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Crusader

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In 1938, the General Staff of the British Army requested for a cruiser tank that was lighter and more affordable than the heavier A16 cruiser design developed by Nuffield Mechanizations & Aero. One of these designs was the designation Tank, Cruiser Mk.V based off the A13 cruiser tanks, named the "Covenanter", and Nuffield was invited to become part of its development team, but they refused due to interest in developing their own cruiser tank. Their tank was designated the Tank, Cruiser Mk.VI Crusader and fell under the General Staff specification of A15. The Crusader was a parallel design to the Covenanter, but was ready six weeks earlier than the Covenanter despite starting at a later time. The Crusader was adopted into service with the British Army in 1941 and the 5,300 units were manufactured between 1940 to 1943.

Crusader Variants in Forgotten Hope Secret Weapon
Crusader I Crusader I CS Mk II
Crusader II CS Crusader III Experimental "Meteor" Powered Crusader)

Crusader IEdit

Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader Mk.I
300px
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Manufacturer Nuffield Mechanization & Aero Limited
Category Medium tank
Cruiser Tank
Speed 42 km/h
Main armament 40 mm 1 x QF 2-pounder
Coaxial weapon 1 x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
Australia
Crew in‑game 3
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Seat 3 1x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
Historical Picture
[[File:{{{History Picture}}}|300px]]


The Mark I was quickly put in production after the prototype was tested, in mid-1940. None was ready for the campaign of France however, but they were quickly shipped in Egypt and took part in the first phase of the war against the invading Italian forces. The Mark I of early production had a “semi-internal” cast gun mantlet, which was replaced on the late models by a bigger cast mantlet with three vertical slits, for the gun, machine-gun and periscope. The large sloped turret, also designed for maximum internal space, had no cupola, but a flat hatch with the periscope mounted inside. In practice, it was open most of the time. The gun was balanced through a paddle shaft, making pointing easier and more accurate, and allowing efficient fire on the move.

On the very flat terrain encountered in the Libyan plains, this feature was of great proficiency. The 40 mm (1.57 in) armor was designed to deal with most tanks of the time (in 1939), armed with 37 mm (1.46 in) guns. The frontal glacis was sloped, like the turret, but the rear and sides were flat and more vulnerable. Early production models were given provisional armored side panels, usually protecting the rear part of the tank (engine and fuel tanks). The first unit to fight with these brand-new Crusaders Mark I was the 6th Royal Tank Regiment, part of the 7th Armoured Brigade. They fought alongside Matilda infantry tanks, using their speed for screening tactics. No Italian tank was a threat, but this would change with the arrival of Rommel and his Panzer IIIs in Africa, in January 1941.

Crusader I CSEdit

Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader I CS
300px
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Category Medium Tank
Cruiser Tank
Speed 42 km/h
Main armament 76.2 mm Ordnance QF 3 inch howitzer
Coaxial weapon 1x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
Australia
Crew in‑game 3
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Seat 3 1x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
Historical Picture
[[File:{{{History Picture}}}|300px]]


Some Crusader I's were converted on the stocks as infantry support tanks, or CS (Close Support), equipped with a 3 in (76.2 mm) howitzer launching smoke grenades.

Crusader IIEdit

Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader II
300px
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Category Medium tank
Cruiser Tank
Speed 42 km/h
Main armament 40 mm 1 x QF 2-pounder
Coaxial weapon 1 x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
Australia
Crew in‑game 3
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Seat 3 1x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
Historical Picture
[[File:{{{History Picture}}}|300px]]


Late production Mark Is were given large side protective panels, attached to the upper hull, providing better protection against the 50 mm (1.97 in) gun of the Panzer III. These panels became permanently attached from the factory starting from the Mark II. This new version also received a large increase in armor, from 40 to 49 mm (1.57-1.93 in), on the frontal glacis and turret. The added weight was coped with by a more powerful Nuffield Liberty Mk.III. To save weight and a crew member, the awkward turret was often removed. The only machine-gun that remained was the coaxial one. The large “three slit” cast mantlet was also serial. This evolution arrived in 1942, just in time for some major battles of the campaign of Africa.


Crusader II CSEdit

Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader II CS
300px
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Category Medium tank
Cruiser Tank
Speed 42 km/h
Main armament 76.2 mm Ordnance QF 3 inch howitzer
Coaxial weapon 1 x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
Australia
Crew in‑game 3
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Seat 3 1x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
Historical Picture
[[File:{{{History Picture}}}|300px]]


Some Crusaders II's were also converted as infantry support tanks.

Crusader IIIEdit

Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader III
Crusader Mk.III
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Category Medium tank
Cruiser Tank
Speed 42 km/h
Armour Crusader MkIII armour
Main armament 40 mm 1 x Qf 6Pdr
Coaxial weapon 1 x 7.92 mm Besa MG
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
Crew in‑game 2
Seat 2 1 x 7.92 mm Besa MG
Historical Picture
[[File:{{{History Picture}}}|300px]]

This was the last production version of the Crusader. It got a complete new designed turret, because the turrets from the Mark I and II are too small for the new maingun, the 57mm 6 Pounder gun. By this, two new details from the tank are already presenting! This new turret was bigger and was in the front flat because it got a gun mask built inside the turret. The armor increase from the 26mm (Mark I) to 32 mm (Mark II and Mark III). Like above already said, the auxiliary turret was not designed on the Mark III due to the major problems such like too small for an ordinary man to fit in it and there was no room to operate the gun. Also when the auxiliary turret was open, the main turret could not be transverse. The later Mark III will not have those turrets anymore. The production started in may 1942. However this tank got a bether gun and even bether armour, soon as possible the American tank replaced the Crusader tanks. When the Allieds leave the North Africa campaign, many Crusader tanks are left in Africa. It belonged in the Top 10 Worst WW2 tanks wich saw service!

Experimental "Meteor" Powered CrusaderEdit

A15 Cruiser Tank Mk V No. T3646
Crusader Meteor
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Category Medium tank
Cruiser Tank
Speed 80 km/h
Main armament 40 mm 1 x QF 2-pounder
Coaxial weapon 1 x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
Australia
Crew in‑game 3
Seat 2 Commander Seat
Seat 3 1x 7.92 mm Besa Mk.I
Historical Picture
[[File:{{{History Picture}}}|300px]]

Development started with the use of recovered Merlin engine parts from crashed aircraft. While unsuitable for re-use in aircraft, the Rolls Royce chassis division had begun collecting and refurbishing them in the hopes of finding a use. Robotham was approached by Henry Spurrier of Leyland Mechaziation and Aero, to ask about help with tank powerplants. The Mark 1 Meteor was assembled out of many of the recovered parts. After this meeting Robotham and his team began to examine the possibility of fitting a Rolls-Royce engine in a cruiser tank. After testing a variety of Rolls Royce engines they settled on the Merlin Mk III, produced an unsupercharged version of the engine, and installed it in a Crusader tank. This was delivered to Aldershot for trials on 6 April 194. The Meteor powered Crusader excelled in its trials, going so fast that the time-keepers failed to time it properly, and on its first run it failed to take a corner and crashed into some trees! It was later estimated that the tank had reached around 80 kmh. Furthermore, Merlin engin was used in Challenger and Cromwell tanks.

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