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The Anatomy of the Sentinel tank

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  • The Anatomy of the Sentinel tank

    Sentinel was a medium Australian tank built in WWII in small numbers.

    To make a long story short, they installed a Vickers machine gun in the full front. This type of a gun is water cooled with water tubes running inside the tank into a water tank in the back of the interior.

    An excellent weapon, a well-watered Vickers could fire for like 4 days non-stop without overheating or barrel changes.

    However, its barrel jacket is very vulnerable to damage so the Australians have developed this heavy armored housing to protect the barrel.

    And now everybody is talking how this feature resembles certain parts of the male anatomy!




    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

  • #2
    Even with a regular supply of water the Vickers barrel did have to be changed quite frequently as it heated up sufficiently to expand to the point that the rifling did not grip the rounds adequately, accuracy declined and eventually the barrel was ruined. "Machine guns of two world wars" John Walters page 33. For this reason a spare barrel was carried in every machine gun cart and carrier. Even in a sustained machine gun barrage the barrel would be swapped over from time to time. Fortunately in the field this was a relatively quick job but in that armoured housing it would be what is technically known as a right b*gger to do. However given that there would only the stowage for a couple of belts of ammunition it may not have been an issue. Aboutr 60 Sentinels were built but only used for training. By the time they were available the 2 pounder armament was looking particularly out dated and better armed US tanks were becoming available
    A version was designed to have the 17 pounder gun and to test the effect of the recoil on the suspension etc before a 17 pounder was available in Australia a Sentinel was fitted with twn 25 pounders. However by this time it was probably evident that the Japanese did not have anything that justified this and no production followed.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      It also looks like a "spray and pray" mounting. I don't see any obvious way to accurately aim that machinegun, a common failing on Allied tanks.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        It also looks like a "spray and pray" mounting. I don't see any obvious way to accurately aim that machinegun, a common failing on Allied tanks.
        1. In Allied tanks the bow gun was loaded with tracer. The bow gunner adjusted fire by observing his tracers through his normal periscope
        2. Even with the best sighting arrangements it was found a bow gunner had problems hitting anything as he was thrown around the vehicle and the sight picture was all over the place. That's why the bow gun was deleted in post-war tanks

        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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        • #5
          Yes, the anatomical aspect of the design generally provokes comment whenever a surviving original tank is viewed at Puckapunyal (Victoria,Australia).
          "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
          Samuel Johnson.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            It also looks like a "spray and pray" mounting. I don't see any obvious way to accurately aim that machinegun, a common failing on Allied tanks.
            In this case, the phrase might be "hosing the enemy"!

            I would absolutely crack up if the Aussies issued a big, rubber cover to keep the rain of that thing!
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              In this case, the phrase might be "hosing the enemy"!

              I would absolutely crack up if the Aussies issued a big, rubber cover to keep the rain of that thing!
              During WW2 a British MP indignantly raised a question on the floor of the House. He had discovered that the Air Ministry had placed orders for large numbers of condoms. Why he asked was the government encouraging immorality amongst the ranks of the RAF?
              The Minister pointed out that they were invaluable for keeping moisture out of the barrels of 20 mm cannon.

              The Sentinel does look as if it has been over indulging in the amber fluid and is suffering from a case of brewers droop.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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              • #8
                Perhaps of interest:

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                • #9
                  Interesting!
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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