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Kangaroo (armoured personnel carrier)

Kangaroo
A Priest Kangaroo of 209th Self-Propelled Battery, Royal Artillery, transports infantry of 78th Division near Conselice, Italy, 13 April 1945.
Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin Canada
Service history
In service 1943–1945
Production history
Designer Guy Simonds
Designed 1944
Variants Ram Kangaroo
Priest Kangaroo
Churchill Kangaroo
Kangaroo Badger flame tank
Specifications
Crew 2 + 8 to 10 passengers

Main
armament
1 × .50 cal MG (Early models)
1 × .30 cal MG (Later models)
(Pintle mount)
Secondary
armament
1 × .30 cal MG
(Bow or cupola MG depending on model)
Flamethrower
(Kangaroo Badger: Replaced cupola MG)

A Kangaroo was a World War II Commonwealth or British armoured personnel carrier (APC), created by conversion of a tank chassis. Created as an expedient measure by the Canadian Army, the Kangaroos were so successful that they were soon being used by British forces as well. Their ability to manoeuvre in the field with the tanks was a major advantage over earlier designs, and led to the dedicated APC designs that were introduced by almost all armies immediately after the war.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Gallery 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

History

In July 1944, Harry Crerar's First Canadian Army was concerned by manpower shortages and Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, commander of the II Canadian Corps, devised Kangaroos as a way of reducing infantry losses.

The first Kangaroos were converted from 72 M7 Priest self-propelled guns of three field artillery regiments of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division who were involved in the initial assault on 6 June 1944. These were no longer needed, as these regiments were re-equipped with towed 25 pounder guns in late July. At a field workshop (codenamed Kangaroo, hence the name) they were stripped of their 105mm guns, the front aperture welded over, then sent into service carrying twelve troops. They were first used on 8 August 1944 during Operation Totalize south of Caen to supplement the half-tracks available.[1]

The Priests were subsequently returned to US custody and other vehicles used. The majority of vehicles converted were Canadian Ram tanks or other Priests (which were sometimes referred to as "unfrocked" or "defrocked" Priests). The name Kangaroo was applied to any similar conversion. In the fall of 1944 they were used in Canadian attacks on the various Channel ports, operated by the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron and the 49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment under the 79th British Armoured Division (whose specialized vehicles were called "Hobart's Funnies"). Kangaroos were then used throughout the remainder of the campaign in northwest Europe.

In Italy Sherman III tanks and some Priests were converted for use by Eighth Army. Removing the turret of the Sherman and stripping the inside gave room to carry 10 troops.[2]

From 1943, Stuart tanks (both M3 and M5) had their turrets removed and seating fitted to carry infantry troops attached to British armoured brigades.[3]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Ellis and Chamberlain AFV Profilre No 13 Ram and Sexton p16
  2. ^ Chamberlain & Ellis British and American Tanks of World War II 1969 Arco Publishing p 131-132
  3. ^ Chamberlain & Ellis (1969) p 91
  • The Battle for the Rhine 1944, 2005, Robin Neillands (chapter 7, "The Battle for the Scheldt")

External links

  • Priest Kangaroo at web.inter.nl.net
  • Ram Kangaroo at mapleleafup.org
  • Canadian Kangaroos.CA, dedicated to 1CACR
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