Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Belgian Minerva


cdr
 Share

Recommended Posts

Clip won't play for me.

Is there evidence that it was the first armoured car to see action rather than one of the first? The Belgians had at least two types of armoured car for a start. and at least one armoured German staff car was deployed early on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Minerva was the first one to be produced in large quantities (34 by september 1914) Improvised types saw action from early august

(eg LT. Charles Henkart with an Opel and a Pipe (armed with a Lewis gun) ;-)

Carl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Belgium had many improvised armoured cars on chassis from Minerva, Mors, Mercedes, DeDion, Peugot and even Rolls Royce.France also had a wide range of vehicles operating right from the beginning including the Premier Modele d'Auto Mitraileuse a semi standardised armoured body that could be fitted to a great many different chassis. Whilst it is probably safe to assume that a French Charron, Girardot et Voigt (CVG) 1903 model sold to Russia was the first internal combustion engined armoured vehicle to see action in the world in 1904 (The very first armoured vehicle to see action having been an armoured Fowler traction engine in the South African War) and very small numbers of armoured vehicles were deployed in a number of North African campaigns I have not yet found anything so definitive as to what was the first armoured car to see action in WW1. I had wondered if the statement in the OP meant that some definite evidence was now available. Hence my question

PS The CVG series built with minor variations between 1903 and 1908 can claim to have been the first armoured car to be built in some numbers (somewhere between 8 and 10)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Die Woche, no. 45, w/e 7 Nov. 1914, p. 1833

post-69449-0-26941400-1406368123_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers Carl! Always happy to make another alcohologist (whoops!) archaeologist happy!

How about this one, from Die Woche, no. 47, w/e 21 Nov. 1914, p. 1907.

post-69449-0-58652600-1406369833_thumb.j post-69449-0-66656200-1406369848_thumb.j post-69449-0-23125400-1406369860_thumb.j post-69449-0-49608000-1406369876_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And finally (for now!), this one from L’Album de la Guerre (Paris 1926) vol 1, p. 39

post-69449-0-15081100-1406383213_thumb.j

post-69449-0-23011500-1406383223_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Minerva near the townhall of Dendermonde (in those days also known as Termonde)

Carl

probably the same vehicle as nr 5

post-36833-0-89977700-1406383997_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many were there? I was beginning to think that these were all the same one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many were there? I was beginning to think that these were all the same one!

Well you've got at least three variants in your photos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With family away I am so busy posting I haven't had a chance to check! Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many were there? I was beginning to think that these were all the same one!

in late september 1914 each of the two Belgian cavalry divisions had 12 minerva's on the oob. Each infantry division had some as well (frequently 2)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

late versions

(according to the text during the 1918 offensives but probably earlier)note the difference between the boxes on the sides)

Carl

post-36833-0-27534000-1406444960_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again, Carl. If I come across any more images (my mate has a two or more later volumes of Die Woche I haven't looked at), then I'll be sure to post them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

late versions

(according to the text during the 1918 offensives but probably earlier)note the difference between the boxes on the sides)

Carl

According to Crow and Icks (Encyclopaedia of Armoured Cars) by 1915 most surviving Minervas were in storage where apart from some use in Russia they remained until 1918 when as warfare again began to become more mobile there was a role for them again. They were refurbished and went into service so the text may well be correct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...France also had a wide range of vehicles operating right from the beginning including the Premier Modele d'Auto Mitraileuse a semi standardised armoured body that could be fitted to a great many different chassis. ..

Would this be one of those French 'armoured' jobs? - note the shield where the windscreen would be. Or just an ad-hoc adaptation? From Die Woche no. 40, w/e 3 Oct. 1914, p. 1652

post-69449-0-66071300-1406534040_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's a Gentry armed but unarmoured car pre WW1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any comments on the windscreen or - as our non-English-English speakers would have it (and in this case perhaps correctly!) - windshield? Looks armoured to me even if not high enough to protect the driver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...