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Great Britain's Archer Self Propelled 17 pdr
S-P 17pdr Valentine Mk I


Archer 17 pdr Self Propelled:
Great Britain's Archer Self Propelled 17 pdr
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum


The 17 pdr anti-tank gun was approved for service in May 1942 and it was decided that it need to be mounted on a self propelled tank chassis.3,4 It couldn't be mounted any any tanks available at the time as it was too big.5 Initially it was thought to used the Bishop, but this was impracticle.4 Then the Crusader tank was chosen but it was unreliable.4 Vickers was then asked to use a Valentine chassis.3 The Valentine was in production and could be easily modified.3,5

The gun was mounted with it facing towards the rear as it was too long and heavy to face forwards.3,4,5 It was found that using the Archer in an ambush position was the preferred method of use.3 The Archer had a low silhouette which helped in concealing it in battle.3,4,5


The driver was located in the front of the Archer, but he couldn't remain in his seat when the gun was fired.3,4 The breech was directly behind his head.3

Tank Destroyer Armament Performance

Tank Destroyer Armament Performance



Firing trials of the Archer occurred in April 1943.4


800 Archers were initially ordered.3,4 First Archer was completed in March 1944.4

  • Archer: 6553,5, 6654
    • Production: March 1943 - ?5, Late 1943 - ?3

Production Comparison

Tank Destroyer Production Comparison


  • Archer:


Northwest Europe

It first appeared in combat in northwest Europe in October 1944.3,4,5 It went to equip anti-tank units in the armored divisions.4


A few were sent to the 8th Army fighting in Italy.4

After World War II

The Archer was used by anti-tank units into the mid 1950s.3,5


Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver2,3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 35,765 lb5, 35,840 lb3, 36,960 lb2
14.75 tons1, 18.5 tons4
14,990 kg1, 16,257 kg3,5, 18, 796 kg4
Length w/gun 21' 11"3,4,5, 21' 11.25"2
6.68 m3,4,5
Length w/o gun 18' 6"3, 17' 9"1
5.41 m1, 5.54 m3
Height 7' 4"1,4, 7' 4.5"2,3,5
2.23 m1, 2.24 m4, 2.25 m3,5
Width 8' 7.5"2, 8' 8"4, 9'1, 9' 0.5"3,5
2.64 m4, 2.75 m1, 2.76 m3,5
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Main 1: 17 pdr (76.2 mm) OQF Mk I1
1: 17 pdr OQF2,4
1: 17 pdr (76.2 mm)3,5

1: 7.7 mm (.303 cal) Bren MG3,4,5

MG - antiaircraft 1: .303 cal Bren2
Side arms  
Main 392,4
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 82, 8 - 605, 602,4
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) GMC 6-711,3,5
GMC M104
Cylinders 63,5
Net HP 1654, 1923,5
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type) Diesel3,4,5
Traverse 11° left, 11° right.2
Speed - Road 15 mph2, 14.9 mph1, 20 mph3,5
24 kph1, 32.2 kph3,5
Speed - Cross Country 8 mph2
Range - Road 90 miles1,2, 140 miles3,5
145 km1, 225 km3,5
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -7.5° to 15°2
Fording depth 3'2,3,5
0.91 m3,5
Trench crossing 7' 6"2, 7' 9"3,5
2.36 m3,5
Vertical Obstacle 2' 9"2,3,5
0.84 m3,5
Suspension (Type) "Slow motion" with 3-wheel bogies.2
Wheels each side 6
Return rollers each side 3
Track length  
Track width 14"2
Track centers/tread 7' 3"2


  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. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  5. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site