Alternate Armoured Vehicles of Nations

The T249 Vigilante was a prototype 37 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) designed as a replacement for the Bofors 40 mm gun and M42 Duster in US Army service. The system consisted of a 37 mm T250 six-barrel Gatling gun mounted on a lengthened M113 armored personnel carrier platform with a radar system.

The US Army was quite impressed with the performance of the T249 but however realised that the system had severe limitations in the form it was designed. Treating the T249 as a "proof of concept" the Ordnance Board ordered that a better vehicle be designed to fix the problems encountered. Perhaps the worst was the limited amount of ammunition which was carried onboard the vehicle, barely allowing more than three or four engagements before it had to be replenished. Then there was the problem that the gun had to be reloaded from outside the vehicle, which was clearly unacceptable if it was operating in a Nuclear, Biological or Chemical environment. While the radar was an excellent improvement over the vehicle it was intended to replace, the M42 Duster, which had none, it's range and discrimination was limited and it was felt a more powerful unit would be required.

In order to accommodate all those things, a larger, roomier vehicle than the M113 was required. While it was possible to lengthen the M113 chassis, the M113 production was running at full speed, just keeping up with the existing orders for standard vehicles to re-equip the Army. Casting around, the decision was taken to utilise the M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer chassis. This was large and was readily and cheaply available. So, the M109 was adopted. A new belt feed ammunition supply was designed, using "cassettes" which could be easily loaded in and out of the large rear hatch on the vehicle. With a crew of three (Commander, gunner and driver), carrying sufficient ammunition for 10 or more engagements and a substantially more powerful and larger radar, the M111 SPAAG was adopted into US Army service as the M111 SPAAG.

The vehicle depicted, is that of the first M111 SPAAG which was presented to the Press on 7 June 1966. It was later deployed to Europe where it made a valuable contribution to deterring Communist aggression from the USSR on the German border. The value of such vehicles were proved when several, supplied to Israel, successfully defended the Dimona nuclear reactor against an unsuccessful Iraqi air attack in 1991. Several MiG-23 aircraft were downed, described as having been "shredded" by the firepower of the 37mm Gattling guns.




The Model

The model is a venerable Italeri M109 SPG, with suitable modifications. The gun was what held up the build for some time as I attempted to work out some way in which to produce consistent circles and hexagons (and drill them well enough, without splitting) to hold the gun tubes, made from brass tube. The radar aerial is from Shapeways and intended for for a 1/16 scale U-boat. It is a little large but I think looks quite good. The 3d printed material though, proved to be difficult to paint, basically sucking in the paint applied (which was acylic) so I sealed it first with a weak solution of PVA glue which seemed to stop it. The vents are Gundam vents, from HLJ, suggested to me by Gingie. The acquisition radome came from the top of a large, multicolour pen.
In early 1941 the British make a choice between the A22 Churchill and another heavy infantry tank. The A22 is rejected due to the influence of the designers of its competitor. They later bitterly regret that choice.


Attempts to improve the design are also not all they could be.

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M41as1 Light Tank, 3 APC Sqn, Phuoc Tuy, South Vietnam, 1966

The Pentropic organisation was a military organisation used by the Australian Army between 1960 and 1965. It was based on the United States Army's pentomic organisation and involved reorganising most of the Army's combat units into units based on five elements, rather than the previous three or four sub-elements. It was intended to be air portable and designed for Jungle Warfare.

The decision to adopt the Pentropic organisation was driven by a desire to modernise the Army and ensure that Australian units were able to integrate with those of the United States Army. While the US Pentomic organisation had been implemented in 1957 to improve the Army's ability to operate during a nuclear war, the Australian organisation was optimised for limited wars in South East Asia in which there was a chance that nuclear weapons might be used. Both structures were designed to facilitate independent operations by the sub-units of divisions. The Australian Pentropic division was intended to be air portable, capable of fighting in a limited war and capable of conducting anti-guerrilla operations.

