Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

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Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by Blorange » 14 Aug 2021 06:19

Recently I came across a photograph of a parade of armoured cars in China some time in the 40s, with a bit of research it turns out that this vehicle was actually built in series and featured at the PRC's founding ceremony. Unfortunately the only source for these images that I could find was official PRC Government sites, which were scant at best.

Does anyone have any information on them at all? Were they built earlier in the 40s by the Communists, Nationalists, or another faction - or were they perhaps recent acquisitions? Certainly it seems unique to see so many of the same model of armoured car in one place. Even one particular model of armoured car used by the KMT around Shanghai only seems to turn up as a half dozen or so vehicles at most in photographs (though notably the photograph I've seen with the most vehicles is apparently with them under Communist control - indicating that there may have been more built, given the rest were from earlier perhaps pre-WWII).

I'd note the similarities to other locally built armoured cars in China in the 30s/ 40s. Notably the style of the turret seems to be a direct copy from another I've seen with KMT insignia, along with the style of the gun mount at the front of the vehicle. Overall the vehicles seem to be a simplified version of those serial produced KMT vehicles of which photos are more common, though implement parts of other designs. Leading me to wonder if they were built by the Nationalists, or merely inspired by them.

The armoured cars in question, followed by a series of photographs of a similar Nationalist production vehicle:
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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 15 Aug 2021 16:54

They were built by KMT ordnance factory during 40s but inspired by Soviet BA-6 and alikes.
Large quantities were captured during the civil war and enlisted in PLA.

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by Blorange » 15 Aug 2021 17:43

Thanks, that's more information than I already had. Just to confirm, are you referring to both of the vehicles pictured? As I assume one led on from the other, just simplified.

That is handy of course, as I'm making a model of one of these vehicles, so knowing who built it will help with how to paint it. Along with working out what the details on the rear are (not pictured in any of the photographs).

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 21 Aug 2021 10:02

My reference was about the vehicles in your photos except the last one. The paintings in photo 1,2,3 had been modified as PLA paintings as you can see the star mark on the sides.

The leading one in your last photo were Type 92 Jyu-Sokosha (Japanese made, captured by KMT army during the war or handed over to KMT army after surrender), which was supposed to be re-captured by PLA from KMT army, and joined the parade when Shanghai was liberated. The following vehicles should be the the same or similar types as those in photo 1-4.

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by Blorange » 21 Aug 2021 10:39

Oh, hah, yes I'm aware that oddly enough the Type 92s were referred to as armoured cars by the Japanese for inter branch political reasons. :)

So is your conclusion that the vehicles in the first three photographs are modifications of the vehicles from the fourth? Or am I misinterpreting you?

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 22 Aug 2021 05:20

Yes, your interpretation is correct. :) The regular PLA painting on the rear is nothing or a simple red star.

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by nuyt » 24 Aug 2021 08:23

These cars have intrigued me for a longtime and these pictures were among other places featuring on the Overvalwagen Forum for at least a decade.

Yes, I have heard before that these were "KMT built cars". I have also seen KMT propaganda pictures showing pre war Vickers tanks delivered to China with the text "made in one of Chang Kai Check's thousand tank factories". So we would need a good source to prove these cars were indeed produced in China. But inspired by Soviet cars? I do not think so....

Some points of interest:

- chassis was most likely US sourced GMC 6x6. Check the dual rear wheels for instance. That puts production date most likely 1945-1949 (after WW2),
- some people have claimed that the second model in your line up was apparently used by the Shanghai Police around 1949,
- based on photographs, I'd say both types were made in series of appr. 12 vehicles.
- second series was most likely inspired by wartime German armoured cars and halftracks, just look at the lines, the anti-ballistic (?) shape of the hull, etc.
- it was used in Shanghai around that date (photographic evidence) in conjunction with a 4x2 armoured car model, that was designed and built in the Dutch East Indies in 1941 (see the Overvalwagen Forum, overvalwagen update/new pictures threads)
- the second model shares a lot of design aspects with a prewar Krupp model, of which three were exported to the Netherlands (briefly tested in the Dutch East Indies) and from there two vehicles to Brazil: the Wilton-Fijenoord armoured car.

