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Commonwealth Armour in Italy


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MrHoof #21 Posted Nov 02 2015 - 00:51

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My Grandfather was a member of the Canadian Army Signal Corps, and ended up mainly salvaging rare or difficult to source radio equipment from knocked out tanks. He and his crew occasionally had to go to no man's land or even behind enemy lines. 

 

He worked exclusively with Shermans, mostly from the Calgary Horse. 

 

His universal carrier was knocked out by a hidden 88 and he still had some spall in him the day he died. 



Wyvern2 #22 Posted Nov 03 2015 - 15:05

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Shermans(all different types, 76, 75, firefly in late war), the ubiquitous UC, Churchills, no cromwells/challengers. M10's for sure, but whether or not achilles im not sure. Reportedly a few archers made their way in, as well as various armored cars(daimlers, dingos, staghounds) and even US M3 halftracks with 75mm's in lieu of the AEC's that were used in NW europe. I'm not really sure about AA tanks, I think most if not all of the Crusader AA's were in NW europe.

 

Also, the Centaur only saw service in any form except its 95mm armed version, a few supported the Commando's in NW Europe on D-Day in 1944, and a couple dozen alongside crusader AA's in NW europe, but they were later pulled iirc..



yereverluvinunclebert #23 Posted Nov 03 2015 - 15:25

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The photo - that is NOT a Cromwell - it is clearly a Crusader. Note the narrow tracks - that is the giveaway.

 

The narrow tracks require narrower road wheels but the photo is indistinct so that bit is hard to tell.

 

The tank is probably a MkIII but the photo could have been taken anywhere and not necessarily Italy/Sicily. Could easily have been Libya or Tunisia. My guess is Tunisia as the MkIII Crusader was in action in Tunisia.

 

This is always a good image:

 

The driver is working out his position with the help of an Ipad...


Edited by yereverluvinunclebert, Nov 03 2015 - 15:41.


FangTheCat #24 Posted Nov 04 2015 - 11:45

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Quote

Also, the Centaur only saw service in any form except its 95mm armed version, a few supported the Commando's in NW Europe on D-Day in 1944, and a couple dozen alongside crusader AA's in NW europe, but they were later pulled iirc..

 

 

Urban Legend has it that the Centaur was officially only to be on the landing craft to provide support fire on the beaches - in fact they were supposed to have had their liberties taken out of them, however the storygoes that the RM's thought, 'sod this for a game of soldiers, lets use them as tracks' and instead of staying on the LC's they hit the beach and went on to scut around Europe.

 

Bunkum or good story? Who knows what dodgy wheezes were tried out at that particular point in time..



Sister_Mary_Gearchange #25 Posted Nov 06 2015 - 07:11

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No Cromwells in front line use with anyone in Italy AFAIK.  Centaurs and whatnot in the various modified forms at all levels with most Commonwealth countries (usually command and arty OP vehicles) but they were primarily using  Shermans & Churchills in various forms.  New Zealand forces, for example, had Shermans with 75, 76, and 105mm, the 76 being the least common.  No Fireflys.  Stuarts (3 & 5) in recce roles (as well as all the British vehicles - Dingos, Daimlers, Otters, even some old AECs, etc.)  Stuarts with turrets removed for recce as well.  Grants, Lees, Rams, and refurbished Shermans with turrets removed as Kangaroo APC's with the armoured infanty units.  Now, the NZ division was unusual in the range of equipment they had, but that's because they had a habit of stealing everything they could lay their hands on - by the end of the war in Italy they were massively over strength in manpower and equipment: an infantry division based on the British TOE, but with 29,000 troops, holding 15,000 vehicles at the time they left Trieste!

yereverluvinunclebert #26 Posted Nov 06 2015 - 17:13

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View PostSister_Mary_Gearchange, on Nov 06 2015 - 06:11, said:

No Cromwells in front line use with anyone in Italy AFAIK.  Centaurs and whatnot in the various modified forms at all levels with most Commonwealth countries (usually command and arty OP vehicles) but they were primarily using  Shermans & Churchills in various forms.  New Zealand forces, for example, had Shermans with 75, 76, and 105mm, the 76 being the least common.  No Fireflys.  Stuarts (3 & 5) in recce roles (as well as all the British vehicles - Dingos, Daimlers, Otters, even some old AECs, etc.)  Stuarts with turrets removed for recce as well.  Grants, Lees, Rams, and refurbished Shermans with turrets removed as Kangaroo APC's with the armoured infanty units.  Now, the NZ division was unusual in the range of equipment they had, but that's because they had a habit of stealing everything they could lay their hands on - by the end of the war in Italy they were massively over strength in manpower and equipment: an infantry division based on the British TOE, but with 29,000 troops, holding 15,000 vehicles at the time they left Trieste!

 

If sister Mary says it, then it must be true

 

Spoiler

 



rivit #27 Posted Nov 06 2015 - 18:44

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View Postyereverluvinunclebert, on Nov 03 2015 - 09:25, said:

The photo - that is NOT a Cromwell - it is clearly a Crusader. Note the narrow tracks - that is the giveaway.