The key element of the Pentropic organisation was the reorganisation of divisions into five combined arms battle groups. These battle groups consisted of an infantry battalion, field artillery regiment, engineer field squadron and other combat and logistic elements, including armoured, aviation and armoured personnel carrier units as required. These battle groups would be commanded by the commanding officer of their infantry battalion and report directly to the headquarters of the division as brigade headquarters were abolished as part of the reorganisation.

When the Pentropic organisation was implemented in 1960 the Australian Army was reorganised from three divisions organised on what was called the Tropical establishment (the 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions) into two Pentropic divisions (the 1st and 3rd).[3] While two of the Army's three regular infantry battalions were expanded into the new large Pentropic battalions, the 30 reserve Citizens Military Force (CMF) battalions were merged into just nine battalions. This excluded the University Regiments and the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles which remained unchanged. There was a similar effect on the other CMF units, with most being merged into new, larger units. The other regular infantry battalion remained on the previous tropical establishment as it formed part of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade in Malaysia.[3] As part of this reorganisation the Army replaced its outdated weapons with more modern weapons, most of which were supplied from the United States. It was believed that these new weapons would further improve the Army's combat power and the ability of sub-units to operate independently.

The Pentropic organisation was trialed during exercises in 1962 and 1963. These exercises revealed that the battle groups' command and control arrangements were unsatisfactory, as battalion headquarters were too small to command such large units in combat situations. While the large Pentropic infantry battalions were found to have some operational advantages over the old tropical establishment battalions, the divisions' large number of vehicles resulted in traffic jams when operating in tropical conditions.

The experience gained from exercises and changes in Australia's strategic environment led to the decision to move away from the Pentropic organisation in 1964. During the early 1960s a number of small counter-insurgency wars broke out in South East Asia, and the large Pentropic infantry battalions were ill-suited to these sorts of operations. As the US Army had abandoned its pentomic structure in 1962 and the British Army remained on the tropical establishment, the Australian Army was unable to provide forces which were suited for the forms of warfare it was likely to experience or which were organised along the same lines as units from Australia's main allies. In addition, concentrating the Army's limited manpower into a small number of large battalions was found to be undesirable as it reduced the number of deployable units in the Army. As a result of these factors the Australian Government decided to return the Army to the tropical establishment in November 1964 as part of a wide-ranging package of reforms to the Australian military, which included increasing the size of the Army.[3] The Army returned to the tropical establishment in 1965, and many of the CMF battalions were re-established as independent units.

However, before that occurred, the wheels had been set in motion to re-equip the Army with new equipment. For the Armoured Corps, two key elements were the acquisition of a new Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and a Light Tank, both had to be able to easily transported by air. Trials were conducted for both. For the APC, the contenders were the British FV432, the French AMX-VTT and the US M113. The M113 was declared the winner and purchased in large numbers. The light tank was more problematic with only two contenders, the French AMX-13 and the US M41. While the M41 Walker Bulldog was out of production, it was decided in the interests of military interoperability and political considerations that it would be adopted. In addition, the example of the Royal Australian Marines which already operated the M41 gave the possibility of standardisation between the two services. The M41 however, was always seen as an interim vehicle until more advanced types, then in development, became available to Army.

While the organisation it was intended for had been abandoned as unwieldy, the procurement process had been rushed through and the Light Tank, which had been given priority in order to allow Army to respond to any perceived crises by being able to air lift armour to any trouble spot had resulted in the purchase of 100 M41 tanks. These were to be allocated to the new Reconnaissance Squadron which was to be formed in the Pentropic Division. However, instead they were issued to initially the newly formed 1 Cavalry Regiment (which in 1965 was renamed 2 Cav.Rgt. to avoid confusion with 1 Armd. Rgt.) when that organisation was abandoned. When 3 Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron was deployed to Vietnam, a troop of M41s was dispatched as well, to "beef up" the Squadron's firepower. When that Squadron was reformed into 3 Cavalry Regiment, the M41s troop was dissolved and the vehicles were allocated to the Squadron HQ, where they were often used to support individual troops on operations. The M41 in RAAC service soldiered on until 1978 when it was replaced.




