Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier
|Crocodile Armoured Personnel Carrier|
|Type||Armoured personnel carrier|
|Place of origin||Rhodesia|
|In service||1977 - present|
|Wars||Rhodesian Bush War
1981 Entumbane Uprising
Mozambican Civil War
Second Congo War
|Armor||10 to 40 mm|
|one 7.62 mm, 12.7 mm or 14.5 mm machine guns|
|personal weapons through gunports|
|Engine||Standart Nissan 6.54 litre diesel
|Suspension||wheels, 4 × 4|
|600 to 700 km|
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.
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.
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.
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’ peacekeeping 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bullet TCV
- Hippo APC
- MAP45 Armoured Personnel Carrier
- MAP75 Armoured Personnel Carrier
- Mine Protected Combat Vehicle
- 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.