Military Wiki
Leyland Beaver-Eel
Leyland Beaver-Eel.jpg
Leyland Beaver-Eel
Type Armoured truck
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1940-1945
Used by Royal Air Force
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Leyland
Designed 1940
Manufacturer Leyland
Derby Carriage Works
Number built 336

20mm cannon
.303in machine guns
Suspension Wheeled 6x4

The Leyland Beaver-Eel, known officially as the Tender, Armoured, Leyland Type C, was an armoured truck used by the Royal Air Force throughout World War II for airfield defence duties.


The Leyland Beaver-Eel was one of several armoured vehicle types designed in 1940 on the orders of Lord Beaverbrook and Admiral Sir Edward Evans for the defence of Great Britain, as a part of the hasty measures taken by the British Government following the Dunkirk evacuation and the threat of invasion.[1][2][3]

The first prototype was designed, built, tested and approved, and deliveries of production vehicles commenced, all within 10 days of Admiral Evans’ visit to the Leyland Motors factory in June 1940. Leyland built 250 Beaver-Eels in its own factory, whilst an additional 86 were built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway's Derby Carriage Works.[2][3]

The Beaver-Eel consisted of an open topped armoured body mounted a Leyland Retriever 3-ton 6x4 lorry chassis. The vehicle was armed with a 20mm cannon and .303in machine guns.[1][3][4]

The Beaver-Eel was used throughout the war by the Royal Air Force on the British mainland for aerodrome and aircraft factory defence.[4]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Fletcher, The great British tank scandal: British armour in the Second World War, London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1989, ISBN 0112904602.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Michael Seth-Smith, The long haul: a social history of the British commercial vehicle industry, London: Hutchinson Benham Ltd, 1975, ISBN 0-09-124440-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Brian Terence White, British tanks and fighting vehicles, 1914-1945, London: Ian Allan, 1970, ISBN 0711001235.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd, Leyland: seventy years of progress, Leyland: Leyland Motor Corporation, 1967.

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