M41 Model

The model is the AFV-Club M41. It depicts one of the HQ vehicles of B Tp, 3 Cav. Sqn. as deployed to Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam in 1966. These vehicles gave a considerable boost in firepower to the Cavalry Squadron, being used in the HQ of each Troop in the Squadron in a support role. In South Vietnam they were used primarily on Convoy Escort and Base Protection duties but occassionally also took part in sweeps against the Viet Cong where the firepower of their 76mm guns with their canister rounds were particularly appreciated. The modifications were simple, a turret basket with stowage and the substitution of a .30cal MMG for the more normal .50cal HMG. The Australian Armoured Corps having a preference for increased stowage and an appreciation that the role of the tank commander was to command his vehicle, rather than engage in personal firefights. As the war progressed, a need for increased stowage was to see another turret basket added to the other side of the turret and the .30cal replaced by the original .50cal.


A path not taken....

The Rock Island Arsenal designed M1921/T1E1 Medium Tank


The Medium Tank M1921 was a medium tank built in the United States in the inter-war period. In design, it was similar to earlier WW1 era tanks. United States Army engineers worked on the design of the tank, with some influence from British designs of the period, and from the earlier war experience. One example was produced. The tank was an early example of a turreted US tank, less usual at the time, with the turret housing the main gun, with the tank also possessing two machine guns for defence.[1]

Main gun 47mm.

Decent performance from the prototype, but 1920's bare-bones budgets killed it's development

In order to extend their useful working life the British Army modifies all the remaining Medium A Whippet tanks in lime with the experiment carried out by Colonel Philip Johnson in 1918. They are given suspension and Rolls Royce Eagle engines which allow them to reach a top speed of about 30mph before things start falling apart. The last surviving examples (6) are finally scrapped in Palestine in 1941.

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M551as1 Sheridan Light Tank, Baidoa, Somalia, 1992

As already related, the Royal Australian Armoured Corps operated M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks as an intrim vehicle to fulfill it's needs, under the Pentropic Divisional organisation for a Light Tank. When the Pentropic Organisation was abandoned as being too unwieldy and incompatible with allied forces' organisations, the M41s had already been procured. They were then utilised in Cavalry Squadrons to provide integral, increased firepower. The M41as1 lasted in Australian service until 1978 when they were replaced by M551as1 Sheridans.

The performance of the M551 had impressed the RAAC when they had observed it in Vietnam. While the M41 had proved adequate, it was felt in the post-Vietnam environment, something better would be required. A preference for an amphibous capable reconniassance vehicle was strongly in the mind of the RAAC as they had felt the M41's lack of such a capability had severely limited its ability to operate effectively without considerable support resources. While the 152mm gun/missile launcher was seen as being a way for the RAAC to gain access to the latest anti-armour technology. When the Vietnam War ended, the US Army found itself with a large number of surplus Sheridans and were only too willing to sell them to their loyal antipodean ally.

The M551as1 replaced the M41as1 on a one-for-one basis. The tremendous increase in firepower meant for the first time light tanks were now the equal (or superior perhaps) of MBTs. Their long-range ATGWs allowed them to engage MBTs outside the range of the MBT's own guns and the largely flat, open terrain of Australia was ideally suited to such long-range sniping. In exercises, the Cavalry Squadrons often found themselves able to account for enemy MBT forces themselves, without recourse to their supporting MBT units. However, their first test on operations was not in war but a humanitarian relief effort in Somalia.


