Author Topic: Antipodean Armourfest!  (Read 12050 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 Armour…Captured 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 some…maybe ;):

« 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 some…maybe ;):

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:



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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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