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.
AC3 with 25 pounder main armament and coaxial machine gun
Close up of suspension
AC1 with 2 pounder plus coaxial and hull machine guns.
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).
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