Author Topic: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration  (Read 22462 times)

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Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:58:18 PM »
A thread for your Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration.

Tetrarch:



M22 Locust:

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 02:04:32 PM »
To begin with,  what about an infantry support/assault gun version of the Tetrarch?  Maybe remove the turret and put something like a short barrelled 75mm gun.  I suppose something between the standard Tetrarch and the Alecto (see below):

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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 02:49:52 PM »
The Alecto with the 95mm How was always an attractive vehicle IMO:



Pretty useless but still attractive...

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 06:02:28 AM »
Random idea:  M22 Locust fitted with the 3.45 inch RCL:


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Offline Kerick

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 01:34:52 AM »
Better mount it on the roof!! :o

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 02:28:12 AM »
That would be the plan…or perhaps to the sides.  Maybe even remove the turret altogether.
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 10:53:43 AM »
Reloading under fire might be a bit of a problem.

Offline jcf

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 11:33:46 AM »
Reloading under fire might be a bit of a problem.

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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2014, 02:10:50 PM »
 Whatever you say, babe...   ;)

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 02:54:07 AM »
Reloading under fire might be a bit of a problem.

Nobody said it would be perfect.  In fact, I often like the 'imperfect" since it is arguably more realistic.

That aside, there might be ways to alleviate the issue such as gun shields.
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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2014, 03:43:53 AM »
Reloading under fire might be a bit of a problem.
Nobody said it would be perfect.  In fact, I often like the 'imperfect" since it is arguably more realistic.

That aside, there might be ways to alleviate the issue such as gun shields.
With that argument you could just mount two of those things at the rear of the vehicle so you have the option of blasting [boosting] the vehicle out of any spot it may get stuck in :)
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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2014, 04:24:21 AM »
 ;D
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Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2014, 01:39:29 AM »
"We like to be able to get out of a situation faster then we got into it"  ;)
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 01:54:22 PM »
So, I've also been studying the idea of airborne armor for my "What If" TOE recently, and I came to the unsurprising conclusion that both the M22 Locust and the Tetrarch sucked. The problem is that, given the 7 ton weight limit imposed by the Hamilcar glider, how do you get much better? Well, the short answer is that it isn't easy. Seven tons isn't much to play with. Both the PzKpfw II and the T-26, for example, were around 9 tons—too heavy. Fortunately, the vehicle that I think could have been the answer to this problem was one that I'd already selected as my early war tank destroyer—the Skoda Š-I-j (successor to the Skoda Š-I-D).



Now, you could use the vehicle as-is and I think it would've been superior to either the Locust or the Tetrarch. I think, however, that with a couple of modifications you could arrive at an even better vehicle. I put 7.5cm StuK 37 "Stummel" on it in place of the A9J 47mm main gun, raised the superstructure slightly, and gave it a German-style cupola. Other than that, I just swapped out the horn for a light and installed an MG 34 in place of the existing machine gun. Obviously, if you were going for Allied-only weapons, you could just as easily go for the M3 75mm howitzer and an M1919A4 or BESA.



So, what does this nifty little vehicle get you? Well, 30mm frontal armor, for one. It gives you far superior HE support than the Locust and Tetrarch. It is lighter, better protected, and smaller in every dimension. It also requires fewer crew.

What are the disadvantages? Well, it certainly couldn't carry quite as much main gun ammunition, but you could at least bum some more rounds off your airborne artillery since they share the same ammo.



It also lacks the turret of the other two tanks, is slower, and forces the commander to load and fire the main gun. Still, you only need to keep up with paratroopers (who are walking), you get that nice 75mm howitzer, and double the armor of the Locust or Tetrarch. I think it's a very good trade-off, personally.

Cheers,

Logan

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2014, 06:12:55 PM »
Since these were Recce vehicles, my thoughts are do away with the 2pdr and perhaps go for a Polsten Auto Cannon in a lighter turret, even open topped.

