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2017-11-20

BACKGROUND  NOTES

 

LVT  –  Landing Vehicles Tracked

 
  Related Page13.141 - LVA3D1.Bushhammer  

INTRODUCTION

Landing Vehicles Tracked were widely used during WWII and during the Inchon landing during the Korean war.  In Atlantic Air Combat™ LVTs are called LVA (Landing Assault Vehicles)  and will bear a specific designation.  LAVs are one among varous land targets, and if AAC™ uses designs of its own, here are some background notes regarding the real life items in the form of an edited compilation of articles publshed with http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com.  The other main sources used were : www.amtrac.org, www.pwencycl.kgbudge.com/L/v/LVT_class.htm and www.globalsecurity.org.

LVT - Landing Vehicle Tracked in Real Life

Here is short summary of the vehicles under scrutiny, focusing on APC and FIV vehicles, thus excluding Command and/or Engineering variants :

LVTs - Historical

Role

QTY

Vehicle

Name

1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
-

US+Allies

PC

1225

LVT-1

Aligator

1941 1945 - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Allies

IFV

510

LVT-1A

Alligator

1942 195+ - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Allies

PC

2963

LVT-2

Water Buffalo

1942 1945 - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Allies

APC

450

LVT-2A

Water Buffalo

1944 195+ - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US

PC

2962

LVT-3

Bushmaster

1943 1949 - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US

APC

(1200)

LVT-3C

Bushmaster

(1949) 195+ - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Allies

APC

8348

LVT-4

Water Buffalo

1943 1944 - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Allies

IFV

1890

LVT-4A

Water Buffalo

1944 195+ - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US

IFV

292

LVT-5A

Water Buffalo

1945 195+ - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Exports

APC

1123

LVTP-5

-

1956 1972 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
-

US+Exports

IFV

210

LVTH-6

-

1957 1972 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
-

US

SPA

1

LVTAA-X1

1954 1955 - - - - - - - - - - - -
-

US+Exports

APC

+1300

LVTP-7

-

1972 >> - - - - - - - - - - - -

LVAs - AAC™

Role

QTY

Vehicle

Name

1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
-

US,UK,SE,AR,CL

AFC

~

LVA3D1

Bushhammer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-

SU

AFC

~

LVA3D2

Bushhammer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-

US,FR,SE,  ,CL

SPAAG

~

LVA3E1

Bushmonger

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-

CA,UK,  ,AR

SPAAG

~

LVA3E2

Bushmonger

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-

SU

SPAAG

~

LVA3E3

Bushmonger

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
APC : armored personnel carrier IFV : infantry fighting vehicle LVA : landing vehicle assault LVT : landing vehicle tracked PC : personnel carrier SPA : self-propelled anti-aircraft

The LVAs in Atlantic Air Combat™

This fantasy WWII veteran has been shipped in quantities to the USSR who maintained and upgraded the type for their own end and purposes.  The type and variants are thus common to all AAC™ navies so equipped, varying only in their AA armament.  As land targets, the LVA shall exist in the following variants :

        Armament         NATO NECO NONA WAPA
LAV3D1 Bushhammer Personnel Carrier & Fighting vehicle 1Χ75mm tank gun

12.7 mm

AA gun M2HB
LAV3D2 Bushhammer Personnel Carrier & Fighting vehicle 1Χ75mm tank gun

12.7 mm

AA gun DHSK
LAV3E1 Bushmonger Personnel Carrier & SPAAG –

12.7 mm

AA gun M2HB
LAV3E2 Bushmonger Personnel Carrier & SPAAG (variant) –

 20.0 mm

AA gun OEPL
LAV3E3 Bushmonger Personnel Carrier & SPAAG (variant) –

14.5 mm

AA gun ZU14
1st Generation
LVT-1 Alligator - USA - 1225 built (1941-1942)

The WWII LVTs had their origin in a tracked civilian design, with a first prototype prepared for the US Marines by May 1940.  It, soon to enter production.

