British Tanks


The Matilda was a heavily armored tank designed for infantry support.



     Introduced in 1939 as a cruiser tank for cavalry type use, 5,300 Crusaders were built during the war until they were phased out beginning in 1943.  A Christie suspension provided a good ride and could travel at up to 40 mph, but early models were under-armed with the 2 pounder gun which was eventually replaced by the 6 pounder.  First used in North Africa in June 1941, the 6 pounder version was used at El Alamein, but it too was under-armed and few Crusaders were used after the North Africa campaign.


Churchill Infantry Tank

     Introduced prematurely in 1941, the original Churchills were under-armed with the 2 pounder gun and unreliable.  The tank shown has a 6 pounder gun, but eventually a 75 mm gun, then a 17 pounder was used and reliability problems were solved.  These well armored vehicles were designed to support the infantry.

Sherman Firefly

     The reliable American Sherman was adopted by the British Army and used in great numbers.  The original 75 mm gun was inadequate to deal with many German tanks.  The US Army re-equipped their Shermans with a 76 mm gun which was also inadequate.  The British used the 17 pounder in their Firefly version.  Although better than the 76 mm, this too was lacking.  


     Armed with a 120 mm rifled gun, the Chieftan entered service in 1967.  Well armed and armored at the sacrifice of speed, the Chieftan is still in service in some countries.


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