Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the political and economic integration of Europe. So far, however, the country has opted out of some aspects of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, including the new joint monetary system. - US CIA World Factbook

HtK46 1917
HtK46 1917

It wasn't the army, that got the first Danish armored car, but Akademisk Skyttekorps, a voluntary home guard unit. It was purchased in September 1917, and was named HtK46. It was built on a Hotchkiss M1909 chassis. Unfortunately it was very difficult to drive, and during a millitary exercise in 1920, the only way the crew could stop it was by running into a chicken coop. The vehicle was written off in 1923. However, the Danish army had become interested in armored vehicles, and, for a start, began using trucks with fake armor of plywood. The first was a Gideon truck in fall 1917.

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Citroen-Kegresse Half-track

In 1923 the Danish Army bought a 10hp Citroen-Kegresse half-track for evaluation. The army, impressed, purchased two more in 1924. In 1932 they were returned to Citroen as a part of the payment on a new 18 hp Citroen-Kegresse. The Danish army designated that the vehicle act as a support vehicle for their armored car section. It had excellent cross-country mobility, but at 32km/t, it was slow on regular roadways. By 1935 the vehicle was worn out, and not used operationally thereafter.

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The Danish Triangel Half-track

In 1924-25 three 16hp and one 21hp truck was equipped with the French Kegresse-track and were sent to the army for evaluation as tractors for heavy artillery. The evaluation period lasted from 1925-27. It is not known if they were accepted for active duty, but it appears that they were not.

Triangel-Kornbeck Half-track---Triangel-Kornbeck Half-track
The Danish Triangel-Kornbeck Half-track

Danish engineer, E. R. Kornbeck, designed a simplified track system using three massive bogie rollers instead of the four lightweight rollers of the French Kegresse system. In the late 1920's it was tested and compared to other half-tracks and tractors. In 1931 it was chosen for production as the Triangel-Kornbeck and equipped with an 85hp engine. The heavy artillery up to (approximately) 1941 used six of these units.

The Danish Tempo-Geländwagen

The Danish Army realized, that they needed a small cross-country vehicle for reconnaissance and transportation of supplies and small weapons just like the American Jeep or the German Kübelwagen. In 1937 they bought one Tempo-Geländwagen from "Vidal und Sohn-Tempo Werke" in Germany and tested it. The four wheel drive car was unusual in it's engine and drive train design with twin two-stroke engines located one to each end of the vehicle. It could be driven with either one engine or both engines operating. CONJECTURE - Possibly, each engine powered the wheels in it's own end of the vehicle. Probably there was a system in the transmission that allowed the non powered wheels to freely rotate. The Danes accepted the vehicle for service and bought 29. Only 20 was received before the war.

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The Danish V3 Half-track

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Fiat 3000
Italian Fiat 3000

In 1926, Danish officers saw the Fiat Carro d'assalto model 3000 demonstrated in Turin and purchased one in 1928 at a cost of 30500 Danish crowns. It was primarely used for training the Danish infantry in fighting tanks, but at the same time the army wanted to find out, whether tanks had a place in the Danish defense. The army wasn't ready for armor yet, and at the same time, there were some difficulty with the tank. The Fiat did not have escape hatches over the drivers position as the Renault FT17 had. Entering and leaving the vehicle had to take place through the hatches at the back of the turret. This solution might be safer in battle, as the chances of bullet splash at the drivers seat was reduced. But entering and leaving was nearly impossible without getting burnt when the engine was hot. At the same time the vehicle was worn down after just one year. In 1929 it was not allowed to participate in the military exercices, and in 1932 it was even prohibited from leaving the military area because of wear. It was written off that year, and used as a gunnery target in the late thirties.

FP-1 and FP-2

About 1930 the army was allowed to carry out experiments with armored vehicles again, and this time they built their own armo red trucks. Two Ford AA chassis with twin rear wheels was armored and armed with a 20mm Madsen machinegun. These cars were named FP-1 and FP-2, FP meaning "Forsoegs Panser" or armored experimental. The three pictures shows these cars as they evolved during the three rebuilds. The first version is from 1931. The idea was, that in case of war, suited commercial vehicles were to be given to the army, and armored bodywork was to be fitted on them. This idea was later abandoned, but FP1 and 2 were kept in service right up to WW2, as they were cheap to use, and Denmark only had very few other armored cars.

