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APCs in WWII

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by Herr Oberst, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Chuikov64th

    Chuikov64th Member

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    I know a little about the techniques used to manufacture a Tiger as opposed to a T-34 and have seen the differences closeup. It is very true that the Russians did not pay much attention to the "dress up" of their creations. The edges of the armored slabs used on the hulls for example had no touchup done on them, they were simply welded together and sent out the door. I can see what the Russians mean when the say "quantity has a quality all it's own". This excessive engineering can even be seen in Mercedes cars to this day. I have a friend that owns one and he says every time he opens the hood it costs him $500.

    I don't think that manpower would be a problem considering the troops in them had an iterest in their up keep also, the logistics is another thing though. I bet there was a lot of treads worn out because of the lack of grease.
     
  2. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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  3. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some Portugese Grizzly 'kangaroos'
    Sherman Register - Sherman APCs
    With just a hint of Skink ;).


    Here's a very early APC concept that cropped up recently on WW2t's 'Name that Vehicle' thread,
    French Laffly S15 TOE from 1934, c.25 completed with a capacity to carry 8 infantrymen:
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  4. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    [​IMG]

    The best APC was surely the ram with cross countey performance and protection unmatched till the 1960's with the marder and BMP1 with the Bren gun carriers (113,000 built) as a good second with the various half tracks to following. The half tracks were about the same as the Bren gun carrier in terms of amour but higher bigger targets.
     
  5. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    On the other hand, the US built about 15,000 carriers for the British under the designation T15 and T 16. The US Army didn't use any as they were considered unsuitable for combat. On a more "I'm not gonna try it" note, the carrier was supposedly amphibious and capable of swimming still water like a river or lake.
     
  6. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    Strangely the US half tracks were not seen as front line equipment by the British after they were tried in North Africa and were only used by engineers and support troops. Sounds like a case of not built here by both sides.
     
  7. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    Again that seems a little biased based on a "it wasnt invented here " mind set thinking the carriers were extremely useful vechiles with the capability to tow or carry various weapons they were extremely effective as long as they werent used as tanks in their own right.

    The British tried the white half tracks out but found them wanting in a number of aspects so withdrew them from front line use. Their greater ability cover ground and better protection than a truck meant that the numerous half tracks purchased were issue to engineer and comunications units.

    The US on the other hand never even tried the Universal carriers in combat and didnt field anthing even vaguely similar till the early fifties.
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Seem to recall there were a few yank half-track GMCs used in front-line roles by British Units, I'll check.

    On carriers, they appear to have been well-liked by all that used them, Canadians, Indians, Aussies, Kiwis, British, South African etc. The Italians even produced a near exact copy. Very good mobility, and exceptionally useful in a variety of more specialised set-ups.
    Veterans often talk very fondly of them, though I'm not really sure how much they really fit the APC role; they certainly served as 'battle-taxis' but were more conventionally perceived as heavier weapon mounts, tow, long range transport, or service vehicles - troops tended to ride 'on' them rather than 'in' them, and protection offered to anyone above the protected space occupied by the crew was minimal, you'd surely bale out long before you would in a 251 or similar.

    Can't recall them swimming in their own right, though there was mucking around with Kapok floats, and there's other pictures of one slung between 2 pontoon boats:
    [​IMG]
    No... I don't think I'd want to try it either :D.

    The best available history of them is Nigel watson's 3 Volume 'Universal Carriers' (Volume 3 not available yet but due next year). An exhaustive and readable bit of technical coverage that finally replaces the rather dated and Sketchy 'Making Tracks' by Chamberlain & Ellis.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  9. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    a friend of mine told me he went everywhere on a bren gun carrier,easy to get off of,he told me.he went right through n/w europe on one.cheers.:)
     
  10. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    Small and easy to hide behind hedges too their small size and low profile was an asset. It could stay close with the infantry and when used to move ammunition and supplies forward to exposed positions it was extremely effective.

    Cheers
    Mike
     
  11. Owen

    Owen O

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    That's not true,
    The Motor Battalions of British Armoured Divisions/Brigades used them.

    Here is just one, for instance.


    Reference Number: B 6194

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]Photographer: Laing (Sgt)
    No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit

    Title: THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN 1944

    Collection No.: 4700-29

    Description: Half-track and troops of 8th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (the motor battalion in 11th Armoured Division), during Operation 'Epsom', 29 June 1944.

    Period:Second World War
     
  12. Owen

    Owen O

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    And another being used by a Front line infantry unit.
    1 RB part of 7th Armoured Div, The Desert Rats.

    Reference Number: BU 4588

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]Photographer: Smith (Sgt)
    No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit

    Title: THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-45

    Collection No.: 4700-30

    Description: Former slave workers assist British soldiers from 1st Rifle Brigade to clean their half-track, 26 April 1945.

    Period:Second World War
     
  13. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    I know you shouldn't use a film as a source, but watch A Bridge too far. Lots of scenes of British troops in U.S. halftracks.
    Too many to make it an inaccuracy.
     
  14. Owen

    Owen O

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    Well don't do it then , Joe.
     
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  15. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    I didn't know they were still used by the British army after 1944 as a front line APC though to be fair the motorized troops were motorized not armoured units for whom the alternative would have been a canvas sided truck not a bren carrier and even light armours better than none especially against shrapnel or small arms whilst getting into action so it seems a logical aproach.

    I knew they were used by the engineers REME and Signals as they provided protection againts snipers and shrapnel near the front.


    The problem with the white was its armour was no better than a bren carrier and it was a big target for anthing over 12.7mm with a modest cross country performance whilst you could tuck a bren carrier into cover the white was hard to conceal. It lacked the heavy armour of the Ram carriers that canadians used in their armoured divisions lead units gun which stood a good chance against anything up to a 5cm gun but even a sherman wasnt safe against that.


    I stand corrected though cheers.
     
  16. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    That may have been simply that they were available locally from the Dutch army in the case of the film but the evidence from other poster seems pretty convincing.
     

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