Author Topic: Antipodean Armourfest!  (Read 8072 times)

Offline Volkodav

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Antipodean Armourfest!
« on: April 01, 2014, 05:36:38 PM »
This is some pure silliness I came up with today. 

Instead of being light Infantry centric (due I suspect to do politically driven preference relating to lower costs) the Australian Army inexplicably becomes absolutely armour mad.  Not just lots of armoured vehicles but lots of different types of armoured vehicles even to the point of maintaining different types / makes of MBTs in different units.  The RAAC has its Tank heavy Armoured Brigades with different vehicles in the regular and reserve brigades.  The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) has an Armoured Support Company in each battalion with MBT/CS, AT/DFS and rec platoons.  The Cavalry deploys regiments of medium, light, tracked and wheeled varieties along with regular and reserve regiments having different equipment too.  There is Australian Parachute Regiment (APR) airborne brigade with their own unique light armour and also the Royal Australian Marines with their own as well.

The Cavalry in particular could be divided into Horse, Dragoons, Lancers, Hussars, Light Horse, Mounted Rifles and Mounted Infantry; each with its own organization and table of equipment to fill a specific imagined role within the ADFs ORBAT.

When all is said and done I recon I could get almost any western AFV into ADF markings somewhere in this hodge podge collection of heavy metal.  By 1970 there could be Chieftains and Centurions in the Armoured Brigades with CVR(T) in support; S Tanks and M-48s in the RAR; Leo 1 & 2, AMX 30, Jagtpanzer Kanon, Lynx, AMX 10RC AMX-13, Sheridan etc. (and many more) in CAV, M-60, M-41 ;) in the RAM........

Why you ask? Well.....ummmmm.......just cos.....

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 03:58:27 AM »
Do you have an idea for the OoB/ToE for this concept?





OoB = Order of Battle
ToE = Table of Organization [and] Equipment
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 04:38:05 AM »
Working on it, and the back story too.

Basically it starts in WWII as a necessity, using what you have where you have it, with different types of units developing different orbats and tactics around what they can lay their hands on at the time.  Then rather than consolidating and reorganizing along a common structure each of the different types of battle group becomes a type of battalion, regiment,or brigade in its own right with old equipment replaced with new.

I will probably need a spreadsheet to make sense of it all.

Another way to look at it,in particular with the Cavalry, is each unit is an independent regiment in its own right extending this to it's equipment as well as its uniforms.  Each is funded and supported from a separate bucket of money.

 

Offline deathjester

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 05:05:28 AM »
Hmm, interesting - is that going to be like different states supplying their own units from their state budgets?  Rather than from a central purchasing office / department?

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 08:02:10 AM »
Central funding but not necessarily central procurement for major items.  Probably a fit form and function commonality, common calibres etc but not common vehicles.  Maybe a funding model that purchases the equipment plus an additional quantity for attrition, spares etc. for a set service life.  After ten years the inventory is reviewed and the equipment upgraded or replaced and the attrition and spares replenished accordingly.

It will probably be a hybrid set up where the Armoured Brigades, RAR, APR, RAM and Divisional Cavalry Regiments are part of the standing army (both regular and reserve elements) and are equipped according to role.  The remainder of the Cavalry remains part of the Militia with each Regiment being funded and equipped separately depending on role and geography.

The idea with the armoured support company within the RAR for instance was a deployed battalion managed to obtain a troop of CS Matildas, a troop of Light Tank Mk IV and a troop / platoon of AT guns.  This works and the battalion hangs onto them and other battalions duplicate the capability, by the end of the war it has morphed into an Armoured Support Company consisting CS Platoon with Churchill MkVIII Crocodiles, an AT platoon with Archers, a rec platoon with M-24s and a service platoon with Universal carriers and half tracks in each line battalion.  By Korea the line battalions had been replaced by the RAR with the Armoured Support Company remaining the same except for the Archers being replaced with an indigenous casemate type TD.  By Vietnam the Churchills had been replaced with Centurion MkVs, the carriers and halftracks with M-113 and by the 80/90s it would have been Leopards, S-Tanks, MRVs and M-113.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 08:41:41 PM »
W-o-h! :icon_surprised:

snip... M-60, M-41 ;) in the RAM...snip

Why, thank you! :))
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2014, 04:57:58 AM »
Speaking of Australian ArmourůCaptured Italian Armato M13/40 (far left) and M11/39 (middle and right) tanks being used by the Australian 6th Division Cavalry Regiment during the capture of Tobruk:

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2014, 11:19:14 PM »
That photo is vaguely familiar, thanks for posting.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 09:09:41 AM »
That photo is vaguely familiar, thanks for posting.

