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10 Mar 02
Universal Carriers
The ubiquitous Universal, or 'Bren Gun' Carrier, is a well-known hallmark of British and Commonwealth troops in World War 2. Manufactured in Britain, Canada and Australia, the carrier served on every front, in every formation, and in a variety of roles ranging from infantry support to gun tractor to logistics and communications. 
Specific roles included Medium Machine Gun (with Vickers mounted on the engine deck), 3" / 4.2" Mortar (the mortars dismounted for firing), and Wasp flame thrower. Models produced include the MkI and variants, the MkII and variants, the U.S. T-16, and the Canadian Windsor carrier. 
Ford of Canada produced almost 29,000 universal carriers in WW2, along with 5,000 Windsor carriers. The Universals were powered by an 85hp 221 ci flathead V8, while the Windsors and their American cousins, the T-16s, used the same basic 95hp 239 ci engine as Ford CMP trucks. Weighing in at approximately 5 tons, the top speed on their all-steel 'dead' track was about 30mph. 
Armour thickness varied from approximately 3/8" in the front hull, to 1/4" sides. The floor of the carrier was a weak point, having only 1/8" of mild steel, which made the powerplant, gas tanks and crew extremely susceptible to mine damage. Vehicle equipment stowage and crew depended on its allotted role. For more information, please click on the thumbnails below.

Universal Carriers Universal Carriers
Universal Carriers came in two basic models throughout the war, the MkI* and the MkII*. Let's look at the differences between them and in their employment...
T-16 Carriers T-16 Carriers
The T-16 was an American-made offshoot of the Universal, also made by Ford. It had several noticeable differences, including armour shape, number of roadwheels and steering...
Windsor Carriers Windsor Carriers
The Windsor Carrier was a late-war evolution of a proven design, but with an extra roadwheel on each side and a longer body tub for greater stability...
Loyd The Loyd Carrier
The Loyd Carrier was an early British derivation of the carrier concept which some Canadian units used throughout the war...

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