Jump to content


Commonwealth Armour in Italy


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

Yank59 #1 Posted Jun 23 2015 - 21:20

    Corporal

  • -Players-
  • 11763 battles
  • 29
  • Member since:
    06-14-2014
Anyone know what tanks the 8th Army used in Italy during 44-45 (not including M4s)? I know that Achilles and Churchills were present, but what about Cromwells and Challengers? There seem to be no mention of them anywhere on the net. Thanks guys, in advance.

CedricMacLaren #2 Posted Jun 23 2015 - 21:59

    Major

  • Players
  • 14790 battles
  • 3,383
  • [RECKT] RECKT
  • Member since:
    02-24-2013
I hope someone can answer your question. Like you, I assumed the net would be full of data on it. 

Kyphe #3 Posted Jun 24 2015 - 02:15

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 315 battles
  • 843
  • Member since:
    01-27-2012
I do know that Italy was one of the few places the British used 76mm armed Sherman

Zinegata #4 Posted Jun 24 2015 - 06:18

    Major

  • Beta Testers
  • 9558 battles
  • 5,380
  • Member since:
    07-27-2010

The North Irish Horse had Churchills definitely. Cromwells are a question mark, Challengers definitely not.

 

The Sherman also makes appearances as usual, with the Firefly variant arriving around October 1944 for the New Zealanders. Some other units may have gotten Fireflies earlier.

 

Chieftain also found one somewhat vague reference to a unit armed with Archers by 1945.

 

 



Dominatus #5 Posted Jun 24 2015 - 14:20

    Major

  • Beta Testers
  • 10311 battles
  • 13,793
  • [CMFRT] CMFRT
  • Member since:
    12-21-2010
South Africans I know for sure had a number of deturreted M3s used as recce vehicles, and I assume the other units kept them as well. One of their divisions also had a finny looking M3 medium as a command tank.

Yank59 #6 Posted Jun 24 2015 - 15:58

    Corporal

  • -Players-
  • 11763 battles
  • 29
  • Member since:
    06-14-2014
Just found out that priest kangaroos were used by the Canadians. As Stuart recces were present, I think it would be safe to assume that Stuart kangaroos were used as well. Anyone have any info on the cromwell?

The_Warhawk #7 Posted Jun 24 2015 - 18:22

    Corporal

  • -Players-
  • 10770 battles
  • 57
  • [C-BOO] C-BOO
  • Member since:
    09-08-2011

Hello!


To my knowledge Cromwells were not sent to Italy. The tank had a long, very convoluted development (as well as a wealth of technical problems) which delayed it being sent overseas. When it did go overseas, it was to France starting in June, 1944.



Yank59 #8 Posted Sep 27 2015 - 01:11

    Corporal

  • -Players-
  • 11763 battles
  • 29
  • Member since:
    06-14-2014
I understand that this thread is old, but after months of searching, I found this: https://web.archive.org/web/20121011231920/http://www.btinternet.com/~latok/sep1944.htm
According to the chart, Cromwells may have reached the Mediterranean, but it is unclear whether they arrived in Italy, North Africa or both.

rivit #9 Posted Sep 28 2015 - 17:24

    Captain

  • Players
  • 14073 battles
  • 1,483
  • Member since:
    01-19-2012

Yep, Vollk posted this on his thread:

http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/200193-italian-tanks-and-military-vehicles/page__st__6400__pid__8632674#entry8632674

How about this as an inscription?

"American Tank

English Crew

Italian Shell"

 

except its a Cromwell which is British


 


Edited by rivit, Sep 28 2015 - 17:50.


Walter_Sobchak #10 Posted Sep 28 2015 - 18:12

    Major

  • Beta Testers
  • 236 battles
  • 5,140
  • Member since:
    11-22-2010

View Postrivit, on Sep 28 2015 - 11:24, said:

Yep, Vollk posted this on his thread:

http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/200193-italian-tanks-and-military-vehicles/page__st__6400__pid__8632674#entry8632674

How about this as an inscription?

