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Great Britain's Cruiser Mk III, A13

Photos

Cruiser Mk III, A13:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk III (A13)
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum

Cruiser Mk II, A10, and Cruiser Mk III, A13
Cruiser Mk II, A10 and Cruiser Mk III, A13
©IWM

Design

Lt. Col. G. le Q Martel saw Russian BT tanks in maneuvers and suggested the war office adopt the Christie suspension.1,10 Morris Commercial Ltd. built prototypes based on two Christie tanks purchased in 1936.8

The speed was governed down from 35 mph to 30 mph, alterations in the clutch and transmission, and using shorter pitched tracks. The engine could be started with compressed air or electronically.1,10

Used same turret as the A9 but with larger commander's cupola.

Prototype

The first of two prototypes were delivered by Nuffield Mechanisations and Aero, Ltd in October 1937.9

The suffered many problems with the engines as the tank was two tons heavier than the previous model, the A10.9

Production

By January 1938 a production order of 65 was placed.1,8,9

The first models were delivered in December 1938.6,9

  • Prototype: 29
    • Manufacturer: Nuffield Mechanisations and Aero Ltd9
  • Cruiser Mk III, A13: 6656
  • Cruiser Mk III, A13 Mk I and Cruiser Mk IV, A13 Mk II: 6659
    • Production: January 1938 - 19419
    • Manufacturer: Nuffield Mechanisations and Aero Ltd9, L.M.S. Railway9, English Electric9, Leylands9

Variants

Usage

Used by the 1st Armored Division in France, and the 7th Armored Division in Libya from 1940 - 1941.1,6,7,8,10

Half of the 7th Armored Brigade's tank strength was A13s in November 1941, during Operation Crusader.6

Specifications

  Cruiser Mk III, A13
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver.2
41,2,3,4,6,7,10
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 31,360 lb2, 44,240 lb4
14 tons1,3,5,6,7,8,10, 14.2 tons9
14,220 kg1, 14,225 kg7,10, 20,067 kg4
Length 19'8, 19' 8"4, 19' 9"1,2,3,6,7,10
5.994 m4, 6.02 m1,7,10
Height 7' 4"4,8, 8' 4", 8' 6"1,2,3,6,7,10
2.235 m4, 2.59 m1,7,10
Width 8' 4"1,2,3,6,7,10, 8' 6.5"8, 8' 8"4
2.54 m1,7,10, 2.64 m4
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 2 pdr QFSA2,7,10
1: 2 pdr (40 mm)1
1: 2 pdr3,5,6,9
1: 6 pdr4
Secondary  
MG 1:.303 cal Vickers MG2,9
1: MG3
MG - coaxial 1: Vickers .303 cal (7.7 mm)1,6,7,10
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 872
Secondary  
MG 3,7502
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 141,3, 62, 142,5,6,7,9,10
Hull Front, Upper 14
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 6
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Nuffield Liberty1,7,8,9,10
Liberty3,5,6
Nuffield Mk III4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders V-126,7,8,10
Capacity  
Net HP 3404,5,6,7,8,9,10
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter Electrical or compressed air7
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7,8
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2
Speed - Road 27 mph4, 30 mph1,2,3,5,6,7,8,10
43.4 kph4, 48 kph1,5,7,10
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph4, 24 mph2
24 kph4
Range - Road 90 miles1,2,7,10, 127 miles4
145 km1,7,10, 204 km4
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 3'2, 3' 3"4
0.99 m4
Trench crossing 7' 6"2, 8' 6"4
2.59 m4
Vertical obstacle 2' 3"4
0.686 m4
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Christie
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 10 1/8"2
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6' 11"2

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. 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
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Allied Armour of World War Two, Ian V. Hogg, 2000
  6. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  7. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  8. World War Two Tanks, George Forty, 1995
  9. AFV #8, Crusader-Cruiser Mark VI, Major James Bingham
  10. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site