Cruiser Tank, Sentinel AC II

Cruiser Tank, Sentinel AC II

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Cruiser Tank, Sentinel AC II

The Sentinel AC II was an Australian design for a cruiser tank that could be produced using existing truck engines and components.

In the summer of 1940 Australia faced the increasingly likely prospect of a war with Japan, at a time when the country owned no modern tanks, Britain was rearming after the loss of virtually all of her modern tanks at Dunkirk and the best American tank was the obsolete Medium Tank M2. The Australian Ministry of Munitions decided to investigate the possibility of designed and producing a cruiser tank in Australia. In November 1940 the Australian General Staff set out their requirements, and in December 1940 Britain sent out Colonel Watson, a tank expert. He travelled via the United States, where he saw the plans for the Medium Tank M3, and early in 1941 his team produced the design for the Sentinel AC I (AC standing for Australian Cruiser). This used the M3 final drive and gearbox, commercially available engines and a newly designed cast hull and turret.

The AC I project ran into a serious problem in April 1941 when the detailed drawings for the M3 drive arrived in Australia. The M3 drive was too complex to be produced with the machine tools then available in Australia, and neither Britain nor American could spare any suitable machinery.

In order to bypass this problem the United States suggested that the Australian team should produce a new design that would use commercial truck engines, drive and other mechanical components that could be provided from the United States. Work on this new design, the Sentinel AC II, began in July 1941. The limited factor turned out to be the truck final drive and other mechanical components, which could only cope with a vehicle of 16-18 tons. This restricted the gun to a 2-pounder, already clearly obsolete in 1941, and also limited the thickness of armour that could be carried.

In September 1941 the AC II project was abandoned, and work resumed on a modified version of the AC I. Eventually sixty six Sentinel AC Is were produced in 1942-43, but by the time they appeared American was in the war, her levels of tank production were reaching impressive proportions, and the Australian armoured divisions were able to use American tanks.

Australian AC Tanks – Part II: AC II Cruiser Tank

Artist’s rendition of a production AC II

Contrary to a popular misconception the AC II was not a design for the installation of an Ordnance 6 pounder gun in the AC I Sentinel cruiser. Such a design did exist, entitled AC IA, but this is covered more appropriately with the AC III Thunderbolt. In reality the AC II was a simplified design intended to expedite production of the tanks Australia so desperately needed.

Due to the lack of progress by mid-1941, doubts were raised about the practicality of Australia attempting to manufacture such a complex tank design as the AC I. As a result, Australian AFV engineer Alan H Chamberlain proposed a competing design in June of 1941. The proposed design, entitled AC II, was intended to overcome the limitations of Australian industry by substituting the complex M3 drivetrain and gearbox for a commercially available Mack truck gearbox and drive, imported from the USA.

Due to the Mack components not being required for US munitions production it was estimated that deliveries could begin in October of 1941 with series production of the AC II beginning in January of 1942 at a rate of 8 tanks per week. Compared to 5 tanks per week in mid-1942 for the AC I. The Mack components however required a reduction in the weight of the vehicle and were limited in the horsepower that could be used to power the tank. It was alternatively mooted that the Mack gearbox could simply be substituted into the AC I design. However concerns that in a 28 tonne tank the Mack gearbox would be overloaded, risking the gear teeth stripping at low gears, put an end to this idea. As proposed, the AC II weighed 19.5 tonnes with a hull armor basis of 2 ¼ inch (57.15 mm) frontal and 1 inch (25.4 mm) side and rear, and 2 ½ inches (63.5 mm) of all around turret armor.

The intended engine was to either be a twin mounting of the same Cadillac V8 engines used in the AC I or a 225 horsepower GM 6-71 diesel engine. A Curtiss aircraft engine was also investigated but found to be overly powerful for the Mack gearbox and thus unsuitable without substantial modification . Despite the decreased weight, the corresponding decrease in engine power resulted in an estimated top speed of 19 mph (30 km/h). The armament was the same as on the AC I.

