Marine Corps History: America’s First Armored Vehicle

Carl | December 19, 2012 

Preparing Vehicles for Battle

After the British army’s Rolls Royce armored vehicle succeeded in wartime efforts, the Marine Corps quickly developed similar equipment to transport men and supplies from ship landing ramps to interior regions.

The Armor Motor Car Company of Detroit built the first armored cars for American military use, each fully equipped with a powerful V-8 engine and revolving machine gun turrets.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, purchased two of these vehicles for testing. After many successful tests, a total of eight armored cars were acquired and assigned to the 1st Armored Car Squadron of the 1st Marines at Philadelphia.

While America’s first armored vehicles never actually saw battle, they were the first step toward the armored vehicles in use today.

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