This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Just a wholly unrelated ( ?) factlet...Vulcan Foundry, the designer/builder of the Matilda, later both on its own and as part of English Electric after a buy-out...in the late '50s was a major builder of Napier Deltic-powered locomotives for the British railway network!
Funny how some historical trends and development paths run congruently....
So the suggestion of the Matilda being fitted with an aero engine was sound engineering.
When the Meteor was looked at, the goal was around 20hp/ton but that was for a Cruiser tank in the early 40’s, what would you want for an Infantry tank designed in the late 30’s?
OK, so we have an aero-engine ratedat 750-850hp, what would you de-rate to given the weight of the tank – around 14 tons for the improved A11 or 25-27 tons for the eventual A12.
Once you have de-rated, how much effort would it be to go back to the original rating as tanks got heavier?
In terms of gearboxes/transmission, the A13 cruisers suggest something in the 300 to 400hp is possible. They had their problems but what i've read suggests that it was largely the engine rather than other parts of the package.
we would have to know what horsepower limitations there were on the various transmissions/gearboxes available!
after all Napier has its own engines some of which are in the Jumo range although not diesels
A British tanks were not very balanced at the start of the war. The infantry got support from slow(er) heavy tanks with strong armour. Firepower was sometimes not very good (Matilda I) sometimes better (2 pounder on Matilda II). The cavalry (1st armoured division) had fast tanks with few armour.
B One of the thing that made the Panzer III and IV so good was the crew layout. Having three men in the turret was a huge advantage. The commander could concentrate on leading his crew
C Combined arms are the key to win battles. German panzer divisions were better balanced than the 1st British armoured division in 1940.
E Panzer III and IV's had large turrets and coud be upgunned and uparmoured. This could not be done as easily with many British tanks.
(examples: The co-ax MG on the Valentine had to be removed to install the 6 pounder. No loader in the crusader Mark III.)
D British tanks only had armour piercing ammo for their 2 pounders.
Tanks had trouble taking on German and Italian AT guns because of this.
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