 

The narrow tracks require narrower road wheels but the photo is indistinct so that bit is hard to tell.

 

The tank is probably a MkIII but the photo could have been taken anywhere and not necessarily Italy/Sicily. Could easily have been Libya or Tunisia. My guess is Tunisia as the MkIII Crusader was in action in Tunisia.

 

This is always a good image:

 

The driver is working out his position with the help of an Ipad...

 

Look again at the tracks. They appear slightly twisted to give an optical illusion. Here's what I found for the bottom of a Cromwell according to Airfix Model Company:

Crusader Bottom photo 2809-152752_zpsb9g8vo7z.jpg

The bottom of a Cromwell according to airfix:

DSC04100

It's from this Site:

http://www.scaleplas...ank-from-airfix


 

Though, I'm still not satisfied until I find the video.

 



yereverluvinunclebert #28 Posted Nov 07 2015 - 05:28

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Very good response.

 

I think that Hasegawa Crusader is a very old model from the early 1970s. They would hardly have cared about the bottom side of the hull. A typical place to just botch the model. That Crusader had big wide wheels and a very solid turret. It was a bit overscale too if I remember correctly.

 

I have a much better model somewhere and I'll have a look when I find it.

 

 



yereverluvinunclebert #29 Posted Nov 16 2015 - 13:12

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Checked some scale drawings and a few models of the Crusader and the hull underside shown in that photo above matches the Crusader exactly. Two big hatches front and centre-rear, two rear inspection hatches on either side, three more inspection hatches in line then a circular drain hatch.

 

It is definitely a Crusader, good try though.

 

Carro Inglese

Equipaggio Inglese

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by yereverluvinunclebert, Nov 16 2015 - 13:13.


_Freddy_ #30 Posted Nov 17 2015 - 20:42

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A few images of the interior hull of a Cromwell Mk IV (actually an ex Jordanian Charioteer which was converted from a Mk IV).

 

Drivers compartment 

https://www.flickr.c...eposted-public/

Inside engine bay looking towards firewall

https://www.flickr.c...eposted-public/

Inside engine bay looking towards the rear

https://www.flickr.c...eposted-public/



yereverluvinunclebert #31 Posted Nov 18 2015 - 18:32

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Interesting, where is it?

Walter_Sobchak #32 Posted Nov 18 2015 - 18:58

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Underside of Cromwell

 



yereverluvinunclebert #33 Posted Nov 18 2015 - 20:18

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Thankyou Walter, where was that found? I just pulled out my handbook on the Cromwell but you beat me to it.

that shows the inspection hatches in different positions as did my check earlier. It also shows the Airfix Cromwell is pretty accurate.

 

Do you have one for the Crusader?


Edited by yereverluvinunclebert, Nov 18 2015 - 20:19.


rokeykokey #34 Posted Dec 16 2015 - 22:35

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I have an image which shows the Centaur/Cavalier/Cromwell could have been used in the desert and thus could also have taken part in the battle for Italy.

 

That is definitely a Cromwell I derivative and that is definitely desert and it has seen real action... That is the first image I have seen of Cromwell types in the desert - and that changes my mind somewhat. There is a distinct possibility that Crommie-types could have made it to Italy in small numbers.

 


Edited by rokeykokey, Dec 16 2015 - 22:35.


Wyvern2 #35 Posted Dec 16 2015 - 23:01

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Except the British definitely had cromwells in the ME post war, in fact, the Israelis used some cromwells in 1948, so it's very likely that image is post-WW2

Walter_Sobchak #36 Posted Dec 17 2015 - 03:26

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Most likely that image has nothing to do with actual combat and is from the 1958 film "Tank Force!"

 



Battlekroozer #37 Posted Dec 17 2015 - 04:14

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The double Balkenkreuz on the track guards is too much for me, even for a 1950s WWII film.


yereverluvinunclebert #38 Posted Dec 17 2015 - 12:53

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You are all quite right, I have learnt since that the image is from the film the "Black Tent", that all makes sense. The elements of the British Army that were equipped with Cromwells left Italy in order for that to happen.

Yank59 #39 Posted Dec 25 2015 - 21:25

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View Postrivit, on Nov 06 2015 - 18:44, said:

Though, I'm still not satisfied until I find the video.

 

I just remembered that the game has accessible 3D models. They appear to match up Walter's Cromwell pic, the Airfix model, and the Hasegawa kit quite well.
Cromwell:http://gamemodels3d....nks/vehicles/b4
Crusader:http://gamemodels3d....nks/vehicles/b8



Vanagandr #40 Posted Dec 25 2015 - 21:42

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View PostWalter_Sobchak, on Dec 16 2015 - 20:26, said:

Most likely that image has nothing to do with actual combat and is from the 1958 film "Tank Force!"

 

The development of German heavy armor was just too little too late; if they had had more Centurions earlier in the war things would have been a lot different






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