The plot thickens...

Just my 2 cents :)

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by nuyt » 24 Aug 2021 11:23

79seconds wrote:
22 Aug 2021 05:20
Yes, your interpretation is correct. :) The regular PLA painting on the rear is nothing or a simple red star.
Sorry to disagree.

All photos show two different types of armoured cars (not counting the ex-IJA tankette). The top three show one series (location? Beijing?) and the bottom pictures the other series in Shanghai.

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by Blorange » 24 Aug 2021 13:24

Thanks nuyt, I'll definitely have a search on that forum of any useful threads - I didn't realise they existed. :)

Yes, the chassis was a curiosity. I had noticed that they were based on GMC trucks (which is the chassis I'm using for a basis on my own miniature). Which isn't perhaps unusual, but it does seem to place their use within a certain date range. Similarly though, this chassis has been claimed to have been used on other armoured cars in China - which has led me to wonder if they were all built in the mid to late 40s, or if there was some other supply of the chassis locally? Certainly it would seem odd to be have so many armoured car variants all built on the same chassis if there wasn't a surplus. Which is compounded by vehicles built on American 4x4s - which does indeed make me think these were being produced after the Americans were involved - as opposed to these vehicles being available locally prior to that (presumably bought for civilian use, or by the military - something I'm yet to see much evidence of).

I'd argue that the designs share a semblance to both German and Soviet ones - along with a generic mix of other armoured cars from the 30s. The sharp angles do indeed lend more from German sd.kfz 221 / 222s which the KMT had ordered. Though other design elements are more Soviet - as do other vehicles I've seen share much more similarity with the Soviet BA-6 than the German vehicles. Honestly though, it may be a moot point on just what designs they were inspired by. As, well, there's only so many ways to up-armour a truck, so I wouldn't say all of them were necessarily inspired by foreign vehicles and weren't just built that way to be functional.

I believe the site Tank Encyclopaedia for instance throws out claims of seeing armoured tractors similar to the Sutton Skunk as evidence the Skunk made its way to China (instead of the popular opinion that it didn't), when I personally believe that its just coincidence, especially when you look at the improvised armoured tractors coming out of other Nations in the 30s /40s. :)

I'm curious which of these models came first. The second time - image 4 - is claimed to have been used in the 30s, and certainly there's more photographs of them in civil settings, along with their eventual capture by the Communists. Whilst the first set of vehicles I've only seen at that victory parade in 49. As in my first post, my assumption is that the first vehicles pictured were a simplification of the second type, rather than the second type being intended to be later vehicle with better armoured protection than the first. If other war time vehicles are anything to go by, their designs become easier to manufacture, not more complex.

Overall then the inference remains then that these are post-war vehicles it seems? Though at least potentially they were used by Police or Nationalist forces, rather than having been built by the Communists. Thanks, as I mentioned in one of my responses, this information is quite handy, as I'm building a model, and being able to infer some details obscured or difficult to interpret in the photographs helps - particularly when it will come to working out the paint scheme.

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 25 Aug 2021 15:13

Blorange wrote:
24 Aug 2021 13:24
Thanks nuyt, I'll definitely have a search on that forum of any useful threads - I didn't realise they existed. :)

Yes, the chassis was a curiosity. I had noticed that they were based on GMC trucks (which is the chassis I'm using for a basis on my own miniature). Which isn't perhaps unusual, but it does seem to place their use within a certain date range. Similarly though, this chassis has been claimed to have been used on other armoured cars in China - which has led me to wonder if they were all built in the mid to late 40s, or if there was some other supply of the chassis locally? Certainly it would seem odd to be have so many armoured car variants all built on the same chassis if there wasn't a surplus. Which is compounded by vehicles built on American 4x4s - which does indeed make me think these were being produced after the Americans were involved - as opposed to these vehicles being available locally prior to that (presumably bought for civilian use, or by the military - something I'm yet to see much evidence of).