Line drawing and armour specifications of AC II. Source: National Archives of Australia MP730/13 14

Monsters of War – Australian Sentinel And Thunderbolt Tanks In WWII

The Australian tank industry is not something well-known to the wider public. The British Commonwealth country is famous for its military valor and engagement in both world wars. However, when it came to equipment, the Australians used the weapons provided by the British, and later the Americans.

The first Australian tank is the story of a potential type of tank which never entered regular service but was instead discarded, as the war in the Pacific dragged on.

The AC 1 Sentinel during trials

The AC1, later named the Sentinel, was caught up in an arms race that made all the difference between tanks produced early in WWII and those made in the final years of the conflict.

In 1940, Australia was watching the Japanese expansion in China carefully. Britain had entered the war against Germany a year earlier, and it was becoming apparent the Australians would have to prepare for a war against Japan, one of Germany’s closest allies.

British Crusader tank

In November that year, the design for the Sentinel tank was put up for review. The tank was to follow the Cruiser tank concept, developing a balance between firepower and armor, and relying on agility and speed to win the day.

As it was the first time the Australian military was preparing to produce a tank, an advisor from Great Britain, Colonel W.D. Watson MC, was sent to supervise the project. Also, a team of Australian engineers went to the US, where they familiarized themselves with the American M3 design.

One of two preserved Sentinel tanks at the Royal Australian Army Corps Tank Museum. Photo Credit

Inspiration was drawn from both the Americans and the British. The Sentinel tank was based on the engine, drive train, and lower hull of the M3 while using the upper hull and turret similar to the British Crusader tank. However, one crucial distinction was made ― the hull and the turret were cast as a single piece. Besides being the first Australian tank, the Sentinel was the first tank ever to apply such a concept.

The Sentinel carried a QF 2-pounder gun (40mm) and was intended to receive an upgrade to a 6-pounder (57 mm). The upgrade, however, was abandoned due to the arrival of the much needed American and British models, which completely surpassed the original design.

The 65 Sentinels that were produced in 1943 never entered combat but were used as props for a 1944 war movie entitled The Rats of Tobruk. The tanks were modified to resemble German panzers, as the film told the tale of the heroic defense of the Libyan town of Tobruk, in which many of the defenders were Australian.

AC3 Thunderbolt

The Australians tried to improve their design by developing another project called the AC3 Thunderbolt, which was to provide better-armored protection, a more powerful engine, and more firepower. It used a 25-pounder gun (87 mm), which was a massive improvement compared to the limited capabilities of the 2-pounder.

With this firepower, the Australians could compete in the international theater of war. Unfortunately, it was too late to put the tank to use. The 150 units that were ordered by the army never went into production and the only Thunderbolt made was the prototype, which remains exhibited at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.


AC E1 development vehicle with a test turret and 17 pounder gun

Reservations about the utility of the 25 pounder in the AC3, and the 25 pounder's limited ability to pierce armour led to experimentation with a 17 pounder mounted on an Australian cruiser.

A turret was built and mounted on one of the earlier development vehicles to assess the vehicle's ability to mount the foremost Allied anti-tank gun of the day – the British 17 pounder (76 mm, 3 in). This was achieved by mounting two 25 pounder gun-howitzers which when fired together would significantly exceed the recoil of a 17 pounder. Α] In this configuration the tank was tested on 2 November 1942. It fitted with a 17 pounder and after successful gunnery trials on 17 November 1942 the 17 pounder was selected for the AC4 design. For the AC4 the 17 pounder was to be mounted in a new and larger turret, attached by a 70-inch (1778 mm) diameter turret ring, the space for which was accommodated by changes to the upper hull permitted by the compact nature of the "Perrier-Cadillac". Β]

A design for the tank had been established, however it was subject to a redesign to alter the internal stowage, and include new features not previously considered such as removal of the turret basket, addition of a gyro-stabiliser, and swapping a hydraulic traverse for the electrical system, and torsion bar suspension for the volute spring used up until that point. Γ]

The programme was authorised to build a total of 510 AC4 tanks. Δ] Ώ] The design was not yet finalised when the programme was terminated in July 1943. Β]

Games company donates Australian World War II tank to Cairns museum

THE only tank designed and mass-produced in Australia during World War II has returned home — thanks to a video gaming company.

