A Kangaroo was a World War II British or Commonwealth armoured personnel carrier (APC), created by conversion of a tank chassis. Created as an expedient measure by the Canadian Army, the Kangaroos were so successful that they were soon being used by British and US forces as well. Their ability to manoeuvre in the field with the tanks was a major advantage over earlier designs, and led to the dedicated APC designs that were introduced by almost all armies immediately after the war.
The first Kangaroos were converted from 102 M7 Priest self-propelled guns of the artillery regiments of the 3 infantry divisions invovled in the initial assault on 6th June 1944. These were no longer needed, as the artillery regiments were re-equipped with towed 25 pdr guns in late July. At a field workshop (codenamed Kangaroo, hence the name) they were stripped of the artillery equipment and the front aperture welded over, then sent into service carrying twelve troops. They were first used in Operation Totalize south of Caen and subsequently in Canadian attacks on the various Channel ports, operated by the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron.
The Priests were subsequently returned to US custody and other vehicles used. The majority of vehicles converted were Canadian Ram tanks or Shermans and other Priests (which were sometimes referred to as "unfrocked" or "defrocked" Priests). The name Kangaroo was applied to any similar conversion. In Normandy they were operated by the 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment (1CACR) and the 49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment under the British 79th Armoured Division (whose specialized vehicles were called "Hobart's Funnies"). Kangaroos were then used throughout the campaign in northwest Europe.
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