Author Topic: Australian WWII Armour options  (Read 9341 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2018, 03:34:17 AM »
The M24 was found to be literally too light for use in the Islands.  It was not able to push through the Jungle.  This had also been found with the M3 Stuart in the fighting around Buna during the Battle of the Bridgeheads.  The USMC had also discovered it, when they first started using Stuarts.  Often the problem was that the vehicle would find itself "hung up" on stumps left by the artillery barrage before/during a battle.  Occasionally that would also lead to a loss of a vehicle as the stumps pierced the belly armour of the vehicles.


Err...no.  The trials the Australian Army did showed the tank to be generally excellent (see actual report extract below).  The main issue was that in the envisaged role of infantry support, it would not be suitable due to its inability to be used in a slow infantry support role.




Now, obviously for the above mentioned scenario to be valid there would need to be something different occur - say maybe Australia decided they wanted a different role focus or perhaps they were looking beyond WWII.

BTW, here is also a good summary of the Sherman tank trials conducted by Australia:  http://anzacsteel.hobbyvista.com/Armoured%20Vehicles/shermansdownunderph_1.htm

You can also see videos of both the Sherman trials and the M24 trials here:

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F07352/
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F07353/

Finally, in relation to Korea, the M24s performance needs to be viewed in the correct context in that initially they were the only armoured option available:  On 7th July 14 tanks from the battalion were sent north to support the 24th Division, which was fighting near Jeonju (Chonjui) on the Geum River. The 24th Division had been fighting further north, at Osan, but was forced to retreat towards the Geum. The first clash between the M24s and the T-34/85 came on 10 July just north of Geum. Neither side performed especially well during this clash. The M24 struggled to damage the T-34s, and most of their shots bounced. One T-34 was disabled. In return the North Koreans failed to knock out any of the Americans, but two M24s were lost after their gun recoil systems failed. The Americans were unable to hold the line of the river, and by 24 July the UN forces had been pushed back to the Pusan perimeter. A significant number of the M24s were lost during the retreat and the balance of power was only restored after the arrival of M4 Shermans and M26 Pershings in August.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 03:24:25 PM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2018, 03:36:07 AM »
Sorry, couldn't help myself. I didn't scale the components, because I just kludged together the pieces from a couple illustrations on Tanks Encyclopedia, but it gives an impression of the thing.

Cheers,

Logan

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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2018, 07:57:50 AM »
Thank you, Greg.  Your posting is interesting and requires further consideration.  The M24 was a good Recce vehicle - no doubt about it - but that was all it was good for, as the report confirms...

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2018, 08:44:54 AM »
The M-24 would also have been good for direct and indirect fire support in open and wooded (but not dense jungle) terrain.  As  I see it the M-24 would have been great issued to divisional cavalry regiments in the rec role but also as a light armoured addition to individual infantry battle groups to give them extra hitting power and an element of flexible for protection, guarding flanks and providing overwatch etc.  They would not have been able to do everything but working in conjunction with tank destroyers, SPGs / assault guns and engineering vehicles, they would do very well.

It could be argued the jungle use was so specialised that maybe a heavily armoured engineering vehicle would have been better.  A demolition gun with a short barrel, heavy vehicle weight, integral dozer blade, perhaps even a flame system in place of the bow gun or coaxial to the main gun

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2018, 12:30:53 AM »
And, of course, there is my attempt at an indigenous Australian AFV based not on the Sentinel, but positing that Australia decided to base a new vehicle on the Churchill. Using Australia casting capability (shown on the Sentinel) is has a cast hull and new turret. The turret gun is a slightly lengthened 25 pdr providing adequate capability against Japanese armour and excellent HE capability against fortifications and infantry targets. The thick armour would have been especially useful in the close quarters fighting experienced in the SWPA.



Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2018, 01:30:45 AM »
I do still love that build.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline kim margosein

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2018, 11:16:42 AM »
I don't know much about armor, especially the Pacific Theatre.  However, it seems to me that Japanese tanks were inferior to Allied tanks both in quantity and quality.   Their default medium tank was not much better than the US M-2 medium tank, and was produced at the rate of 300 to 500 tanks per year.   A tank like the M-3 would seem to be more than adequate in the Pacific, with a 75mm used like artillery with mostly HE ammunition, and at the ranges in the Pacific the 37mm used as anti-tank would be adequate.  How about something along of an updated M-3, or an updated Churchill like you envision but keeping the howitzer like the earlier versions.
 

