Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier

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Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier
Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin Rhodesia
Service history
In service 1977 - present
Used by Rhodesia
Zimbabwe
Wars Rhodesian Bush War
1981 Entumbane Uprising
Mozambican Civil War
Second Congo War
Specifications
Length 7.65 m
Width 2.25 m
Height 3.1 m
Crew 2+16

Armor 10 to 40 mm
Main
armament
one 7.62 mm, 12.7 mm or 14.5 mm machine guns
Secondary
armament
personal weapons through gunports
Engine Standart Nissan 6.54 litre diesel
160 hp
Power/weight hp/ton hp/tonne
Suspension wheels, 4 × 4
Operational
range
600 to 700 km
Speed 90 km/h

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.

Protection[edit]

The hull was made of ballistic 10mm mild steel plate; front windscreen and side windows had 40mm bullet-proof laminated glass.

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 medium 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 Nationspeacekeeping mission in Somalia (UNOSOM I) from 1992 to 1994. During that assignment, a few "Crocs" were loaned to the U.S. Marines contingent for convoy escort and security duties in the Mogadishu area.

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 – 130 vehicles 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 U.S. Marines in Somalia 1992–94.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Laurent Touchard, Guerre dans le bush! Les blindés de l’Armée rhodésienne au combat (1964-1979), Batailles & Blindés Magazine n.º 72, April–May 2016, pp. 64-75. ISSN 1765-0828 (in French)
  • Peter Gerard Locke & Peter David Farquharson Cooke, Fighting Vehicles and Weapons of Rhodesia 1965–80, P&P Publishing, Wellington 1995. ISBN 0-473-02413-6
  • Peter Stiff, Taming the Landmine, Galago Publishing Pty Ltd., Alberton (South Africa) 1986. ISBN 9780947020040
  • Robert K. Brown, The Black Devils, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, January 1979.

External links[edit]