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Great Britain's Cruiser Mk VI, Crusader III, A15

Design

The Crusader III was the final production vehicle with a 6 pdr.

Increased armor on hull and turret.

Turret

The turret had an extractor fan installed.

In the turret was only the commander, who also loaded the gun on the right side, and the gunner, who also operated the radio. The gunner had one periscope and the commander had two, with one in the roof hatch.

The turret hatch was replaced by a pair that opened outwards.

The smoke charger was changed to fire through the roof in front of the commander.

Armament

The turret was longer and taller to handle the 6 pdr. The front plate was vertical, with a rectangular opening for the gun with an internal mantlet. A coaxial Besa machine gun on the left.

Muzzle velocity for the 6 pdr was 2,800'/sec. AP round was 6.28 lb.

Engine

The radiators were located between the engine and the fuel tanks. At the rear bulkhead were two fans that drew air over the radiators. There was a jettisonable auxiliary fuel tank at the rear. The tank guards had the cleaners for the carburators.

To help control fire, there was a Pyrene CO2 cylinder.

Variants

  • Crusader III:
  • Crusader III AA Mk I: Turret replaced by Bofors 40mm AA. Open topped shield.
  • Crusader III AA Mk II: Turret replaced by twin or triple 20mm Oerlikon AA. Turret replaced by new enclosed turret. First tests occurred in June 1943. Had a crew of 4, and carried 600 rounds of ammunition.
  • Crusader III, AA Mk III: Same as AA Mk II but with radio equipment by driver instead of turret.
  • Crusader III (OP): Artillery observation. Dummy 6 pdr. Additional radio equipment.

Usage

The Crusader III was the main tank used by British forces until the M4 Sherman arrived.

The Crusader III AA Mk IIs and Crusader III AA Mk IIIs were issued to the antiaircraft troops in armored units.

Specifications

  Cruiser Mk VI , Crusader III
Crew Commander, gunner, driver.
3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19.7 tons, 19.75 tons, 22.1 tons
44,240 lb
19,812 kg, 20,067 kg, 20,085 kg
Length 19.8', 19' 8", 20' 8"
5.994 m, 6.3 m
Height 7.2', 7' 4"
2.235 m
Width 8' 8", 9' 2", 9.25'2
2.64 m, 2.79 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.7"
Ground contact length 146"
Ground pressure 14.1 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main

1: 6 pdr OQF
1: 6 pdr
1: 6 pdr QF, L/45
1: 6 pdr QFSA

Secondary  
MG 1: Besa MG
MG - coaxial 1: Besa MG
1: 7.92 mm Besa MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 65
Secondary  
MG 3,375
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 7, 7 - 51, 51
Front: 0.75"
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.63"
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 1.1"
Turret Sides 0.63"
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Nuffield Liberty
Nuffield Liberty Mk III
Nuffield Liberty Mk IV
OR Nuffield Liberty Mk IV
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12
Net HP 340, 340@1,500 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 27 mph, 27.5 mph
43.4 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph
24 kph
Range - Road 100 miles, 112 miles
Range with extra fuel 127 miles
204 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 9.5", 3' 3"
0.99 m
Trench crossing 8.2', 8' 6"
2.59 m
Vertical obstacle 2' 3", 2' 7.5"
0.686 m
Climbing ability 30° slope
58%
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 10.75"
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4.25"
Tire Tread  
Track centers/tread 7.6'
  Crusader III AA Mk I
Crew  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19 tons
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 40 mm Bofors antiaircraft
Secondary  
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) Nuffield Liberty III
OR Nuffield Liberty IV
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Net HP 340
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  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range with extra fuel  
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  
  Crusader III AA Mk II
Crew  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19 tons
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2: 20 mm Oerlikon
Secondary  
MG 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) Nuffield Liberty III
OR Nuffield Liberty IV
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Net HP 340
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  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range with extra fuel  
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  
  Crusader III AA Mk III
Crew  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19 tons
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2: 20 mm Oerlikon
Secondary  
MG 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) Nuffield Liberty III
OR Nuffield Liberty IV
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Net HP 340
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  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range with extra fuel  
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  
  Crusader III (OP)
Crew  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19.5 tons
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main  
Secondary  
MG 1: Besa MG
MG - coaxial  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 51
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) Nuffield Liberty III
OR Nuffield Liberty IV
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Net HP 340
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  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range with extra fuel  
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  

Sources:

  1. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  2. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  3. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  4. 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
  5. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  6. The Royal Armoured Corps Tank Museum, 1956
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  8. World War Two Tanks, George Forty, 1995
  9. 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
  10. AFV #8, Crusader-Cruiser Mark VI, Major James Bingham
  11. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
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