FP4---FP4 & 5---FP5
FP-4 and FP-5

Vickers offered the Danish army an opportunity to borrow a Carden-Loyd Patrol Car Mk VI. This was called FP-4, and after six weeks of testing, the army was ready with a summary. It wasn't as good as the newly purchased Citroen-Kegresse truck in rough terrain, and on road it was hard to control. Moreover, the tracks fell off frequently. But it was cheap to buy and to use. This resulted that the army purchased two similar vehicles. The original FP-4 went back at the factory and one of the new tanks recieved the designation FP-4, and the other FP-5. When the army recieved these tanks, they saw, that these were of another version and in worse condition than the borrowed specimen. Vickers had to send people to repair the tanks several times. These vehicles were in service 1932 - 1937. In the pictures, the borrowed specimen is the one with the two men in it, the others are the units purchased.


In 1934 the army bought a Landsverk L-185, in a modified version, that was able to take the 20 mm Danish Madsen machinegun. It was 2.5 metric tons heavyer than the original, and only able to achieve 45 km/t. Though it was built on a 4x4 Fordson chassis, it wasn't better in terrain than the FP 1 and 2 due to it's high weight. In 1937 the engine broke down, and the vehicle ended up being used for education in 1939.

FP-7 and FP-8

Experience with the FP 6 couldn't have been that bad, though, because in 1935 the army ordered two Landsverk M36 bodies on a German Büssing-chassis'. These were the first true Danish armored cars, and were delivered in 1936. On one of the pictures is seen the rear drivers position and on the other the chains to put on the rear wheels, to make a kind of halftrack in rough terrain. Price: 100.000 Danish Kr each.


The FP-7 and 8 were found satisfactory, but they were expensive. Therefore, the army went looking for a cheaper and smaler 4x4. Alvis Ltd. sent an Alvis-Straussler AC III to Denmark for demonstration in 1937. At that time the army considered both the Alvis and the new Landsverk Lynx. The choise fell on the Lynx, and permission was given to buy three. At the same time the designation went from FP (armored experimental) to PV (armored car), showing, that armor was to be taken seriously from then on. These three cars were recieved in late 1939, and by February a total of 15 more where ordered from Sweden. They were to equip the two cavalry units in Denmark: Jydske Dragon Regiment and Garder Husar Regiment. The German invasion of Denmark in 1940 prevented delivery and all 15 were taken by the Swedish army. None of the five battleworthy armored cars saw action against the Germans on the 9th of April, 1940.

Armored Harley Davidson Motorcycle---Armored Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Armored Harley Davidson Motorcycle

The Danish goverment between the wars was not generous with any military budget. So the army came up with the idea of "The Armored Motorbike". The Swedish factory Landsverk AB built the armor to the drawings made by the Danish army, and it was put on top of a Harley Davidson armed with a light machinegun. This was more than even a Harley could cope with. It was difficult to control on ordinary road, and a 3x1 vehicle with overloaded suspension wasn't impressive in terrain. It was decided to abandon the project. However, Danish motorbikes knocking out German armored cars and light tanks shows, the idea wasn't totally without merit. This was built 1932 and and dropped in 1935. After the trials the army decided to purchase the Danish Nimbus (below).

Nimbus 20mm---Nimbus 20mm

Nimbus 20mm---Nimbus 8mm---Madsen 20mm
Nimbus Motorcycle

The Nimbus was an aircooled, four cylinder motorbike of 750 ccm with 21 hp.The four cylinders were in a row parallel with the bikes length, and it had shaft drive. It was, alongside with BMW, the first motorbike with telescopic forks. The framework wasn't tube, but flat steel bars, riveted together. Topspeed was around 85 km/t with sidecar. The 20mm Madsen machinegun was a scaled up 8mm Madsen machine gun. The 8mm Madsen was developed in the 1890s, and adopted by the Danish army in 1903. It was one of the very first light machineguns, and at the same time very reliable. No one has ever used the same system as in the Madsen. The Madsen had a unique firing system and was rather expensive to make. Like the Nimbus, there were some national pride connected to it.