The LVT-1 Alligator, with its distinctive cab placed at the bow, was armed with either 2Χ.30 cal or 2Χ.50 cal machine guns and later with two of each.  It had a crew of three (Commander, driver and assistant driver) and a troop capacity of 18 to 24 combat ready soldiers manning the on-board weapons.  200 were transfered to Britain for training but were gradually phased out before 1945.


The tracks of the LVT-1 had large grousers propelling it through the water and offering a solid grip on soft terrains.  The LVT-1 being unarmored, it was most useful as a ship-to-shore cargo ferry (4500 lb).  It was first engaged as an assault amphibious vehicle at Tarawa with over 260 vehicles spread in three waves, which then pursued re-supply shuttles and casualty evacuation.

LVT(A)-1 - USA - 510 built (1942-1944)

First amphibious operations showed the weakness of LVT’s armament.   The LVT(A)-1 fire support was fitted with a M5A1 Stuart tank M6 37 mm g (L/53 -10°/25° elevation) with a coaxial .30 cal LMG. Two more LMG were placed immediately after the turret, with  standard Navy flat shields and back gun-tube shields protecting the sides and rear of the gunners. The 37 mm was able to destroy light pillboxes and  concrete obstacles with HE rounds but was more efficient with AP rounds against other tanks and dug-in metal casemates (up to 48 mm/1.89 in penetration at 500 m).

The entire deck was covered and armored against shrapnel, while the front was protected with 2 in of armor. The front drive compartment was modified, as the right-hand side became the ball-mounted gunner position for an extra .30 cal machine-gun. The compartment was then elongated backwards in a well-sloped tumble-home on which the turret was mounted. Other than that, its specifications and arrangement remained identical to the regular LVT-2.

The crew of six (commander, driver, 4 gunners) had to share the internal space with numerous ammo racks. There was no room for transporting extra troops.  Capable or reaching 40 km/h on land, they could only swim at 11 km/h, and the range was about 121/201 km (water/land).  The LVT(A)-1s soldiered throughout the Pacific campaign, but were by mid 1944, they were all replaced by much more capable 75 mm (2.95 in) gun armed LVT(A)-4s.

LVT-2 Water Buffalo - USA - 2963 buit (1942-1943)

The LVT-2 sported better seaworthiness and land-crossing characteristics, especially thanks bolted-on aluminum track grousers.  The main central compartment was left open and could carry 24 infantrymen and their equipment or 5,950 lb of cargo.

The usual armament combined 2Χ.30 cal at the back with 2Χ.50 cal machine guns at the front.  British vehicles, used in the swamps of Netherlands and the north-easter German border, received 20mm Polsten auto-cannons.

LTV(A)-2 Buffalo II

An up-armored version designed in 1943 (“A” for armor), fitted with additional 0.4 in armor plates inside the main compartment, and outside to protect part of the side skirts, nose, and 0.5 in on the cab. Self-sealing gasoline tanks were also added. Heavier, these vehicles reached 2400 pounds when empty, and had their cargo capacity reduced by 1400 pounds. They could carry only 18 infantrymen. By 1944, shields were added to protect the front gunners, usually equipped with cal.30s (7.62 mm). 450 of these armored versions were built. Compared to other (A) versions, these did not have a tank turret for extra fire support.

The LVT-2s participated in more campaigns that any other LVTs. These included Tarawa, Roi-Namur, Cape Gloucester, Northern Kwajalein, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  Their main drawbacks were that the infantry needed to scurry off the vehicle, exposing themselves to enemy fire. And since there was no ramp, it was difficult to store big loads inside, like artillery. These defects were corrected on the LVT-3 and 4.