With perhaps a CS version with the Pack 75mm Howitzer.

Advantages being commonality of ammo with other Airborne weapons, mobility with tracks, armoured protection plus speed.
May have made a lot of difference on the run to the Arnhem Bridge.


Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2014, 06:46:44 PM »
For an airborne armoured vehicle, I'd accept that a tank is pointless.  Tanks are really only useful on the advance and airborne forces invariably drop on their target or nearby and then occupy them until relieving forces arrive (if they do).   You'd be better off with an SP AT Gun, preferably the most powerful that can be mounted.   Therefore I'd suggest either the Alecto with a 6 Pdr or perhaps a lengthened one with a 17 Pdr. perhaps firing rearwards like the Archer tank destroyer.  If you could carry an Archer it would be ideal but that would require the Allies to develop something as big as a Me321 Gigant or alternatively capture an airfield and fly it in suspended under a heavy transport plane (as the US Army planned to do with the Locust originally).

The real problem is of course that such a vehicle is going to be very lightly armoured indeed and won't really be able to slug it out with proper tanks if it doesn't get a kill with the first few shots.

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2014, 01:47:42 AM »
The problem with most of these concepts is that they're too heavy. The Alecto, for instance, was too heavy. Most vehicles were, even ones that may surprise you.

For example, the M5 Cletrac, SU-76, and postwar M56 Scorpion are all surprisingly too heavy to have made it in a Hamilcar. Even light tanks like the PzKpfw II, T-26, T-70, Ha-Go, and Harry Hopkins are also too heavy.

7 tons is not a lot of weight to play with when it comes to AFVs.





I wonder if the Straussler conversion of the 17-pdr was light enough for a Hamilcar. I imagine it was light enough, but I also bet it was too wide. Still, that's not a bad way to go. That's how the Soviets planned to give their Cold War airborne forces AT guns. They look silly, but that's how you get mobile high-caliber AT guns to airborne forces.



So, what is light enough? Well, the 7.5cm PaK 40/4 auf RSO is light enough to work and actually looks pretty nifty, too. Unfortunately, its users generally hated it. While it looks moderately fast, it was actually very slow and incredibly loud. It was also much higher profile than the anti-tank gun. Finally, it would almost certainly have been too heavy if you tried to put a 17-pdr on it, instead.



What else is there? Well, my favorite option for a tracked, self-propelled anti-tank gun using a good chassis and WWII technology would be a Loyd Carrier with a 6-pdr. Here's a 25-pdr that they actually tried, so it's well within the capabilities of WWII designers.



More representative of the concept, however, is the Belgian post-war CATI 90 conversion of the Loyd Carrier.



While the Mecar 90 wouldn't have been available, the 6-pdr would've worked in its place. The downside is the complete lack of armor. The upside is the light weight, decent speed, small size, and commonality with the Universal Carriers used by British airborne divisions.

Here's another modification of the Skoda Š-I-j with a more angled front superstructure, like the Hetzer. It would still have nearly vertical sides.



It definitely has a bit of an SdKfz 140/1 Aufklärungspanzer 38(t) mit 7.5 cm KwK37 L/24 look to it. Sort of a scaled-down version. As for its AT firepower, the 75mm short howitzers could fire a respectable HEAT round in WWII and the US airborne forces knocked out StuG IIIs in Operation Varsity with these 75mm HEAT rounds fired from the M20 75mm recoilless rifle.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2014, 03:28:36 AM »
I like the Universal Carrier options, how about that with add on armour that is flown in separately and fitted in the field.  A bit like some of the M-8 Bufort concepts.

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2014, 04:01:55 AM »
Yeah, there's a number of issues with that concept, but I think one of the biggest hurdles is just the weight limit of the Universal and Loyd Carrier chassis. I love those little carriers, but it was easy to overload them. They really were light vehicles.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2014, 08:51:59 AM »
What about using a T16 carrier, instead?  Yes, 7.5 tons is a serious limitation BUT you could overcome that by hypothesising a larger glider.  It need not be quite as big as a Gigant and if you upped the weight limit to 15 tons you could fit an Archer, which was quite a good tank destroyer and perhaps the smallest you could put a 17 Pdr on IMO.

