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The Austin Armored Car was a British armored car produced during the First World War. The vehicle is best known for its employment by the Imperial Russian Army in the First World War and by different forces in the Russian Civil War.
In addition to the British-built Austins, a few dozens of vehicles were manufactured in Russia in 1918–20. These are usually referred to as Austin-Putilov or – if fitted with a Kégresse halftrack chassis – Austin-Kégresse.
In August 1914, just after the beginning of the First World War, the army of the Russian Empire started to form armoured car units. Due to limited production capabilities of the country's automotive industry it was decided to order a number of vehicles abroad. A committee was sent to the United Kingdom, but failed to find an armoured car that met their requirements for overhead protection and two machine gun turrets.
To meet these requirements, the Austin Motor Company designed a new armoured car. The vehicle, known as Austin 1st series, was based on a passenger car chassis with rear-axle drive. Wheels were wooden, spoked, with pneumatic tyres and an additional set of wheels with full rubber tyres for use in combat was carried. Two Maxim machine guns were mounted in separate turrets placed on both sides of the hull behind the driver's cab. The vehicle was protected by armour plates 3.5–4 mm thick screwed to a body frame. The crew of four – commander, driver and two gunners – could enter or leave the vehicle via a door on the left side of the cab or via big two-leaf rear door. On 29 September 1914, 48 armoured cars were ordered.
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