1944 Mark II Universal Carrier
Fielded primarily by the British Commonwealth armies, the universal carrier was also commonly known in its various models as the Bren Gun Carrier, and was developed by the British Army. This particular Universal Carrier was built in Windsor, Canada and is one of approximately 30,000 plus such vehicles produced by Ford of Canada from 1941-44. The Universal Carrier was produced in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. With approximately 113,000 manufactured in total throughout the World during the War, the Universal Carrier was not only the Second World War's most widely produced armored vehicle but also the most widely produced armored vehicle in history.
The Universal Carrier normally had a crew of 2-3 and was primarily used as a light material transport, flamethrower or machine gun carrier
(note the Bren Gun projecting from the firing port on this example), mortar carrier, for towing light anti-tank guns, or for use as an artillery observation vehicle. The Universal Carrier however was also pressed into service for a number of other roles, and was one of the most versatile vehicles deployed during the War. The thin armor was the vehicle's primary drawback; as the armor could only stop rifle or light machine gun fire. The vehicle was also at risk from mortar or artillery fire, and, given its light under armor, was particularly vulnerable to mines. Nevertheless, the Universal Carrier would be regularly used by many of the world's armies even well into the 1960's.
Picture Courtesy of Steven Mercatante