LVT-3 Bushmaster - USA - 2964 buit (1942-1945)

The LVT-3, developed by Borg Warner Corp. in 1943 sported a hydraulically opeated ramp at the rear, allowing troop to disembark with some protection.  Power was by two V8 Cadillac engines placed in the sponsons and connected trough a hydramatic transmission to a final drive in the front of the vehicle.  The cargo bay was deep, large enough to accommodate a M38 Jeep and an entire company, or 4 tons of cargo. The gunners had a step to operate their heavy machine-guns, located between the cargo area and the (raised) the crew cabin. 

The latter was nearer to the bow than on other LVTs to maximise the volume of the cargo bay.  The driver sat in the middle, with the co-driver on his right. They were protected by five bulletproof glass windows giving an excellent peripheral view. The 12' wide track were of a rubber bush type rather than the usual dry pin.  Appliquι armor could be added, raising the weight and decreasing the cargo capacity to 2900 lb.

LVT-3C - USA - 1200 converted from LVT-3

In 1949, an armored roof was fitted over the cargo bay and the bow was extended to improve buoyancy.  The split aluminum cargo cover could be folded out of the way on top of the sponsons. Escape hatches were fitted and side armor added. This upgrade added a 6000 lb to the empty weight.  The armament included 2Χ.30 cal machine-guns in turrets and another one at the bow, in a ball mount.

The first known use of LVT-3s was in Okinawa in April 1945. LVT-3Cs took part in the Inchon landing in September 1950 during the Korean war.  After that, they were once more rebuilt before being gradually replaced by its successor, the LVTP-5.

LVT-4 Water Buffalo - USA - 8,348 buit (1943-1945)

Developed by FMC, the LVT-4 followed largely the same concept of the LVT-3 in that the engine was moved forward to allow for a rear ramp door to provide easier and quicker loading and unloading.  Since no major changes were made to the engine and transmission of the LVT-2 upon which it was based, the LVT-4 was completed much faster than the LVT-3, going into action at Saipan in June 1944 while the LVT-3 wasn't used in anger before January 1945.  Up to 30 marines could be accommodated (compared to the LVT-2’s 16) with a better protection to landing forces offered by the rear exit

Armament consisted of .30 cal and .50 cal machine guns, with or without masks, on four side pintle mounts, manned by the squad, plus a ball-mounted 30 cal (7.62 mm) in the front cab, manned by the co-driver. In addition, appliquι armor could be attached but then the payload was reduced by 3000 lb.

The 1st Marine Division fitted three LVT-4s with the new Navy Mk.I flamethrowers with a 4th providing supply.  The Navy Mk.I flamethrower, modeled after the Canadian Ronson, had a range of 75 yards with gasoline/oil mixture and up to 150 yards with napalm bursting from 55 seconds up to 80 seconds.

LVT-4s were also used by British and Canadian troops in the Netherlands and by Allied forces when crossing the Rhine in March 1945. Others were provided to the USSR which used them to good effect when assaulting the well-defended Oder and Danube west banks.

After the war, French vehicles took part in the Suez crisis and Indochina war.  USMC vehicles were used during the Korean war at Inchon in Korea and withdrawn from use in the mid-fifties.

LVT(A)-4/(A)-5 - USA - 2182 built (1944-1945)

A modified version, the LVT(A)-4 was, like the earlier LVT(A)-1, virtually an amphibious tank with a crew of five. The cargo hold was covered, armour plating fitted around the hull, and the open-topped turret of the 75mm M8 HMC installed with the M3 howitzer and turret-top HB-M2 machine gun.

There (A)-5 was a variant of the (A)-4 with gyro stabilization for the howitzer and a power traverse weapon station. It didn't see action during WWII but saw combat during the Korean war a few years later.  1,890 (A)- 4s were built and 292 (A)-5s.

The British Army received a number of LVTs, designating them as 'Amphibians, Tracked 2 or 2.5 ton' (LVT-1 and LVT(A)-1) or Buffalo II (LVT-2 and LVT(A)-2) or Buffalo IV (LVT-4), and these were used for river-crossings in the final stages of the war in Europe, most notably in the crossing of the Rhine.

