Sunday, July 15, 2007
British shortcomings in the Crusader Battle
The British had too sorts of shortcomings. One sort was their equipment. The other was more damaging, how they fought battles, which we will discuss later. As for equipment, in the air, the British fighters were outclassed by the Me-109F (Bf-109f). With respect to tanks, the new cruiser tanks being produced in large numbers, the Crusaders, were mechanically unreliable and had inadequate protection and armament. The 2pdr gun was too light. The solution was in the work with the 57mm 6pdr gun. A later version had a lengthened barrel and higher velocity, but the first version would be a vast improvement. The Crusader III would come into service with the gun and would arrive in the Middle East during 1942. There were also the American medium tanks armed with the medium velocity 75mm gun that would soon arrive, as well. The first were the Grants and Lees. The Sherman, with a turret-mounted 75mm would supplant the Grants and Lees with a 75mm gun in a sponson. In the interim, the British had to depend upon the 25pdr gun-howitzer for anti-tank work. This had the undesirable side effect of reducing their effectiveness in the pure artillery role. However, at the time, nothing else could be done. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.