I'd argue that the designs share a semblance to both German and Soviet ones - along with a generic mix of other armoured cars from the 30s. The sharp angles do indeed lend more from German sd.kfz 221 / 222s which the KMT had ordered. Though other design elements are more Soviet - as do other vehicles I've seen share much more similarity with the Soviet BA-6 than the German vehicles. Honestly though, it may be a moot point on just what designs they were inspired by. As, well, there's only so many ways to up-armour a truck, so I wouldn't say all of them were necessarily inspired by foreign vehicles and weren't just built that way to be functional.

I believe the site Tank Encyclopaedia for instance throws out claims of seeing armoured tractors similar to the Sutton Skunk as evidence the Skunk made its way to China (instead of the popular opinion that it didn't), when I personally believe that its just coincidence, especially when you look at the improvised armoured tractors coming out of other Nations in the 30s /40s. :)

I'm curious which of these models came first. The second time - image 4 - is claimed to have been used in the 30s, and certainly there's more photographs of them in civil settings, along with their eventual capture by the Communists. Whilst the first set of vehicles I've only seen at that victory parade in 49. As in my first post, my assumption is that the first vehicles pictured were a simplification of the second type, rather than the second type being intended to be later vehicle with better armoured protection than the first. If other war time vehicles are anything to go by, their designs become easier to manufacture, not more complex.

Overall then the inference remains then that these are post-war vehicles it seems? Though at least potentially they were used by Police or Nationalist forces, rather than having been built by the Communists. Thanks, as I mentioned in one of my responses, this information is quite handy, as I'm building a model, and being able to infer some details obscured or difficult to interpret in the photographs helps - particularly when it will come to working out the paint scheme.
Partly agree with you, nuyt.

But there still lack of official publications in China recording where exactly these models were coming from and designed by whom, and inspired from. I'll keep on searching for the Chinese resources.

There is some certain source in Chinese language stating that the model in photo 1-4 is modified on basis of GMC CCKW 353 10-wheel truck sourced from USA in 1930s, by local KMT ordnance plant. PLA captured over 70 such vehicles in batttle of Shanghai in 1949.

Cheers

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 25 Aug 2021 15:16

Here is a color version of photo 2.
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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 25 Aug 2021 15:34

Found an article about this model.

https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=168488 ... der&for=pc

The name of this model was "沪造三六式装甲车", can be translated as Shanghai-made Model 36 armored vehicle. It was made by "龙华兵工厂(Longhua Ordnance Plant)" in Shanghai, on basis of imported GMC CCKW 353 chassis.

Hope above helps.

Cheers

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by Blorange » 25 Aug 2021 16:35

You're a life saver 79seconds with that colour plate. Heck, and even more that my own assumptions were true on the model of truck (heh, I was just going by what I could make out in the photographs and hearsay). :)

I've only just started looking into the Chinese theatre in the 30s/40s, so my experience with sources isn't all that adequate. That article you linked is fantastic, and I think its worth bookmarking for ideas on future modelling projects. Ah, once I've managed to finish this one (next on the docket is a Manchurian modified Austin Armoured Car featured elsewhere on this site).

This discussion's been amazing. I'll thank all the posters here again for being the fabulous resource this site's known for. Heh, ah, and maybe a few Months from now I'll get around to posting some pictures of the finished miniature. ;)

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 25 Aug 2021 17:06

Blorange wrote:
25 Aug 2021 16:35
You're a life saver 79seconds with that colour plate. Heck, and even more that my own assumptions were true on the model of truck (heh, I was just going by what I could make out in the photographs and hearsay). :)

I've only just started looking into the Chinese theatre in the 30s/40s, so my experience with sources isn't all that adequate. That article you linked is fantastic, and I think its worth bookmarking for ideas on future modelling projects. Ah, once I've managed to finish this one (next on the docket is a Manchurian modified Austin Armoured Car featured elsewhere on this site).

This discussion's been amazing. I'll thank all the posters here again for being the fabulous resource this site's known for. Heh, ah, and maybe a few Months from now I'll get around to posting some pictures of the finished miniature. ;)
Glad you like it. Can't wait to see your masterpiece.

Here's a pic from another angle. Enjoy! :D

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Re: Information on Armoured Cars at 1949 PRC Founding Ceremony

Post by 79seconds » 25 Aug 2021 17:10

Sorry, missing the attachment. :wink:
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