That would be because it's quite famous.  It and a couple of others were my justification for fielding an armoured squadron for my Western Desert division when I used to wargame.  ;)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 09:22:04 AM »
My Tamiya Carro Armato M13/40 came with decals for those markings - I may even use them ... but perhaps not as intended. ;)
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 01:15:42 AM »
Late WWII the RAAC is expanded to support the 2nd AIF 1st Armoured Corp which is evolved and specifically re-equipped for the invasion of Japan.  Its main vehicle type is the US produced M-11 Churchill Heavy Tank, a slightly wider, more powerful, faster, better armed and more reliable US built version of the British Churchill Infantry Tank.  Although the US Army issued vehicles used the 76mm HV gun and 105mm howitzer in addition to the standard 75mm gun those issued to the Australian 1 ARMD Corp were rearmed as they were to serve as the core of the British Commonwealth component of the invasion force.  As such the Australian versions were armed with the 17pdr, 25pdr and the 75mm guns of the RAC. 

The same calibres were shared with the Australian AC4 that was the main cruiser tank used by Commonwealth forces in the Pacific Theatre.  The AC4, re-armed with US 76 and 105mm guns were supplied to US Army and Marine units in the Pacific in reverse lend lease, freeing up additional Shermans for the European Theatre.  The AC4 and later AC5 were the mainstay of the RAACs independent Armoured Cavalry Regiments, the Australian Horse that served initially as Corps level reconnaissance but later at divisional level including one Australian Horse ACR to provide heavy armoured support to each of the Light Divisions raised post war (predominantly reserve formations with significant regular cadres to maintain skill levels and preparedness).  The Light Divisions were the Light Division made up predominantly of the Australian Light Infantry (ALI), the Airborne Division with the Australian Parachute Regiment (APR), the Pacific Island Division with the Pacific Island Regiment (PIR) and of course the Royal Australian Marines (RAM).  There was also the Australian Light Horse, Light Cavalry Regiments, independent Squadrons and cadres, regular and reserve, that covered a plethora of armoured support roles, including light reconnaissance, NBC reconnaissance, COIN, Civil security, anti-tank, APC, desert warfare, mountain warfare, amphibious warfare, arctic warfare, and airborne operations.  These units used a variety of historical and significant names including, Mounted Rifles, Mounted Infantry, Lancers, Hussars, Light Dragoons and Dragoons.  Some regiments were granted Royal, some (those assigned to BAOR post war) were called Guards, a few had both Royal and Guards. For example the RAAC ACR assigned to BAOR was the Royal Australian Horse Guards and included a ceremonial mounted Squadron with Troops in London and Canberra as well as the Royal Australian Dragoon Guards an Armoured Infantry Regiment providing the battalions for the armoured brigades assigned to BAOR.  The Lancers were predominantly tank or anti-tank, while the Hussars were reconnaissance and the Mounted Rifles were tracked APC, the Mounted Infantry were wheeled APC, and Dragoons were Armoured Infantry and the Light Dragoons were Mechanised Infantry.

Japans surrender following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sees 1 Armd Corp reduced in size to two armoured divisions, one in Japan as part of the occupation force and the other returned to Australia to form the new regular army.  By the start of the Korean war in 1950 both have been reduced to single regular armoured brigades 1 Bde in Japan (subsequently serving with distinction in Korea) and the 2 Bde in Australia, with another two reserve armoured brigades being raised in Australia.  Following the Korean War 1 Bde became part of the UN security force stationed in South Korea to guarantee the peace.

The M-3 Medium Tanks that had been earmarked for Australia were instead supplied to the USSR due, in part, to Australia's needs at that point of the war having already been met by the indigenous AC1 and AC3 Cruiser Tanks.  With Japans entry to the war the planned deployment of Australian Armoured Divisions to the Middle East was delayed and when it was finally went ahead in late 1942, following the return of to Australia of two of the three Infantry Divisions from North Africa, the decision to re-equip the divisions with Shermans had already been made.  Ironically later in 1943, due to Australia's manpower shortage, it was decided that the entire 2nd AIF, including the Infantry Divisions in the Pacific Theatre, so recently converted to Jungle or Light Infantry Divisions, should be mechanised for the invasion of Japan to make better offensive use of the personnel available. 

