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Kangaroo
IWM-NA-24043-Priest-Kangaroo-Conselice-19450413.jpg
A Priest Kangaroo of 209th Self-Propelled Battery, Royal Artillery, transports infantry of 78th Division near Conselice, Italy, 13 April 1945.
Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin Flag of Canada (1921–1957).svg Canada
Service history
In service 1943–1945
Production history
Designer Guy Simonds
Designed 1944
Variants Ram Kangaroo
Priest Kangaroo
Churchill Kangaroo
Kangaroo Badger flame tank
Specifications
Crew 2 + 8 to 10 passengers

Primary
armament
1 × .50 cal MG (Early models)
1 × .30 cal MG (Later models)
(Pintle mount)
Secondary
armament
1 × .30 cal MG
(Bow or cupola MG depending on model)
Flamethrower
(Kangaroo Badger: Replaced cupola MG)
Engine Continental R-975 9-cyl radial gas
(Ram/Priest/Sherman based variants)
Bedford horizontally opposed twin-six petrol engine
(Churchill based variants)
400/340 hp (298/254 kW)
(Ram/Priest/Sherman based variants)
350 hp (261 kW) at 2,200 rpm
(Churchill based variants)

A Kangaroo was a World War II Commonwealth or British armoured personnel carrier (APC), created by conversion of a tank chassis. Created as an expedient measure by the Canadian Army, the Kangaroos were so successful that they were soon being used by British forces as well. Their ability to manoeuvre in the field with the tanks was a major advantage over earlier designs, and led to the dedicated APC designs that were introduced by almost all armies immediately after the war.

History[edit | edit source]

In July 1944, Harry Crerar's First Canadian Army was concerned by manpower shortages and Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, commander of the II Canadian Corps, devised Kangaroos as a way of reducing infantry losses.

The first Kangaroos were converted from 102 M7 Priest self-propelled guns (borrowed from the US Army) of three field artillery regiments of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division who were involved in the initial assault on 6 June 1944. The standard towed 25 pounder guns were replaced during the invasion to facilitate firing during the run in and landing. In late July they reverted to the standard British equipment . Because of Canada's difficulty replacing heavy infantry losses General Simonds found a way to carry the infantry protected and rested close into the battle. All available welding sets in the Canadian 1st Army were collected for the project at a field workshop (codenamed Kangaroo, hence the name). The Priests awaiting return were stripped of their 105mm guns, the front aperture welded over, then sent into service carrying twelve troops. They were first used on 8 August 1944 during Operation Totalize south of Caen to supplement the half-tracks available.[1]

The Priests were subsequently returned to US custody and other vehicles used. The majority of vehicles converted were Canadian Ram tanks parked in England that had been replaced after the M4 Sherman tanks became available. The name Kangaroo was applied to any similar conversion. In the fall of 1944 they were used in Canadian attacks on the various Channel ports, operated by the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment and the 49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment under the 79th British Armoured Division (whose specialized vehicles were called "Hobart's Funnies"). Kangaroos were then used throughout the remainder of the campaign in northwest Europe.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ellis and Chamberlain AFV Profilre No 13 Ram and Sexton p16
  • The Battle for the Rhine 1944, 2005, Robin Neillands (chapter 7, "The Battle for the Scheldt")

External links[edit | edit source]

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