AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

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Milmart
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AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by Milmart » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:09 am

The Cruiser Tank project resulted from an Australian Government decision in May 1940, appreciating that the supply of tanks from Britain would be difficult due to the deteriorating war situation, to design and produce an Australian tank. Considering that at the time Australian industry had little heavy engineering plant, this was an ambitious project.

After a fact finding mission to the USA on tank design and the despatch of a design specialist from England, a specification was drawn up to manufacture the main hull, forward transmission housing, turret and mantlet as cast units. It was hoped to use as many off-the-shelf automotive components as possible in the new tank design.

By the end of 1942 the ACI had been trialled and weaknesses modified to suit changing war conditions. The improved AC3 design was well advanced. However by mid 1943, the threat of Japanese invasion had passed and with the supply of American and British tanks exceeding requirements, the AC series became unnecessary and an extravagant use of Australia's limited resources. Of the AC tanks produced only a small proportion were provisionally accepted by Army, and these subject to further modifications and improvement.

The Memorial's ACIII variant is an upgunned variation of the ACI, and utilises a modified 25pdr field gun for increased firepower. This necessitated considerable design modification, mainly in the provision of a larger turret and turret ring and deletion of the hull machine gunner's position. This Mark also included the redesigned and compact engine installation featuring a common crankcase; allowing room for extra fuel tanks.

The ACIII was delivered to the Army on 12 June 1943. The ACIII with Perrier Cadillac engine was given the name Thunderbolt. The ARN is 8066. This was the only AC III to be built although another may have been started, however with the cancellation of the AC programme in August 1943 no more were completed.

Special features of the tank are: Cast hull. HVSS suspension copied from French Hotchkiss design in place of the M3 type vertical volute suspension as first planned. Crew of four (as opposed to the five carried in the ACI). Very low, stable, fast vehicle, with good armour protection and development potential. Tracks are American rubber block type.
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1941 Willys Slat Grill MB Dec 41
1942 Willys MBT trailer Dec 42
1942 Ford GPW Mar 42
1943 Willys MB Jan 43


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Milmart
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by Milmart » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:10 am

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1941 Willys Slat Grill MB Dec 41
1942 Willys MBT trailer Dec 42
1942 Ford GPW Mar 42
1943 Willys MB Jan 43

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Milmart
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by Milmart » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:11 am

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1941 Willys Slat Grill MB Dec 41
1942 Willys MBT trailer Dec 42
1942 Ford GPW Mar 42
1943 Willys MB Jan 43

User avatar
Milmart
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Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:42 pm
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by Milmart » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:11 am

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1941 Willys Slat Grill MB Dec 41
1942 Willys MBT trailer Dec 42
1942 Ford GPW Mar 42
1943 Willys MB Jan 43

User avatar
Milmart
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by Milmart » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:12 am

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1941 Willys Slat Grill MB Dec 41
1942 Willys MBT trailer Dec 42
1942 Ford GPW Mar 42
1943 Willys MB Jan 43

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YLG80
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by YLG80 » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:51 am

Thanks you very much for that detailed information.
That tank had a nice and modern silhouette for the period.
Looks like a very advanced design prefiguring the Patton tank silhouette.
Are there any spec. data available?
Yves
Ford GPW 164794 1/4T 12-7-43 - Frame# GPW*239762*
ACM I body#198443
Restored as 1st Army 759th LT B21
ON6YD(ex YB1AUH) MVPA38444

Fernmelder
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by Fernmelder » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:01 am


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YLG80
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Re: AC Cruiser Tank (Australia)

Post by YLG80 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:57 am

Fernmelder wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:01 am
https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... uiser+tank
This link may get you started
Thanks.
That tank had very good specs, hp/ton, armor, max speed and only 4 crew members.
Yves
Ford GPW 164794 1/4T 12-7-43 - Frame# GPW*239762*
ACM I body#198443
Restored as 1st Army 759th LT B21
ON6YD(ex YB1AUH) MVPA38444


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