Landsverk L180, L181 and L182

The Landsverk L-180, L-181 and L-182 are a family of armored cars developed by the Swedish company AB Landsverk during the interwar years. They had a good international reputation for being fast, robust and reliable and were acquired in small numbers by Denmark, Estonia, Ireland and the Netherlands, among others.

Landsverk L180, L181 and L182
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer AB Landsverk
Origin Sweden
Country Name Origin Year
Sweden 1933
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Denmark View
Estonia View
Finland View
Germany View
Lithuania View
Netherlands View
Russia (USSR) View
Sweden 1933 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
AB Landsverk View

The different variants were similarly configured, but were built on different chassis; Büssing-NAG, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler-Benz truck chassis.

Armament

These vehicles were also similarly armed, most commonly with a Bofors 37 mm or 20 mm Madsen autocannon but was also manufactured with other similar guns. The only exception, Finland, bought one L-182 and armed it with a 13.2 mm L-35/36 machine gun. 

Engine

In the same way, as several different chassis were used, different engines were also used, and where the make of the engine is known, they were manufactured by the same company as the chassis.

Denmark

The two L-180 ordered in 1935 and delivered in 1936, were used by the Army Technical Corps of the Danish Army under the designation FP-7 and FP-8.

Estonia

The only L-180 was acquired by Estonia in 1937, were used by the Tallinn Police.

Finland

The L-182 was bought for testing in 1936, it was used by the armored unit of the Ratsuväkiprikaati (English: Cavalry Brigade) and saw limited service in the Winter War. Next, the armored unit of 1. Divisioona (English: 1st Division) employed it, in the Continuation War in 1941, already with the original 13.2 mm L-35/36 machine gun replaced by the 20 mm L-39 anti-tank rifle, conversion made approximately in December 1940. It seems that the armored car was out of service in late 1941 and was scrapped in 1945.

Ireland

Ireland ordered its first two Landsverk L-180s in 1937 and these were delivered the following year. Six more were then ordered and they were delivered in 1939. A further five were ordered but could not be delivered because of the outbreak of the World War II, these five were used instead by the Swedish army. Irish Landsverk L-180s where armed with a Madsen 20mm Cannon and two Madsen .303 Machine Guns. The Madsen machine guns where replaced with .30 Browning machine guns in the 1950s and the 20mm cannon was replaced in the 1970s with Hispano-Suiza 20mm cannons take from former Irish Air Corps De Havilland Vampire jets. In the 1950s the Landsverks engines were replaced with 5,195cc Ford V8 type 317 petrol developing 155 hp at 3,200rpm. All Irish Landsverks belonged to the 1st Armoured Squadron and used alongside the Irish built Leyland and Dodge Armoured Cars until they re-equipped with Panhard AML armoured cars in 1972. The Landsverks were then transferred to the reserve FCA units, five going to the 11th Motor Squadron and three to the 3rd Motor Squadron until they were all retired in the 1980s.

Lithuania

The Lithuanian Army used the six L-181 ordered in 1933 and delivered in 1934.

Nazi Germany

The L-180s from the Danish and Dutch armies were captured and used by the German Army for reconnaissance tasks, patrol and training, being called Panzerspähwagen L 202 (h). The Dutch L-181s were also captured and put to service by the Ordnungspolizei for security duties.

Netherlands

The Dutch Army bought 13 L-180 in 1938, although it could have been delivered 14 L-180, including two as armored command vehicles without armament From Landsverk AB were also purchased 12 turrets. The command variant used two special turrets. The command vehicles were used on the two armored squadrons, with one vehicle each. The L-180s were designated Pantserwagen M-38. Netherlands also purchased 12 L-181 and designated them as Pantserwagen M-36.

Sweden

The five L-180 originally ordered by Ireland and not delivered, were used by the Swedish army under the designation Pansarbil m/41 (Pbil m/41). These vehicles had the Swedish-version of Landsverk Lynx turret with the Bofors 20 mm akan m/40 automatic cannon, instead of the Madsen automatic cannon on Irish vehicles or the more common turret armed with a Bofors 37 mm gun.

Soviet Union

Probably the armored cars from Estonia and Lithuania were captured during the Soviet occupation of 1940.

Type Armored car
Place of origin  Sweden
Service history
In service 1933-1980s


Wars World War II
Production history
Designer AB Landsverk
Manufacturer AB Landsverk
Specifications
Weight 7,825 kg (17,251 lb)
Length 5.86 m (19.2 ft)
Width 2.24 m (7 ft 4 in)
Height 2.28 m (7 ft 6 in)
Crew 5 — commander, driver, gunner, artilleryman and loader
Armor 9mm front and sides, 5mm top, 15mm turret
Main
armament
Bofors 37 mm or Madsen 20mm
Secondary
armament
2 × Madsen 7.7mm
Engine Büssing-NAG L8V V8-cylinder petrol (L-180)
180 hp
Transmission 3-speed gearbox
Fuel capacity 120 liter
Operational
range
288 km (179 mi)
Speed 80 km/h (50 mph)

End notes