In addition to 1 Corps in the Pacific the 1st and 3rd Armoured Divisions serving in North Africa and then Italy were redeployed to England in early 1944 and joined by the 2nd Armoured Division and the NZ Armoured Division to form the ANZAC or in this case the Australian and New Zealand Armoured Corps for the invasion of Europe.  This formation was equipped with UK spec Churchills, Cromwells and Archers, and later in 1945 began to re-equip with Comets and Black Princes.  These were the main vehicles they retained when downsized to the ANZAC Armoured Division post war as they took up their new assignment with BAOR that was maintained through until 1994.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 01:58:29 AM »
One to confuse someůmaybe ;):

« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 11:29:46 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 01:59:34 AM »
And getting back on track:

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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 02:13:54 AM »
One to confuse someůmaybe ;):

Seems to be a Freccia.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 12:02:36 PM »
All I can see is "this image is current unavailable"...

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2014, 11:30:17 AM »
All I can see is "this image is current unavailable"...

Fixed
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2014, 11:30:45 AM »
And another view of the M1A1:

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Offline raafif

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2014, 01:58:24 PM »
"It was a bonza idea of yours to dump that extra armour & mount the slabs of beer, mate ! Now we won't haft'a wait for the supply trucks to catch us up."

« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 02:05:24 PM by raafif »

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2014, 08:31:39 PM »
"It was a bonza idea of yours to dump that extra armour & mount the slabs of beer, mate ! Now we won't haft'a wait for the supply trucks to catch us up."




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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2015, 02:15:20 PM »
Weird ideas rattling around in my head again, at least the voices have gone.

How about a couple of quite minor changes in WWI and between the wars. 

First Lt Gen Harry Chauvel is able to obtain tanks, armoured cars and armoured lorries in sufficient numbers to reequip a brigade of the Desert Mounted Corps by late 1917.  As successful as the horse cavalry are the armoured and mechanised brigade is even more so, in fact so successful is the integration of armour, motorisation, aviation and traditional cavalry that the fiction that the Arabs captured Damascus is impossible to engineer as the whole world witnesses the combined arms campaign that captures not just Palestine and Syria but also most of Turkey south of the Dardanelles.

In France Monash is not only delivering on his immensely successful, precise, planned to the minute battles, but has secured significant equipment to create a tank corps, converting five AIF infantry brigades into motor brigades to provide each division with its own organic tanks, armoured cars and troop transport, also dramatically expanding the AFC to provide direct support to the Australian Corps.  This had the effect of dramatically reducing casualties, while even further increasing their successes, in the last year of the war meaning Australian forces were able to remain at the forefront through to Armistice, gaining much greater recognition than they actually did.

Finally, armed with the proven effect of combined arms operations and evidence that it could actually provide Australias military, with its limited man power, much greater combat effect, the government listens to Monash and Chauvel when they recommend the formation of a standing motorised / mechanised army.  The AIF becomes the standing army and although greatly reduced in size, is fully motorised and partially mechanised over the next two decades.  Initially the 1st and 2nd Brigades, including their organic armour become regular, as do a number of other individual infantry, Light Horse, artillery, engineer and other regiments and battalions.  Remaining units are reserve for the rest of the 1st Division and 1st Light Horse Brigade being at the highest level and fully manned with large full time elements, while the remainder of the AIF is maintained at least cadre strength.

Additionally back in Australia a visionary industrialist, Edward James Devlin of Melbourne and his partners had dramatically expanded the embryonic lorry, coach and engine building division of their company, Devlin Holdings, Devlin Automotive, to not only licence produce regular cars and lorries but also design and manufacture armoured cars and armoured lorries.  Additionally Devlin ramped up a munitions arm, and as a matter of some urgency secured mining leases in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia, where massive iron ore reserves had been found in the 1880s, as well as large copper reserves in central South Australia, to feed the nations factories and the war effort.  While much of this came to fruition too late to contribute to the war it came to drive the growth of robust local automotive, transport, construction, mining, refining, shipping, shipbuilding and other industries with associated growth in road, rail and transport which inturn drove major road, rail and port projects through until rearmament took over in the late thirties.  Ironically a major export partner emerged in Japan, originally for ore and primary produce but also to a lessor degree manufactured goods, there was very real concern over Japans expansionist tendencies but overall it was considered more beneficial to work with them than to isolate them.

