- 1 Description
- 2 Vehicles
- 3 History
- 3.1 Development
- 3.2 Service
- 3.3 Variants
- 3.3.1 LVT-1 Alligator (1941)
- 3.3.2 LVT-2 Water Buffalo
- 3.3.3 LVT-4 Water Buffalo (1943)
- 3.3.4 LVT-3 Bushmaster (1944)
LVT stands for Landing Vehicle, Tracked, which were used to land infantry on amphibious assaults further than regular landing craft.
In-game most LVTs have an (A) in their name, which stands for "armoured".
- LVT(A)(1) - LVT-2 with a Light tank M3 turret & two .33 cal MGs in the back
- LVT(A)(4) - LVT-2 with a Motor Howitzer Carriage M8 turret
- LVT(A)(4) ZIS-2 (USA) - Captured, refitted with a ZiS-2 (57 mm)
- LVT(A)(4) (ZiS-2) (China) - Captured, refitted with a ZiS-2 (57 mm)
- LVT-4/40 - French variant fitted with a Bofors L/60 (40 mm)
LVT-1 Alligator (1941)
LVT-2 Water Buffalo
The LVT-2 was an improved version of the LVT-1, designed to have better mobility - both on land and on water. It received the powertrain from the M3A1 Stuart light tank which was moved to the rear of the vehicle, and it also received bolted-on aluminum track grousers, which would allow for easier maintenance; the earlier track grousers were easily worn out by sea water corrosion and rough terrain. It retained the 24 passenger capacity, and it had a cargo capacity of 5,950 pounds. The driver's compartment was revised. The armament consisted of two .50 cal (12.7 mm) M2HB machine guns mounted over the rear of the driver's compartment, and two .30 cal (7.62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns at the rear of the vehicle. The M1919A4 machine guns were later replaced with M2 .50 cal machine guns. British LVT-2 vehicles were often armed with Polsten cannons and sometimes with "Wasp" flamethrowers.
Early on it became clear that the LVTs that were in production - which were usually armed with only machine guns - did not have the firepower necessary to support the infantry, especially when facing enemy pillboxes, bunkers, and other entrenched positions used by the Japanese Army. In order to solve this problem, a fire support vehicle based on the LVT-2 was designed. It had a turret that was very similar to the turret of the M3 Stuart light tank. Before the introduction of the better armed LVT(A)-4 in 1944, 510 LVT(A)-1 were built by the Food Machinery Corporation.
The LVT(A)-1 was based on the LVT-2, but with a number of changes to make it a support vehicle. The LVT(A)-1 was fitted with a turret very similar to that of the M3 Stuart, and it was armed with the same 37 mm Gun M6 with 10 degrees of gun depression and 25 degrees of elevation. The main gun was fitted in the M4 mount, and there was a coaxial .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun. At the rear of the vehicle, two .30 cal Browning M1919A4 machine guns were fitted, and the gunners were protected by standard Navy gun shields. The deck was armored, and the vehicle was fully enclosed. The front of the turret had 51 mm (2 in) of armor, and the ammunition was stored a number of racks throughout the vehicle. The vehicle had a crew of six; a commander and gunner in the turret, the driver and machine gunner in the front of the crew compartment, and two machine gunners at the rear of the vehicle. The LVT(A)-1 was a pure fire support vehicle, as there was no room inside to transport personnel or cargo. All the other features of the LVT(A)-1 were the same as on the LVT-2.
LVT(A)-2 Buffalo II (1943)
This was an up-armored version of the LVT-2. It featured 0.4 in (10.16 mm) armor plates added to the inside of the main compartment, sideskirts, and front, and there were .5 in (12.7 mm) armor plates fitted to the cab. The fuel tanks were replaced with self-sealing fuel tanks. The additional armor increased the weight of the vehicle significantly, and it had an empty weight of 2400 pounds, and so the cargo capacity was reduced by 1400 pounds; the passenger capacity was also reduced to 18. By 1944, shields were added to the gunners' positions at the front of the vehicle, which were usually equipped with .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine guns. 450 LVT-2(A) vehicles were built. Note: Unlike other LVT variants with an (A) in the designation, the LVT-2(A) was not equipped with a tank turret.
