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Armoured cars were first used by the British Army for the policing of distant colonial outposts. By the outbreak of First World War the allies in Europe were using armour-plated, open-topped vehicles with machine guns or other light guns or artillery pieces. The most popular British car was the Napier that was first produced in 1912. The design consisted of a number of alternative bodies which enabled the chassis to be adapted quickly for different roles
Armoured cars were used on the Western Front but they were limited in trench warfare because they could not handle very uneven terrain. The British army used armoured cars with great success in Palestine and in Mesopotamia where they were deployed in what had previously been the Cavalry role of outflanking and pursuit.