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2018, 10:37:37 PM »
I don't know much about armor, especially the Pacific Theatre.  However, it seems to me that Japanese tanks were inferior to Allied tanks both in quantity and quality.   Their default medium tank was not much better than the US M-2 medium tank, and was produced at the rate of 300 to 500 tanks per year.   A tank like the M-3 would seem to be more than adequate in the Pacific, with a 75mm used like artillery with mostly HE ammunition, and at the ranges in the Pacific the 37mm used as anti-tank would be adequate.  How about something along of an updated M-3, or an updated Churchill like you envision but keeping the howitzer like the earlier versions.
Japanese armour quality was, as you say, inferior throughout the war and something like the American or British 75mm guns was more than sufficient. However the 3" howitzer fitted to British CS (Close Support) versions was, essentially, a breech loaded 3" mortar with a muzzle velocity of only 600 ft/s, too low to even pop most Japanese armour, and there was no AT ammo for it, ever, for that very reason.

I chose the 25 pdr for my "what if" mostly because it had an outstanding HE round, much better than the 75, and quite adequate AP performance with solid shot and the supercharge powder increment. It was also being manufactured in Australia during the war, unlike either of the 75mm guns. I then added 10% to the length of the tube to increase the muzzle velocity a wee bit without overstressing the breech to bump up the AP performance a bit more. I also posit that, for tank service these rounds would have to be fixed as opposed to the semi-fixed nature of the normal 25 pdr rounds, but that's not a huge deal at all. The AP rounds would be the same a s the super-charge rounds and the HE rounds would have something like a charge 3 amount of propellant for adequate, but not long range HE firing, they're not artillery, after all. A smart design team would ensure that the actual cartridge and shell of the semi-fixed rounds could be used in the new tank gun chamber in a pinch to retain the ability to use artillery ammo if available or when indirect firing was desired as was sometimes done with tanks during the war.

As you can see, I've given this far too much thought...  ;D

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2018, 02:36:40 PM »
The "normal" length 25 Pdr was more than sufficient to penetrate most Japanese medium tanks and would go in one side and out the other of most light tanks.   Lengthening the barrel might be required when faced by a mythical heavy tank - which were developed but never placed into production.

The Churchill was an excellent vehicle despite it's early troubles mechanically.  Once the British decided in 1943 to remanufacture all the Churchills they had, to rebuild their suspension, their engines and their gearboxes, they created quite a useful vehicle - just in time for D-Day.  Even before that, the Churchill could climb hills which other tanks would not even attempt.  Their use in Tunisia and Italy was extraordinary by all accounts.   What it lacked was a powerful enough engine to push the vehicle at a high enough speed to make it really useful.  Although as someone I know liked to point out, when the British used the Churchill in NW Europe as a standard tank, it's road speeds were not much lower than what their cruisers could achieve in the same advance across northern Germany.

In the jungle, it's lack of engine power would have likely told against it on extended operations.  In the Japanese home islands, it would have been an excellent Infantry Tank with a more than adequate 75mm gun.

Were you aware that the British took Churchill AVREs to Korea with their Centurions and the two outperformed the American Shermans and Pershings.   The AVREs were all equipped to become Crocodiles however they were never issued with their fuel trailers or flame guns.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2018, 11:17:41 PM »
Lengthening the barrel might be required when faced by a mythical heavy tank - which were developed but never placed into production.

In the land of WHIF, a sufficient reason for lengthening the barrel, no?  :D

And it's performance at Longstop Hill was one of the reasons I posit that the Aussies would like it for the occasionally mountainous terrain in the SWPA, including New Guinea and the volcanic islands.


Quote
Were you aware that the British took Churchill AVREs to Korea with their Centurions and the two outperformed the American Shermans and Pershings.   The AVREs were all equipped to become Crocodiles however they were never issued with their fuel trailers or flame guns.
I was.  ;)

Paul