As early as January 1940, Roebling had prepared preliminary sketches of an LVT with a gun turret to provide fire support to the landing waves. The concept languished until June 1941, when USMC recommended the development of an LVT armed with a 37mm gun and three machine guns and armored against 0.50 (12.7mm) machine gun fire. Development was slow and ultimately involved a complete redesign of the LVT, the LVT-2 Buffalo. Armored versions were introduced as well as fire support versions, dubbed Amtanks, which were fitted with turrets from Stuart series light tanks (LVT(A)-1) and Howitzer Motor Carriage M8s (LVT(A)-4).
Among other upgrades were a new powerpack (engine and cooling accessories), also borrowed from the Stuarts, and a rubber “torsilastic” suspension which improved performance on land. After Borg-Warner evaluated the LVT-1, Borg-Warner and FMC began work on new designs. FMC was assisted by faculty from Caltech and the University of California and developed the designs that became the LVT-2 and the LVT(A)-1. Interest in the LVT was enough that the Secretary of the Navy formed the Continued Board for the Development of the Landing Vehicle Tracked on 30 October 1943.
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