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Amphibious armour

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Spartanroller, Oct 15, 2010.

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If you need an amphibious tank, what do you think is the best type?

  1. Buoyant Hull

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Strap on Pontoons

    75.0%
  3. Flotation Screens

    16.7%
  4. Snorkel

    8.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Following on from the wildly popular 'Wheel-and-track vehicles' thread, I would love to hear everyones views on amphibious tanks.

    Most armies had some vehicles in service, some primarily for amphibious landings, some primarily for reconnaissance, some because the bridges couldn't take the weight. The period between the wars was rife with amphibious tanks, largely because they seemed like a good idea, being able to go almost anywhere. However the necessity for light armour and generally larger size in an amphibian was not appreciated as such a limitation as it turned out to be, due to the widespread misreading of the tank experience gained in WW1.

    Since the war, the Soviets, the USMC and the British among others kept the idea alive, however Britain dropped almost all the amphibious capability from AFVs in the 80s.

    Amphibious armour can be loosely divided into the following categories;

    1. Buoyant Hull vehicles, which float with minimal preparation (some even built largely in the shape of a boat)

    2. Vehicles with attachable flotation pontoons - sometimes snugly fitted, sometimes essentially strapping big floats on the side

    3. Flotation Screens, most notably the Straussler Duplex Drive vehicles

    4. Snorkellers, in particular the German heavy tanks of the late war period

    The vehicles are also defined by their water drive system, some being driven by standard road tracks and wheels, some with specially designed 'grouser' tracks, and some with a propellor or water jet type drive.

    I look forward to your contributions :)
     

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  2. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    To start the thread off, I will just post this list of Amphibious vehicles, which as people mention or post about different models I can edit and update, hopefully eventually giving us a useful reference list. :)

    Czechoslovakia

    Skoda F-IV-Hb (pictured in first post)
    SOT

    France

    Amphimotor prototype 1922
    Schneider-Laurent amphibian
    La Licorne prototype
    DP-2 of 1930

    Germany

    Tauchpanzer III
    Tauchpanzer IV
    Schwimmpanzer II
    Schwimmpanzer 38(t)
    LWS 1-2
    PanzerFaehre
    Schildkrote 1/3
    Wasser Goliath 'Ente'

    Great Britain and Commonwealth


    Mk IX APC amphibious tank
    Medium D amphibious
    MacFie amphibious tractor
    AT1*
    Vickers Carden Loyd L1E1,2,3
    Vickers Carden Loyd A4E11,12
    Light tank Mk2/pontoon
    Light tank MkVI/pontoon
    Covenanter cruiser/pontoon
    DD Valentine
    DD Tetrarch )and other experimental trials
    DD Centurion (post war trials)
    Universal carrier (various)

    Japan

    AMP Sumida armoured car half-track
    The Amphib Type 92 (very few built)
    Type 2 Ka-Mi
    Type 3 Ka-Chi
    Type 4 Ka-Tsu
    Type 4 Ka-Sha Torpedo launch
    Type 5 To-Ku
    SR-I I-Go
    SR-II Ro-Go
    FB swamp vehicle
    SA swamp vehicle?

    Poland

    PzInz 130

    Soviet Union

    PT-1/1A
    T-33
    T-37
    T-38
    T-40
    T-41
    T-26 snorkel
    BAZ armoured car
    BAD-2 armoured car

    United States

    Christie M1921/22/23/24
    Roebling Alligator
    LVT1-4
    LVT-(A)-1,2,4 and 5
    Sherman DD
    Sherman / T6
    M5A1 ???
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    In a "normal" tank you have the usual balance:

    Armor + Protection + Mobility = 1

    You can't exceed one, and if you go under 1 you have room for improvement somewhere, so your design is flawed.

    With amphibious vehicles "Mobility" has to expland to "Mobility Land" + "Mobility Water", with a bit thrown in for "Mobility @ Land/Water Interface".

    Two examples come to mind immediately, the LVT and the DD Sherman. The LVT was a swimmer that could go on land, IMHO. The Sherman was the opposite, a tank that could, sort of, swim.
     
  4. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    And here are some pictures of those LVTs;

    LVT1
    LVT2
    LVT3
    LVT4
    The track 'Grousers' which gave them their speed in the water
     

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  5. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    And the Sherman Straussler DDs. DD stands for Duplex Drive, and refers to the tracks and propellor system used;

    Screen Up
    Screen Down
    Launch
    At Sea
    Cutaway diagram
     

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  6. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Here are some early British designs;

    AT1*
    Vickers Carden Loyd L1E3
    VCL A4E12
    and again
    The Light tank MkVI/pontoon
     

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  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Japanese tank with the discardable "bow" in an interesting variation. Shows some "non-standard thinking" there.
     
  8. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    That would be the Japanese Type 2 Ka-Mi. (it also had a detachable stern) The Japanese invested heavily in amphibious tanks, and used them with some success.

