Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Land Systems / Battlefield

White Armored Car (Armored Motor Car No.2)

Infantry Support Vehicle [ 1915 ]

The White Armored Car appeared with French and American forces during World War 1.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/26/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The White Motor Company's contributions to the American war effort of World War 2 (1939-1945) became well-documented but its support went back much further than that - developing and producing a series of armored cars for the Army and Marines during World War 1 (1914-1918). Known simply as the "White Armored Car", the first vehicles were revealed in 1915 and issued to French Army forces desperate for any mechanized systems in their defense of Western Europe. White Motor Company production of its cars continued until the end of the war in November of 1918 and some forms managed a service life in the post-war years for colonial security efforts - actively used until about 1941.

The armored car of World War 1 was a far cry from the purpose-built vehicles encountered in the subsequent World War. These systems were typically generated by reconstituting an existing civilian car or lorry and applying an armor-plated superstructure over the chassis. Rear axles were usually double-tired as a result of the added weight. The internal arrangement, with its driver's seat and steering wheel, were completely retained as was the original front-mounted engine compartment. The mass of the superstructure weighed down the rear of the vehicle and to this was typically seated a traversing turret mounting a machine gun. While the concept on paper was sound, field practice usually showcased a vehicle too heavy and clumsy for tactical frontline service as the civilian-minded chassis was not built for the rigors of warfare. However, with few options available, most forces pressed these vehicles into service nonetheless.

The original "White No. 1" of 1915 was a 4x2 wheel drive offering and served with French forces for a time. In 1916 came the "White No. 2" which was issued to United States Army and United States Marine Corps (USMC) forces as available. Some were shipped to the El Paso region to support the Pancho Villa "Punitive Expedition" headed by General John Pershing - though the operation largely revolved around cavalry due to terrain. It was during this time that future American Army General, George S. Patton, would used a mechanized assault to take down Villa's bodyguard - Julio Cardenas - during a raid.

The Model 1917 - appearing the following year during America's entry into the war - was developed to a specific American Expeditionary Force (AEF) requirement which ultimately became the Model 1918. The Model 1918 (also known as the "White AEF") retained the same 4x2 wheeled capability and was also delivered to AEF units as well as the French Army. While given up in short order by the Americans, the Model 1918 stayed in the rebuilding French inventory until the early 1930s where they gave needed security service across French-managed colonies overseas.

The Model 1918 became a 3.4-ton vehicle with an operating crew of three. Its armor plating provided 3.8mm to 6.35mm of protection for the crew and the vehicle's vital internal components. This was effective against small arms fire but could not content with armor-piercing ammunition, artillery, and land mines. Power was through a 4-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine of 45 horsepower output. The chassis utilized a leaf spring suspension system to provide for some off-road support. Road speeds could reach 65 miles per hour on ideal surfaces. The primary weapon on these American cars was the Colt-Browning M1895 machine gun. All versions used the White 4x2 wheeled arrangement.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


White Motor Company - USA
France; United States
Operators National flag of France National flag of the United States
Service Year
United States
National Origin

Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.

12.5 ft
(3.8 meters)
6.1 ft
(1.85 meters)
7.7 ft
(2.35 meters)
6,746 lb
(3,060 kg)
3.4 tons

1 x White 4-cylinder gasoline engine developing 45 horsepower.
Drive System
65 mph
(104 kph)
Road Speed
186 miles
(300 km)
Road Range

Variable: 1 x M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun (USA models).
Dependent upon armament fitting.

White Armored Car - Base Series Designation
White No. 1 - Model of 1915; French Army usage
White No. 2 - Model of 1916; US Army and USMC usage
Model 1917 - Model of 1917; built to American Expeditionary Force requirement; becoming the "White AEF" model.
Model 1918 ("White AEF") - Model of 1918 for use by the AEF in Europe.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles


1 / 1
Image of the White Armored Car (Armored Motor Car No.2)
Image from the Public Domain; the Model 1918 White Armored Car is shown.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)