Armoured Car "Ehrhardt" M1917 World War I
The development of German armoured Cars began in 1906 with the Ehrhardt BAK (Ballon Abwehr Kanone), actually an armoured anti-aircraft platform.
Ehrhardt had a single armoured car tested in the United States, but there was little interest.
By the outbreak of WW-I in 1914, Germany had no armoured vehicles in service other then a small number of the BAK tractors for artillery towing and an assortment of other BAK-type vehicles. The Chief of the German General Staff ordered a number of armoured cars in October 1910, and Daimler, Büssing, and Ehrhardt all produced enough vehicles for a test unit on the Alsace and Romanian Fronts in 1916. They proved valuable enough for further production of two Daimler and 12 Ehrhardt vehicles in 1917. The Ehrhardt was an improved version of the M1915 model, with the addition of dual rear wheels protected by partially armoured wells, armoured headlamps, a serrated grouser-type extension mounted on each front wheel, horizontal armoured louvers on the radiator, and seven machine guns. This vehicle held a crew of between eight and nine men, and complaints of cramped quarters were frequent, especially if the field radio (only operable when stopped) was mounted. The Ehrhardt M1917 was powered by an 85 hp engine that drove both axles.
One Ehrhardt Armoured Car in Dutch Service
The second armoured vehicle of the Dutch forces (in this case the Dutch Army or KL) was a German Ehrhardt Armoured Car. Some days after the Armistice on 11th November 1918 the Germans obtained permission from the Dutch Government to withdraw part of their forces from Belgium through the Dutch province of Limburg, on the condition they left their weapons with the Dutch. In this withdrawl the Germans surrendered a partially armoured lorry chassis. This later became the only Ehrhardt armoured car in Dutch service.
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