    Of particular note with this tank is that it wasn't too badly armoured compared to other Japanese tanks (admittedly that wasn't hard), and without the pontoons it was very compact, but in the water it was very comfortable, with two propellers and rudders for easy steering.

    You could fight and drive the tank with the pontoons on if you needed to (equally you could use the turret while in the water) or you could jettison the floats from inside the vehicle.

    And the mushroom on the back isn't a second turret, it's an engine breather

    Down side of this tank was it was expensive and slow to build, so few were produced;

    but even ignoring the amphibious capability it was probably the best Japanese light tank of the war.
     

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  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Were the "bolt-ons" reusable?
     
  10. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    The LVT(A) series "A" for Armored. Here is a picture of the LVT(A)-1 based on the LVT-2 design. Pretty much and uparmored LVT-2 Hull with an M-5 Stuart turret and a bayonet lug.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    For sure - maybe you needed to get new clips/bolts, but the floats were just floats.


    "and a bayonet lug" - gotta love Bootnecks:D:D
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The track grousers you show were not on the LVT-1 it used a different type that rode on rollers mounted directly to the sponsons. Basically it had no suspension. It was of only limited use on hard ground, and had very short track life. The grousers you show are from the LVT2/4 series, it had a torsilastic suspension giving much improved land performance. The LVT-3 had a similar suspension to the LVT-2/4 series but had narrower tracks with a different pitch.

    LVT-1 note the tracks:
    [​IMG]

    The LVT-1, LVT-2, LVT-3 and LVT-4 were made out of steel, the LVT(A)-2 was constructed out of armor plate and had a different cab and engine louvres. The armored cab and engine louvres were incorporated into the later production LVT-2's and their appearance is virtually identical to the (A)2. Only 450 LVT(A)-2's were produced and all went to the U.S. Army, the (A)-2 is also the only troop carrying version to bear the (A)designation.
    The LVT(A)1, (A)4 and (A)5 were armored, turreted versions of the LVT-2 and were referred to as Amtanks. The (A)1 had the turret from the M3 light tank, a variation was the "Marianas Model" with additional machine guns. The (A)4 and (A)5 had the turret from the M8 75mm HMC, gryostabalized and powered in the (A)5 version.

    LVT(A)4's

    [​IMG]

    LVT(A)1
    [​IMG]
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Sorry about repeating some of the things you wrote Brad, your post wasn't showing when I typed mine. I only saw it after I hit submit.
     
  14. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Not to worry it's all good stuff - Marine input makes the most sense in this thread so keep it coming, thanks :)

    Heres a selection more of the Japanese models (they fielded a lot of variety);

    The Amphib Type 92 (very few built)
    AMP Sumida armoured car half-track
    Type 5 To-Ku (only 1 built)(47mm gun in front, 37mm in turret)
    Type 3 Ka-Chi
    Type 4 Ka-Tsu
    More to come;
     

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  15. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    And more Japanese;

    The SR-II Ro-Go
    The FB swamp vehicle (don't think it was armoured, but is an interesting comparison to the LVT1 in some ways)
    The SR-I I-Go
    Type 4 Ka-Sha Torpedo launch (not clear if was ever fielded, probably not, but was intended to be submarine launched and used for supply)
     

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  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    An interesting choice of words since the Roebling Alligator which the LVT-1 was based on was designed for use as a rescue vehicle in swampy areas hit by hurricanes. The original Roebling amphibious tractor bears an even greater resemblance to the Japanese vehicle than the LVT-1.


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    I hoped that one would come up, it is sort of the mother (father?) of all the amtracks I believe, and I'm pretty sure the Japanese one was based somewhat on it(the Japanese one was apparently a 1940 approx(no hard data) design, and the Roebling was finished in 1935.

    Here's a better photo of the SB, showing the rubber floats on the tracks well

    and also the SA, which again has no hard data but may just possibly be post war?
     

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  18. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Here's some of the Russian models;

    T-37
    and T-37 swimming - note the incredibly low freeboard
    T-38
    T-40
    and the BAZ armoured car
     

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  19. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    And The DD/Straussler system was not just fitted to the Sherman, it was used operationally on the Valentine, tested on the Tetrarch, the Churchill and Churchill crocodile, The Universal Carrier and several more;

    DD Valentine (slight problem with this was that the turret had to be trained to the rear)
    DD Valentine
    DD Valentine propeller arrangement
    DD Tetrarch
    DD Tetrarch propeller set up
     

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  20. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Also alternative systems were devised for the sherman;

    There was the T6 float, similar to the japanese detachable float system, and used in limited numbers in the pacific.
    And the Deep wading device (not strictly speaking amphibious, but worth including here)

    T6 trial launch that went wrong because the floats detached
    T6 floats
    later successful T6 equipped sherman swimming
    Sherman deep wader
    and again
     

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