What Tank adaptation is this ?

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Alanmccoubrey
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What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 26 Apr 2012 17:56

A friend found this on the web this morning but failed to note the site so I'm afraid that I can't give any credit for the pic.

It is obviously a Stuart iwth an 18 pdr mounted on it but does anyone know who made it, when it was made and whether or not it saw action ?

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Re: What is this ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 26 Apr 2012 19:56

Interesting! I wonder however is this an 18-pdr specifically in place of a turret...or has someone been clever with a Stuart Kangaroo? :wink:

I'm guessing from the little we can see of the background this is North Africa somewhere? When were Stuart kangaroos first used?
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Re: What is this ?

Post by Kingfish » 26 Apr 2012 20:22

http://www.weirdwwii.com/2012/01/battle ... th_25.html

Scroll down for a little write up on this oddball

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Re: What is this ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 26 Apr 2012 20:28

Well....more a wargamer's flub than an actual write-up! :wink:
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Re: What is this ?

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 26 Apr 2012 20:43

Thanks, that apparently is where he found it ! As Phylo says that is just the Blogger's idea of how to treat it in his wargames rules with no sources mentioned, some of us wargamers can be very lazy that way !
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Re: What is this ?

Post by The_Enigma » 26 Apr 2012 20:57

In the naive thought that maybe google had some more pics of this contraption, i just stumbled across this forum. One poster, of just three, stated "The photo was in the old "British & American Tanks of WW2" and appears to be a one-off conversion. The 18pdr was obsolescent by late 1941 when Stuarts appeared in North Africa, and I have never seen anything else on the project". So while not a definiite source, at least a clue prehaps?

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Re: What is this ?

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 26 Apr 2012 22:00

The_Enigma wrote:In the naive thought that maybe google had some more pics of this contraption, i just stumbled across this forum. One poster, of just three, stated "The photo was in the old "British & American Tanks of WW2" and appears to be a one-off conversion. The 18pdr was obsolescent by late 1941 when Stuarts appeared in North Africa, and I have never seen anything else on the project". So while not a definiite source, at least a clue prehaps?

I founfd that too and another which said that the pic was in "teh Vanguard book" but didn't say which Vanguard book, I checked both the old Vanguard and the New Vaguard books on the Stuart but it isn't in them.
Alan

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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by OldBill » 29 Apr 2012 13:08

A brief mention of the vehicle is in "British and American Tanks of WWII: The complete illustrated history of British, American and Commonwealth tanks, 1939-1945", Chamberlain and Ellis, 1969, Arco. My edition is from 1981. The same picture is on page 92, pic209, with the caption saying "Note gun carriage axles in improvised cradel". The text states "Stuart 18lbs SP: MIddle East forces improvisation on at least one vehicle, with obsolete 18lbr field gun, less wheels, mounted in place of turret.

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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by Clive Mortimore » 29 Apr 2012 23:07

Like Alan I have always wondered which unit this vehicle belonged to ever since I first saw the photo in the Chamberlin and Ellis book. What was its role, a support tank giving HE fire. The Stuart did not have a HE support version like most British tank types, so was it used in lieu of a 3 inch how tank. Was it a SP anti-tank gun, there were some anti-tank units with 18 pdrs for a short while durring the North African campaign. More to the point how the hell did a RAC regiment manage to steal a RA gun?

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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 30 Apr 2012 00:23

What was its role, a support tank giving HE fire. The Stuart did not have a HE support version like most British tank types, so was it used in lieu of a 3 inch how tank.
Clive, the British Army rarely used its "howitzer tanks" for HE support; see the various threads here on "CS Tanks" ;) They were originally intended as a way of accompanying command squadrons with an ability to throw smoke ahead to manouver into...as a tank's smoke candles would only hide where it was at any given moment :P But the CS versions were ALSO issued with a small percentage of HE to allow them to protect themselves against A/T guns ;) (in some cases a VERY small percentage indeed!)

It was actually the Australians who best used CS versions in actual combat; they used their CS Matilda IIs as HE support in New Guinea, especially the fighting around Port Moresby. They liked them SO much in this role, they traded some Valentines for New Zealand's handful of CS tanks! Beyond that...I've seem comments in a number of places that British CS tanks were used as gun tanks in Cyrenaica in 1941..rather unsuccessfully/unspectacularly! But I've never been able to track down the exact incidents - anyone know?
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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by Paul_G_Baker » 30 Apr 2012 08:18

phylo_roadking wrote:I've seem comments in a number of places that British CS tanks were used as gun tanks in Cyrenaica in 1941..rather unsuccessfully/unspectacularly! But I've never been able to track down the exact incidents - anyone know?
Don't forget the Centaurs of the Royal Marines Support Group on D-Day - first giving covering fire from LCTs then landing over the beaches. I seem to recall seeing somewhere that this latter action was not anticipated in the battleplan!
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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by Clive Mortimore » 01 May 2012 00:16

Paul_G_Baker wrote: Don't forget the Centaurs of the Royal Marines Support Group on D-Day - first giving covering fire from LCTs then landing over the beaches. I seem to recall seeing somewhere that this latter action was not anticipated in the battleplan!
The marines continued to use them for longer than planned, up D+14.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mari ... port_Group
They were used by A and C Troops, 6 LAA Battery, as part of 27 LAA Regiment during the battle for Caen.
http://coleraine-battery.tripod.com/page19084.htm
Latter they were issued to the heavy (gun) troops of 11th Hussars after their 75mm Autocar Halftracks (M3 Gun Motor Carriage) barrels became too worn in early 1945. The regimental war diaries calls them 94mm Cromwells, but I am sure I have read somewhere else they were the ex RM Centaurs. http://www.warlinks.com/armour/11_hussars/11huss_45.php

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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by Clive Mortimore » 01 May 2012 00:20

phylo_roadking wrote:
What was its role, a support tank giving HE fire. The Stuart did not have a HE support version like most British tank types, so was it used in lieu of a 3 inch how tank.
Clive, the British Army rarely used its "howitzer tanks" for HE support; see the various threads here on "CS Tanks" ;) They were originally intended as a way of accompanying command squadrons with an ability to throw smoke ahead to manouver into...as a tank's smoke candles would only hide where it was at any given moment :P But the CS versions were ALSO issued with a small percentage of HE to allow them to protect themselves against A/T guns ;) (in some cases a VERY small percentage indeed!)

It was actually the Australians who best used CS versions in actual combat; they used their CS Matilda IIs as HE support in New Guinea, especially the fighting around Port Moresby. They liked them SO much in this role, they traded some Valentines for New Zealand's handful of CS tanks! Beyond that...I've seem comments in a number of places that British CS tanks were used as gun tanks in Cyrenaica in 1941..rather unsuccessfully/unspectacularly! But I've never been able to track down the exact incidents - anyone know?
The 18 pdr also fired smoke shells. Cartridge, QF, 18 pdr Smoke Bursting S/L Mk11C.
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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 01 May 2012 00:25

But I wonder just how much of it there was remaining in NA when this conversion was done ;) The North African campaign was hard on the Army's stocks of smoke, very hard; the Army eventually even managed to get the Northover Projector wthdrawn form the Home Guard in the UK in "favour" of the Blacker Bombard because it was biting into the amount of white phosporous available for smoke mortar rounds for the Western Desert! 8O
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Re: What Tank adaptation is this ?

Post by Paul_G_Baker » 01 May 2012 01:50

Not very safe to try to yse it as an SP anti-tank vehicle, IMHO - they've had to torch the front out of the driver's position because the gun is blocking access to his normal hatch!!
Paul

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