The gun was attached to the bike, it was in place of the sidecar. It wasn't possible to shoot while driving, so the Danes adopted a hit and run tactic. It was possible to take of the gun, and use it directly from the ground. On the 9th of April most shooting was from the motorbike while stationary beside the road.

The Danish army fought German armored cars and PzKpfw 1 from motorbikes armed with a 20 mm Madsen machinegun on the morning of the 9th of April 1940. The fighting began at 4 o'clock in the morning that day, and at around 8am it was over. The Danes lost 13 men in the fighting, the Germans lost a total of 13 armored cars and two PzKpfw 1 tanks. German Messerschmitt 110s attacked the Danish airforce, which was concentrated on a single airfield. Only one Fokker CV became airborne, and immediately shot down, the rest of the proud Danish airforce was destroyed on the ground.

The Nimbus isn't that well known outside Denmark, even though it was produced from 1932 to 1960.

Photos 1, 2, 3, and 5 show the heavy 20mm Madsen and the Nimbus Motorcycle. Picture 4 shows the Nimbus armed with the 8mm Madsen light MG.

Kim Scholer, editor of Nimbus Tidende [Nimbus Times] writes:

"The Nimbus model C was in production from 1934 to 1960, with a fair number going to the military. In the late 1930's some attempts vere made to sell military versions abroad. One with a regular sidecar and the 8 mm Madsen machine gun was demonstrated to Chiang Kai-Check of China, while the other version with the 20 mm cannon was demonstrated for the military in Brazil. Nothing came of it, though.

The Nimbus factory was also asked to come up with an offer for 70 bikes to the Turkish Army (of which nothing came), while the export order of a sale of roughly 100 Nimbus motorcycles to the Yugoslav Army did materialize. The bikes were not delivered before the German Army had conquered Yugoslavia, but upon finding the relevant documents in a bank vault in Zagreb, the German Army in Denmark requested that the machines be handed over. The ex-Yugoslav Nimbuses were presumably all used in Norway, but it is very possible other Nimbuses saw active duty in the eastern campaign, where Danish volunteers presumably were provided with vehicles - cars, trucks & motorcycles - from the Danish Army. The number of the latter remains unclear.

As the editor of Nimbus Tidende [Nimbus Times] I often get new material about the military Nimbuses. A friend of mine interviewed one of the soldiers who had seen active fighting when the Germans invaded Denmark. The old guy said that they had tried to fire the cannon while still mounted on the sidecar, and breaking all glass (front light, speedo, ammeter) in the process. The outfit's handling with the cannon was none too impressive, not suprising, considering the weight.

Another old soldier, German, handed over a wartime picture of himself and some fellow Wehrmacht soldiers astride a Nimbus outfit. He claimed to have seen, from the saddle of this Nimbus, the onion-shaped tops of the churches in The Kremlin.

Finally the Nimbus has been used as Red Cross escort when bringing home KZ-camp survivors, and the military police under UN command used them in Cyprus."

V3---Photo contribution by Rik Shepherd
The V3

The Danes too had their "V" weapon and wanted vengence! With WW2 approaching the end, Danish underground forces obtained a scraped Ford 2 ton truck and improvised it into an armored car. Finally ready on 5 May 1945, it was composed of steel plates and a steel drum for a turret. The V3 was never used against the occupying German forces as they had surrendered before the V3 was completed, but it was used on one occasion against Danish collaborators in Frederiksvaerk. The vehicle still exists today as a war monument.

Frank Andersen writes:

"The V3 is exhibited at "Frihedsmuseet" (Museum of liberty) in Copenhagen. It has been hit by quite a number of rifle and submachinegun-bullets, as it was used against a werewolf-pack. Groups of Danish Nazis called themselves werewolfs, and wanted to make their own resistance movement against the allies. The same happened in the rest of the liberated Europe, as quite a lot local people had cooperated with the German Veermacht. And they would often have suffered death penalty anyway, so they fought on.