Flanked by the Gulf of Aden in the north and the Indian Ocean, the east African country of Somalia shares its land borders with Djubouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. During the nineteenth century Somalia’s land came under the colonial control of Ethiopia, Italy, France, and Britain. In 1960 the Italian and British colonies of Somaliland became independent Somalia. Nine years later Major General Mohamed Siad Barre seized power in a military coup and ruled the country for the next 31 years.

Courting the great super power during the Cold War, Siad Barre received Soviet military and economic aid in exchange for allowing them to build military bases. However, in 1977 the Soviets dropped their support of Barre’s military dictatorship in favour of a Marxist government in Ethiopia and during the 1980s the United States instead provided economic and military aid to Somalia. During this time Barre fought both external and internal enemies. In 1978 an attempt to seize traditional Somalia lands in Ethiopia failed while during the 1980s Barre fought a civil war against various clans in the country’s north. These clans were brutally repressed and in one incident in 1988 up to 50,000 people died when the town of Hargeisa was destroyed. As the country slid further into anarchy, Barre’s government was spending five times as much money on the military as it did on health and education. In 1989 the United States withdrew its aid and in October 1990 the main opposition groups in Somalia united to defeat Barre who fled the country in January 1991.

Barre’s departure left a power vacuum and Somalia broke down into clan-based militia warfare. This violence coincided with a drought that caused poor harvests and food shortages. In 1992 the international community attempted to provide some relief with an international campaign for aid and the United Nations (UN) authorised an emergency air lift of supplies. However, with no government or working system of law and order, violent gangs dominated the cities and the aid could not be distributed to those in need.

In July the first UN personnel were deployed to Somalia as part the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). UNOSOM was initially formed to monitor a ceasefire between the two main militia groups, one led by Ali Mahdi Mohamed and the other by Mohamed Farah Aidid, who were fighting for control of Mogadishu, the Somali capital. In October the Australian government decided to send a thirty-person Movement Control Unit (MCU), drawn from the three services, to Somalia to coordinate transport for the UN mission. The unit was commanded by Major Greg Jackson and troops began arriving in the country from the end of October.

UNOSOM was primarily a monitoring group and did not have the resources to establish stability in the country or even protect food distribution. Most of the supplies the aid agencies had flown into Somalia could not be distributed and few ships were able or willing to enter Mogadishu harbour. The food shortage became a famine in which about 300,000 people died.

In November the US government announced it would lead a force to Somalia to enable aid agencies to distribute humanitarian relief. The UN Security Council gave the force, the Unified Task Force - Somalia (UNITAF), the mandate to use “all necessary means” to carry out this task. At its peak UNITAF consisted of 37,000 personnel, 21,000 of whom were American and the rest from twenty other countries. The first American troops arrived in Mogadishu on 9 December.

Australia contributed an infantry battalion group to UNITAF. The group totaled 990 personnel and was based around 1RAR, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Hurley. In addition to troops from 1RAR, the group included the Armoured Personnel Carriers and light tanks of C Squadron, 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment; a civil and military operations teamed based on 107th Field Battery; engineers from the 17th Field Troop of the 3rd Combat Engineering Regiment; signalers from the 103rd Signals Squadron; Intelligence personnel; the 7th Electronic Warfare Squadron; and a support unit based on the 3rd Brigade Administrative Support Battalion. There was also an Australian headquarters, with public relations and support staff. Colonel William Mellor, Commander Australian Force Somalia, was located in Mogadishu. He was responsible for the safety of the Australian force and dealt directly with the task force’s American commander.

The Australians were based in Baidoa Humanitarian Relief Sector, west of Mogadishu. The Australian contingent in Baidoa had four main roles: maintain a secure environment in Baidoa; maintain a presence in the surrounding countryside; protect aid convoys; and assist in the equitable distribution of aid. Tasks were rotated between the four rifle companies every nine days. The troops also gathered intelligence by talking to the locals and used this knowledge to disarm aggressive groups. There were a number of skirmishes with bandits.