The LVT(A)-4 was essentially just an LVT(A)-1 but equipped with a different turret. It was still based on the LVT-2, but it has the turret of the 75 mm Gun Motor Carriage M8 "Scott" instead of the turret of the M3 Stuart light tank. Additionally, the two rear machine gun positions were removed; this reduced the crew to five, with the commander, gunner, and loader in the turret and the driver and co-driver in the front crew compartment. In total, 1,890 LVT(A)-4 vehicles were built, and they largely replaced the LVT(A)-1 in service. The 75 mm gun was more effective against fortified positions, but the 37 mm gun of the LVT(A)-1 was as effective or more effective against enemy armor. But, the main goal of the LVT(A)-1 and -4 was to support the infantry, not to destroy enemy armor - which is why the LVT(A)-4 was more effective.
This was an improved model of the LVT(A)-4. It featured a gyro-stabilizer for the main gun, and a powered turret. In the late 1940s many LVT(A)-5 received additional armor plating. A total of 269 LVT(A)-5 were produced.
LVT-4 Water Buffalo (1943)
Designed in 1943, the LVT-4 was a significant improvement over the LVT-2, which the LVT-4 was based on; but yet the LVT-4 is in many ways a departure from the LVT-2 design. Because of the large amount of casualties during the campaigns in the Pacific, the exit ramp was moved to the rear of the vehicle. This would allow troops and cargo to dismount while under some protection from enemy fire. Additionally, the LVT-4 could carry more personnel - 30 to be exact, which was almost twice the capacity of the LVT-2 (16 Marines). Because of the rear exit ramp the engine was moved to the front of the vehicle, right behind the driver's cab. Wash vanes were added to the vehicle, which were located above the tracks. The wash vanes forced water out of the vehicle. The engine used was the Continental W670-9A, which drove the drive sprockets along with the final and differential drive units. Two bulletproof glass slits were provided for the driver, and the driver exited and entered through hatches in the roof. The armament consisted of four machine guns (of either .30 cal or .50 cal type) on pintle mounts, which were operated by the infantry being transported by the LVT-4. There was also a ball-mounted .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun for use by the co-driver in the driver's cab. The armor could be improved with 0.5 in (12.7 mm) steel plates on the front and 0.25 in (6.4 mm) plates on the sides. When the additional armor was fitted the cargo capacity was reduced by 3,000 pounds.
LVT-4(F) Sea Serpent
This was a version of the LVT-4 that was equipped with "Wasp" flamethrowers in British service; it saw service with the 72nd Armoured Division. They would have been used in the invasion of the Japanese mainland with the "flame battery" of the 34th Amphibian Support Regiment, Royal Marines, but the war ended before the invasion took place.
The LVT(A)-3 would have been the armored version of the LVT-4, but it was never produced.
Amphibian, Tracked, 4-Ton General Service (1944-1945)
This was a British vehicle based on the LVT-4, and it was called the Neptune. 2,000 were ordered and all were delivered. There were two variants of the Amphibian, Tracked, 4-Ton General Service; the Sealion was a recovery version and the Turtle was a workshop version.
LVT-3 Bushmaster (1944)
Developed by Borg Warner Corporation as the Model B in April 1943, the LVT-3 was a significant departure from the earlier LVT types. It had a hydraulically operated rear-loading ramp, which would allow materiel and personnel to be unloaded while protected from enemy fire. Two Cadillac engines (from the M5 Stuart light tank) were used, and they were located in the sponsons; they were connected by a hydromatic transmission to a final drive in the front of the vehicle. The transmission had four forward gears and one reverse gear, but on the water the transmission was limited to the first two gears.
The cargo bay could carry a jeep and an infantry company, or four tons of cargo. The crew cabin was located closer to the front of the vehicle than on other LVTs, and the armament was mounted between the cargo bay and crew compartment. The armament consisted of two .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns, and the gunners had to step up to operate them. The driver sat in the middle of the crew compartment, and the co-driver sat to his right. They had five bulletproof glass windows, giving a great field of view for the driver. The track links used were rubber bush types, while other LVTs had a dry pin type. Applique armor was able to be mounted on the vehicle, which limited the cargo capacity to 1.3 tons in order to compensate for the increased weight. Ingersoll and Graham-Paige built a total of 2,962 LVT-3 between 1943 and 1945.
The LVT-3C was an improved version of the LVT-3. It featured an armored roof over the cargo compartment, which consisted of two hinged "doors" which could be folded open on top of the sponsons. Additional side armor was fitted, and escape hatches were added to the design. The standard armament consisted of two .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine guns fitted in turrets, and another .30 cal machine gun in a ball mount in the bow of the vehicle. The weight of the LVT-3C was 6000 pounds heavier than that of the LVT-3. 1,200 LVT-3 were converted to the LVT-3C standard at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.