zoo": self-made armored vehicles designed by Michel Ostoich, with which the 1st Bijelinskaya Light Infantry Brigade of the Republic of Srpska (Panther Guard) was armed:

  7. Graz
    Graz 22 October 2019 20: 05
    creepy freak in appearance, the Swedes generally have some kind of special vision for bbm
  8. puskarinkis
    puskarinkis 22 October 2019 20: 28
    Yeah, that one, coffin! Back in 1994 (and a little after), such devices were in service with the Lithuanian army. It was possible to drive ... But because, this miracle of engineering (from Scania) consumed more than 95 liters per 1 km, then it was not often driven. )))
  9. Avior
    Avior 22 October 2019 21: 35
    I don’t understand how, with such a height, did he protect the infantry?
    From what, from dirt from under the wheels unless ...
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 23 October 2019 09: 26
      The British BTR Universal in this regard was the same. However, he fought wherever the fighting took place!
      1. Avior
        Avior 23 October 2019 09: 31
        A completely different level of armored personnel carriers.
        And the application is different. The infantry were not stuffed into it, it was possible to take cover

        And there wasn’t such a ridiculous notch on the side of the armor, which was later disposed of
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 23 October 2019 14: 18
          Quote: Avior
          And there wasn’t such a ridiculous notch on the side of the armor, which was later disposed of

          Duc ... if you do not make a cutout in the armor - then how to dismount the troops? Doors are not provided for in the design of the airborne squad, plus soldiers are packed into it like sprats in a jar. So you can dismount only by jumping overboard.
          And the Swedes did not immediately think of the hinged upper part of the side.
          1. Avior
            Avior 23 October 2019 14: 24
            As if the meaning of the armored personnel carrier is lost if it only covers the backside in the literal sense of the word
            1. hohol95
              hohol95 23 October 2019 15: 21
              The meaning of the APC was then to deliver infantry to the battlefield. After the start of operation and the decision to use them to directly support the infantry on the battlefield, they switched to fully enclosed vehicles with armed towers and doors in the airborne landing corps.
              The American M3 Scout also climbed through the sides climbed.
              1. Avior
                Avior 23 October 2019 15: 32
                Skat didn’t have such ridiculous cutouts
                1. hohol95
                  hohol95 23 October 2019 15: 51
                  So the BTR-60 was not. And how many soldiers crippled when landing from it?
                  1. Avior
                    Avior 23 October 2019 16: 46
                    If such an armored personnel carrier gets under mortar fire, there will be no one to jump there
                    1. hohol95
                      hohol95 23 October 2019 16: 50
                      But did the Swedish military calculate such events when taking this armored personnel carrier into service? So at first they were all happy.
                      Then, already in the process of operation, and most likely based on the experience of using the UN forces, they began to carry out modernization.
                      1. Avior
                        Avior 23 October 2019 16: 51
                        And what did they rely on, helping the armored personnel carrier without boards?
                        What will shoot at them from below?
                      2. hohol95
                        hohol95 23 October 2019 16: 57
                        And these questions I have no answers!
                        These questions are from the area - Why did Napoleon invade Russia ...
                        There are a lot of answers, but no one will know the exact thoughts of the "Corsican"!
                      3. Avior
                        Avior 23 October 2019 17: 01
                        Why is it known.
                        It’s not known why in such a stupid way