British Universal Carrier

British 8th Army Universal Carrier

The British Universal Carrier, popularly known as Bren Carrier, was a small, tracked armoured personnel and weapons carrier based on the Vickers-Armstrong D50 light tractor designed by John Carden and Vivian Loyd in 1935. Production of several types of carriers began in 1936; they differed slightly in design, based on their intended role as Medium Machine Gun Carrier, Bren Gun Carrier, Scout Carrier, or Cavalry Carrier. In 1940, production was streamlined to a single Universal Carrier which became the most widely produced carrier type, and the most numerous armoured fighting vehicle in history. The rectangular superstructure of the Universal Carrier offered more internal crew space than previous variants with sloped armour plate.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • Bren Gun Carrier (3rd Infantry Division), 1:32 King & Country DD59
  • Bren Gun Carrier, 1:32 Dinky Toys 622
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II, 1:35 Tamiya 35089
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II (European Campaign), 1:35 Tamiya 35175
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II (Forced Reconnaissance), 1:35 Tamiya 35249
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II and two crew, 1:48 Tamiya 32516
    • Bren Carrier Stowage, 1:48 Verlinden VP2274
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II with British driver, 1:56 Bolt Action Miniatures 344
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II with Soviet driver, 1:56 Bolt Action Miniatures 354
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II, 1:56 Card Model
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II and 6 pdr anti-tank gun, 1:72 Paper Tiger Armaments
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II, 1:72 Card Model
  • Universal Carrier No.2, Mk.I & Crew (BEF, Africa), 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/75
  • Universal Carrier No.2, Mk.I (BEF), 1:76 Crusader Models CMB01
  • Universal Carrier Mk.I & Crew, 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/71
  • Universal Carrier Mk.I, 1:76 Trux
  • Universal Carrier Mk.I, 1:76 MMS 928
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II and 6 pdr anti-tank gun, 1:76 Airfix 01309
  • Universal Carrier, Indian Pattern, 1:76 Crusader Models CMB14
  • Universal Carrier, Australian Pattern, 1:76 Ostmodels A1
  • Universal Carrier, 15 mm Battlefront Miniatures BR210
  • Universal Carrier Mk.II, 1:285 GHQ UK14
  • Universal Carrier, 1:300 Heroics & Ros B22

Technical Specifications

  • Universal Carrier
  • Type: tracked armoured personnel carrier
  • Engine: Ford V8-cylinder 3.62 litres petrol engine with 85 bhp at 3800 rpm
  • Suspension: Horstmann
  • Speed: 48 km/h
  • Cruising Range: 250 km
  • Length: 3659 mm
  • Width: 2058 mm
  • Height: 1601 mm
  • Wheelbase: 1982 mm
  • Weight: 3.75 t
  • Armour: 7 to 10 mm
  • Armament: .303 Bren LMG or .55 Boys anti-tank rifle
  • Crew: Commander, Driver
  • Production: 1940–1945 (ca. 113000 units)

Historical Employment

  • British and Commenwealth Forces, 1940–1945
  • Soviet Army
  • German Wehrmacht, 1940–1945
  • German Bundeswehr, 1956–1959

Possible Conversions

  • Carrier, Armoured Observation Post
  • Carrier, Medium Machine Gun
  • Carrier, Mortar
  • Carrier, Scout
  • Carrier, Cavalry
  • Carrier, Wasp Flamethrower
  • Carrier, Windsor
  • Carrier, Lyod

The British Universal Carrier was the most common armoured fighting vehicle of World War Two, it served on all fronts and in many different roles. Wargamers and collectors will want many of these versatile vehicles to equip their carrier platoons, and support weapons sections.

Frequently Asked Questions

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British Miniatures of World War Two