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Great Britain's Cruiser Mk VIII, A30, Challenger


Cruiser Mk VIII, A30, Challenger Mk I:
Great Britain's Cruiser Mk VIII, A30, Challenger Mk I
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum


In 1941 a request was made by the Army for a tank that could carry a the 17 pdr / 76 mm gun that was finishing development at the same time. The Centaur / Cromwell chassis was selected for development.

The Cromwell didn't have adequate firepower, so the Challenger was developed to mount the 17 pdr.

Used a Cromwell chassis. Hull was lengthened and another road wheel was added. The width of the hull was also increased. With its extra length it was difficult to steer.

An additional loader was added. To save weight the hull machine gun wasn't included.


The Birmingham Carriage & Wagon Company developed the Challenger.

In March 1942 the first prototype was completed. It was found that with the extra weight of the turret traverse was almost impossible. It was redesigned and replaced. The amount of armor was reduced to save weight.

200 were ordered during development.


  • Challenger: 36, 200, 260
    • Production: December 1943 - September 1944


  • Challenger:
  • Challenger Mk II: Prototype. Had lower turret.


No wading equipment was made for it so couldn't be used during the landings at the Normandy beaches.

12 for each of 3 armored regiments in NW Europe. The operated with the reconnaissance regiments. A troop consisted of three Cromwells and one Challenger.

The Sherman Firefly took over it's roll in the armored regiments.


Crew Commander, driver, gunner, loaders (2).
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 71,680 lb, 72,800 lb
32,581 kg, 32,000 kg, 33,022 lb
31.5 tons, 32 tons, 32.5 tons
Length 26' 4", 26' 8.75"
8 m, 8.147 m, 8.15 m
Height 8' 9", 9' 1.25"
2.66 m, 2.77 m, 2.775 m
Width 9' 6.5", 9' 7"
2.9 m, 2.91 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Turret ring diameter  
Main 17 pdr (76 mm)
17 pdr OQF
MG 7.62 mm (.30 cal) Browning MG
.30 cal Browning MG, coaxial.
7.62 mm MG, coaxial.
7.62 mm/0.3" Browning MG, coaxial
Side arms  
Main 42
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 20 - 102
10, 101
Hull Front, Upper 101
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 10
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Rolls-Royce Meteor
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders V-12
Net HP 600
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering ratio  
Electrical system  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 14.9 mph, 32 mph
24 kph, 51.5 kph, 52 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph
Range - Road 119.85 miles, 120 miles, 162.5 miles
193 km, 260 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
Fording depth 4'
1.21 m
4' 6", 1.37 m prepared.
Trench crossing 7' 6", 8' 6"
2.28 m, 2.59 m
Vertical obstacle 3'
0.914 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Improved Christie.
Wheels each side 6
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Width 15.5"
Number of links  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8' 1.75"


  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. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  6. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site