Yeramba (artillery)

Yeramba (artillery)

The Yeramba was a self-propelled artillery vehicle built in Australia after the end of the Second World War. They were produced by mounting the 25 pounder gun howitzer on an American M3A5 Grant tank hull, converted by the Ordnance Factory Bendigo from 1950 to 1952.

Its official name was Ordnance, Quick Firing, 25 pdr Mark 2/1, on Mounting Self propelled 25 pdr (AUST) Mark 1, on Carrier, Grant, Self Propelled 25 pdr (AUST) Mark 1 which specified the gun, the gun mount and the vehicle in order. It was known by the simpler name of SP 25 pr Yeramba, Yeramba being an Aboriginal word.

History

Modern self-propelled artillery could not be purchased from overseas after WWII, and so for the purposes of training a small number of Grant tanks were adapted to the role. Plans for the World War II Commonwealth self-propelled gun, the Sexton, which had been Canadian-built vehicles using the 25 pounder on an M3 Grant hull were obtained and used and the basis for the design. A new welded, open topped superstructure was added in place of the 37 mm turret, forward hull, and sponson-mounted 75 mm gun. A QF 25 pounder Mk 2/1 with fixed length recoil and a muzzle brake was mounted centrally in the superstructure allowing the gun to traverse over a 40 degree arc. Elevation was limited to 40 degrees, and depression to 10 degrees. The more resilient M4 Sherman suspension units replaced the M3 type bogies. Stowage was provided for 88 High Explosive and/or Smoke shells and 16 Armour-Piercing (AP) shot. A total of 14 vehicles underwent this conversion. Like many M3 medium tanks in Australia, the Yerambas were normally fitted with an additional cast armour plate of between 38 mm to 44 mm thickness bolted over the transmission housing and final drives on the nose of the vehicle. All of the Yerambas were issued to the 22nd Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery. Along with most other WWII era tanks in Australia they were disposed of in 1956.

Surviving Yerambas can be seen at the RAAC tank museum at Puckapunyal Victoria, and at the Melbourne Tank Museum in Narre Warren.

External links

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