Military Wiki
Humber Light Reconnaissance Car
Humber LRC Mk IIIA
Production history
Manufacturer Humber (Rootes Group)
Number built more than 2,400[1]
Specifications (Mark II)
Weight 3.17 tons
Length 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Width 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Crew 3

Armour up to 12 mm
Boys anti-tank rifle
0.303 in (7.7 mm) Bren light machine gun
Smoke discharger
Engine 4.1 L 6-cylinder inline sidevalve petrol engine
80-87 hp (60-65 kW)
Power/weight 29 hp/tonne
Suspension 4 x 2 wheel
110 mi (180 km)
Speed 75 mph (121 km/h) on road

The Humber Light Reconnaissance Car, also known as Humberette or Ironside, was a British armoured car produced during the Second World War.

Produced by the Rootes Group, the Humber Light Reconnaissance Car was an armoured car based on the Humber Super Snipe chassis (as was the 4x4 Humber Heavy Utility car).[2][3] It was equipped with a No. 19 radio set. From 1940 to 1943 over 3600 units were built.

The vehicle was used by Infantry Reconnaissance Regiments and the RAF Regiment in Tunisia, Italy and Western Europe. After the war, some vehicles remained in service with the British units in India and in the Far East. The LRC was used widely by the Reconnaissance Corps and was also used by the Reconnaissance squadron of the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade Group.[4]

Three Mk I vehicles were modified for use by the British Royal Family and the Cabinet ministers and were known as Special Ironside Saloons.


Mk I.

  • Mk I

The original version with open-topped hull and 4x2 drive. Armoured to a maximum of 10 mm on the front and 7–9 mm on the sides.[5] Armament was a Boys anti-tank rifle and a Bren light machine gun. Only a limited number were built before the Mk I was replaced by the Mk II.[6]

  • Mk II

The Mk II had an enclosed roof with a turret for the machine gun and retained the 4x2 drive of the Mk I. The Boys faced forward in the front of the hull. Otherwise armoured as the Mark I, the roof was 7 mm and the turret 6 mm.[5][7]


  • Mk III (1941)

The Mk III was externally similar to the Mk II but had 4x4 drive. Production began in late 1941.[8]

  • Mk IIIA (1943)

The only difference from the Mk III was additional vision ports at the front angles of the hull.[8] Armour was 12 mm to the front, 8 mm to the sides, 7 on the roof and rear, and 6 mm on the turret.[5]

  • Ironside Special Saloon

Built for VIP use, the body by Thrupp & Maberley included relatively luxurious interior which was split by a perpex screen to separate driver and passengers. A passenger side door was provided to make entrance and exit easier. Ordered as two "specials" and six "armoured staff cars".

Surviving vehicles

A number of vehicles are preserved in museums:

  • Dutch Cavalry Museum
  • Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Brussels, Belgium
  • Royal Air Force Museum London has a Mk IIIA
  • National War and Resistance Museum, Overloon has a wheeless LRC hull
  • Military College of EME, Trimulgherry has an LRC as a gate guardian
  • 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment Living History Group (UK) operate a replica vehicle based on an LRC MK IIIa chassis.

A reproduction also exists in private ownership in the Czech Republic[9]

See also


  1. Doherty p 20
  2. Fletcher Great Tank Scandal p 35
  3. Doherty 2011 p6
  4. New Vanguard 77: Humber Light Reconnaissance Car 1941–45, Richard Doherty, Osprey Publishing 2011, ISBN 978-1-84908-310-2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Doherty p9
  6. War Wheels: Humber LRC I
  7. War Wheels: Humber LRC II
  8. 8.0 8.1 War Wheels: Humber LRC III


  • George Forty - World War Two Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Self-Propelled Artillery, Osprey Publishing 1996, ISBN 978-1-85532-582-1.
  • I. Moschanskiy - Armored vehicles of the Great Britain 1939-1945 part 2, Modelist-Konstruktor, Bronekollektsiya 1999-02 (И. Мощанский - Бронетанковая техника Великобритании 1939-1945 часть 2, Моделист-Конструктор, Бронеколлекция 1999-02).
  • Doherty, R Morshead, H (illustrator) Humber Light Reconnaissance Car 1941–45 New Vanguard 177 (2011) Osprey Publishing 9781849083102

External links

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