a restoration project

Task, squadron, crew, uniform and emblems


The tactical directives for the deployment of armoured car squadrons were laid down in november 1936 in the Pantserwagen Reglement deel II, 'Het Gevecht', no. 139b. (Armoured Car Regulations, part II, 'The Combat', nr. 139b). It states the following on characteristics and tasks of armoured cars:
M38 - Regulations 139b, Armoured Cars, part II, the battle.
  • due to their high speed and large work area they can act swiftly and suddenly even over large distances of their own main troops.
  • the armour enables them to get close to the enemy despite gun- and machine gun fire, then fire at them with cannons and machine guns and after that easily move free from the battle.
  • by surprise they can cause heavy losses to the enemies flank and back and break through any barricades they encounter on their marching route.
  • on the battlefield immobile armoured cars are easy targets voor enemy artillery and anti-tankweapons
  • armoured cars do not lend themselves to the passive defence of specific areas. Their defensive power is limited to the slowing down of the enemies advance by firing from successive formations.
  • the above mentioned characteristics especially enables the armoured cars to make reconnaisances and maintain security in direct cooperation with cavalry and cyclists.
  • in battle they render important services by giving, in direct cooperation with other weapons, powerfull material and moral support.

As part of the Light Brigade an armoured car squadron could be deployed:

  • as an independent unit
  • incorporated in one of the units of the Light Brigade
  • incorporated in the Brigade's reserve.

Deployed as a squadron the commander determines the composition of the squadron. As a rule one platoon was used to cover the van- or rearguard or the flank. The distance between them generally did not exceed 5 kilometers.

Squadron composition and armoured car crew

M38 - Composition of armoured car squadron
Addition 1 , Pantserwagen Reglement, deel II 'Het Gevecht', voorschrift no. 139b, KMA Breda, 1936

The platoon commander/car commander was a luitenant.
M38 command car  C1 with complete crew.The crew of an armoured car consisted of 5 men:
- one car commander / sergeant
- one corporal
- 3 hussars

These 5 men performed the following tasks:
- the commander, also the cannon loader
- the aimer, aiming and firing weapons in the gunturret and loading the machineguns
- the driver/chauffeur
- the gunner, serving the machine gun in the bow
- the driver/gunner, driving backwards and serving the machine gun in the back

The crew of the 1st and 2nd platoon of the 2e E. Paw. gave themselves the stout nickname '

M38 command car with complete crew

Uniforms and emblems

M38: crew in greygreen uniform.
Despite other recommendations of cavalry officer H. Wilbrenninck, in June 1936 the uniform for the crew of the armoured cars was determined as that of a hussar: greygreen fieldjacket and riding breeches (but without the normal black leather seat), no busby but a sidecap and a cavalry overcoat.

The armoured car crew was also issued with a blue overall with brown leather belt. Officers wore a darker blue overalls with the Sam Browne belt and a dark blue service cap (without offical permission).
In the armoured car the crew usually wore the riding breeches and a jersey under their overalls.
M38: crew in blue overalls.

Plans were made to issue the crew with a leather helmet - type pilot/observer - but this fell through. If necessary the model steel helmet (M34) was worn. The hussars spurs were not actually worn in the armoured car, but they did take them with them. The crew were personally armed with the pistol M25. Before war broke out they were also issued with a dagger 'stormdolk' .

Small armoured cars were worn as unit emblems on the collar of the fieldjacket:

M38: armoured car unit emblem in bronze M38: armoured car unit emblem in silver. M38: armoured car unit emblem embroidered in white M38: armoured car unit emblem embroidered in silver.
in bronze
for corporals and hussars
in silver
for corporals and hussars since spring 1939
embroidered in white silk
for subaltern officers
embroidered in silverthread
for officers and adjutants