The name "V3" came from the German V1 and V2 rockets, which again took their "V" from Churchill's V-sign. The "V for Victory", was quickly taken over by the resistance movements around Europe as their sign. Goebbels, the German minister of propaganda took the sign and made it his own, a sort of counter-propaganda against all the people, that sympathized with the allies. But as the German word for victory has no V in the beginning, it had to mean "vergeltung" or vengeance. The Danish words for vengeance and the word for victory hasn't got a V, so it was just to use Churchill V and to throw the German V back on the Nazis, that they used the V3. We had the last word."

The following is from a letter by Rik Shepherd:

"We visited Copenhagen at the beginning of last December, where we visited the Danish Resistance museum. The V3 armored car mentioned on your Danish page is exhibited outside the museum (see attached picture). The museum sells a small booklet 'V3 Den danske Panservogn' by Jørgen H. Barford;
this has a number of pictures of the vehicle in which it appears that changing the markings was a bit of a hobby of the crew. I thought you might like some additional information about the vehicle:

The 2-ton Ford truck originally belonged to the Frederiksvaerk-Hundested railway line, the steel plates were obtained from the Frederiksvaerk steel-mill, from ships under repair. The work took two to three months; when the news of the forthcoming capitulation of German troops was announced, the car was not finished, and was secretly moved from the railway repair shop to the steel works. The work was finished as quickly as possible, abandoning secrecy for speed.  After completion it was found that the front armor caused the engine to overheat, so a relatively enormous hole was cut in the front plate; the driver's viewing slit was enlarged so that the driver could actually see out.  A photo of a liberation parade shows the V3 next to an unarmored lorry, and it is obvious that the weight of the armor is seriously affecting the vehicle's suspension.  The car was armed with a bipod mounted light machine gun - which looks like a Bren to me - and the small arms of the crew of 5 or 6.

The Germans had recruited large numbers of Danes to act as terrorist gangs during the war; while German forces capitulated peacefully, the Danes in Nazi service continued to fight in a short, small-scale civil war.  The V3's only combat was the capture of the Lorenzen gang, who were hiding in a summer cabin in Asserbo. The V3 turned up at the cabin, and fired a warning shot at the cabin.  A gang member looked out, panicked, and shot himself in the head.  His bullet, as well as killing him, hit the armored car. The V3 machine gunner opened fire on the house, but stopped when they realized there was no return fire.  The house was stormed and the gang, along with a number of heavy weapons and much ammunition, were captured. There were 18 men and one woman in the house; 1 killed himself, and 2 were killed  and 5 wounded by the V3. After this action the V3 toured Northern Zealand and then Copenhagen on a sort of promotional tour. While the V3 has a number of bullet holes in it, apparently only one of them, in the passenger side door, was from enemy action. The rest are from what Barfod describes as "target practice".  No explanation of why they used their own armored car for target practice is given."

Canadian C15TA, M5 4x4 Panzer. - Photo used by permission of Sten Boye Poulsen Poulsen.
Canadian C15TA, M5 4x4 Panzer

The official Danish designator for his vehicle was M5 4x4 Panzer. Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium received a number of these vehicles after the war. Denmark got 60, which served mostly with the two tank regiments. However, two served with the signal corps. The vehicle was phased out in the late 60's and was replaced by the US M113. There are 10 known vehicles left in Denmark in various states from empty wrecks to fully functional. One was returned to Canada.   Sten Boye Poulsen Poulsen, a former driver of one of these vehicles in the signal corp writes; "then I met it the first time. Served 3 months as crew-member and   9 months as driver. That was in 1963/64. Driving the C15TA was - and still is - hard work and it is still a beast to drive. Poor view and to make matters worse; right hand steering." The nickname of this vehicle "Mosegris" means Water Vole in Denmark. It is unclear what a "Water Vole" is or if this is a correct spelling. It is also unclear if the nickname was applied to all C15TA units. See below for the website of the owner.

Den-warposter.JPG (74127 bytes)

People who helped to make this page possible

Thorleif Olsson
Thorleif Olsson
Author of:
Red Steel ! - Soviet tanks - 1920-1945
Baltic AFV's & Armoured Trains - 1918-1940
SdKfz. 234 - Die geschichte einer legändäre Waffe 1943-45

Sten Boye Poulsen Poulsen
Author of:
C15TA A.K.A. Mosegris

Rik Shepherd

Frank Andersen
Frank Andersen



Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003