The A28 Infantry Cromwell was a British cruiser tank based on the A27M variants. It was never produced, however.
The British already started already with Cruisers and Infantry tanks since the interwar period. After the arrival of the Valentine, Matilda II and the Churchill tank, and the arrival of the Covenanter and Crusader cruiser tanks before and in 1941, the need for a fast and heavy cruiser tank was necessary. Therefore, British designers focusing on the existing tank designs. So plans were made to develop a shorter and leichter version of the Churchill as the A23 tank. But the idea were dropped early. This is mainly due to the old fashioned design of Churchill. Meanwhile, Cromwell was designed from the Cavalier cruiser tank, which was then redesigned from the previous cruiser tanks.
Even during these early stages, plans to improve on the ‘A27’ design were underway by its designers to adapt the A27 into other roles. One such plan was devised by Rolls-Royce to develop the existing A27 into an infantry tank but only use existing A27 plate armour. This new ‘infantry A27’ as it was called was given the General Staff number ‘A.28’. This was the first, of a long series of attempts to improve the basic Cromwell design that would continue well after the end of the war, culminating with the FV4101 Charioteer. This plan was likely conceived as an attempt to design a cheap, easier to produce infantry tank that would offer a commonality of parts to Britain’s cruiser tank force. The design of the A28 was a simple evolution of the existing early Cromwell design, increasing the thickness of the the armour plate, but otherwise maintaining the same size, shape, angles, weight, gun and other components as the A27. In addition there was further consideration of increasing the A27’s armour even thicker beyond what was planned for the A28, described as “A27 armour increased to A22 (Churchill) thickness”.
The project though was dropped in December 1941, not ever going further than the drawing phase of design, around the same time Rolls-Royce was finalising its design of the A29 Clan heavy cruiser tank. While the A28 was being filed away, this was hardly the last attempt to develop an infantry tank on the basis of the Cromwell hull, several other (mostly Rolls-Royce projects, notably the A31 and A32 and the previously mentioned A29 Clan) attempted to develop an infantry tank from a cruiser tank, the most famous being the joint Rolls-Royce and English Electric A33 ‘Excelsior’ which, unlike the A28, made it to the prototype stage with several being built with various experimental forms of suspension. The project would have eventually proved redundant regardless though, as throughout the production of the A27 Cromwell tank, new ways were developed to increase the protection and mobility of the original Cromwell design, notably the Cromwell VII and VIII, developments of the earlier Cromwell II which carried an additional 25-37mm of additional applique armour on the frontal hull and turret, providing an even greater level of protection than the A28 would have provided, other than the protection offered by the A28s armoured skirt.
A28 Infantry Cromwell CSEdit
The A28 Infantry Cromwell CS was a (fiction) version of the A28 Infantry Cromwell. CS stands for Close Support and it was indeed an assault gun built from the successful A28 Infantry Cromwell infantry tank. Like the Cromwell Mk VI CS, Matilda III CS and the Churchill Mk.V CS, it use an 95mm Ordnance Qf Mk.I gun. This gun was a very powerfull weapon against light and medium targets. One shot in the front can destroy a Panzer IV. His speed make this tank a great attack vehicle.