Sunday, 14 April 2013

British Heavy Tank

While GABTU staff were hanging around England, they helped themselves to any information about newly developed tanks that the British were willing to share. This is a report from them, dated January 1943.

CAMD RF 38-11355-1722

"Characteristics of an English Heavy Tank

Mass: 60 tons
  • a) side: 65 and 75 mm
  • b) front: 110 mm

  • a) 65 mm gun in a central turret
  • b) 18-pounder gun
  • c) 2 20 mm AA machine guns in rear turrets
Maximum speed: 20 mph (32 kph)
Range: 200 miles (320 km)

The tank is planned to have 4 diesel engines from the Valentine tank, 131 hp each. Total power is 524 hp. Each motor is placed in a corner of the tank. The center is free, and has a passage from the driver's compartment to the fighting compartment. Every motor has: a friction clutch, and a bevel gear and pinion connecting it to a perpendicular bar. There are two such bars, two motors per bar. The bars are solid, and are connected to the side friction clutches. There are four such clutches, and four drive wheels.

The driver has control over the engines and clutches. Engines that are knocked out are disabled by the driver. The tank is supposed to be able to move with only one working engine."

Well, this is quite something. The ability to move with only one engine out of 4 is interesting, but I doubt that a mere 131 hp meant for a 16 ton Valentine is going to get this 60 ton monster very far. Even all the engines combined, ~500 hp for a 60 ton tank isn't exactly great. The 45-ton KV had 600 hp, and it wasn't known as the world's most maneuverable tank. 

The armament is also of interest. The positioning of the armament is reminiscent of a Churchill I, with an AT gun in a turret, and a howitzer in the hull. However, I can find no mention of a 65 mm gun used by the British. Perhaps it is a typo (there are a few in the report), and it is actually a 75 mm gun. Who knows. The 18-pounder definitely exists, but Britain didn't exactly have a surplus of those in WWII, and the ones that existed were converted to 25-pounders.

Edit: Turns out that a 65 mm gun project existed. It was called the 8-pounder by the British, and was cancelled due to very little advantage over the 57 mm 6-pounder.

Overall, this is a pretty unlikely project, considering that even the British rejected multiple guns and turret schemes by 1941. 


  1. Would work for WoT considering the amount of fantasy tanks.

    Is there any info how could this tank look?
    Something like A33 Excelsior?

  2. Like a disaster, I'd guess.

  3. Is their any information from the UK about this vehicle? It does not seem like any project I have heard about. Is it possible that it was purely disinformation?