FD scale Vehicle UPDATE
Totally reworked the AV5x series armoured vehicles as part of my holiday happenings. Results and some explanitory blurb included below. Let me know what you think!
AV5x Series Armoured Vehicles
The universal AV50/60 armoured vehicle series - a project of the DCFI military in the middle years of WW2 to base as many next generation vehicle designs as possible on a common chassis/powertrain and spare parts pool. The series has numerous sub-types based on either a 5 or 6 road wheel common chassis with torsion bar suspension, compact 6 cylinder, supercharged Rolls Royce engine and under-floor armoured drivetrain. Design of the original chassis/powertrain combination and the AV50 APC began in mid-1941, with subsequent variants of the program being designed from January 1942 onwards. All vehicles were of welded construction with 20-60mm of armour protection as standard, being intended for all-round protection against infantry weapons and shrapnel as well as frontal protection against anti-tank rounds up to 50mm caliber. Later in the war, additional applique and stand-off arour solutions were applied to some vehicles to combat infantry anti-tank weapons such as panzerfaust
NB:Max. 60mm sloped armour at 60 degrees = relative thickness of 69mm. this would stop the original Pak36 37mm rounds and standard Pak38 50mm rounds (but not Pzgr. 40 APCR) under ideal conditions
5-road wheel derivatives of the system (Coded AV5x);
AV50 - Armoured Personnel Carrier
The AV50 was the baseline vehicle of the universal AV50/60 armoured vehicle series. The APCs were designed to improve on the innovative FA10 and FA15 derived APCs which were constructed from late 1940, carrying a crew of 2 plus 8 dismounts in full battle order. A platoon of 3 APCs and 1 AV51 support weapons variant accommodated a DCFI pattern reinforced infantry platoon with it's support weapons section, an accompanying AV54 variant mounting an artillery spotting team if necessary.
AV51 - APC Mortar Carrier (support Weapons Sections)
AV51 tracks served as the mounts for support weapons troops in Mechanised Units. Weapons utilised included 80mm vehicle-mounted mortars, dismountable 3” mortars, heavy machine guns and the falkland's own man-portable 84mm recoilless rifle.
AV52 - Command/Signals Variant
Essentially an enlarged APC with lots of radios and a map-table, the AV52 was deployed for signals detachments and commanders from battalion/regiment level up. lesser commanders utilised tanks, AV54 Recce tracks or armoured cars from which to command their units.
AV53 - Armoured Logistics Variant
A specialised combat resupply vehicle that primarily served as an armoured ammunition carrier, although other stores/consumables were also carried. Tracked Artillery, Mechanised Infantry and Tank units were heavily supported by these vehicles. Later marks featured a modularised system for standard ammo pallets or fuel tanks and a pump-set for refuelling vehicles.
AV54 - Armoured Recovery/Pioneer Variant
Serving primarily in armoured/mechanised units, AV54 tracks enabled Recovery and Combat Engineering tasks such as fording, obstacle/minefield clearance and fighting position excavation to be carried out under armour. It also served as a vehicle for REME light aid detachments (LAD) tasked with vehicle recovery/maintenance/repair.
AV55 - Armoured Recce/Artillery OP Variant
Used by recce units, Artillery Observation teams and minor commanders. Open-topped and low profile for better reconnaissance 'stealth' performance.
AV56 - Self Propelled Artillery (Light Calibers: 25pdr, 105mm)
Superseded legacy AV-S, M3 and FA-10 based platforms in both DCFI and Commonwealth formations. AV-56 mounted OQF 25pdr and M1A1 105mm guns, being designed as a larger, more fit-for-purpose artillery platform than its converted/adapted predecessors. The mounting and minimal superstructure allowed for up to 35 degrees of traverse either side of the centreline without slewing the vehicle, and carried 20 ready-use rounds on the vehicle itself (enabling shoot-and-move tactics to be employed in close support of leading formations).
AV57 - Self Propelled Artillery (Medium Calibers: 7.2”, 155mm short)
The first examples of the AV57 Self Propelled Gun (mounting an M2A1 155mm Howitzer) entered Service in 1943, however early battlefield performance showed that the 5 road wheel configuration of the AV5x chassis was too small to serve as a stable firing platform for the long-barrelled M2A1, and as such production was revised to mount previously towed BL 7.2” howitzers, and the shorter 23 caliber M1-155mm Howitzer. These revised units were produced in record time thanks to the high commonality of the AV-50/AV60 series and the use of a common mounting/carriage for the guns, enabling them to be issued to combat just in time for the invasion of Sicily in 1943.
AV58 - Self-Propelled Artillery (Free-Flight Artillery Rocket System)
Development and production of the AV58 FFRA began in 1942 after evidence of the effectiveness Nazi nerbelwerfer and Soviet Katyusha systems became clearer. Significantly more advanced than either of its peer systems, the FFRS’s 24 launch tubes ripple fired devastating barrages of 105mm fin-stabilised rockets out to a maximum range of just over 9 miles, each rocket carrying either a 46lb high explosive-penetration or high explosive-fragmentation warhead. Later warhead developments included a ball-bearing-filled anti-infantry round with an adjustable proximity fuse and a powerful fuel-air ‘thermobaric’ warhead. Introduced into the fight during 1943, the Royal Falkland Horse Artillery deployed the AV58 FFRS in 12 vehicle batteries as part of their heavy artillery regiments, supported by an equal number of AV53 Armoured Logistics tracks as well as other support equipment.
AV59 - Self-Propelled Artillery (Light AAA: 2x 20mm Cannon - turreted)
Derived from the AV55 Recce/OP track, the AV59 carried 2x 20mm Hispano Cannons in a turreted high-angle mounting for light anti-aircraft defence of ground formations, a capability that was not previously well adapted to mobile armoured warfare. Introduced in late-1942, the turret and weapons system was adapted onto the British A15 Crusader chassis to create the Crusader AA Mk.II, replacing a single 40mm Bofors-armed Mk.I. Both systems were successful but gradually grew to be superfluous as overwhelming allied air superiority virtually eliminated the threat of the Luftwaffe on the late-war battlefield.
As usual, constructive comment/advice/critique is welcome.
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