"American Tank

English Crew

Italian Shell"

 

except its a Cromwell which is British


 

 

Do we know for sure that that is a Cromwell and not a Crusader?  I believe that a number of Crusader based vehicles were used in Italy (assuming the picture is from Italy and not North Africa.)

rivit #11 Posted Sep 28 2015 - 18:25

    Captain

  • Players
  • 14073 battles
  • 1,483
  • Member since:
    01-19-2012
Could be Walter. The info from that post is all I have. Vollk might have a link to the video which shows better shots.

Kyphe #12 Posted Sep 29 2015 - 07:54

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 315 battles
  • 843
  • Member since:
    01-27-2012
Looks like a Cromwell to me based on the road wheel spacing and the rear drive sprocket distance from the hull

rivit #13 Posted Oct 01 2015 - 16:15

    Captain

  • Players
  • 14073 battles
  • 1,483
  • Member since:
    01-19-2012

For whatever it's worth, this is the bottom of a Crusader according to the Hasagawa plastic model company.

Crusader Bottom photo 2809-152752_zpsb9g8vo7z.jpg

I've seen that video above several years ago. I'm sure I can dig it up when I get some time.  IIRC it involved the British advance in Italy or Sicily or might have had something to do with the RSI. There was a winding road with some abandoned/destroyed Italian trucks and vehicles and then the scene shown above with the tank on its side. Might have been British Pathe(Imperial war museum) or one of the other video sites.


Edited by rivit, Oct 03 2015 - 16:12.


_Freddy_ #14 Posted Oct 03 2015 - 16:50

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 412 battles
  • 827
  • Member since:
    12-12-2011

The British also used Crusader Gun Tractors, Crusader and Centaur AA vehicles -

 

The list posted to earlier has 4 Cromwell IV's in training/reserve and 3 AA vehicles with 21st Armd Bde and 14 more in training/reserve - does not list the type though but they were all based on Crusader or A27 (Centaur or Cromwell)



rivit #15 Posted Oct 03 2015 - 17:43

    Captain

  • Players
  • 14073 battles
  • 1,483
  • Member since:
    01-19-2012
I'm currently checking British Pathe but I think it was one of the more obscure video collections. Shouldn't be too hard to find.

Anlushac11 #16 Posted Oct 04 2015 - 09:02

    Major

  • Players
  • 33153 battles
  • 2,107
  • Member since:
    05-25-2013

From what I read the Brits were still using the Valentine tanks and Shermans. The Sherman was fine with the Firefly being developed to give better firepower.

 

It was felt that the Valentine was not capable of being upgraded to take on the new German tanks that were expected to be encountered in numbers n Normandy. The Cromwell was put in service to replace the Valentine tanks before Normandy.

 

To best of my knowledge the Cromwells baptism of fire was Normandy. 7th armored was to best of my knowledge the only Brit armored division that was equipped almost entirely of Cromwells.

 

I believe Cromwell was prioritized for replacing Valentine in European tank units before D-Day. Once ETO demand was filled some Cromwells and Centaurs were shipped to italy late '44-early '45. 

 

Dont know if its true but have seen references saying Polish armored units operated Cromwells in Italy. .



Bitter_N_Twisted #17 Posted Oct 05 2015 - 15:28

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 13341 battles
  • 944
  • [25CDN] 25CDN
  • Member since:
    03-27-2013

View PostDominatus, on Jun 24 2015 - 09:20, said:

South Africans I know for sure had a number of deturreted M3s used as recce vehicles, and I assume the other units kept them as well. One of their divisions also had a finny looking M3 medium as a command tank.

 

Was wondering about that, I've been reading the regimental histories of the  Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's),  both made mentioned having turretless stuarts or "open top" honeys.  I wasn't sure if they were issued to everyone or just the Canadians, as all their nice shiny new equipment was taken by the British 8th army upon their arrival in Italy and were given the old stuff brought back from Africa.