During the war substantial numbers of vehicles, munitions and raw materials were exported to, not only by the AIF and British Commonwealth Forces, but also by the US, French and Italians.  Armoured cars and lorries, in particular, were supplied in their tens of thousands directly to the United States as they had nothing comparable anywhere near production.  The 1929 Wall Street crash was a major shock but the infra structure programs were already underway and were more expensive to stop than continue, which meant the associated employment continued which kept the economy as a whole going.  Basically these projects drove immigration and population growth, so while times were hard, Australia suffered a series of recessions rather than a depression, the biggest factor in this was, instead of a crippling war debt, Australia was debt free and owed money by other nations, the main issue was the debtors were struggling to pay causing cash flow issues.

Back onto armour, the 2nd AIF is formed as in reality but as the 1st AIF still exists as a standing army and its reserve the 2nd AIF is named the Australian Expeditionary Force (as in the British Expeditionary Force) and its subordinate formations and units are numbered consecutively from the existing AIF formations and units, i.e. 61 Battalion, 16th Brigade, 6th Division AEF instead of 2/1 Australian Infantry Battalion.  As in reality the AEF is initially deployed to Palestine but the 8th Division is sent to the UK instead of Malaya, where as a matter of urgency, following the sock collapse of France, the 8th in the UK and 1 Corps in Palestine are converted from Infantry to Motor Infantry as quickly as possible.  This is achieved through reorganising the original four battalion per brigade establishment to three battalion brigades British establishments with the three spare battalions being converted to infantry tank battalions, thus each AEF (and subsequently AIF) division gains an infantry tank brigade, while the divisional cavalry are converted into cruiser, light tank, or armoured car regiments.  The AIF cavalry, long converted to armoured cars and lorries, gain cruiser tanks, tracked and half track APCs.

Post war armour is reorganised into six main steams.
- Armoured Cavalry with fast universal tanks (Comets / AC4/5 then Leopards), Kangaroo type Cavalry Fighting Vehicles, and tracked support elements including SPGs, tracted mortars, engineering vehicles etc.
- Cavalry with armoured cars and wheeled CFVs (Saladin, Saracen etc. then more modern types through to Centauro Ferricias etc.)
- Army Tank Brigade with five battalions of the Armoured Regiment Infantry tanks then MBTs (Churchill
- Royal Australian Regiment with an armoured support company in each battalion including fast universal tanks, SP tank destroyers / assault guns etc.
- Light Cavalry Regiment to support light forces (airborne and light infantry brigades)
- Marine Armoured Regiment to support RAM (USMC type armour)

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2015, 12:48:20 AM »
Australia creates an independent Tank Brigade to support the 2nd AIF divisions in North Africa pending the arrival of the 1st Armoured Division.  As the brigade is formed from re-rolled Infantry battalions the decision is made to maintain the battalion structure, accordingly the 2nd AIFs 1st Tank Brigade is made up of the 1st through 5th battalions of the Australian Tank Regiment.  Initially it is equipped with Matildas but then re-equipped with Churchills, ending the war with MkVIIs and VIIIs, supported by AVREs, ARVs and bridge layers and most interestingly Black Prince tanks are issued one per troop, one troop per squadron and one squadron per regiment. 

Post war the brigade, along with the Royal Australian Regiment, becomes the core of the new standing army and it is re-equipped with Centurions during the early 50s, which in turn are replaced by Conquerors in the late 50s with the Centurions being passed to the CMF.  Eventually the Conquerors give way to Chieftains and Chieftains to Challengers.

There is a 2nd and 3rd Tank Brigade in the Citizen Military Forces with the 6th through 10th Btns forming the 2nd Bde and the 11th through 15th Btns, the 3rd Bde.  As more modern tanks are delivered to the 1st Tank Bde the older vehicles are modernised and cascaded to the CMF.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2015, 09:51:24 AM »
OK! Love the idea of the Chieftain!

I was going to question that decision but, after refreshing my memory against its major competitors (M-60 & Leo 1), it's not such a bad choice.