It was during these skirmishes that the Sheridans fired their guns for the first and last time in anger. Their massive 152mm guns were devastating against the lightly equipped militias and were guaranteed to drestroy any building or vehicle which offered resistence. One such was a technical whose crew decided their 12.7mm DShK HMG was a match for the 152mm gun of Sheridan call sign three-two, "Chauvel" of C Sqn, 3/4 Cav. Rgt. on the road between Baidoa and the airstrip nearby. Three-two was tasked that day with escorting a convoy from the airport, carrying much needed food aid when it encountered several Technicals. When they came under fire, they responded with a 152mm Flechette round at close range against one of the Technicals, completely destroying it. The other Technicals following rapidly retired. The vehicle commander commented drily afterwards. "It did wonders for their constipation..."








The Model

The model is the Academy M551 "Vietnam" model (as against their "Desert Storm" version). It was essentially done straight out of the box with additional stowage added. Painted in standard Australian vehicle camouflage with weathering and markings added from the spares box. It is covered in the thick, red dust typical of the Somali area. It carries it's vehicle name, "Chauvel" (named after the commander of the Australian Light Horse in Palestine, Sir Harry Chauvel). on each side and it's call-sign on "battle boards" (easily dismounted timber boards) on it's stowage racks on the turret.

New Zealand forms an Armoured Brigade to defend the Islands in case of a Japanese invasion. It is equipped solely with New Zealand built Schofield light tanks.

@Rickshaw - the Vigialnte/109 combo is a piece of art (that's coming from an former AA gunner).
I wholeheartedly agree, not only is that a great solution to the US SPAAG problem (I never understood the obsession with putting guns bigger than 20/25mm on a small APC chassis back then), it's also a beautiful design.
No, Mauler failed for reasons independent from the Vigilante. I still wonder if the Vigilante was the right choice in caliber and size btw.

I don’t know why you’d need 37mm rounds to bring down jet aircraft, especially in the low level envelope it was meant to cover. For a rapid fire weapon, 20 to 30mm should be more than sufficient.

Without the Mauler, the Army runs into the problem that it’s companion SPAAg no longer has its companion SAM. Mobile mid level air defense doesn’t really exist.
The Challenger Marksman

MoD assessments of the Falklands Campaign conclude that SAMs, while maturing, are still unfit to take up the entire burden of frontline air defence. The recommendation that the British Army pursue a new SPAAG system was initially ignored. It is thus fortunate that Marconi Electronic Systems had developed the Markman SPAAG turret as a private venture. It presented a British made off the shelf solution when the UK's defence spending spiked in response to renewed Cold War tensions following the 1991 Soviet Coup. The turrets were mounted on a selection of Challenger hulls as they were phased out in favour of the Challenger 2.

When the Northern Limit Line dispute erupted into an undeclared war between the Koreas a troop of Challenger Marksmen were deployed in support of the British contingent. The overwhelming air superiority of the US and RoK airforces meant that they never had an opportunity to engage their intended targets, but their exceptional gun elevation made them ideal for evicting KPA light infantry from the slopes of the mountainous areas around the DMZ.

By 2016 they had been phased out of service without direct replacement.
The first tank ever designed and built in the Western Hemisphere, the TNCA Salinas*:


Named for its designer Major Alberto Salinas Carranza (standing next to his creation in the photo), this was developed by a Mexican firm in 1917. The tank too inspiration from both British and French vehicles in the ongoing European war, with a slight rhomboid shape and hull sponsons reminiscent of the British marks but a front-mounted gun like the French tanks in service. The prototype was armed with a 37mm Hotchkiss revolving cannon, but later production models were outfitted with the Mexican-designed and built St Chamond-Mondragon 75mm guns instead. The sponsons mounted machines, also Hotchkiss. The Salinas tank was initially powered by the 80hp Aztatl six-cylinder engine, originally built for aircraft by TNCA and thus conveniently in stock to power their first tank.

