Centurion AVREs

Hungwe

Clanker
With regard to firing remotely on the ranges, if I remember correctly it was more to do with the age of the ammunition we where using than anyhting else. On Op Granby the AVRE's where supplied with US ammo because of the same problem, plus the fact that we did not have much.

The reasons given for lack of gun on the ChAVRE are certainly correct. I can vaguely remember calculating that it would take the entire 32 Regt mob stock of ammo to destroy a bridge on the A44 (?) autobahn near Paderborn.

If the stories I have heard about the fire on Op Granby are true I beleive that the Troop SSgt mentioned was my former Recce Sgt, with whom I did the above calculation. For some reason one of his combat jackets is (or was) in the National Army Museum as part of an exhibit on Bosnia. Clearly a busy chap, as well as a damn good SNCO!!!
 

dunstaggin

Old-Salt
Axeman said:
Nope, sure I was sat in the gunners seat for a good 30 rounds pre Granby. Heard about the shrike firings way back in the really old days :) I was always told it was because of a bad batch of obturating plates. Once they were sorted it was cleared for turret firing.
Let me get this straight.

You were sat in the cupola and fired 30 + rounds of 165mm hesh rounds ?
 

dunstaggin

Old-Salt
Hungwe said:
With regard to firing remotely on the ranges, if I remember correctly it was more to do with the age of the ammunition we where using than anyhting else. On Op Granby the AVRE's where supplied with US ammo because of the same problem, plus the fact that we did not have much.

The reasons given for lack of gun on the ChAVRE are certainly correct. I can vaguely remember calculating that it would take the entire 32 Regt mob stock of ammo to destroy a bridge on the A44 (?) autobahn near Paderborn.

If the stories I have heard about the fire on Op Granby are true I beleive that the Troop SSgt mentioned was my former Recce Sgt, with whom I did the above calculation. For some reason one of his combat jackets is (or was) in the National Army Museum as part of an exhibit on Bosnia. Clearly a busy chap, as well as a damn good SNCO!!!
The 'Cents' are how old ?

Feck they were ancient when I was in, in the early 1970's.
 
dunstaggin said:
Cent AVREs 165's had to be fired by remote at Hohne ranges, they
were that unsafe.
:x

So what about when Stevie Tooms got a "1-round-1-kill" on a bridge target from inside the turret as a gunner? And all the other Gunnery camps from inside the turret. Unsafe my Arse!! For your info, they were remote fired when they were on a reserve dem site as we also had to operate the 2" mortar. And to compliment the splendid WW2 set-up, the Commander had a Flare pistol!!! :twisted:
 
I was a 165 & 105 Gunner, now thats going back.

We did start firing them remotely, but ive done it from inside the turret, gunnery camps now that was a p*ss up.

I seem to remember an Oc of 26 Calling all us tank commmander amatuers because we didnt win annual camp. Toss*r

The AVRE's blew up because the commander, was washing the rads down, Inside 1 of the crew was cooking, and it was correct without the kidney plate on.

The other crew member got burnt aswell, i know all these lads personally.

I was also about 500m away when they blew.
 
Axeman said:
The AVRE's that blew up were destroyed as result of an accident. All to do with "a petrol leak" and a spark I believe, nothing to do with cooking (Honest Guv) Good photo's in 32's Cpl's Mess.
No 105 AVRE's were deployed to the Gulf. The 165's did fire main armament but never in anger and 165 rounds do indeed make a resounding bang when they hit.They were trialed at bund busting and were effective of a sort if you could concentrate fire on one spot. We had to use Spam ammo though, there wasn't enough of ours.
That piece of diesel crap wasn't given a gun because of the believed improvement of artillery accuracy and the emergence of smart weapons, so in the event of a bridge demolition failing or a pillbox needing destroyed it would prove easier to lase the target and drop a smart munition on it. Plus when the 165 was fielded originally the main tank gun was 20 pounder then 105mm. when 120mm came out its HESH round was found to be far more effective against concrete than the previous guns.
It was also deemed more important to carry 3 fascines as opposed to the one of the Cent.
I'm pretty sure most of the petrol generation would like to see a gun brought back into service, but with the introduction of Trojan it seems there's no chance.
Agree with everything except the claim that the bund busting was in any way effective. During the work up trg in Saudi I remember being closed down in a Spartan on the edge of the simulated obstacle belt watching multiple rounds thudding into the 'pretend' berm to very little effect. Seemed (at least to me) to be a total waste of time and effort. The training firing of the live GV, however, was a different matter altogether.

I also seem to remember that the same 'lucky' troop involved in the incident 'not caused by cooking' almost had an ND with a GV in their harbour area?
 
To be fair it wasn't only the AVREs which suffered from such 'non-cooking' explosions on Granby (and in fact the majority of kit functioned remarkably well).

We lost a few M109 SP gun to similar accidents - not sure offhand how many but I did see one go up (minus crew as it happily turned out) and it was seriously impressive; as was GV.
 

Johnold

Crow
Gentlemen Sappers,

For once I'm not having a pop at your EOD lot. This is a genuine question, prompted by the story about AVREs brewing up on Op Granby.

I believe Op Granby was the last time Cent AVRE 165 and 105 were deployed (might be wrong, though). Does anyone know if they ever fired their main guns, and at what? What was the target effect?

And does anyone know why Chieftan AVRE never had a gun? I can see lots of uses for that big old 165 HESH round. Concrete hasn't got any softer these days, has it?
Could my dad of been deployed sapper 24900058
 

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