Specifications
Specifications LVT-1 LVT-1(A) LVT-2 LVT-2(A) LVT-3 LVT-4 LVT-4(A) LVT-5(A) LVTP-5 LVTH-6 LVT-7
Quantities 1,225 510 2,963 450 2,962 8,348 1,890 292 1,123 210 1300+
Production 1941-1942 1942-1944 1942-1943 1944 1943-1945 1943-1944 1944- 1945 1956 1957 1971
Service.(US)         1943-1956 1943-1956 1944-1956 1945-1956 1956-1974 1957-1974 1972->>>
Length 258.0" 313" 313" 313" 313" 313.0" 313.0" 313.0" 356.0" 356.0" 312.75"
Width 118.0" 128" 128" 128" 128" 128.0" 128.0" 128.0" 140.5" 140.5" 128.72"
Height   97.5" 121" 98" 98" 119" 122.5" 122.5" 122.5" 120.5" 160.5" 128.50"
Fuel capacity 80.US 140.US 140.US 140.US 130.US 140.US 140.US 140.US – – 171.US
Weight:empty 17,300 lb 29,000 lb 24,250 lb – 26,600 lb 27,400 lb 39,460 lb 39,460 lb – – 46,314 lb
Weight:full 32,500 lb 32,800 lb 30,900 lb 32,800 lb 38,600 lb 40,000 lb 40,000 lb 40,000 lb 81,800 lb 84,200 lb 50,350 lb
Crew/Troop 3 + 18/24 6 3 + 24 3 + 18 3 + 24 3 + 30 3 3 3 + 25(34) 6 4 + 25
Cargo 4,500 lb – 5,400 lb 4,500 lb 9,000 lb – – – 12,000 lb – 10,000 lb
Loading ramp – – – – Rear Rear Rear – Front – Rear
Engine(s) WXLC3,L6 W690-9A,R7 W690-9A,R7 W690-9A,R7 2ΧCadillac,V8 W670-9A,R7 W670-9A,R7 W670-9A,R7 LV7190,V12 LV7190,V12 GM8V53T,V8
Power 146 hp 250 hp 250 hp 250 hp 2Χ110 hp 250 hp 250 hp 250 hp 810 hp 810 hp –
Speed land/sea
19 10 kmh
40 11 kmh
32 12 kmh
32 12 kmh
27 10 kmh
40 11 kmh
40 11 kmh
40 11 kmh
48 11 kmh
48 11 kmh
64 13 kmh
Range land/sea
240 95 km
200 120 km
240 80 km
240 80 km
240 120 km
200 120 km
200 120 km
200 120 km
300 90 km
300 90 km
480 90 km
Main gun – 1Χ37mm M6 – – – – 1Χ75mm M3 1Χ75mm M3 – 105mm M49 –
Machine guns (LMG) 2Χ30cal 2Χ30cal 2Χ30cal 3Χ30cal 2Χ30cal 3Χ30cal 3Χ30cal 3Χ30cal 1Χ30cal 1Χ30cal –
Machine guns (HMG) 2Χ50cal – 2Χ50cal – 1Χ50cal 2Χ50cal – – – 1Χ50cal 1Χ50cal

WWII

Korea

Suez

Vietnam

Exports

Exports

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
Pacific War LVT-1 LVT-1A LVT-2 LVT-2A LVT-3 LVT-4 LVT-4A TOTALS    
'42.07.07