Owing to tensions with the United States and not wanting a repeat of the American occupation of Vera Cruz just a few years earlier, several Salinas tanks were rushed to border cities and military garrisons. Publicly it was claimed they were being sent to help the military governor of Sonora General Calles in his fight against local rebels. In actuality their first taste of combat would be against US Army forces when a gunfight at the border town of Nogales erupted into a skirmish between the US Army and a force composed primarily of Mexican civilians aided by a number of soldiers. The American 10th Cavalry and 35th Infantry advanced across the border and placed a machine-gun position atop the hills east of Nogales, but by this time Mexican tanks had arrived and promptly threw them back across the border. The fighting lasted a little while longer after the Mexicans retook their town, with snipers on both sides shooting across the border. But the sight of Mexican tanks advancing up the street and nearing the Arizonan Nogales prompted the Americans to wave the white flag and request a cease-fire.

American and Mexican military casualties were roughly even during the skirmish, but many Mexican civilians were killed or wounded in the fighting, though its disputed how many were caught in the crossfire, struck by indiscriminate American shooting, or killed/wounded after having taken part in the fighting. Several American civilians had also taken part in the fighting, some shooting from across the border but many others having driven trucks to ferry soldiers to the fight. One of these trucks was mistakenly identified as a US Army vehicle (carrying uniformed army soldiers) and destroyed by one of the tanks. General Calles and his American counterpart quickly negotiated a settlement after the accidental battle, both sides valiantly doing their best to pretend the whole affair never happened, although it would be long-remembered in local legend in Nogales and resulted in an immediate withdrawal of the American military expedition in Mexico.

*this factoid is OTL, this really did precede American tanks.
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I don’t know why you’d need 37mm rounds to bring down jet aircraft, especially in the low level envelope it was meant to cover. For a rapid fire weapon, 20 to 30mm should be more than sufficient.

Without the Mauler, the Army runs into the problem that it’s companion SPAAg no longer has its companion SAM. Mobile mid level air defense doesn’t really exist.

Going for bigger cannon (35-40mm) improves range, it much improves the covered area, and it also improves the chance to hit for the last % of the range. One can either cover the greater airspace with same number of guns, or can cover the same airspace better when compared with 25-30mm guns. 20mm guns are behind the curve. A hit by heavy shell is more likely to bring down the enemy aircraft than it will be so with the lighter shell.
The really expensive parts of the SPAA gun are the hull and electronics, so it makes sense to pair all of that with a most powerful automatic gun one has.

US Army can adopt the ground-launched Sparrow for something in-between the Chaparral and Hawk.
An Alternative History of the Royal Australian Regiment
The Australian Infantry

Australia was proud of it's military record. World War I and World War II had stood it's infantry forces as it's prime military arm. Korea was a repeat of both those previous conflicts. Korea had been fought on the Korean Peninsular, criss-crossed by narrow steep ridges. The use of anti-tank guns was limited as a consequence. 17 Pdr guns hauled initially by Universal Carriers and then later by large American trucks, the ridges basically defeated the use of the guns.

The infantry began to seek alternatives. The self-propelled gun was one obvious one. However, Australia didn't posses any. They tried recoilless rifles as another. Mounted on initially M3 Scout Cars and then later Landrovers, they seem to be a potential answer. However, they still lacked armour protection, particularly against artillery fire. Missiles were still in their infancy and expensive (and unreliable in the eyes of the Infantry)

When the RAAC abandoned the use of the M47, the infantry started to think about using them as a sort of self-propelled gun. The RAAC kyboshed the idea. They weren't going to allow a bunch of footsloggers to have tanks! So the infantry went looking for alternatives.

In West Germany, they found one. The Jagdpanzerkanone was just appearing. Created using old M47 guns, placed on a new, smaller, lighter chassis it seemed to answer the needs of the Infantry. They took a proposal to Canberra. They intended to purchase Jagdpanzerkanone chassis and take the guns from the scrapped M47s and put them on them. After some humming and harrahing, the RAAC agreed, as long as they were used as SPGs and not tanks. The Infantry finally had mobile anti-tank guns! Equipping the AT Platoon of each Infantry Battalion, the Jagdpanzerkanones went into action. Nicknamed “Jagd's” they proved popular and lasted in service from 1967 until 1989.






