Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cromwell Cruiser Tank

The Cruiser Tank Mk VIII A 27M Cromwell (Cromwell Cruiser Tank) was built in 1941 after a request from the British General Staff. They took with him the experiences you with the Crusader had made ​​the armor and extended (to 76 mm).Cromwell was so much heavier than the Crusader, the extra weight but made ​​by a strong Rolls-Royce Meteor engine offset (the V-12-Meteor was the first reliable engine in a British tank). He thus became the fastest British tank of the war years.Because of excessive wear on the wheel suspension unproportionally the maximum speed was ultimately reduced in favor of the maintenance at 52 km / h. Series production began in January 1943 (at Leyland Motors ).

6,42 m
2,91 m
2,51 m
24 to 28 tons
8 to 76 mm (Mk VII, 8-102 mm)
Main armament
1 × 75-mm rapid-fire gun L/36, 5 (Mk IV)
Secondary armament
2 × 7.92 mm Besa machine gun (one in the tub, one coaxial)
V12-Benzinmotor Rolls-Royce Meteor
600 PS (447 kW)
Christie suspension
Top speed
64 km / h
Power / weight
17.2 kW / t (23.4 hp t /)
280 km

The Cromwell Mk I to III had a 6-pounder gun (57 mm). Cromwell Mk IV was introduced in October 1943 and had a 75-mm gun, the ammunition compatible with that of the American M4 Sherman was. Even the versions Mk V and Mk VII had this gun.The versions vary also in whether the tubs were welded or riveted. In addition, details varied as the belt width and placement of the hatches and storage boxes.

The Mk VI and Mk VIII versions were equipped with a 95-mm howitzer and thus ideally suitable for close combat support. Other variants included the Cromwell ARV (Armoured Recovery Vehicle), Cromwell OP (mobile command vehicle and artillery observation post). Cromwell proved because of its outstanding mobility was most German tanks but inferior in weaponry and armor. An exception was the version Mk VII, whose frontal armor was increased to 102 mm.

The Cromwell tanks participated in the 7th Armoured Division in some important battles in part. He presented as no big step forward, since he had no sloped armor. The penetrating power of the 75-mm gun was unsatisfactory, so that in subsequent models with the 17-pounder was reused a specialized anti-tank gun as its main armament (including Sherman Firefly and Challenger ). The Cromwell was the basis for the Comet since.