Matilda Churchill, British Infantry tanks in action.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by CharlesBronson, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    A topic devoted to the most sucessful and heavily armored british tanks of ww2.
     

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  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  3. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Yes it was probably the finest hour of the ugly Matilda 1.
     

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  4. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, heavy armor, but small gun (2-pounder), limited speed and manuverablity proved it's downfall. The Cromwell proved to better suited though.
     
  5. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Well, yeah, but the Cromwell was a cruiser so it was designed from the begining to be more mobile and fast, the british infantry tank doctrine favoured a slow moving but heavily armored tank, with armamend to destroy enemy armor in order to protect the advancing infantry, however the lack of a suitable HE capable gun was very anoyying in some teathers of operations, like in Africa.

    Matilda I knocked out in Arras.
     

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  6. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Sevicing the Mark I "dreadnought" in France, may 1940.
     

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  7. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Okay, sorry, what do you mean by HE capable gun. Do you mean High Explosive. Sorry, my tank knowledge is a bit rusty.
     
  8. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the 2 pounder didnt use HE ammunition until 1943, wich was a bit late. In fact I must correct myself , the gun was capable of shooting explosive rounds but simple there was no provition for that, all the ammo carried was steel core AP.

    There was a variant with a 76 mm howitzer, but it used smoke bombs mostly.

    Profile of the "Gamecok", a Matilda II mark I captured in France, note the tailskid designed for avoid falling in a wide trench. also it had the increased clearance wich improved cross country capabilities but increased stress on suspension parts.
     

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  9. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I think I get it now. Lack of HE rounds in North Africa would have been a pain in the as@. AP rounds could be used against APCs and panzers, but would be completey useless against AT guns, bunkers, or soft skinned vehicles.
     
  10. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    And against infantry too.

    A general description of the Matilda II mark II
     

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  11. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    - A12 prototype.

    - suspension squematic

    -top view of the Matilda II mark I, with its water cooled ,303 vickers, later replaced by the Besa 7,92mm in the mark II.
     

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  12. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Cool, thanks for the info.
     
  13. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  14. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    You have a button in the toolbar for posting pictures, is the fifth counting from the left, also you can upload it from you PC hard disk.

    The top one seems a Mark IV or VI. The other is the Churchill flamethrower known as Crocodrile.

    The Matilda in action agaist the italian, the WavelL counterofensive in late 1940 almost knocked out Italy from teh African continent causing apalling losses in the process. The attack was spearheaded by the Matildas.

    [​IMG]

    Overrun italian artillery in Sidi barrani.

    [​IMG]


    Matilda with fascine for trench crossing.

    [​IMG]


    Matilda II Mark II with special ramp for crossing the Bardia fortress wide antitank ditch.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    CB, thanks for the tip and info, great stuff.
    25,000 to 75,000 huh? Usually the attacker needs a three to one advantage, not the other way around.
     
  16. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    You re welcome.

    I guess that the Matilda II heavy armor compensated the british numerical inferiority. Not in vane the tank was nicknamed "Queen of the desert"

    Matilda in the very shooted up Fortress of Bardia.
    [​IMG]


    Cleaning up, the 2 pounder (40mm) main gun armor penetration was 52 mm at 500 meters and 44 mm at 1000 meters, more than enough against any italian afv.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  18. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Excellent find.

    I suppose this view was quite a "shock" :) the matilda relative narrow track does not seems very useful in icy conditions.
     

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  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Here's some info on Matilda II used by the Australian Army in the SWP. See from chapter 4 onwards.
    The World at War
     

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  20. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Cool Wildcat, how useful were tanks in the jungle.
     
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