The motorised AT guns would also be useful but Strassler purposely widened the wheel track for a reason, to improve stability.  Most towed AT guns had speed limitations imposed on them because of their narrow wheeltracks (and poor suspensions).  As it was, with the airborne 17 Pdrs the towing vehicle (initially a lightweight 15 Cwt truck and later an M5 half track) had to travel in a separate glider to the gun.   So, if you lose your towing vehicle your gun is useless and stuck on the LZ.

Part of the problem as to how silly the powered AT guns look, I believe is because instead of creating a completely new gun, designed around the engine (as done on the G6 and FH70 155mm guns), they adapted an existing gun carrier to motor power, with the result it always looked rather cobbled together.

Go with the recoilless rifle, that way you trade gun weight and can use that instead for armour, for a give sized gun.   Problem is, neither of the Allies' recoilless systems allowed long barrel lives, however thats primarily a peacetime consideration, rather than a wartime one.

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2014, 11:28:09 AM »
General Zod (Chad) and I were bouncing some ideas around in a live chat this evening on the subject of the M22 Locust.  It all started with his post about what he should take up for his next project.  The original idea I had shared came when I was looking at the M22 Locust in profile and realized  the Locust turret looked a lot like the low-bustle turret of the M4 Sherman except smaller.  From that the ideas expanded to cover the one suggested to General Zod in his own topic about using the turret from the M8 Scott Howitzer Motor Carriage on the M22 Locust hull to create a lower profile 75mm HMC for airborne and air-landing forces that could be carried by gliders and cargo aircraft of that time period. 

So for the purpose of consolidation of the various ideas discussed between Chad and myself, I provide the following ideas:

Fire support -
M22 Locust hull with the turret from the M8 Scott 75mm HMC (Howitzer Motor Carriage).  If the M22 could handle the recoil of the 37mm gun then it should be able to handle the recoil forces of the 75mm howitzer. 

Improved light tank -
M22 Locust hull with a 1:48th scale T23 type turret from an M4A3 (76) suitably modified on top for 1:35th scale hatches that could then mount a 57mm size gun in the enclosed turret.  Though in real life this might not be possible I think it would be an excellent looking what-if concept for someone that has the time and resources to build it. 

Air defense or reconnaissance -
M22 Locust hull fitted with the Mk 17 machine gun mount (as used on the PT boats) to create an air defense vehicle.  The Mk17 machine gun mount was tested on the M5 Stuart light tank hull for anyone wondering about the practicality of the idea.  The M3 Stuart was fitted with the M45 Machine Gun Mount (aka Quad Mount).  The Yugoslavian Partisians modified Stuarts to carry the 20mm FlaK 38 Vierling and the 75mm PaK 40. 

Infantry carrier and command vehicle -
M22 Locust hull with turret removed and the superstructure from the M20 Armored Car attached to create a small compartment to hold troops and a .50 Browning machine gun in a rotating ring mount.  As a command vehicle it would carry the necessary radio communications equipment for command and control.  As an infantry carrier it might be able to carry one infantry squad or if the hole in the hull was made larger and more rectangular in shape, maybe a few more will fit inside. 

Mortar carrier -
M22 Locust hull fitted with 3.0" Mortar (UK) or the 81mm Mortar (US) to create a tracked Motorized Mortar Carrier (MMC).  The T9E2 81mm Motorized Mortar Carrier was developed from the M22 Locust and tested but did not go into production.  So what if it had gone into production?  Certainly worth considering.  As to how the mortar was mounted, I guess that is up to the person that takes this idea and tries to build it.   

