As part of the British Army’s reaction to the potential invasion threat, it was required to establish rapid reaction forces. These organisations were highly mechanised and lightly armed. They used 2-wheeled drive light utility cars – Austin Tillys – as the vehicles to carry the Vickers machine gun and 3,500 rounds, the Driver, Nos. 1 and 2 and a Sergeant or Corporal. The other gun numbers were carried in coaches with the headquarters element.
They only existed between May and December 1940. The Motor Machine Gun Brigades were established from Cavalry and Armoured Units. It was likely that these units did not have sufficient armoured vehicles to equip them as they were intended.
A full transcript of the War Establishment is available as a PDF download.
One of the vehicles used by the motor machine gun units was the Car, 6-seater, 4-wheeled, utility. Army Council Instruction 1150 of September 1940 notified that when these vehicles were used by this unit, they would carried two shovels, General Service as part of the vehicle equipment.
- Joslen, 1960
- The National Archives, WO 24/938 War Establishments.
- The National Archives, WO 293/25 Army Council Instructions 1940.