Land Weapons

Vickers-Armstrong

Cruiser Mk II

Developed concurrently with the A9, the Cruiser Mk II (A10) shared many similarities to its counterpart including the overall shape but was better protected thanks to the addition of extra plates bolted to the outside hull and turret which gave it a designation of a "heavy cruiser" tank. A prominent change was also the removal of the secondary hull turrets where two of the three machine guns of the Mk I were mounted. Unfortunately many of the Mk Is deficiencies were carried over including the sharing of the driver and fighting compartments, while the extra armor also reduced speed considerably. The result was a tank that was poor in all three measurable categories of speed, armor, and armament, the 2-pounder being too weak against German armor (it lacked an HE round as well). Only a small number of Mk IIs were built as priority was given to its successor, the Cruiser Mk III. Still, it saw combat with the 1st Armoured Division in France in 1940, in the early phases of the North Africa campaign, as well as in the defense of Greece on a more limited scale.

The A10, like the A9, was designed by Sir John Carden in 1934 with an initial prototype (A10E1) completed in 1936. Production began in 1938 and it was accepted into service as the Cruiser Tank Mk II. Only two variants were produced, the Mk. IIa with a designed mount and an extra machine gun in the hull and the Mk. IIa CS with a 3.7-in howitzer as main armament.

Cruiser Mk. II (British Army)
Cruiser Mk. IIa

Preceded by:

Cruiser Mk I (1937)

Succeeded by:

Cruiser Mk III/IV (1939)

Datafile

DesignCruiser Mk IIa
Code NameA10
TypeMedium Tank
Year1938
Crew5
Dimensions
Length (w/Gun)5.59 m
Width2.53 m
Height2.65 m
Weight
Loaded14,377 kg
Ground Pressure0.94 kg/cm²
SuspensionSlow motion
Performance
Speed (Off-Road)26 km/h (13 km/h)
Range (Off-Road)161 km
AmphibiousNo
Fording0.91 m
Vertical Obstacle0.61 m
Trench1.83 m
Gradient60%
Powerplant
Engine1 x 150-hp
AEC
Type A179
FuelGasoline
Power/Weight10.43 hp/t
Armament
Main1 x 40-mm L/50
QF 2-pounder Mk IX/X
Rifled Gun (100)
↑ 20° / ↓ -15° / ↔ 360°

Secondary1 x 7.92-mm (c)
1 x 7.92-mm (b)
Armor
TypeSteel
Thickness7 - 30 mm
Max Effective30 - 30 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front30 mm
Hull Lower Front30 mm
Hull Upper Sides22 mm
Hull Lower Sides22 mm
Hull Lower Rear12 mm
Hull Top7 mm
Hull Bottom7 mm
Turret Front30 mm
Turret Sides26 mm
Turret Rear30 mm
Turret Top7 mm
Production
Built128
Total175

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