The Sentinel was produced in NSW in 1942-43, but was not used in battle.

AN ICONIC World War II Australian tank has returned home - thanks to a video gaming company.

The Australian Cruiser (AC) “Sentinel” armoured fighting vehicle was the only tank designed and mass-produced in Australia during World War II. Armed with either a two, 17 or 25 pounder main gun and at least one .303 calibre machinegun.

There were 65 were built by the NSW Railway Company between 1942 and 1943.

Games company Wargaming, publisher of the popular World of Tanks and World of Warships games series, purchased an AC 1 tank — one of the fewer than six remaining Sentinel tanks — and donated it to the Australian Armour and Artillery museum in the tropical Queensland city of Cairns just before Easter.

The vehicle was previously part of late American tank historian Jacques Littlefield’s collection and acquired by Wargaming in 2014.

The donation to the Cairns museum coincides with the inclusion of the Sentinel tank in the company’s popular World of Tanks franchise, a massively multiplayer online game available on PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4 and mobile platforms.

Wargaming head of global marketing projects Alexander Bobko said the Australian World of Tanks community had been requesting an Australian tank in the game for many years.

“We are always looking at how we can add a local feel to our players around the world and with a growing number of Australians playing the game, we wanted to provide them with an Australian tank to control,” he said.

“This is also the first Australian tank ever in the game and we think it’s important to represent as many countries as possible so that players can also learn about their own country’s military history.”

The tank will be displayed at a museum in Cairns.

In World of Tanks, the Sentinel is a premium vehicle which has joined the British tank tech tree in the PC version game as a Tier IV tank, with a high top speed and the armour to hold up well against other tanks, Mr Bobko said. It is also available in World of Tanks Blitz and there are plans to include it on other platforms in the future.

Wargaming is well known for being passionate about military history and Mr Bobko said it had taken a keen interest in restoring military vehicles and including them in its games so players could learn more about the vehicles while controlling them.

“We take great pride in ensuring our vehicles are as accurate as possible as their real life counterparts, right down to the sounds of the engine and turret,” he said.

Mr Bobko said the company wanted to provide its players with as much information about unique vehicles as possible and to date had produced more than 100 historical videos about various military vehicles, with a documentary on the AC 1 Sentinel being released in the coming months.

Although the Sentinel never saw combat — by the time they were built, British and American tanks such as the Sherman and Matilda were more readily available — they are still an important and rare part of Australia’s military history particularly as most of the Sentinels were scrapped or turned into tractors after World War II.

Mr Bobko said although the donated tank was currently not drivable, with the engine and some other components needing some work, they hoped to return it to a fully drivable state in the future and had wanted to get it on public display as soon as possible.

He said the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns was the largest private collection of military vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere and the perfect new home for the AC 1 Sentinel.

“This museum’s great track record of keeping World War II history alive and making it interesting for all generations is something we really admire,” he said.

“We hope millions of people will use this opportunity to see the AC 1 Sentinel tank here in Cairns for years to come.”

Australian Armour and Artillery Museum assistant manager Jason Belgrave said they were thrilled to have the AC 1 as part of the collection, which also included an AC 4 Sentinel.

“We will soon have the two tanks side-by-side to show the difference between them and allow the general public to see up close another piece of Australia’s military history,” he said.

“We’re very fortunate to have such an extensive collection from all over the world and adding more Australian vehicles will help us keep our military history alive for future generations.

“We are also the only museum in the world to house and display two AC Sentinel tanks so it’s a great addition to our collection and for Cairns.”

In addition to the two Sentinels in Cairns, there is an AC 3 variant at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, an AC 1 at the Australian Army Tank Museum in Puckapunyal, and an AC 1 at the Bovington Tank Museum in the UK.

What Is PAG Oil?

PAG oil, or Polyalkylene Glycol, is specially created for the AC compressors of automobiles. The fully synthetic hygroscopic oil is a compressor lubricator for the AC units that use R-134a refrigerant.