Shorter range & not as fast as the Leo but that big 120mm is sweet compensation, while the Chief's better range (67% better) & equal speed put the M-60 out of the picture.

Plus I'm a touch Anglophile, so British is good. ;)
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2015, 02:46:10 AM »
Fuelling your idea:



From here
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2015, 09:41:48 PM »
OK! Love the idea of the Chieftain!

I was going to question that decision but, after refreshing my memory against its major competitors (M-60 & Leo 1), it's not such a bad choice.

Shorter range & not as fast as the Leo but that big 120mm is sweet compensation, while the Chief's better range (67% better) & equal speed put the M-60 out of the picture.

Plus I'm a touch Anglophile, so British is good. ;)

This is a whiff so how about the Australia ends up with all three, the Chieftain, Leopard 1 and M-60.  Basically the Tank Brigade (as well as its two CMF equivalents) are equipped with the better protected, bigger gunned British MBTs, Churchill, Centurion, Conqueror, Chieftain, Challenger and Challenger 2.  The Cavalry Regiments become ACRs with their light tanks and armoured cars replaced by Comets and Centurions then Leopards replacing both.  Then there is the RAM, previously mirroring the RM, begins mimicking the USMC and as such, among other changes, adds tanks to their ORBAT, initially M3 Stuarts then Lees and Grants and Shermans, skip the M-26, M-46, M-47 and M-103 but adopt the M-48, M-60 and M-1.

Anyway cunning plan time. Australia and Israel are both involved in the development of the Chieftain and neither is impressed with the Leyland L60 opposed 12 multi fuel.  Israel pushes for the adoption of the Continental V12 TD of the M-48A3,  Australia initially supports this but when Israel drops out the Australian army decides to used the more powerful MTU V10 of the Leopard (which, along with the Chieftain, is to be license produced locally) instead of the Continental as the M-48s are being procured through FMS.  This is an easy conversion as the engine bay had already been modified to fit the larger V12 Continental.

I am about to start building my Trumpeter 1/72 Challenger 1, trying to decide if its Australian based with the tricolour RAAC scheme, or a desert scheme for either the 91 Gulf war or possibly even the 2003 Iraq Invasion.

follows US practice and replaced light tanks with MBTs in their armoured cavalry / reconnaissance regiments, however as the Conqueror and Chieftain are clearly too heavy and lacking in mobility a lighter type is selected, i.e. the Leopard 1, which is in turn supplemented and replaced by improved Leopard 1 versions, then Leopard 2 and its improved versions.  As the Leopard has been selected as the cavalry tank the RAAC is familiar and impressed with its MTU V10 and recommend that the Australian Chieftain be fitted with this engine instead of the Leyland L60

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2015, 04:19:13 AM »
This is a whiff so how about the Australia ends up with all three, the Chieftain, Leopard 1 and M-60. 

Fine for a whiffverse but painful in the real world...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 04:22:02 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2015, 09:36:15 AM »
This is a whiff so how about the Australia ends up with all three, the Chieftain, Leopard 1 and M-60. 

Fine for a whiffverse but painful in the real world...
Agreed, the logistics "tail" would be large and expensive.  Now, standardizing between the three of them where you can could help, but still...

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2015, 11:25:03 PM »
Very true, I am usually the real world bloke asking why we are introducing something new or unique when there's already something suitable in use.  It could be a single bolt or an entire platform but it is always worth a look at where you can achieve commonality just so long as you don't go stupid, or make too many sacrifices, trying to achieve it.

What I'm proposing is complete fantasy and pretty unjustifiable, the only possible justification could be the units in question are actually aligned with larger formations within an alliance structure and as such the commonality required is with those allied organisations not the ADF.

The RAM is easy, they would have been closely aligned with the USMC and simply slotted into their logistics tail, we could even say that there was a joint training facility and prepositioned USMC equipment in Australia in an arrangement going back to WWII.  The equipment of the RAM with USMC standard gear could have been payment for the Australian facility.

Maybe the Tank Brigade could be an integral part of BAOR, rotating regiments through Germany, there would of course also be other elements, infantry, artillery, engineers.  Still thinking on the way forward, does my Tank Brigade support my armoured infantry or is it used to harden my light infantry?  If the later that means I get to add heavy armour to my armoured infantry ORBAT.  Maybe Hetzer, replaced by E-10 with 77mm HV, a 20pdr casemate TD (maybe a modified Kanonenjagdpanzer) as a replacement for the 6pdrs of the AT platoon and how about light tanks on a reconnaissance platoon?  If I'm being silly I may as well go all the way 8).

