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Crusader Mk III British Cruiser Tank Mk VI

Scale 1/35

SKU BT-012

Manufacturer Border Model

Price: £49.99

1 in stock

Save 17%

1 in stock

Description

The Crusader tank was the answer to the need for a new Cruiser or fast tank by the Ministry, and was developed side-by-side with the less well-known Covernantor tank, with some resemblances between the two that could confuse the viewer into thinking that the Crusader was a development of its actual sibling.  The initial Mk.I had an auxiliary Besa machine gun turret on the port side of the glacis plate, but this was often removed in the field, and eventually plated over at the factory, although that did leave a shot-trap that exposed the driver somewhat.  The Mk.II was an improved armoured version, addressing the lack of protection that the Mk.I afforded, while the Mk.III saw the introduction of the larger 56mm 6-pounder that dealt with the lack of fire-power of the 2-pounder pop-guns the original models were fitted with.  This allowed them to fight on a semi-level playing field against the Panzer IIIs and IVs, although at the time their foes hadn’t yet been fitted with appliqué armour or higher velocity long-barrelled guns.  The larger gun forced the removal of a crew member, meaning that the commander had to load the gun, which must have had a negative effect on situational awareness due to the distraction, but added a few extra rounds storage.

The enlarged turret retained the angular polygonal shape of the earlier marks, which itself was a series of shot-traps, deflecting ricochets down into the lightly armoured top deck.  The tank was also prone to exploding when hit, which forced the addition of armour around the shell stowage, reducing its capacity a little, but not too badly considering the improvement to survivability.  It was used extensively in the Africa campaign where it could prove effective when used correctly, but it never really overcame its lack of armour or reliability issues that were in-part due to the harsh conditions of the desert with long treks across the dunes taking its toll on every moving component and the cooling systems.  The Liberty engine was also susceptible to overheating issues thanks to a change in design to allow it to fit in the shallow hull of the tank, with various in-theatre fixes used initially before an improved version of the engine came into service with the Mk.III.  By the end of 1942 it was considered obsolete, and when possible it was withdrawn from front-line service to be replaced by US-built M3 Grant or Sherman tanks, as and when they became available.

Additional information

Brand

Border Model

Scale

1/35