Gosling looks at the 1st Motor Machine New York National Guard
The concept of a fully-enclosed motorised armoured car goes back to the early 1900s and despite some interesting and innovative designs being developed in Europe, the concept did not really attract much enthusiasm. This all changed in 1914 when the Germans invaded Belgium. The stalemate of the trenches was yet to occur and for the opening stages of the war, the advancing Germans were harassed by Belgian forces in lightly armoured Minerva cars equipped with machine guns.
Also fending off the Germans was a fleet of armoured cars initially improvised by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) by fitting boilerplate on to Rolls-Royce and Wolseley car chassis. The original intention was to use these armoured cars to recover pilots shot down in enemy-controlled areas, but the concept of using them to take the fight to the enemy was thought to have great potential.