In 1989, the opportunity became available to replace the Jagd's with something new the Strv 103 or “S” Tank from Sweden. While originally conceived as an MBT it was in the form of an SPG with a gun fixed into the hull. Modern and well equipped, it was at least two generations ahead of the Jagd's. They were also cheap with the end of the Cold War in Europe. After a few years of humming and harring from the RAAC the OK was received. The Infantry ordered 50 vehicles, which because of the time spent debating the acquisition had become even cheaper. The Swedes were happy, Treasury was happy, the Infantry was happy and the RAAC was happy. The Indonesians weren't. The “S” Tank served for over 25 years. The RAAC found it a difficult vehicle to combat. It was equipped with sand shields in Australian service and it's extremely low silhouette made it a hard vehicle to detect or destroy on exercises. They served from approximately 1993 until today.







The Kits

Revell Jagdpanzerkanone and Trumpeter Strv-103C. Painted with the a hairy stick using Vallejo acylics, Mouse House enamels. Decals by Kit Speckman.
don’t know why you’d need 37mm rounds to bring down jet aircraft, especially in the low level envelope it was meant to cover. For a rapid fire weapon, 20 to 30mm should be more than sufficient.

In the Falklands a Sea Harrier took a 20mm through the vertical tail that exploded on the way out. This did not do enough damage to do stop the plane getting back to the carrier and flying the next day.
I don’t know why you’d need 37mm rounds to bring down jet aircraft, especially in the low level envelope it was meant to cover. For a rapid fire weapon, 20 to 30mm should be more than sufficient.

Without the Mauler, the Army runs into the problem that it’s companion SPAAg no longer has its companion SAM. Mobile mid level air defense doesn’t really exist.

I am presently working on a SAM to accompany it. As for 37mm rounds - you need more bang for your buck. The larger rounds pack more HE and cause a great deal more damage. They allow engagement envelopes to be expanded quite a lot over a 20mm. A larger gun requires a larger vehicle, hence the M108/M109 hull. It allows more ammunition to be carried and as explained for the gun to be serviced under armour.
An Alternative History of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps
Part I

After World War II ended the RAAC (Royal Australian Armoured Corps) found itself with a armoured force equipped with obsolescent vehicles. Matilda Iis, M3 Lees/Grants and a small number of oddball vehicles. This situation lasted until 1950 when the RAAC decided that the best vehicle for its armoured regiment was the British Centurion. They ordered 50 of the vehicles, Mk IIIs from the UK. However, the Korean war intervened and all the vehicles were diverted with the Australian agreement to initially Hong Kong and then to Korea to fight there with the British.

The Australian Armoured Corps was by 1953 becoming desperate for new vehicles to replace its fleet of aging ones. They turned to the US. The US Army was quite willing to give them M4 Shermans but the Australians wanted something more modern. They sent a party of senior officers to look at what the US had to offer. They decided on the new M48 but the US Army was busily re-equipping with this vehicle and was unwilling to let any go to Australia. Instead, they offered the M47. The Australians accepted them immediately and ordered 100 vehicles. The RAAC finally had its modern tank.

Shipped to Melbourne, the vehicles were shipped north to Puckapunyal, the base of 1 Armoured Regiment. They were accepted with some glee. They performed the job required of them admirably. Primarily used to support infantry, occasionally they were allowed free reign on exercise and acted as a complete armoured regiment should, rampaging across the countryside.





The Kit[/b]

The kit is a 1/35 Academic M47. It is actually a reboxed Italieri kit. The vehicle was painted with a hairy stick using Vallejo acrylic paints. The decals are courtesy of Kit Spackmen.