Guadalcanal

130

–

–

–

–

–

–

130

   
'43.11.01

Bougainville

124

–

–

–

–

–

–

124

   
'43.11.20

Tarawa

75

–

50

–

–

–

–

125

   
'43.12.26

Gloucester

100

–

21

–

–

–

–

121

   
'44.01.31

Roi Namur

–

75

244

–

–

–

–

319

   
'44.06.15

Saipan

–

52

432

–

–

215

86

785

   
'44.07.21

Guam

–

75

381

–

–

–

–

456

   
'44.07.24

Tinian

–

18

314

–

–

139

48

519

   
'44.09.15

Peleliu

–

24

223

–

–

–

48

295

   
'45.02.19

Iwo Jima

–

–

371

–

–

–

68

439

   
'45.04.01

Okinawa

–

–

11

–

210

–

77

298

   
Korean War LVT-1 LVT-1A LVT-2 LVT-2A LVT-3 LVT-4 LVT-5A TOTALS    
'50.09.15

Inchon

–

–

–

–

?...

–

?...

?...170

   

 

=
2nd and 3rd Generations
LVTP-5 - USA - 1,120 buit (1956–19**)

The second generation started with the LVTPX3 (1950) and LVTPX2 (1952) prototypes, in response to USMC specifications for a fully enclosed amphibious APC issued in 1947.

Borg-Warner company and FMC answered with the above mentioned prototypes, but none entered production in time for the Korean war, leading the the Navy to make do with the existing types, amonth them the improved LVT-3C

A direct evolution of WWII designs, the 9 meters long Borg-Warner LVTP-5 (Landing Vehicle, Track, Personnel) was fully enclosed and carried 30-35 combat ready marines. Too late for the Korean war, the 40,000 lb LVTP-5 saw extensive action during the Vietnam war.

LVTP-6 - USA - 210 built (1957-19**)

Parallel to the LVTP-5 was FMC's LVTP-6, the rival competitor of which only the howitzer variant was produced in limited quantities.  The first LVTH-6 gun carrier prototype was completed in August 1951, 210 being produced.  The size of these new Amtracks was remarkable : at 35 tons unloaded and designed to carry 25-34 equipped Marines seated in four rows of folding bench seats, as many as 45 standing passengers could be carried when the bench seats were folded or dismounted.

Payload was equally impressive with a 12,000 lb cargo capacity at sea and up to 18,000 lb on firm ground.  The bow loading ramp was electrically lowered with a manual backup.  There were also large hinged doors and four hatches on the roof and a large hinged door and at the rear.

LVTAA-X1 - USA - 1 built (~1954)

When contemplating the replacement of its LVTs, the USN/USMC had several requirements, like the supply of command and engineering vehicles.  None of these are mentioned here are they are way beyond the scope of these AAC™ background notes.  But among these "secondary" vehicles, was a requirement for an anti-aircraft variant.  Only a single prototype vehicle was manufactured and it still exists today at the Marine Corps Mechanized Museum, Camp Pendleton, California.

Its armament was based on a pair of 40mm Bofors, a similar set up as the M19 and M34 used during the Korean War or the later M42 Duster which preceeded the LVTAA-X1 by only a few years.  Actually, it was a M42A1 turret that Borg-Warner adapted to a LVTP-5.  The ordnance arrangement had a ready rack with eight compartments of seven four-round clips each.  A total of 1000 rounds was carried, 224 in the ready rack and a further 776 in the hull.

LVTP-7 - USA - 1,120 buit (1972 – present)

Third generation assault landing vehicle, the LVTP-7 is definitely outside Atlantic Air Combat™ time frame.  It started to replace its predecessor in 1972 and is still in production today (2017) for export customers.

Armed with a Mk 19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher and a single .50 cal machine gun, it saw action by Argentina during the Falkland war (1982), the US invasion of Granada (1983), and the Gulf war (1990) to only mention a few events.

Compared to its predecessor, it saw more steady exports: to Argentina (20+), Brazil (...), Italy (...), Japan (30), Korea (160), The Philippines (8), Spain (19) and to Taiwan (90).  After 30 years of service with the USMC, LVTP-7s (and variants) are overdue for replacement but will instead undergo a life extension programme to extend their service life until 2030 (and beyond ?...).

 
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