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Cromwell tank file photo [7244]

Cruiser Mk VIII Centaur/Cromwell

CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerNuffield Mechanisation and Aero
Primary RoleCruiser Tank

Contributor:

ww2dbaseIn 1941, the Railway Carriage and Wagon Company in the United Kingdom set out to design replacements for the aging Crusader cruiser tanks. After the Cavalier design, which was largely unsuccessful, the Cruiser Mk VIII (A27) design emerged. The initial models were equipped with the older and less-powerful Liberty engine; they were designated A27L Centaur tanks. Starting in Jan 1943, the more powerful Meteor engines became available, and those equipped with this engine type were designated A27M Cromwell tanks.

ww2dbaseThe Centaur tanks, with the weaker engines, were largely used for training purposes. Some of them were converted to specialty uses, such as the conversion to become armored bulldozers. A few of them saw combat as well, including the Normandy, France landing operations in 1944. The Cromwell tanks were the more numerous of the two variants. Similar to their Centaur cousins, the Cromwell tanks fielded dual-purpose guns that could fire high explosive shells made for the American M3 75-mm gun, thus making them excellent infantry support tanks. Cromwell tanks first saw action during the Normandy landing operations and were generally well-received, though many British crews preferred the American Sherman tanks.

ww2dbaseBy the end of the war, a total of 4,016 Mk VIII (A27) tanks were built; 950 of them were of the Centaur variant and 3,066 were of the Cromwell variant. Additionally, 375 Centaur hulls were built to receive anti-aircraft gun turrets, though only 95 of them were completed. After the war, they remained in service until the 1950s.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2008

SPECIFICATIONS

A27L Centaur
MachineryOne Nuffield Liberty gasoline engine rated at 410hp
SuspensionImproved Christie suspension
Armament1x57mm QF 6pdr gun (64 rounds), 2x7.92mm Besa machine guns
Armor76mm
Crew5
Length6.35 m
Width2.91 m
Height2.83 m
Weight28.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range174 km

A27M Cromwell
MachineryOne Rolls-Royce Meteor V-12 gasoline engine rated at 600hp
SuspensionImproved Christie suspension
Armament1x75mm OQF gun, 2x7.92mm Besa machine guns
Armor76mm
Crew5
Length6.35 m
Width2.91 m
Height2.83 m
Weight28.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range174 km

Photographs

A27M Cromwell tank on gunnery trials, England, United Kingdom, circa early 1943Newly constructed Centaur tanks in a staging area in Slough near London, United Kingdom, before being shipped to field units, Mar 1943
See all 10 photographs of Cruiser Mk VIII Centaur/Cromwell Cruiser Tank



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Cruiser Mk VIII Centaur/Cromwell Cruiser Tank Photo Gallery
A27M Cromwell tank on gunnery trials, England, United Kingdom, circa early 1943Newly constructed Centaur tanks in a staging area in Slough near London, United Kingdom, before being shipped to field units, Mar 1943
See all 10 photographs of Cruiser Mk VIII Centaur/Cromwell Cruiser Tank


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