Status Report: Christie Tanks Part 2
With help from CaptainNemo
Part 1: http://ritastatusreport.blogspot.nl/...ks-part-1.html
So Part 1 covered Christie's multitude of Tank designs, Part 2 here will cover the artillery options. It is extremely unlikely World of Tanks will ever have more artillery added, maybe even for new trees, at the moment as it is very contentious for some. So please read this as a history piece rather than like Part 1, which was about trying to show that there are enough interesting designs to add some extra content.
Part 1 – Tanks
Part 2 – Guns and sources
Ordered in December of 1916 and with a design patented in November of 1917 this 3” howitzer is a large gun on a wheeled platform which, for whatever reason, never entered production.
M.1918 (also known as 8”Howitzer Mk.VI 1918)
Built under licence by the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company of Philadelphia, 4 examples were ordered December of 1917 and patented as a design in October of 1918.
M.1919 (No.1 155 mount)
Using a 6 cylinder, rear mounted, 120hp engine this SPG could manage 8mph on tracks and a respectable 20mph wheels on the roads carrying the well regarding GPF 155mm gun. It was built from salvaged parts from the earlier M.1918 8” model yet it cost an unpleasantly expensive $67,500 in 1919 and was made from Bessemer sheet steel riveted to a frame.
M.1919/M.1921 (No.2 155 mount)
The second of the three models made by Christie for trials. The overall design was patented by him in August of 1919. This one cost a trouser-troubling $150,000 in 1920. Even so, for 1919 this is a very competent design of SPG for an army to field. The US Army chose however not to.
M.1919/M.1923 (No.3 155 mount)
This model features and extended spacing between the roadwheels and an additional chain drive linking the rear roadwheel and sprocket. It is possible that in the confusion over naming that this is actually No.2 and not No.3 and vice versa.
Christie SPG Patent from December of 1920 for a two wheeled self-propelled gun. Visually it appears to be a forerunner of the 1924 trialled ‘Christie Self-Propelled Mount’.
M.1921 ‘Aerial Gun Tractor’
This vehicle used a very low, flat, platform onto which a 3” AA gun (top left) and later (as shown) a 4.7” gun at a cost of a mere $83,000, the design failed as the platform was not strong enough to sufficiently withstand the recoil from the guns despite a special muzzle brake being used to try and alleviate the problem. Also Patented by Christie in February 1920.
M.1921 Prototype (‘Amphibian Tank 1st Model’)
A good idea to be able to carry a 75mm gun across small bodies of water with large propellers at the back for propulsion and an optional chain connecting the rear wheels together to aid traction.
Caption: Heavily retouched image of this tank being carried by a submarine during trials
M.1922/M.1924 (‘Amphibian Tank 2nd Model’)
A much tidier design than the first model using a 90hp engine managing 18.5mph on the road on its tracks and intended originally to carry a 75mm gun. In the photos it is shown carrying both a short barreled gun and a longer barreled gun during the 1924 USMC trials. It is likely that this was rebuilt from the leftovers of the 1st model in 1921.
M.1922 (Amphibian Tank 3rd Model’)
Same concept as before carrying a 75mm gun in this 6.8 ton vehicle. Using a 90hp engine it could manage a surprising 7.5mph in the water and was test driven in the Hudson River in December of 1922. This design actually secured orders for sales, with the USMC buying 6 of them, with one acutally being launched from at sea in 1923 for a test landing in Puerto Rico, and that either an example, or just the plans, were purchased by the Japanese following the trials in 1924.
Nothing more is known of this design
Original caption for the photograph is “Photo dated 1924 "John Walter Christie, left, and Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby view a gun carriage design in 1924." – note that Amphibian No.2 is in the background at this time.
Undergoing assessment as just ‘Christie Self-Propelled Mount’ in 1924 the designation of this vehicle is unclear but is shown mounting a 75mm gun although a 105mm piece was also planned. Sadly this design which had a load capacity of a mere 6000lbs was overloaded with just the 8010lb mounting for the 75mm gun so the idea of mounting a 105mm seems overly optimistic. This was not adopted.
We are currently investigating what the tracked artillery piece is in the background of the right photograph.
A concept from 1929 (remember the comment on dates I made back in Part 1) to use the T-3 Christie tank hull fitted with 75mm guns to serve as mobile artillery.
The artillery carrying designs of Christie met with far less acclaim than his tanks perhaps because they are slow, or because artillery is not perhaps as interesting to some people, but he certainly had a couple of effective designs at the end of WW1 which, when compared to others, were very capable. But as he only managed to persuade the USMC to buy a handful of pieces, and the Japanese to buy some designs, it was not a very successful venture.
Here follows a list of material used in preparation for these parts.
The Christie Tanks by Michael Rosen
Armour Profile No.4
US Amphibious Tanks of WW2 by Steven Zaloga
Alligators, Buffaloes and Bushmasters by Major Alfred Bailey
World Tanks and Fighting Vehicles since 1914 by Col. Robert Icks
World Armoured Fighting Vehicles by Chamberlain
Borg-Warner Corp. Research, Investigation and Experimentation in the field of amphibious Vehicles, 1957
History of the American Light Tank by R.P. Hunnicutt
Liberty Engine by Robert Neal
American Tanks and AFV’s of WW2 by Mike Green
The Christie Wheeled Caterpillar by T.G.Cagney 1922
Mobility, Shock and Firepower by Robert Cameron
Steel Steeds Christie, J.Edward Christie – Review here http://tankandafvnews.com/2015/07/17/bo ... -christie/
Aberdeen Tank Data
Edison’s concrete Piano, Six Nipples sheep by Judy Wearing
The world’s Great Tanks from 1916 to Present by Roger Ford
The Christie M1921, AFV News September 1964 – Col. Robert Icks
Motor Age Magazine December 1922
Modern Mechanix Magazine October 1927, May 1936
Popular Mechanics Magazine April 1932
Popular Science Science Magazine March 1923, November 1929, March 1931, October 1932, February 1934, November 1935
Popular Aviation Magazine April 1936
Field Artillery Journal December 1919, October 1920, February 1921, August 1921, December 1922, February 1923, December 1923, March 1924, October 1924, August 1928, February 1929, July 1929, December 1930, February 1931, April 1936
Coast Artillery Journal September 1929, January 1931
Armor Magazine January-February 1986, July-August 1986, November-December 1986, September-October 1990, November-December 2001
Soldat und Technik 11/66
Library of Congress Photographs Division
Tank Museum, Bovington
The Man and His Tank Designs - Oocities.net
US1297445A dated 21/11/1917, US1336130A dated 23/10/1918, US Patent dated 24/7/1919, US1336131A dated 6/8/1919, US Patent dated 16/12/1920, US 1336133A dated 25/2/1920, US Patent dated 28/2/1920, US Patent dated 12/1/1921, US1980849 dated 30/4/1928, US 1836446A dated 30/4/1928