The armored car as a battlefield vehicle became a critical component for armies gearing up for World War 2 (1939-1945). They were typically light-class designs with good mobility and inherent cross-country capabilities, allowing ground commanders to collect data on enemy strength and positions from ground-based units. Beyond this, the cars could also provide local security, escort and second-line battlefield roles as (and when) needed.
With army services of the period in the market for such designs, AB Landsverk of Sweden began development of what would become the "Lynx" armored car in 1937 to meet a Danish Army requirement. The resulting design was a long car with large road wheels set at the extreme corners of the frame. Armor protection was minimal to keep the car light but there was enough internal space to house six personnel. The engine, a Scania-Vabis gasoline-fueled unit of 140 horsepower output, was set in the direct center of the hull so as to leave space for steering positions at both the front and back of the hull for added mobility and tactical flexibility. As such, one driver sat forward and the other rearward with an accompanying machine gunner to his side in both cases. Armor protection reached 13mm.
Over center was fitted a two-man turret to house the vehicle commander and gunner. This emplacement mounted a 20mm Madsen autocannon and the vehicle as a whole could support up to three total machine guns to help defend the vehicle as needed - one forward-facing, the other rear-facing and the last installation becoming a coaxial fitting in the front turret face (alongside the main gun barrel).
The car was capable of reaching speeds of 70 kmh and range was out to 200 kilometers. The vehicle was suspended across both axles to supply a useful cross-country quality. Since it had steering functionality at both its front and rear ends, both axles were steerable by the crew. Another notable trait was that the vehicle could reach the same speeds going forward or reverse which provided an inherent tactical advantage should the vehicle need to depart quickly in the face of danger.
Dimensions included a length of 5.1 meters, a width of 2.28 meters and a height of 2.2 meters. Weight was 7.8 tons.
Denmark received only three of the intended eighteen Lynx cars (these in April of 1938) before World War 2 officially began in September of 1939. Denmark was subsequently invaded in 1940 and fell soon after to the Germans. The remaining stock on hand was taken on by the Swedish Army for local defense (as the "Pansarbil m/39" with the 40mm Bofors as the primary weapon) should the war spread across its borders. To bolster existing Pansarbil numbers, a further thirty units were ordered which brought total production to 48 units before the end - this added batch was produced by Volvo plant in 1940, giving rise to the designation of "Pansarbil m/40".
Pansarbil Lynx vehicles survived the war years (not seeing any combat under the Swedish flag) and a stock of thirteen were shipped off to the Dominican Republic in 1956 where they ended their days. These were used in the Dominican Civil War of 1965.
Manufacturing AB Landsverk / Volvo - Sweden
Production 48 Units
Denmark (three examples); Dominican Republic (post-WW2); Sweden
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