Bulldozer and artillery prime mover -
M22 Locust hull fitted with a bulldozer blade kit.  Apparently the M5 Stuart was modified  to mount a bulldozer blade (no idea which M-number blade kit) and the turret was usually removed for this purpose.  So what if the Locust was produced as an artillery prime mover and engineer vehicle with a bulldozer blade mounted and the turret removed.  Granted the payload would be limited by the space available to carry a small amount of ammunition and equipment for the piece being towed.  If the Stuart could be turned into a prime mover for certain types of artillery I see no reason to not consider something similar for the Locust as a what if artillery prime mover and engineer vehicle. 


Recoilless rifle carrier -
M22 Locust armed with two or four recoilless rifles in an arrangement similar to that found on the M50 Ontos

Cold war reconnaissance vehicle -
M22 Locust fitted with a 20mm or 30mm cannon to serve as an airborne armored reconnaissance vehicle.  Perhaps mounting the turret from the Fox or Scimitar on the Locust hull? 

Cold war fire support vehicle -
M22 Locust fitted with a 76mm low-velocity gun from the Alvis Saladin or the Scorpion light tank.  Maybe mount the Saladin or Scorpion turret on the Locust hull? 

Feel free to contribute your own ideas for what if vehicles based on the Locust. 





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« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 11:30:03 AM by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2014, 11:44:09 AM »
Some of the ideas have merit but one thing that must be considered is width and height of the glider fuselage which is to carry these vehicles, Jeffrey.  Some of the one's you're suggesting look to me like they'd exceed those limitations.

I can't see much use for them, in the sorts of airborne operations that eventuated in NW Europe, where the airborne forces didn't operate beyond the range of friendly air cover and weren't on the ground long enough to be contemplating highly mobile operations where gun tractors with dozer blades, reconnaissance vehicles and so on were really needed.

In the Far East however, in central Burma or eastern China perhaps, where Chindit type operations did occur, then yes, they could be useful.   Operating outside fighter cover and in relatively open terrain terrain, such vehicles might be useful and help in the capture and consolidation of airstrips such as happened during the Chindit operations.  Of course, if the Allies had fully backed Wingate as much as he'd wanted, then you'd have seen heavy transport aircraft and heavy gliders flying in and out of the airstrips they established deep behind enemy lines.

Online Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2014, 01:01:38 PM »
You must be Moriarty's love child, always with the negativity.  A few ideas shared on a rather mundane little tank model that some folks might not find appealing to them so maybe a what-if idea could spark some interest.  I DNGAS about the size issues as I did not specify that the Locust would be carried in a glider, it could arrive by airship for all I care.  Maybe it could have been used by the French at Dien Bien Phu instead of the M24 Chaffee?  Maybe it was delivered by an aircraft capable of carrying it intact to safely land and discharge it on the ground to ensure it got there in one piece. 
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2014, 01:37:51 PM »
Recoilless rifle carrier -
M22 Locust armed with two or four recoilless rifles in an arrangement similar to that found on the M50 Ontos.




A turretless M22 Locust with a pintle-mounted M20 recoilless rifle seems the most plausible to me, especially in a late WWII scenario. The M22 was still in the inventory in 1945 when the 75mm recoilless rifles were first used in combat during Operation Varsity.

Cheers,

Logan

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Re: Tetrarch and Locust Light Tank Ideas and Inspiration
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2014, 10:48:02 AM »
Recoilless rifle carrier -
M22 Locust armed with two or four recoilless rifles in an arrangement similar to that found on the M50 Ontos.
A turretless M22 Locust with a pintle-mounted M20 recoilless rifle seems the most plausible to me, especially in a late WWII scenario. The M22 was still in the inventory in 1945 when the 75mm recoilless rifles were first used in combat during Operation Varsity.

Cheers,

Logan
Apparently in real life Locust was acquired by civilian farmers and operated without the turret as an agricultural tractor.  So anything is possible. 
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