Autocars at Amiens

Tim Gosling examines the history of a unit of World War One armoured trucks paid for by public subscription

Photographed outside Amiens, this Autocar looks quite imposing, however, once in action its armour was unfortunately found to be as effective as a tin can
pictures Bovington Tank Museum

Raymond Brutinel emigrated from France to Canada in 1905 where he would amass a fortune through his business ventures. Having previously served in the French Army he had maintained an interest in military matters and particularly machine guns. When France went to war with Germany in 1914 Brutinel considered returning to France to join the army but was dissuaded from doing so by the wealthy businessman Sir Clifford Sifton. Together they discussed the formation of a unit of armoured trucks equipped with machine guns which would all be paid for by public donations.

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