Austarmycrest.gif (8966 bytes)Australian Military Vehicles Research

Australian Sentinel Tank

 The Australian Sentinel was the first tank built buy the Australian industry during World War 2.  this is not to decry the many thousands of trucks and local pattern carriers that were built at the same time.  At the time the hull of this tank was cast as on piece, making it the largest single casting of a tank hull anywhere in the world at that time.

With the possibility of a Japanese invasion and a scarcity of tanks consideration was given to building our own tanks a s early as July 1940.   The wooden mock up was completed in 1942 and the first production AC1 was ready in August 1942.  Production ceased when supplies of tanks started to arrive  from the USA in July 1943.

The Sentinel was built in several versions:

The AC3 photos were taken some time ago outside the Australian War Memorial Canberra and the AC1 photo was taken at the RAAC Museum Puckapunyal in about 1972.

ac31.jpg (13786 bytes)  ac3f.jpg (8810 bytes)  ac32.jpg (11908 bytes) ac3f1.jpg (10335 bytes)      
AC3 with 25  pounder main armament and coaxial machine gun

ac3idler.jpg (9925 bytes) ac3drive.jpg (13608 bytes)  Close up of suspension

 ac1pucka.jpg (13103 bytes) AC1 with 2 pounder plus coaxial and hull machine guns.

ACPUCK.jpg (14876 bytes)  The Puckapunyal AC1 as it appeared in 1999 (note: here the auxiliary fuel tank is a modified 44gal drum - the actual fuel tank should look like that fitted to Crusaders and other British tanks).

Copyright Sentinel 2000-2006  All material on this site is copyright and should not be used without the webmaster's permission or that of the contributor

Back to Australian index