ARMORED CAVALRY CARRIER (M113 ACAV) aka ARMORED CAVALRY ASSAULT VEHICLE aka ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER aka GREEN DRAGON
Although the M113 (Armored Personnel Carrier) was initially designed to carry a full 10 man rifle squad in addition to the two-man crew in its role as a valuable transport in a variety of terrain; lessons learned in Vietnam soon evolved into the M113ACAV and the Cav doctrine to fight directly from the track on the move and not to dismount the infantry unless in extreme circumstances. Now the track became a mobile fire platform and stowage of enormous quantities of ammo and other equipment considerably reduced the internal troop carrying capacity.
A normal crew for the ACAV was a driver, track commander, two gunners, and two loaders (one of whom would also be armed with an M-79 40mm grenade launcher. Protected by between 12 and 38 millimeters of armor, a .50 caliber Browning machine gun mounted in an armored gun shield/turret combination (manned by the TC) and two 7.62 mm M60 machine guns (manned by the two gunners), mounted one either side of the rear hatch and fitted with protective gun shields. Typical ammo load could consist of 3,500 rounds of M2 .50 caliber, 8,500 rounds of 7.62mm, 5,000 rounds of M-16 ammo, and 150 40mm grenades. The track traveled at speeds of over 40 miles per hour. Line Drawings
The photo (left) shows an M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier with an ACAV (Armored Cav Assault Vehicle) kit mounted. The TC is sitting on the "Teacup" armored shield behind his .50 Cal machinegun. Visible on the left side is the gun shield for one of the M-60 machineguns. To the rear of the cargo hatch are rolls of concertina wire, and a large roll of chain-link fence for use as an RPG screen, as well as other assorted items the crew carried.
Known as the "Green dragon" to the VC in the early stages of the war, the M113 was destined to become one of the most successful armored vehicles of all time, seeing action in Vietnam on a country-wide scale from the DMZ to the Delta.
The crew rode on top of the vehicle with only the driver inside. This type of use stemmed from actual experience in the Vietnam War. The soldiers were better protected from mine injuries while riding on top of the vehicle. The unit no longer served as a troop transport vehicle. It was used as an assault weapons platform capable of taking the fight to the enemy.
Photo on the right shows the side of an ACAV vehicle, with the RPG screen erected to the front, and a well improved foxhole beside the vehicle. The rear ramp is lowered and a poncho has been erected over a sleeping hole near the rear of the vehicle.
M113 ACAV specifications:
Type: Armored Personal Carrier
Crew: typical in armored cavalry use: Driver, Track Commander, Two gunners, M79 man
Range: 300 miles
Max speed empty: 42 mph on land and 2.9 mph in water
Vertical obstacle: 1.9ft
Gap crossing: 5.5ft
Armament: 1 -50 cal. mounted on the commander's cupola. Two M60 general purpose machine guns mounted behind gun shields on each side of the rear roof hatch and one M79 40mm grenade launcher.
ACAV Spec Sheet
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