_Freddy_ #18 Posted Oct 05 2015 - 19:03

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 412 battles
  • 827
  • Member since:
    12-12-2011

View PostAnlushac11, on Oct 04 2015 - 08:02, said:

From what I read the Brits were still using the Valentine tanks and Shermans. The Sherman was fine with the Firefly being developed to give better firepower.

 

It was felt that the Valentine was not capable of being upgraded to take on the new German tanks that were expected to be encountered in numbers n Normandy. The Cromwell was put in service to replace the Valentine tanks before Normandy.

 

To best of my knowledge the Cromwells baptism of fire was Normandy. 7th armored was to best of my knowledge the only Brit armored division that was equipped almost entirely of Cromwells.

 

I believe Cromwell was prioritized for replacing Valentine in European tank units before D-Day. Once ETO demand was filled some Cromwells and Centaurs were shipped to italy late '44-early '45. 

 

Dont know if its true but have seen references saying Polish armored units operated Cromwells in Italy. .

 

The Valentine was not replaced by the Cromwell - the Valentine Infantry tank Mk III was replaced by the Churchill Infantry tank Mk IV starting in 1942. Some Valentines remained in service as Bridgelayers (replacing Covenanter AVLB's) and as DD tanks which saw action in some of the later river crossings in Italy.

 

Cromwells replaced Covenanters, Crusaders and M3 Lee/Grants in the Cruiser role. 

 

In Western Europe Archer SPATG units had Valentines as command tanks (Mk XI with 75mm) and OP tanks (they were called Chargers) which helped keep commonality of parts. 

 

Centaurs were used as OP tanks, Close Support by the RM and a AA vehicles - none were used as gun tanks. 

 

Cromwells were used by the formation Recce Regts of the Armoured Divs as well as fully equipping 7th Armd Div, the Polish Armoured units used Cromwells in Western Europe as well as Sherman's as did the Czechoslovak forces - They were also used post war by the Czechoslovakians at least. 

 

 

View PostBitter_N_Twisted, on Oct 05 2015 - 14:28, said:

 

Was wondering about that, I've been reading the regimental histories of the  Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's),  both made mentioned having turretless stuarts or "open top" honeys.  I wasn't sure if they were issued to everyone or just the Canadians, as all their nice shiny new equipment was taken by the British 8th army upon their arrival in Italy and were given the old stuff brought back from Africa.

 

It was common in British Recce units to remove the turret from the M3/M5 lights, the lower weight and profile suited British doctrine more as the vehicles had a short range, were too conspicuous and the main gun was too weak - so they removed the turret and fitted a ring with one or two Brownings (0.5" if they could). This was not a field modification it was an official mod. 

 

The British 8th Army arrived in Italy with their own equipment - they did not take over Canadian equipment once they arrived - as they were part of the first troops ashore - so where there from the beginning or did you mean the 8th Army took all the Canadian equipment once the Canadians arrived in Italy? 

 



rivit #19 Posted Oct 08 2015 - 17:54

    Captain

  • Players
  • 14073 battles
  • 1,483
  • Member since:
    01-19-2012

I don't suppose someone has a model of the Cromwell that we could flip over for comparison? I'm having a pickle of a time finding the video. I think it was an Italian propaganda video on youtube.

Crusader Bottom photo 2809-152752_zpsb9g8vo7z.jpg

The bottom of a Cromwell according to airfix

DSC04100

From This Site:

http://www.scaleplasticandrail.com/kaboom/index.php/all-things-military-vehicle/172-scale/176-scale-kit-reviews/999-176-cromwell-iv-tank-from-airfix


 

 


Edited by rivit, Nov 06 2015 - 18:38.


_Freddy_ #20 Posted Oct 08 2015 - 19:32

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 412 battles
  • 827
  • Member since:
    12-12-2011
The image does show quite well the spaced armour on the hull, designed to protect the suspension units. 




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users