From the time man first learned to forge metals he quickly figured out how to make body armor for warfare. This great new invention offered personal protection on the battlefield never before known. He then decided, Hey! I can cover my horse in this stuff and we will be unstoppable. You now have the birth of armored infantry and Calvary.
Well, it would be another 3 thousand years or so before he then learned how to build the horseless carriage in the late 1800’s. By the time World War I broke out in 1916, mechanized vehicles were making their grand debut. It was the logical procession for the need of heavy armor to protect personnel moving into battle. Not only did this war see the first use of armored tanks but, mechanized armored personnel carriers as well. The British’s Mark 1X is considered the first purpose built armored troop transport but, it was not completed until late in 1918 and did not get the chance to see action.
Twenty years later came WW2 and the game was on. All the world powers were working hard to develop and build the best protected and maneuverable Tanks, Self propelled Artillery and the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). Mechanized warfare had become the new reality of the 20th century and the world would never be the same. For the Americans, Gen. George S. Patton was instrumental in the formation of the first U.S. Army Tank Corp and was one of the first officers assigned to it under Gen Pershing’s Expeditionary Force in WW1. Although, Patton wanted the new armored vehicles to be it’s own Corp it was placed under Army Command therefore, he then placed it under the Army’s Calvary and the rest is history.
Most of know how Gen. Patton so brilliantly went on to lead a mechanized 7th and 3rd Army to victory in WW2. Technology was now the determining factor in the rapid advancements of APC’s so that by the Vietnam War, the U.S. had developed the new M113 capable of transporting 11 fully equipped combat troops with 2 additional crew, the driver and the M2 Browning Machine Gunner. It was so successful the enemy gave it the nick-name The Green Dragon. It offered excellent protection from small arms and shrapnel while penetrating fortified enemy locations. Over 80,000 variants of this APC have been built and it is still in service some 50 years after it’s conception. Of course, there have also been many other APC’s of newer design to enter into service such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle in service since 1981 and named for Gen. Omar Bradley of WW2 fame.
Today, more and more sophisticated composite materials, such as Kevlar are available in developing better armors for, not only Apc’s but, Tanks, Mobile Artillery, the famous Hummer’s and any other mechanized vehicle you may consider. Most ordinary folks might not have a need for an armored vehicle but, should there be a need for one you can rest assured they are available to general public for sale. It is in fact a growing industry like, armored cars and trucks for personal or professional users.
Article courtesy of inkasarmored.com