A13 Mk1 Cruiser Tank MkIII

Ref: 011
Date Added: Wednesday, 7th April, 2004
Availability: In Stock
Price: £12.50

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The British had been impressed with the performance of the Russian BT tanks on exercise in the mid-l930s and so, like the Russians before them, they purchased one of J. Walter Christie's originals. This was trialled during the winter of 1936/37 and found to have a better power-to-weight ratio (two and a half times better than the A9, then under development) speed and cross-country performance than contemporary British designs.

However, it was too small to mount a 2pdr. and therefore had to be extensively re-designed. Two pilot models were built with a 14mm armour basis and once early teething troubles had been overcome, an order for 65 was placed in January 1938. The first A13s were delivered in December 1938, less than two years since development had started - no mean achievement!

Early in 1939, a further 65 were ordered, with a 30mm armour basis. There was no loss of performance from the half-ton increase in weight; top speed still had to be governed to 30 mph.

Overall, the A13 proved to be a good tank. Armed with a 2pdr. and a co-axial Vickers .303 mg, it was tested in battle with the 1st. Armoured Division in France in 1940 and with 7th. Armoured Division in the Desert in 1940-41. Crew, 4.

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