PAG is a synthetic oil for AC compressor. (Photo Source: instructables)

Besides knowing how much PAG oil to add to AC system, you also have to use the correct viscosity oil. Each PAG oil type has a number such as PAG150 or PAG VC-46. This number refers to the PAG viscosity, similar to a number like 10W30 indicates the viscosity of a regular engine oil.

You have to look into the owner’s manual to find out the correct PAG oil viscosity for the AC’s compressor.


センチネル巡航戦車(センチネルじゅんこうせんしゃ、英語:Sentinel tank, Cruiser Tank Mk. 1 "Sentinel", etc.)は、第二次世界大戦中のオーストラリア軍によってヨーロッパ戦線用にデザインされた戦車である。巡航戦車センチネル巡航戦車Mk.I センチネル(じゅんこうせんしゃ マークワン センチネル)などとも言う。戦争を太平洋地域へ拡大しようとする日本の脅威や、日本のオーストラリア侵攻へのおそれからも作られた。

1940年11月、試作案である AC I は、オードナンス QF 2ポンド砲を装備したデザインに始まった。初めに意図した設計は、正統派の巡航戦車を目指したものであった。オーストラリア軍の巡航戦車は、カナダ軍のラム巡航戦車のように、アメリカ軍のM3中戦車のエンジン、変速機、下部車体、砲塔を基礎に用いた。さらにイギリス軍のクルセーダー巡航戦車の設計に沿い、一体構造で作られた上部車体と砲塔を組み合わせた。1942年までには、ドイツ軍の戦車に対抗できるよう、設計仕様がよりアメリカ軍の中戦車に近くなった。

オーストラリア軍の巡航戦車MK.I Australian Cruiser Tank Mark.I (AC I) は1942年の2月にセンチネルと名付けられた。

1942年8月、シドニー近郊のチュローラ戦車製造会社 (Chullora Tank Assembly Shops) で量産が開始された。これらの建物は試験場としても使用された。他の戦車の設計から取り入れられる個所には、既存の部品を用いた。また、当時のオーストラリアが持っていた機械加工能力に適合させるため、必要な場合には部品を単純化した。車体と砲塔は一体成型の鋳造であった。この時代、その技術はほかの戦車には用いられていなかった [2] 。

オリジナルの車両はオードナンス QF 2ポンド砲を備え、後にオードナンス QF 6ポンド砲(口径57mm)に換装された。しかしながらこれらのどれも利用できず、初期の65輌は2ポンド砲を装備した。2挺のヴィッカース機関銃は副兵装として装備された。1挺は車体に、2挺目は主砲と同軸に装備された。28t の戦車の適当な動力源として、プラット・アンド・ホイットニー R-1340単列星型ガソリンエンジン、またはギバーソン (Guiberson) 星型ディーゼルエンジンがあったが、オーストラリアではこれらを使用することはできなかった。そこでセンチネルは、3基のキャデラックV8エンジンを動力とした。

これはペリエ-キャデラックと呼ばれ、排気量17.1L、24気筒のエンジンを構成した。ガソリン自動車用のキャデラック 346 in 3 (5.7L)V型8気筒エンジンをクローバーの葉に似た形で配置し、3基のエンジンはギアを介して共通のクランクケースに納められた。このエンジンのいくつかの箇所は、アメリカのM3中戦車とM4中戦車の発展型で使われる、後の クライスラーA57マルチバンク (英語版) エンジンと非常に類似していた。

センチネルの後には、より火力を増強し、より改善されたデザインをとることで装甲防御に優れた AC III が続いて計画された。オーストラリアにおいて火力向上に利用可能な砲は オードナンス QF 25ポンド砲(口径87.6mm)であった。これは手早く戦車砲に改設計ができ、オードナンス QF 25ポンド砲ショートの設計のためにも、後々役立つ仕事であった。AC I より大型で全周旋回可能な砲塔が装備されたが、同じ54 in (137cm) の砲塔リングを使っていた。これは砲塔の搭乗員の作業をわずかに束縛したが、AC III に高性能榴弾と貫通性能の両方を与えた。車体機関銃と前方機銃手席は、25ポンド砲の弾薬の設置場所を確保するために除去された。試作された AC III は完成し、計画終了時には、試験のために25輌の戦車の生産が着手されていた。

