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Crusader with 5.5inch gun

William Marshall

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It is difficult to see the point of this installation: no ammunition supply, no working platform, let alone protection for gun crew.  Maybe New Vanguard 14 gets it right (p.41-2):


"The exact circumstances of the conversion are not known but it was probably no more than a test rig, built in connection with the FV300 programme.  The gun was mounted in an open well at the front, facing back over the engine deck.  The nose of the tank now became effectively the firing platform while the driver was moved back to a position on the offside, right up against the engine bulkhead.  His view to the front was almost totally obscured by the gun itself.  No doubt to protect them from blast damage, the air cleaners were relocated almost amidships on each trackguard."


Just one photo, as per Das Abteilung's, albeit halfpage and nice and clear.



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  • 4 weeks later...

At the risk of diverting this thread, the bottom right drawing is actually a front view of the Argentine 105mm post-war conversion with the old Schneider gun: obsolete meets obsolete .......  It's definitely not the 5.5" prototype.

Image result for argentine crusader 105mm


There was also a 75mm version with a Bofors M1935 gun.  Obsolete meets even more obsolete......

Image result for argentine crusader 105mm


And then there was the MBRL version .......


So proof that the Crusader could really be useful after all, obsolete ordnance notwithstanding!  One might have thought that a Crusader 25 pdr SPG would have been a useful thing to have, noting the range and barn door limitations of the Bishop, but I suppose we had access to enough Priest and later Sexton and Crusader's reliability reputation was shot away.  I bet you didn't know that the Aussies made a post-war Sexton copy converted from M3 Lees?  The Yeramba.  But that IS an entirely new thread.....


What is perhaps most surprising is the Argentine retention of the notoriously unreliable Liberty engine.  Although Greece had that engine post-war too in their Centaurs and apparently got on well with it. One might assume that, if the Liberty and Meteor could be made interchangeable in the A27L/M Centaur/Cromwell, it might be possible to shoehorn a Meteor into a Crusader.  And revise the national speed limit accordingly!

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