This Guy Armoured Car was on display at the Tank Museum.
The Guy Armoured Car was a British armoured car produced in limited numbers during Second World War. The car saw limited action during the Battle of France.
The manufacturer, Guy Motors, did not have enough capacity to produce the armored car alongside their artillery tractors, so they passed the design and construction techniques to Rootes, who used them to create the Humber Armored Car.
Six Guy Armored Cars were sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), but they were lost when France fell to the Germans.
Four cars, two each with the 12th Lancers and 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry, had their guns removed and additional seats fitted in 1940 for use in the Coats Mission to evacuate the Royal family in the event of a German invasion of Britain during the Second World War.
The Coats Mission was a special British army unit established in 1940 for the purpose of evacuating King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and their immediate family in the event of a German invasion of Britain during the Second World War. It was led by Major James Coats, MC, Coldstream Guards, later Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James Coats, Bt.
The force consisted of:
- A special company of the Coldstream Guards. There were five officers and 124 Guardsmen based at Bushey Hall Golf Club. Every officer and Guardsman was personally interviewed by Major Coats before being assigned to the company.
- A troop of the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry based at Windsor Castle commanded by Lieutenant Michael Tomkin. They were equipped with four Guy Armoured Cars. Their role was to evacuate Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.
- A Royal Army Service Corps section of 12 men with four Leyland Tiger buses based at Bushey Hall Golf Club. Their role was to transport the Coldstream Guards company.
- Military Police from the Provost Company of the 1st London Division for escort and traffic control, commanded by Captain Sir Malcolm Campbell, MBE.
The Coats Mission was never called upon to carry out its mission, as the German invasion of Britain never materialized. However, the unit’s existence was a sign of the British government’s determination to protect the Royal Family, even in the face of the most dire circumstances.
The Coats Mission is a fascinating example of the lengths that the British government was willing to go to in order to protect its monarchy. It is also a reminder of the importance of contingency planning, even in the face of unlikely events.
I have been thinking about creating a game based on the Coats Mission with an assault by German Paratroopers in an attempt to capture the Royal Family.
Another photograph of the Guy Armoured Car.