さらに、オーストラリアで生産される戦車の火力を向上させるため、当時最優秀の連合軍対戦車砲(イギリス製のオードナンス QF 17ポンド砲。口径76mm)を取り付ける車両の能力を評価した。これは初期の発展車両のうちの1輌に新設計の砲塔を搭載したものである。この砲塔は、2門の25ポンド榴弾砲を取り付け、同時砲撃することで試験内容を達成した。これは17ポンド砲の反動をかなり上回っていた [4] 。後に17ポンド砲を搭載しての砲撃試験に成功し、17ポンド砲は AC IV の設計に選定された [5] 。

1943年、オーストラリア軍第3戦車大隊は、ドイツ軍の戦車と類似している点を改造した AC I を装備し、小隊を編成した。これらの車両は、1944年公開の映画『 トブルクのネズミ (英語版) 』の撮影に使用された。これはセンチネル装備部隊が何らかの目的のために使われた唯一の事例である [6] 。

残存車両は、オーストラリアのビクトリア州セイモア近郊 プッカプンベル (英語版) にある RAAC陸軍戦車博物館 (英語版) に1輌(シリアル番号8030)、イングランドはドーセット州ボービントンにあるボービントン戦車博物館に1輌(シリアル番号8049)、完全な AC III(シリアル番号8066)はオーストラリア首都キャンベラにあるオーストラリア戦争記念館のトレロアー技術センター (Treloar Technology Centre) に1輌、2014年からはクイーンズランド州のケアンズで9月にオープンされた オーストラリア陸上兵器博物館 (英語版) にてAC IV(シリアル番号8040)が1輌、更にオンラインゲーム企業のウォーゲーミング社が同博物館との共同プロジェクトで米国在住の戦車コレクター、 ジャック・リトルフィールド (英語版) 氏の2009年の死去に伴い競売にかけられていた一部戦車コレクションより買い取りオーストラリアへ移送したAC I(シリアル番号8006)を修復した1輌が2016年3月より展示されている。 [8] [9] 。

British Tank Tree discussion - pictures and info

  • This topic is locked

Chuffy #1 Posted May 18 2011 - 14:45


Foreword: I've posted this on the EU forums, I thought people would be interested to see it here too. As I expand and update the post I will also keep this post updated too. I welcome ideas and feedback on either forum and will add the best to both posts. As people tend to miss it, This is copied from the original British pre-Alpha tree all I've done is artwork and research into some of the vehicles.

British Tank Tree
Research and tree image by Chuffy
Photos and models by kind permission of Nick Turner

1. British Pre-Alpha Tree
2. Selected Vehicle list
Vickers Light Tank
Harry Hopkins
Matilda II
Black Prince
Additional pictures

3. Chuffy's notes and thanks
4. Sources

1. British Pre-Alpha Tree by Chuffy based on this source. Link to the full Hi res version of this image (2000x1550).

I have adjusted the slightly tangled middle section of the tree for clarity. The links, tiers and branches remain the same.
If I have misidentified any premium & special vehicles, please let me know. Confusingly the original Russian text identifies both Tank Destroyers and Self Propelled Guns as CAY (SPG)
Note 1: The Sentinel AC III is listed as штурмовая САУ (Assault SPG), possibly meaning Tank Destroyer. The AC III classification may be an error or the intent of the designers. Until we can work out what they meant, the AC III is listed as a Tank Destroyer. It'll be changed if we can find out what it's meant to be in the game.

2. Selected Vehicle list

Vickers Light Tank

Based on the Carden-Loyd Tankette, the Vickers Light Tank was developed in the 1930s. Whilst mobile and fast across country, it proved inadequate due to its thin armour and machine gun armament. Early in World War II, lack of equipment forced the British to use them in combat rather than reconnaissance often with disasterous results. Around 1,000 were produced. Note: This tank is not actually on the British Tree, it's to give you some idea of Vickers tanks, EU poster Eat_Uranium has suggested this would make a better starter tank than 'Little Willie'.

