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AVRE

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Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers

Sometimes on the modern battlefield, nature or red team have created an obstruction that is giving our heroic squaddie some annoyance. This could be a river, a minefield, a huge berm, a ditch or just barbed wire. Sometime the squaddie would like to have some protection (possibly from Spams and their trigger happy ways or just from the less murderous red team). Enter the AVRE.

Arguably the prototype AVRE was WW1 Mk.V tanks modified to allow it and other tanks to advance over heavily entrenched areas of the front. Below is a Mk.V Mine Roller.

GB-MarkVStarStar-MineRoller.jpg

By the time D Day WW2 arrived its been realized that engineers needed armoured protection for their equipment as they often worked under fire. Originally called Hobart's funnies in 1944, these armoured engineering vehicles allowed the military engineer to do his construction/destruction work without being perforated by the enemy who don't fancy them undoing all their hard work. This was critically important when storming the beach defences in Normandy.


Moving onto more modern kit, the Centurion was still in use as an AVRE during Operation GRANBY and while not the fastest vehicle in theatre, its torque and rugged ability left US M1A1 Abrams MBTs struggling in deep/soft sand.