The Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier or “Croc” is a Rhodesian/Zimbabwean 4x2d heavy troop-carrying vehicle (TCV) first introduced in 1977 based on Japanese commercial trucks’ chassis.
General description[edit | edit source]
Built on a Nissan, Toyota or Isuzu 5-tonne truck chassis, the Crocodile consisted of an open-topped hull or ‘capsule’ faceted at the sides which were designed to deflect small-arms’ rounds, and a flat bottom or 'deck' reinforced by a v-shaped ‘crush box’ meant to deflect landmine blasts. Three inverted U-shaped high ‘Roll bars’ were fitted to protect the fighting compartment from being crushed in case the vehicle turned and roll over after a mine detonation.
Armament[edit | edit source]
Rhodesian “Crocs” were usually armed with a FN MAG-58 7.62mm Light Machine Gun (LMG), sometimes installed on a locally produced one-man MG armoured turret to protect the gunner. Vehicles assigned to convoy escorting duties (‘E-type’) had a Browning M1919A4 7.62mm heavy machine gun mounted on an open-topped, cylinder-shaped turret (dubbed ‘the dustbin’) whilst those employed on ‘externals’ received a tall, square-shaped and fully enclosed MAG turret mounted on the roof over the commander’s seat. The Zimbabwean vehicles after 1980 sported pintle-mounted Soviet-made 12.7mm and 14.5mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMG) instead.
Combat history[edit | edit source]
They were employed by the ZNA forces in Mozambique guarding the Mutare-Beira oil pipeline in 1982–1993, and served with Zimbabwe troops in the United Nations’ 1993–94 Somalia relief effort.
Variants[edit | edit source]
- Troop-Carrying Vehicle (TCV) – is the standard IFV/APC fully protected version, armed with either a single LMG (Rhodesian SF 1978–79) or HMG (ZNA 1980–present) and capable of accommodating 16 infantrymen.
- Convoy escorting version – designated ‘E-type’, this is a basic IFV/APC version fitted with a turret, either the ‘dustbin’ with Browning MG or the ‘box’ variant with MAG-58 LMG.
- Light TCV version – standard IFV/APC version with scaled-down armour.
- Jackal – unarmed civilian version employed by the Rhodesian PTC.
Operators[edit | edit source]
- Rhodesia – several hundreds in service with the Rhodesian Security Forces in 1977–1980 passed on to successor state.
- Zimbabwe – About 40 vehicles still in service with the ZNA.
- United States – Unknown number in service with the USMC in Somalia 1993–94.
See also[edit | edit source]
- MAP45 Armoured Personnel Carrier
- MAP75 Armoured Personnel Carrier
- Mine Protected Combat Vehicle - MPCV
References[edit | edit source]
- Peter Gerard Locke & Peter David Farquharson Cooke, Fighting Vehicles and Weapons of Rhodesia 1965–80, P&P Publishing, Wellington 1995 ISSN 0-473-02413-6
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