World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Great Britain's flag

Great Britain's Cruiser Mk I, A9

Photos

Cruiser Mk I, A9, of C Squadron, 1st Royal Tanks, 7th Armored Division in 1940:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk I, A9, of C Squadron, 1st Royal Tanks, 7th Armored Division in 1940
©IWM
Cruiser Mk I, A9:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk I (A9)
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum
Cruiser Mk I, A9:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk I, A9
©IWM
Cruiser Mk I CS, A9, of the 2nd Royal Tanks in 1940:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk I CS, A9, of the 2nd Royal Tanks in 1940
©IWM
Cruiser Mk ICS (left) and two Cruiser Mk IIAs, North Africa, 1940:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk ICS and Cruiser Mk IIAs, North Africa, 1940
©IWM

Design

The Cruiser Mk I (A9) was designed at Vickers Armstrongs in 1934 by Sir John Carden. Initially the Cruiser Mk I was to support the Vickers Medium Mk IIs but it soon replaced them. He designed it during the depression and the design had many cost cutting measures.

Much of the armor was vertical and many angles for shots to get trapped in.

The driving and fighting compartments of the Cruiser Mk I were located together.

Armament

Each of the machine gun gunners were on each side of the driver in turrets.

Engine

The original engine was a Rolls-Royce car engine but it was underpowered and an AEC bus engine was substituted.

The steering brakes were mounted on the outside of the rear sprockets. This allowed them to cool faster.

There was an auxiliary engine that was used to start the main engine, charge the batteries, and drove a fan in the fighting compartment.

Suspension

The suspension was later used on the Valentine with some minor modifications.

Turret

Had a Nash and Thompson hydraulic powered turret traverse, which was a first for British tanks.

Prototype

Sir John Carden died in an aircraft accident in December 1935 and work slowed.

The first prototype, the A.9E1, was completed in April 1936. In July 1937, after completing trials against other designs, the A9 was selected for production and an order for 50 / 125 was placed.

The suspension was poor and pitched around on uneven ground. The tracks were often shed during the trials.

Production

Deliveries were first made in January 1939.

  • Cruiser Mk I: 125
    • Production: 1936 - 1941, July 1936 - 1941, 1937 - ?
    • Manufacturer: Vickers (50), Harland & Wolff (75), Wolff of Belfast

Variants

  • A.9E1: Prototype. Had 15 pound mortar (close support) and coaxial .303" Vickers machine gun.
  • Cruiser Mk I, A9: There were 2 forward "sub-turrets" that had the other machine guns which were unpopular with crews.
  • Cruiser Mk I CS: Had 3.7" (94 mm) howitzer installed in turret. Had powered traverse.
  • Anti-Mine?: Could push Anti-Mine Reconnaissance Caster Roller. Had four rollers on a frame.
  • Anti-Barbed Wire?: Had carpet device to go over barbed wire.
  • Submerged?: Experimental design to go under water for river crossings. Conducted at Christchurch, Hampshire.

Usage

The Cruiser Mk I was used in France and North Africa.

France

The Cruiser Mk I was found in some regiments of the 1st Armored Division in France. This exposed the design weaknesses of this tank to be thin armor and too slow.

North Africa

The Cruiser Mk Is were used by the 2nd and 7th Armored Division in North Africa until 1941.

Specifications

  A9E1 Prototype
Crew  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight  
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2 pdr
Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial 1: .303 Vickers MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Rolls-Royce Phantom II
AEC
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders AEC: 6
Capacity AEC: 8.95 liter
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical System  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 25 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  Cruiser Mk I
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, MG gunner (2).
6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 28,728 lb
12 tons, 12.5 tons
12,190 kg
Length 19', 19' 3"
5.79 m
Height 8' 4", 8' 8.5"
2.54 m, 2.654 m
Width 8' 2.5", 8' 4"
2.5 m, 2.54 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 4"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 10.8 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2 pdr OQF
2 pdr (40 mm)
Secondary  
MG 3: Vickers MG
3: .303 Vickers MG
MG - coaxial 1: MG
1: 0.303 cal Vickers MG
1: 7.7 mm Vickers MG
MG - forward turrets 2: MG
2: 0.303 cal Vickers MG
2: 7.7 mm Vickers MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 100
Secondary  
MG 3,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 14, 10 - 14
6, 14
Hull Front, Upper 10-14
Hull Front, Lower 10-14
Hull Sides, Upper 10
Hull Sides, Lower 10
Hull Rear 10
Hull Top 5
Hull Bottom 7
Turret Front 14
Turret Sides 12
Turret Rear 14
Turret Top 4
Engine (Make / Model) AEC Type A179
AEC
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity 9.64 liter
Net HP 150
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical System  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity 86 gallons
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hydraulic
Speed - Road 25 mph, 24.84 mph
40 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph
Range - Road 100 miles, 150 miles, 149 miles
240 km, 241 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 26'
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 3'
Trench crossing 8'
Vertical obstacle 3'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Triple wheel bogies on springs with Newton hydraulic shock absorbers.
"Slow motion"
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 14"
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 7' 3"
  Cruiser Mk I CS
Crew 6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12.7 tons
Length 5.79 m
Height 2.65 m
Width 2.5 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.46 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.76 (kg/cm2)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 3.7" L/15 howitzer
3.7" Howitzer
94 mm L/15
3.7" Mortar
Secondary  
MG 3 MGs
MG - coaxial  
MG - forward turrets  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 40
Secondary  
MG 5,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 10-14
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 10
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 10
Hull Top 5
Hull Bottom 7
Turret Front 14
Turret Sides 12
Turret Rear 14
Turret Top 4
Engine (Make / Model) AEC Water cooled
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 150 @ 2,200 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical System  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity 327 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 39.6 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 202 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 7.9 m
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 0.91 m
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Coil Springs
Wheels each side 6
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 267 mm
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  3. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  4. World War Two Tanks, George Forty, 1995
  5. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  7. Allied Armour of World War Two, Ian V. Hogg, 2000
  8. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  9. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  10. AFV #6: Valentine Mark III, B. T. White
  11. AFV #8, Crusader-Cruiser Mark VI, Major James Bingham
  12. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site