The Armoured Cavalry Regiments will be the cornerstone of continental defence and as such the only armoured force that actually requires a unique Australian logistics structure.  I just need to decide whether the armoured infantry ties in with the ACRs or the Tank Brigade.  It doesn't really matter as I can start building and sort out the back stories later.

1. ACR set up for continental defence, only deployed outside Australia in dire circumstances
2. Commonwealth solidarity sees Australia commit to NATO and rotate a tank battalion through BAOR, the rest of the Tank Brigade is assigned as reinforcements and even deploys during Reforger exercises.
3. The RAM armour is pretty much identical in doctrine, structure and equipment to the USMC, is designed to seamlessly integrate with the USMC and forms part of Australia's primary expeditionary capability.


Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2015, 08:07:20 PM »
It just dawned on me that my ideas of sand / buff painted Australian armour in Iraq / Afghanistan is irrelevant as ASLAVs and Bushmasters assigned to those theatres retained their standard Australian three tone cam.  Basically the scheme probably should work in most of the scenarios I've listed.

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2015, 02:58:29 AM »
Afghanistan is actually quite green in areas:

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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2015, 09:00:52 AM »
Afghanistan is actually quite green in areas:




In Spring/Early summer.   In high summer, it's usually green only down in the valleys where moisture is - particularly rivers/streams/creeks.   Otherwise in Summer/Winter it's pretty dreary apparently.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2015, 02:04:23 PM »
Yes I recall a series of articles on the multiple, hideously expensive camouflage uniform programs being run by the US Army in response to operational requirements in Afghanistan.  Apparently perfecting the digi-cam for one particular set of terrain made the troops stick out as if they were wearing fluoro in another type of terrain.  If I recall correctly the grey / green toned cam, while looking great, was actually the worst offender, particularly in the green valleys and in general the much cheaper, less advanced USMC cams were generally more effective.

Then again the basic AUSCAM pattern was developed by DSTO after a very long process involving the analysis of lighting, terrain and vegetation around Australia, across the seasons as far back as he 80s and its only just now being replaced.  Back in the day 3 RAR were issued trial sets of a lighter shade, closer to the later desert cam, that was also much more expensively tailored with leather straps and buckles etc.

Unless I am greatly mistaken the basic vehicle scheme has not changed since camouflage was adopted in the late 80s.

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2015, 08:14:19 AM »
The colours and patterns have pretty much remained the same since the early 1980s.  They have fiddled a bit with digital cam for vehicle canvas covers and the like but it is still pretty much the same.

The diggers' uniforms have pretty much remained the same as well, with perhaps the major change the adoption of a "desert" scheme, which just swapped some of the colours around.    I remember being briefed on how they arrived at the patterns/colours.  CSIRO developed the world's first portable mass spectrometer and went bush with it, to take readings of various vegetation.  Quite world breaking work apparently.   That is why it suits arid Australia so well, as it was taken from arid Australian vegetation.

I note that the last few years in Afghanistan the British Army also realised that their two sets of cam weren't cutting it and adopted a mid-level cam, with more green in the uniform, to meld in better with the changing terrain where they were doing most of their fighting - in and around the inhabited valleys.   I remember seeing a news report on the change over and they showed how well their new cam uniforms worked by comparing them to the older ones.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2015, 06:29:49 PM »
The colours and patterns have pretty much remained the same since the early 1980s.  They have fiddled a bit with digital cam for vehicle canvas covers and the like but it is still pretty much the same.

The diggers' uniforms have pretty much remained the same as well, with perhaps the major change the adoption of a "desert" scheme, which just swapped some of the colours around.    I remember being briefed on how they arrived at the patterns/colours.  CSIRO developed the world's first portable mass spectrometer and went bush with it, to take readings of various vegetation.  Quite world breaking work apparently.   That is why it suits arid Australia so well, as it was taken from arid Australian vegetation.

I note that the last few years in Afghanistan the British Army also realised that their two sets of cam weren't cutting it and adopted a mid-level cam, with more green in the uniform, to meld in better with the changing terrain where they were doing most of their fighting - in and around the inhabited valleys.   I remember seeing a news report on the change over and they showed how well their new cam uniforms worked by comparing them to the older ones.

