Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier

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The Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier or “Croc” is a Rhodesian armoured personnel carrier first introduced in 1977 and based on Japanese commercial trucks’ chassis. It remains in use with the Zimbabwe National Army.

General description[edit]

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]

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]

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]

  • 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]

  •  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]

References[edit]

  • 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
  • Robert K. Brown, The Black Devils, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, January 1979.

External links[edit]