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Kangaroo?

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by SpikedHelmet, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. SpikedHelmet

    SpikedHelmet Member

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    There were so many Kangaroo conversions, on the Ram, Priest, Sexton, Churchill etc etc. Were they standardized in production and deployment, ie, were they a standard sight in mechanized infantry detatchments or simply workshop modifications used randomly and rarely? Which was the most numerous? I can't find much information about them, just that they were there.
     
  2. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    [​IMG]

    RAM - Kangaroo

    [​IMG]

    M7 - Kangaroo

    [​IMG]

    M7 - Kangaroo (Command Vehicle)

    ***LOOKING FOR ANY INTERIOR VIEWS SUCH AS SEATING AND EQUIPMENT STORAGE.***

    The following site shows a little of the interior of a Churchill Kangaroo: www.tankmuseum.co.uk/newsart_0905.html

    Also, was the U.S. M-35 (turretless conversion of the M-10 Tank Destroyer) ever converted for, or, at least considered for the Kangaroo conversion? The M-35 was an artillery mover by the way.
     
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    It's quite hard to say if the Kangaroo qualifies as purely extemporised or an 'official' vehicle. There were certainly organised programs to convert them but also quite a lot that really were just tanks with no turret and as much space as possible created inside.
    Interior views can be quite hard to find.

    Excellent page on early Kangaroos:
    http://www.1cacr.org/vehicles.html

    Restoration with rather limited interior views:
    http://www.mapleleafup.org/vehicles/restorations/restore7.html

    Churchill Kangaroo experimented with postwar:
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    These Kangaroos don't provide much protection...I wouldn't want to be caught in a mortar barrage in one of them either!
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I agree. It seems like too much for transporting at most an infantry squad. I would think that a halftrack provides more protection, thin at most but at least some side cover compared to sitting on top of what amounts to a turretless tank.
     
  6. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    I would rather walk than go in a kangaroo. At least your harder to hit lying on the ground
     
  7. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    I can tell from your comments that you boys are just glancing at these vehicles and offering non-researched personal opinions. And so, with just a little systematic searching I found the following: Although the interior of the RAM Kangaroo was spartan (I'm yet to find information on the interior of the M7 and Churchill variants although the M7 "looks" like it provided better protection than most) it was in fact better suited through protection and mobility than the Universal Carrier and American and German half-tracks. As far as protection goes you just can't look at the above pics and say the troops had less protection. They're in a relaxed state which means they are either in the rear or in well protected areas. Even today soldiers and Marines would choose to ride in whatever comfort possible by opening the hatches on M2 Bradley IFV's and Amtracs, respectively. Furthermore, the Kangaroo was an expedient conversion to solve the overall lack of mobility and armour protection ill-afforded by the half-tracks. And they worked! It seems that throughout their employment losses in personnel dropped. One can only surmise that since Germany was in retreat by the time of the Kangaroo that logistics would not be further strained by production/conversion or more Kangaroos for other units, added to which the Half-tracks were getting the job done anyway. Even though the Kangaroo was used solely by the Canadians (according to what I've found) first at Normandy (1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment and 49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment) and then throughout the rest of the campaign in northwest Europe they can be seen as the forerunners of the modern APC.
     
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  8. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    I've found an interesting site that claims Shermans (and other vehicles) were converted to Kangaroos and that they were used by the British in Italy, so my above information must be inconclusive. There's also some good written detail on the interior of the M7 Kangaroo although the pictures are not very revealing. www.inter.nl.net/users/spoelstra/g104/apckang2.htm

    [​IMG]

    I've also found some pics of the interior of the RAM Kangaroo.....[​IMG]

    Driver and Radio operator.....
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    That last picture is the Bovington Tank museum in Dorset, England. I have been there 4 times and I live at the Opposite end of the Country!

    PS. You know that Tiger II near the entrance? I almost pulled the Hull MG out!
     
  10. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Are you allowed to climb on the vehicles? With armour, if you can't climb all over the vehicles I wouldn't think you'd be able to get the best experience out of one. There are American Legion Posts all over this country that usually have some kind of tank parked out front for anyone to climb all over. There's an M-60 A3 at the one in my home town. As a kid I remember playing on the 40mm AA gun behind the town hall.
     
  11. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    No you can't climb on them. But it is for a good reason, it is to protect all the vehicals. They even have WW1 tanks there, one of the last JagdTigers and the very last Sherman DD in existance. You are not even allowed to touch the fabric of the DD.
     
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    There's also the point that a full-tracked Kangaroo style conversion (given a lack of purpose-designed transporters) will provide much more mobility than halftracks and with near identical performance to the armour the infantry may well be supporting.
     
  13. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Yes, that was the main consideration when the conversions were made.
     
  14. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    True. Opinion based on facts at hand. The Kangaroo was an experiment deemed a success using the chassis from tanks deemed obsolete as infantry transportation first used in Normandy. I could not find details on the actual use of the Kangaroo closely supporting the armour during a battle. Only thing I have found in general is that they followed the tanks and the Kangaroos were a morale booster for the infantry. If this is the case, then why were the Kangaroos not produced en masse instead of not replacing them as they were destroyed? My understanding is that the Kangaroos were created from conversions of vehicles no longer servicable as fighting vehicles hence the different variations. These were the only replacements.

    I based my "opinion" on this information along with military operations involving infantry support and economics. I believe (my opnion) that halftracks did a good enough job in transporting infantry behind the armour up to the point of actual fighting where the infantry would then dismount and fight. The same as if they rode on the Kangaroo. Also, the halftracks were designed as "armoured" vehicles for the infantry to support the tanks. It did cost less to manufacture the halftrack. I would say this, that the halftrack and the Kangaroo were the descendents of the current day Bradley fighter (US).

    So yes my opinion but a little more than just basing it on photos. Curiosity here, are there photos of the Kangaroo in combat? Cheers.
     
  15. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Duh! I re-read your previous post Wil and I pretty much re-iterated your post. I am having brain farts today. Thanks.
     
  16. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    This thread is obscure to the point that little web information, let alone pictures, is readily available.
     
  17. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Re Usage of Kangaroos.

    In Peter Whites book 'With the Jocks' He talks about getting lift with the Canadians on several occasions during the campaign in the Low countries and Germany. Peter White was in the British 52nd Lowland division.

    During the Normandy campaign the 51st Highland division was lifted in Kangaroos when they were assigned to the Canadian Army.

    I wonder how many Kangaroos that was ever built.
    Regarding the combat handling of the Kangaroo, White writes that several was knocked out by AP shots. In their stay in Holland White records training with the Canadian. Apparently they had to discard a lot of kit, bar their gas cape before riding the Kangaroo. This was a big problem during the winter as the cold proved to be a bigger scare than the Germans.
     
  18. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    According to all the web sources that I've run across, the Kangaroo was the conversion of already existing motor carriages from the M7 Priest, RAM, Sherman, etc.. None were purpose built from the ground up during WWII.
     
  19. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    My grandpa once told me about being in a Kangaroo (probably a Sherman variant in Italy) and he said he was in there with several other chaps and a map. Must still have been cramped but all the same.
     

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