The AC E1 is an experimental cruiser tank developed by Australia.
The AC series originated in 1940 when the Australian government decided to take precautions against the supply of tanks from Britain being interrupted by enemy action. The Japanese Empire was a major threat at the time and maintaining supply from Britain might not be possible later. The alternative was to manufacture tanks in Australia itself. Australia was lacking in tank design knowledge and experience and decided to send a man to America to access the Medium Tank, M3. Britain dispatched Colonel W.D. Watson to act as an adviser.
The AC-Series was to be based on the lower hull of the M3, with the upper hull and turret being closer to the Cruiser VI, Crusader. In 1942 the Australian Cruiser Mk I (AC I) was designated "Sentinel". It was manufactured by the New South Wales Railway Company. Fabrication took place at Chullora Tank Assembly Shops with serial production vehicles emerging in August 1942, the premises also being used as a testing ground. The design used existing parts where available, which were simplified where necessary to meet machining capacity in Australia. The hull was cast as a single piece, as was the turret.
In an effort to increase the firepower on the AC-Series, a test turret was developed and equipped on one of the earlier chassis in order to test the recoil a 17 Pounder would give. They mounted two 25 Pounders and fired them. This test would show whether the chassis could withstand the recoil from a 17 Pounder.
|Australian Land Vehicles of the Second World War|
|Light Tanks||Standard Light Tanks||Grasshopper • LP1 Chassis 160 • Modra Revolving Tank|
|Flamethrowing Light Tanks||Murphy High Speed Tank|
|Medium Tanks||Cruiser Tanks||AC (I • IA • IB • IIA • IIB • III • III "Scorpion" • E1 • E2 • IV) • Cossor Cruiser Tank • Wentworth Cruiser Tank|
|Heavy Tanks||Amphibious Assault Tanks||Backstrom Amphibian Invasion Tank|
|Heavy Tanks||Crowther Land Fortress Tank|
|Self-Propelled Guns||Tank Destroyers||2-pounder Anti-tank Gun Carrier (Aust) • 6-pounder Anti-tank Gun Carrier (Aust)|
|Self-Propelled Mortar||3 inch Mortar Carrier (Aust)|
|Other Fully Tracked Vehicles||Transport & Towing||LP1 Carrier (Aust) • LP2 Carrier (Aust)|
|Armoured / Scout / Patrol Cars||Dingo|
|Heavy Tanks||Puckridge Land Battleship|