Interestingly the desert cams don't look that different to the shade I remember for the trial cams issued to 3 RAR early on.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2015, 09:04:12 PM »
Something that may be of interest, the M-24 trials in Borneo were an eye opener I never realised we did those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA7P8xco_UY

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2015, 05:04:21 AM »
Something that may be of interest, the M-24 trials in Borneo were an eye opener I never realised we did those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA7P8xco_UY

Some great footage there :)  I think you might mean Bougainville rather than Borneo though  ;)
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2015, 06:48:54 AM »
Of course, the M-24 trials might lead to an interesting scenario whereby the ARA acquired M-24s and then later upgrades them similar to the Norwegian NM-116:



 ;)
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2015, 12:50:09 PM »
Something that may be of interest, the M-24 trials in Borneo were an eye opener I never realised we did those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA7P8xco_UY

I've seen the original Army film of those trials.  Very interesting.  I remember the M24 coming out of the forest covered in leaves and what could be seen from inside the vehicle.   I found the Sheridan stuff in your video more interesting though.  First time I've seen the breech on the 152mm working.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2015, 07:30:13 PM »
Something that may be of interest, the M-24 trials in Borneo were an eye opener I never realised we did those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA7P8xco_UY

Some great footage there :)  I think you might mean Bougainville rather than Borneo though  ;)

Yep that the problem with watching the video then deciding to post it hours latter.

I knew we had trialled Chaffees but had always thought it was done in Australia, I didn't realise we conducted trials in operational areas (or recently operational areas).

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2015, 07:34:39 PM »
Of course, the M-24 trials might lead to an interesting scenario whereby the ARA acquired M-24s and then later upgrades them similar to the Norwegian NM-116:



 ;)

Had we acquired sufficient of them they could have served in the CMF then Army Reserve for decades.  Cheap, reliable and still used by NATO, with a stack of off the shelf upgrades available, they would have well and truly outlasted the clapped out M-3s.  The 75mm gun would have been a decent DFS weapon for infantry support as well, it could have made for some interesting doctrine in the post war army.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 07:36:33 PM by Volkodav »

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2015, 07:35:41 PM »
Something that may be of interest, the M-24 trials in Borneo were an eye opener I never realised we did those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA7P8xco_UY

I've seen the original Army film of those trials.  Very interesting.  I remember the M24 coming out of the forest covered in leaves and what could be seen from inside the vehicle.   I found the Sheridan stuff in your video more interesting though.  First time I've seen the breech on the 152mm working.

It was interesting, not to mention frighteningly complex by the look of it.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2016, 09:48:09 PM »
Just read British Light Tanks 1927-45 Mk I-VI (New Vanguard) and was interested to see that the War Office was deliberately spreading tank production around industry to provide them experience in building armoured vehicles as part of gearing them up for the coming war. 

Also of interest was the Australian order for 10 Mk VIA in 1937 that, along with 4 older Vickers Mediums (a total of 14 tanks pre war), were run into the ground as training platforms upon mobilisation.  This meant there were no tanks available for deployment with the 2nd AIF and they were totally reliant on what was available in theatre upon arrival i.e. obsolete Mk IIBs provided to 6 Divisions Cavalry Regiment to supplement their Carriers (they later obtained captured Italian tanks as per the photo Greg posted on page 1 of this topic).

Last, there was a prototype Mk VI tank destroyer with a 2pdr in an open topped turret from 1935, that was extensively field tested by the 9th Lancers through 1938.  The type was rejected for service but it is not known why, possibly doctrinal reasons, however the reliability of the platform combined with a gun that was actually superior to the light anti tank guns used by other nations early in the war.

Now to work these facts into the thread.

With war on the horizon the decision is made to not only gear up British industry for the production of tanks but also industry within the dominions, as such Australia's Mk VI light tanks were locally manufactured and the versions selected was the 2 Pdr tank destroyer as well as the VIC but with M-1919 and M-2 Browning MGs instead of BESAs (maybe .303" versions of the Browning). 

This means the 2nd AIF Divisional Cavalry Regiments can be deployed with tanks rather than having to wait for the UK to supply them (if things worked out the Dominions could actually supply the UK allowing them to develop and deploy new designs sooner).  The obvious initial TOE would include a mix of light tanks and tank destroyers in addition to the usual carriers within the Divisional Cavalry Regiments, plus possibly separate / independent light tank and tank destroyer regiments. 

