Daimler Model 1915
The Model 1915 was the Daimler contribution to a German Army requirement calling for an all-wheel drive armored car system.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Along with automakers Bussing AG and Ehrhardt, Daimler of Germany was charged with development of an all-wheel armored car system to replicate the success that the Belgians saw with their Minerva car series. Armored cars saw their first notable large-scale actions in the Great War (1914-1918) but their tactical value was ultimately held in check with the arrival of Trench Warfare which precipitated the evolution of the tank itself. Daimler's contribution became the Daimler Model 1915 Armored Car.
This entry fulfilled the all-wheel drive requirement sought by the German Army and was essentially a Daimler truck with a Krupp armored superstructure added over the working components and crew spaces. Armor comprised chromium-nickel stainless steel plates riveted into place over a framework. Like the competing Bussing A5P model, the Daimler vehicle was crewed by ten personnel. The engine was held in a forward compartment and constituted an in-house Daimler Model 4-cylinder gasoline-fueled unit outputting 80 horsepower. Altogether, the car could range out to 150 miles and reach speeds of 24 miles per hour on paved surfaces - much less when going off-road.
The vehicle held a 4x2 wheel arrangement across two axles - the rear axle seated four tires (two to a hull side) to compensate for the added weight of armor over the rear section as well as the weight added by the armament, ammunition, and crew. The armored superstructure showcased "slab" sides offering limited protection against small arms fire and artillery spray. A turret was affixed to the roof to provide excellent firing arcs for the gunner over the vehicle. The armament scheme included 3 x 7.92mm MG08 water-cooled machine guns.
The 21,800lb vehicle held a length of 5.6 meters, a width of 2 meters and a height of 3.8 meters.
Like other armored cars of World War 1, the Daimler Model 1915 was a heavy and tall steel-clad beast with nominal battlefield value and - in terms of German cars of the war - required an excessive amount of crewmembers for optimal function. However, in certain circumstances, particularly against rifle-armed enemy infantry concentrations, the car could be used to assail key positions with relative impunity - that is if the heavy vehicle did not sink into soft terrain, get trapped crossing a trench, or fall victim to ranged artillery fire.