The Light Tank Mk VII Tetrarch proved early on in the war to be too lightly armed and armoured and was quickly withdrawn from combat. It was later adapted as an Airborne tank and a Hamilcar glider was designed to carry it. Used by the British on D-Day, the then upgunned Tetrarch still proved ineffective against axis armour.

Harry Hopkins

Named after one of President Roosevelt's chief advisors, the Light Tank Mk VIII "Harry Hopkins" was produced as a successor to the Tetrarch. Obselete by the time it was produced, none ever saw combat. It was later adapted into the Alecto, an experimental self propelled gun.

The A12 Matilda first saw action during the fall of France. It fared reasonably well in the early stages of the North African campaign being sturdy enough to withstand most German Tank guns and outclassing the armour of the Italians. The turret limited the gun to a maximum of 40mm making the Matilda obselete by 1942. About 3,000 were produced and served both the British and Commonwealth forces as well as the Soviet Union under the lend-lease programme.

The Infantry Tank Mk III Valentine first saw combat in North Africa. Relatively undergunned and slow the Valentine did at least have decent armour. Armament gradually improved as the war progressed and 11 different marks were developed. A total production of more than 8,000 made it the most widely built British tank of WWII. It was used by both the British and Commonwealth forces as well as the Soviet Union under the lend-lease programme.

The Cruiser Tank Mk V Convenanter was beset by technical problems during it's development and before it could see action was declared obselete. Some vehicles were used for training purposes and a Bridgelaying version was used operationally, however most were scrapped. Around 1,700 were produced.

Named after Winston Churchill, an early proponent of Tank warfare during the first World War, the Infantry Tank Mk IV Churchill was not fully introduced until 1943. Performance during the Dieppe raid in 1942 was disappointing, however the Cromwell proved mobile over the rough terrain of North Africa. The Tank excelled in specialised variants, such as the AVRE, Crocodile flame thrower, bridgelayer and more. In the end the Churchill gave excellent service and was not retired until the 1960s. Over 7,000 were produced and it was used by both the British and Commonwealth forces as well as the Soviet Union under the lend-lease programme.

The Cruiser Tank Mk VI Crusader first appeared in 1941. Fast and mobile, their suspension was so tough that the theoretical maximum speed was often exceeded. However they were thinly armoured and lacked firepower, being no match for their German counterparts. Inspite of improvements, it was replaced as quickly as possible when the M4 Sherman became available. Over 5,000 were produced.

Developed from the hard lessons learnt during the fall of France and the North African Campaign, the Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Cromwell combined stronger armour and armament with increased speed. First seeing action in Normandy during June 1944, around 4,000 were produced.

Black Prince

The Infantry Tank A43 Black Prince was a prototype designed to accomodate a 17 pounder gun on a larger modified version of the Churchill chassis. The Churchill's standard engine was not powerful enough for the Black Prince, which was 10 tonnes heavier. Only 6 pilot models were made before production ceased.

Not to be confused with the Challenger I and II post war tanks, the Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger was based on a Cromwell chassis enlarged to carry a 17 pounder gun. In order to keep weight down, hull armour thickness had to be reduced. Only about 200 were made before production ceased. It first saw combat in Normandy in 1944.

The A34 Comet was the first British Cruiser tank to pose a credible threat to late war German Armour. It's High Velocity 77mm gun was capable of knocking out the Tiger II at 500m and the Panther up to 1500m. Although comparatively lightly armoured, the Roll Royce Meteor engine could propel the Comet to a governed top speed of about 50Kmh. The prototype was completed in February 1944, with the first production tanks following in September 1944. It arrived in service early in 1945 just prior to the end of the war. Around 1,200 were used by the British Army up until the late 1950s.

The Centurion was developed from 1944 by AEC under the designation A41 Cruiser. Six prototypes were completed by the end of the war, but arrived in Germany too late to see any Combat. About 4,000 were produced and post-war Centurions saw combat in Korea, Vietnam, India and Suez.

