Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The 3rd RTR will get Stuarts in late summer of 1941
The 3rd RTR had somewhat more than 60 tanks when they were sent to Greece. All were lost, and only their machine guns were stripped. Robert Crisp did not think much of British tank design. His description was that the cavalry had undue influence in the process, so fast, lightly armoured vehicles were the result. In reality, the story was more complicated than that. There was a push to get vehicles into production before they had become mechanically mature. The British track design was also very fragile. Robert Crisp says that American technicians arrived to receive the Stuarts and take them into service. The Stuarts proved to be very robust and mechanically sound. The American track design was much stronger. The Stuarts were powered by aircraft radial engines, and this resulted in a very short, high silhouette. The Stuart's gun was the inadequate American 37mm and several Browning machine guns. The Stuart's other virtual, besides reliability is that the frontal armour was greater than that on British cruiser tanks of the time. The track links had big rubber blocks in them. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book, Brazen Chariots.