Thursday, September 21, 2006

More about British tanks

The Official History says that General Norried described the earlier British cruiser tanks as suffering from a "general debility". I take that to mean the A.9, Cru.Mk.I and Mk.ICS, the A.10, Cru.Mk.II, IIA, and IIACS, the A.13 Cru.Mk.III, IV, and IVA, and CS variants. The first really viable cruiser, according to this narrative, was the A.15 Cru.Mk.VI Crusader I. The Crusader suffered from severe teething problems, resulting frequent breakdowns. Due to the poor recovery capability at this date, that caused many to be total losses, as they had to be abandoned to the enemy. The British cruiser tanks, at this date, were all armed with the inadequate 40mm 2pdr gun. The one bright spot was the presence of the American M3 Stuart tank, which was extremely fast and reliable. The main drawbacks were the light armour and small 37mm gun. At least, the 37mm gun had capped AP shot, so even with the light round, Stuarts were better prepared to deal with German face-hardened armour. This is based, in part, on Vol.III of the Official History.

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