The FV214 Conqueror was designed in response to the Soviet IS3. It was equipped with a 120mm gun and based on the Centurion. Nearly 200 were built between 1955 and 1958. Ultimately it was too cumbersome and difficult to maintain and was itself replaced by upgunned versions of the Centurion.

At the start of World War II, Canada had no tank units. With no possibility of obtaining tanks from Britain, the Canadians were forced to build their own. The Cruiser Tank Ram Mk I based on the American M3, replacing the sponson for a turret mounted main gun. However it did not see action as by the time it arrived in Europe, the M4 Sherman was being produced in such numbers that is was decided to adopt this as the standard for Canadian units. The Ram's greatest contribution to Allied victory was as the basis for the Sexton self-propelled gun and as a training vehicle. Around 2,000 were produced.

The Heavy Assault Tank A39 Tortoise was first designed in 1942. Only pilot models were produced and were not delivered until 1946-47 and consequently it never saw combat. The thick armour, heavy main gun and overall size limited it's speed to a mere 19Kmh.

Additional Images

3. Chuffy's notes and thanks

In researching the British tank tree I have noticed a recurrent theme from the various sources I have read. A large number of British fighting vehicles during the Second World War were considered by many commentators to be utterly dreadful. Underpowered, underarmoured, undergunned and effectively obselete in the face of Axis armour.

As one book 'Death by Design: British Tank Development in the Second World War' notes: "Britain went from leading the world in tank design at the end of the First World War to lagging far behind the design quality of Russian and German tanks in the Second World War."

The reality is somewhat different. Even the much maligned Valentine tanks possessed armour that could not be penetrated from the front by the majority of contemporary German tank guns. This will have been little comfort to crews taken out by 88mm anti-tank guns at ranges which they could effectively return fire.

However, battles are not fought nor won only with tanks. It was fought with the combined effort of the British and Commonwealth Armies, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force as well as those free forces of the occupied nations. Prior to the direct involvement of the USA, British Tanks were at least helping keep the Axis forces in check in North Africa.

History has damned the design of many British Tanks and with hindsight that is easy to do. But the origins of the Tank in the First World War were as a means of ending the deadlock of trench warfare. Interwar years had seen British tank development largely following that doctrine, the Tank was designed to support the infantry in breaking through enemy lines. Tank versus tank battles on open battlefields had probably not been conceived of at the time.

Over the course of World War II British Tank design did improve eventually. No more was the Tank merely a means of advancing slowly across no-mans land. One of histories most famous and successful postwar Tank designs, the Centurion, was first developed during the war.

In World of Tanks the British Tanks are quite varied in their design, a characteristic they share with their Axis opponents. Where the US and USSR Tank trees often feel like more of the same, the British Tree looks to be as diverse as the German Tree feels.

Presented here is a selection of some of the British Tanks that may appear, along with some pictures by Tank Modeller Nick Turner who has very kindly granted me permission to reproduce the images. You can find many more examples on his website here. Note: All the photos marked as such are the copyright of Nick Turner.

I should also like to thank Kazomir for posting the British Pre-Alpha Tech tree here. It was what inspired me to reproduce the Tech Tree above in the Art style normally used for the official trees.

I have greatly enjoyed researching these tanks histories, but I have tried to keep them brief. You will notice many of the vehicles on the tree are missing from my descriptions. This is because, information was more difficult to come by OR I did not have multiple sources for the information OR I simply ran out of time for the deadline I had set myself.

I invite fellow forum members to help fill in the gaps. And, in cases where I am in error, I welcome corrections. When writing information about the tanks, please do not simply copy paste from Wikipedia because any reader can look it up if they wish. I have sourced my information from a number of books as the internet too often copies and reproduces the same errors. Wikipedia is frequently guilty of this (or rather, the incautious editors are). But there are some good sources on the web, so if you do find them please share links here.

Finally, I make two predictions.

