Armoured car on rails in Mesopotamia

Indian Pattern Fiat

Originally uploaded by philthydirtyanimal

Philthydirtyanimal has an impressive Flickr collection of “Photos of stuff from The Great War. Photos of stuff from revolutions. Photos of stuff I find interesting”.

This beast certainly falls into two categories. The photo was apparently taken in Mesopotamia during World War I.

According to a discussion on the Landships forum, it is an Indian Pattern Fiat called HMAC Malaya. “There was certainly an Indian Pattern Fiat, adapted to run on rails, in the area! Along with at least two Austin 3rd Series, also adapted for rail work, it formed part of the Railway Armoured Motor Battery. Operated on the line between Basra and Baghdad.”

The Landships forum also has a picture of some motorised rail ambulances.

2 thoughts on “Armoured car on rails in Mesopotamia

  1. This is most interesting as two Fiat armoured cars formed of a flying column with a cavalry brigade under Major General John Mellis during the Battle of Ctesiphon, the intention being to outflank the second line of Turkish defences. Unfortunately, these extended further than had been expected and the Flying Column found itself successfully fighting off Turkish and Arab cavalry. The British cavalry joined in the general withdrawal to Kut-al-Amara. Neither car appears to have been lost and both seem to have taken part in the withdrawal from Kut itself and did not fall into the Turks’ hands when the position surrendered. The later armoured car element of the British army in Mesopotamia consisted mainly of Rolls Royces organised in LAMBS
    (lIGHT armoured motor batteries). I suspect that at least one of the Fiats was put to railway work, for which they were better suited. Look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Hi Bryan,
    I would be interested to know your source on stating the Armoured Cars at Ctesiphon were Fiats. I have carried out extensive research on the subject and have yet to find any substantial evidence to prove the origin of these cars.

    Best Regards,


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