As Australia always intended to follow the UKs lead on the employment of armour it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Australia would form a separate Armoured Corps, including a Tank Regiment with a number of battalions operating both infantry tanks and light tanks, as well as mechanising Cavalry with light and cruiser tanks.  The obvious vehicles would be the Mk VI Light Tanks ( and tank destroyers)and the Matilda II for the RAAC and RATR while the cruiser tanks would be more problematical but I think an interesting option would either be an enlarged light tank or a license produced LT vz 38 with 2 Pdr tank gun.

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2018, 05:10:56 AM »
Any one with an interest in Australian tank history should read "Fallen Sentinel Australian Tanks in World War II" by Peter Beale.  Well recommended.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2018, 11:00:31 AM »
Any one with an interest in Australian tank history should read "Fallen Sentinel Australian Tanks in World War II" by Peter Beale.  Well recommended.


Yes I have it on Kindle, it was a very informative read though some people I know have questioned some of his conclusions.

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2018, 01:11:20 PM »
I agree that some of it is challengable and it could have used some better editing but ist still is informative re the various priorities the Govt of the day had to deal with and the reasoning why some things happened/didn't happen.

One whiff idea I liked from it was the idea of taking a captured German panzer to use as the basis for an Australian tank design... ;)
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2018, 01:34:58 PM »
I agree that some of it is challengable and it could have used some better editing but ist still is informative re the various priorities the Govt of the day had to deal with and the reasoning why some things happened/didn't happen.

One whiff idea I liked from it was the idea of taking a captured German panzer to use as the basis for an Australian tank design... ;)

OOh, ahhh, that could lead to some trouble if ever deployed against the Germans...  ;)

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #45 on: September 15, 2018, 05:01:05 AM »
Hmmm ... Australian PzKpfw III Ausf. H derivative armed with a QF 6-pounder for use against the Japanese?
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2018, 10:18:56 AM »
I've got something in mind ;)
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2018, 09:00:28 PM »
A Panzer 38(t) could be a good option, the RAC even trialed a TNH export model and it was licence produced in Sweden etc.

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2018, 09:02:58 AM »
Given any Australian development would presumably not be a direct copy but rather a developed version, I am thinking something akin to this but maybe using castings:




Maybe with a 17pdr main gun and different engine...or maybe not.
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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2018, 09:06:48 AM »
For comparison- the Sentinel AC4 ultimate development of the Autralian Cruiser Tank:


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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2018, 12:07:55 PM »
That ACIV is obviously something they have mocked up themselves as the real ACIV had a new, wider turret.

As for using a 38(t) hull - too narrow for anything larger than a 2 Pdr.  You'd need to splice in a section of new hull to make the turret ring large enough for a three man crew.

Using Panzer III components I could see working.   It would be large enough to mount a 6 Pdr.  Its armour would be thick enough to withstand most Japanese AT weapons.   It would need more than likely a new, different turret with a higher mantlet for the 6 Pdr.  It would find it difficult to have a 17 Pdr mounted in it because of the turret ring size.

A Panzer IV would be another good choice.   However, castings would alter it's shape considerably.  Again a higher turret would be required.

As I suggested though, neither could not be used against the Germans for obvious reasons. 

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2018, 08:11:13 AM »

As I suggested though, neither could not be used against the Germans for obvious reasons.

Not necessarily - remember that use of captured enemy tanks was actually quite common so if you were worried about appearance it may not be as big of an issue as you would think. 
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2018, 02:24:34 PM »

As I suggested though, neither could not be used against the Germans for obvious reasons.


Not necessarily - remember that use of captured enemy tanks was actually quite common so if you were worried about appearance it may not be as big of an issue as you would think.


They invariably had to be marked with over-size markings, usually in white to make sure they weren't shot at by the side operating them.













This reduces their ability to hide and use camouflage effectively.  Then you have problems with a lack of spares (which is what ended up stopping the use of "Cuckoo" by the Coldstream Guards).


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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2018, 06:20:45 PM »
You forgot these - proof of an Australian precedent:

"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Antipodean Armourfest!
« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2018, 09:56:43 PM »
Awesome thanks.