ABC Far North (Australia) has posted an article about an AC1 Sentinel tank that has found a new home at the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns. Only 65 Sentinel tanks were produced by Australia during WW2 and only 3 of the AC1 still remain in existence (as well as 2 AC3 models, an AC4 and a few AC1 hulls converted into agricultural tractors.) This particular Sentinel AC1 was owned by the late Jacques Littlefield as part of his large private collection. The video game company Wargaming purchased the Littlefield Sentinel and has donated it to the Australian Armor & Artillery Museum where it will be put on display after some minor renovations. The ABC Far North article quotes Wargaming America’s director of militaria relations Nicholas Moran:
“Australia had never built a proper tank before, so by the time the tank was ready for testing in July 1942 it was a little outdated.”
“By the time the fighting really got going against the Japanese, the Americans and British had started producing tanks of their own in large numbers and to a standard design.
“So it just simply didn’t make sense for Australia to continue to produce their own tank.”
The closest any Sentinel tank ever came to seeing actual military service was in the shooting of the film The Rats of Tobruk.
“If you see The Rats of Tobruk they’ve got German iron crosses on the side of them,” Mr Moran said.
“That was pretty typical of movies in the post-war industry; they didn’t really think the audience cared if a tank looked realistic, as long as it had a German cross on the side.
“In fairness, at least the Sentinel was unusual enough that it wasn’t going to be confused with something the Allies were using.”
Earlier this month Wargaming released a short video about this particular AC1 Sentinel.
For a list of the remaining Sentinel tanks in the world, click here to view a PDF of surviving Canadian and Australian Cruiser tanks hosted by the Surviving Panzers website.