1. The Gold consumable for British Tank crews will be Tea. British_Tea.png
You know it makes sense!

2. Wild guess: Little Willie will be replaced by Whippet as the British starter Tank. NickWhippet.jpg

4. Sources
Armoured Fight Vehicles - Philip Trewhitt
Jane's World Armoured Fighting Vehicles - Christopher F. Foss
Iron Fist: Classic Armoured Warfare - Bryan Perret
British Armoured Fighting Vehicles - George R. Bradford
Tank Aces - George Forty
Modern Tanks and Fighting Vehicles - Ray Bonds
Tank versus Tank - Kenneth Macksey
Some of these books are quite old or out of print. One of the advantages of living within walking distance of 3 large second hand book shops is that I am not limited to what is currently in print.

Diesel Engines

The B series motor is a 4-cylinder diesel, and the H series a 6-cylinder diesel.

EngineCapacity (l)Power (hp)TorqueDates
B3.085141 lb·ft (191 N·m)1974–1979
2B3.293159 lb·ft (216 N·m)1979–1981
3B3.498167 lb·ft (226 N·m)1979–1984
H3.690151 lb·ft (205 N·m)1972–1980
2H4.0105177 lb·ft (240 N·m)1980–1984
OM3243.478193 lb·ft (262 N·m)1961–1973
OM3143.885235 lb·ft (319 N·m)1973–1989
OM3644.090235 lb·ft (319 N·m)1989–1994
14B3.796240 lb·ft (325 N·m)1994–2001

Technical Sheet

Vehicle Dimensions:
FJ25, FJ28 Land Cruiser:

FJ/BJ 40 Series Land Cruiser:

Vehicle Weights: (Weights are approximate. Confirm with your owners manual)

55 and 60 Series Land Cruiser

Also See: History Page for exact years for the above.

40 Series:
Hard Top – 1,554 kg (3,427 lb)
Soft Top – 1,480 kg (3,263 lb)
50 Series: 1 ,809 – 1 828 kg (3,990-4,030lb) 60 Series: 1,926 kg (4,246 lb) 70 Series:
1,720 kg. (3,785 lb)
80 Series: 2,084 kg (4,594 lb) (1990-92)
2,159 kg (4,760 lb) (1993-97)
90 Series:
1,945/2,085 kg (4,288/4,596lb)
100 Series: 2,320 kg (5,100 lb)

Wargaming unleashes the AC Sentinel (World of Tanks, World of Tanks Blitz)

Cairns Australia 23 March 2016 – Something big happened today for fans of World of Tanks and World of Tanks Blitz, particularly for Australian users with Wargaming unleashing their latest addition to this highly popular MMO with the unveiling of the AC 1 Sentinel. Not only is the Australian Cruiser Tank Mark 1 (AC1) now available in both World of Tanks (PC) and World of Tanks Blitz but Wargaming have given something back to the history of tanks by supporting the restoration of this tank from the late Jacques Littlefield. This saw this vehicle be transported from Texas USA to Cairns Australia as it was painstakingly repaired and finally unveiled to the public at the Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns today which will be the new home for this tank.

Wargaming invited local media and from abroad to share the unveiling of the restored tank at this museum that once saw this vehicle languish in an open air display in Austin Texas and is one of six surviving tanks that still exists today. The Sentinel was also the first tank designed in Australia (1940) as a result of World War II which saw these vehicles roll-out from the factory in 1942.

As World of Tanks has a huge fan base in Australia, Wargaming wanted to give something back to both their fans and the public and when the company was challenged to deliver an authentic Australian tank in the game, they delivered the AC1 Sentinel which is now available as a mid-size tank in the game with it being available on the PC and Blitz with a console version to follow.

According to Alexander Bobko, Head of Global Marketing Projects for Wargaming, he stated that the AC Sentinel is an authentic reproduction in the game with the developers using the actual blueprints of this tank to help them incorporate this vehicle into the game.

Although media could not experience the Sentinel in the game itself, a virtual reality film was shown on Google Cardboard of this tank in action which is part of their 360 project. So as Wargaming gives a vital piece of history back to Australia at Australian Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns, World of Tanks MMO users can also share in this landmark moment by experience the authenticity of this tank within the game itself.