so, following on from yesterday's post about the Royal Australian Armoured Corps museum north of Melbourne, here is Part Two.
And this time, it is all about tanks...
So, starting with a modified Caterpillar D7 Bulldozer. It has been modified to become a Beach Assault vehicle, designed to be able to land and complete various engineering tasks, such as recovering bogged down armoured vehicles.
Next up is the LVT-4 equipped with a 75mm howitzer. The howitzer is in the same turret as an M8 Scott Assault Gun, these vehicles were used as fire support for infantry landings. Used by the Auzzies in their landings later in WW2, and also by the USMC.
The LVT-4. Armed with multiple machine guns, these were used to ferry troops as part of amphibious landings. Used in the Pacific and in Europe, and known as the Buffalo and armoured in name only!
Now if you wanted a bit more horsepower than a D7, you could always opt for a modified M3 Grant, modified into a Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle (BARV).
The first tank the Australians really got their hands on- the Vickers light tank. Armed with a 0.5" MG, and very little armour, these were quickly obsolete by the time the Australians acquired them. They started to replace them with captured Italian vehicles, before they could get more modern tanks from the British.
AN M3 Scout Car. The predecessor in a way to the M2 and M3 Halftracks, the White Scout Car was used by all the Allied nations in WW2 pretty much. Put some MG's on it and you have a recce car, add some radios it can be a command vehicle, or just leave it as is and drive some commanders around.
Next up the Staghound Armoured Car. These are a cool, cool vehicle! They are very large for an armoured car, relativly (to an armoured car) well armoured and equipped with a 37mm main gun. The Australians were equipped with them from 1946, but Kiwis, Canadians and British armoured car units had them and used them during World War II.
More Staghound is more good.
An M3 Stuart light tank. Known to the British as the "Honey" (because it is a honey to drive), the Stuart is very fast, owing to a large radial aircraft engine, and next to no armour! Lightly armed, these were recon units in the west, but were more effective as infantry support in the Pacific theatre.
An M3 tank with Lee Turret. Armed with two weapons, a 37mm gun in the turret, and a 75mm in the hull, the Lee/Grant was a stopgap measure to get a higher powered gun (the 75mm) into the war fast, because the Sherman was not yet ready to go.
This time, an M3 with a Grant Turret.
And this time an M3 with a Grant Turret and a bulldozer blade.
This is the Australian Sentinel tank, the only Australian designed and built tank ever. Never saw combat, but served as a crew training tank during the second world war.
Another view of the Sentinel.
A Cromwell Cruiser tank. Note how it still has it's loading instructions for it being shipped over to Australia painted on the side of the turret.
On to Matilda II Infantry tanks now. This is a standard model Matilda II, with a 2pdr in the turret and an MG. These were used by the Australians in the Pacific War, and their heavy armour must have come as a shock to the Japanese!
A Matilda Frog tank. Rather than a 2pdr in the turret, the Frog is equipped with a Flamethrower (for particularly resilient Japanese bunkers)
The strange contraption on the rear of this Matilda is a "hedgehog" mortar battery- 7 tubes of Spigot mortars, for bunker busting! This variant never saw combat, the war ended before it could reach the front lines.
This Matilda has been upgraded with a bulldozer blade on the front. Very useful in hostile terrain!
And from the large, to the very small. A universal carrier. A vehicle of many, many roles, from recon to OP, to flamethrowers to airlandings, the universal carrier truly earns it's name! The auzzies even mounted 2pdrs on the top of them!
The ultimate in British Infantry Tank design, the Churchill Crocodile. With massively heavy armour, a 75mm gun in the turret and a flamethrower fueled by a trailer trundling along behind it, the Crocodile was a weapon feared and hated by the Germans. Certainly both sides tragically had very little mercy for flamethrowers when captured.
No tank collection would be complete without a Sherman M4. Ubiquitous, reliable and mass production at it's finest, the Sherman is an icon of the Allied victory in WW2.
The M24 Chaffee was the replacement for the Stuart. Armed with a bigger gun, but equally as fast as the Stuart, the Chaffee saw service towards the end of WW2, and in Korea.
Type 97 Te-Ke Tankette. Now this thing would have barely fitted me in it, let alone any other crew! The concept of Tankettes makes me feel claustrophobic, and I am not suprised that the design idea did not last long...
The big Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank. Practically dwarfing the tankette next to it, the Chi-Ha was not well thought of by the Allies. Outgunned by the Russians when it first appeared, it was woefully inadequate to engage any American or Australian armour in the Pacific. However, if there were no tanks nearby, the Chi-Ha was a perfectly suitable infantry support tank, being thought of as able to go through any terrain to appear behind the enemy, often catching defensive positions out by a sudden flank attack!
An Australian Centurion Tank. By all counts, a pretty good tank. Certainly at the time they were well thought of, The Israelis used them to a good deal of success against the Syrians, whereas the Australians were using them against the Viet Minh, finding their Splintex (flechette) round very effective....
The in the terrain of Vietnam, you want a bulldozer...
And sometimes you will need a bridge!
The Armoured Corps memorial, complete with Centurion.
The engine deck of the Centurion. This one was under maintenance, couldn't get a clear shot of the engine sadly...
An M113 with .50cal turret. This particular 113 is missing it's engine block, which is why you can see the whole way through!
Another 113, with a different turret this time. The light is doing a really good job of washing the colours out however...
The M113 "Beast" Fire Support Vehicle. Equipped with a Saladin turret, these 113s were for fire support missions for infantry.
Two more M113 FSV. These are equipped with Scimitar turrets, with a 30mm Raden cannon rather than the 75mm from the Saladin. These two are sitting nicely on a deployed bridge.
A Ferret armoured car equipped with two ENTAC AT missiles. These would have been used as light scout vehicles, but once you put the ENTAC missiles on the top they become a highly mobile anti-armour weapon.
A Taipan armoured vehicle.
A Walker-Bulldog tank. American designed and built, used by the ARVN in Vietnam. This one has come from the Kiwis, who had a company (I think) of them post Vietnam.
The Leopard 1A3, just looking cool. After seeing these, it is a foregone conclusion that there will be an Australian list for our 6mm Moderns game...
Another Leopard hull, but this one has a bridge on top!
A close up on a Leopard. There were a lot of Leopards around, it is as if the Australians had just withdrawn them from service and replaced them with the M1A1 or something!
Not a Leopard (thanks Russell), this is a Swedish 91 Tank Destroyer- It can actually float! Some of them were given propellers to make them go even faster on the ocean! All in all, it was an underwhelming Tank Destroyer, the 90mm it is armed with is wholly insufficient in the role.
Leopard with a Mine Plow!
An Australian LAV. an 8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier, armed with a Bushmaster chain gun. Used by multiple armies (including NZ), they are pretty well liked as far as I understand it.
Thats enough for now, it was a seriously large number of tanks!
As for the Australians, well...