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Cruiser Tank Mk V, Covenanter (A13 Mk III)
The A13 Mk III Cruiser Tank Mk V Covenanter was the worst British tank of the Second World War, and due to chronic unreliability was never used in combat despite being produced in large numbers.
The London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company first became involved in tank design with the Cruiser Tank A14. This tank was designed by the Chief Superintendent of Tank Design but developed and built by the LMS. The prototype was ready by the summer of 1939. It turned out to be several tons heavier than expected, over-complicated and unreliable. Nuffield's A16 was also judged to be unsatisfactory, and in 1939 both organisations were asked to work on new tanks based on the A13. Nuffield produced the A15 Crusader while the LMS came up with the A13 Mk III Cruiser Tank Mk V Covenanter.
The Covenanter certainly looked the part. Just about every surface on the tank was sloped at an angle, giving it a sleek appearance, while the four large road wheels of the Christie suspension gave an impression of speed. The three man turret was a new design but resembled that on the A13 Mk II Cruiser Tank Mk II, with V-shaped sides giving it a diamond profile from the front. The first prototype used a Wilson transmission and steering system, but the second prototype and every tank that followed had Wilson epicyclic steering bolted directly onto the output shafts and a Meadows crash gearbox.
The weight of the tank kept going up during the design process. First the General Staff decided they wanted 40mm armour instead of the 30mm originally asked for. Next the aluminium road wheels had to be changed to heavier steel because all available aluminium was needed for aircraft. Finally the LMS wanted to use riveted construction instead of welding because they didn't trust the strength of a welded tank. All of these changes meant that the tank was already at the maximum weight its suspension could handle and there was thus no capacity to increase armour or firepower later. The prototype demonstrated that the air-assisted steering was too responsive, making it hard to go in a straight line, while the original gearbox also needed to be redesigned.
The main cause of the Covenanter's problems was its purpose-built Meadows Flat-12 engine. This was a perfectly good engine in its own right, but because it was flat it was also wide, and this mean that the cooling radiators didn't fit at the back of the tank. Instead they had to be mounted at the front of the tank. The driver was at the front-right of the tank, with the radiators to his left. The radiators rarely worked properly, and the oil cooler was no better.
Despite the tank's obvious flaws orders were placed for 2,000. Production was split between the LMS at Crewe, English Electric at Stafford and Leyland at Kingston. The first production tanks began to appear after Dunkirk, and it was this timing that lead to it being kept in production. In June 1940 the BEF returned from France with six light and seven cruiser tanks, having lost 691 tanks in France. There were only 340 reasonably modern tanks and armoured cars in Britain. The German army was waiting on the far side of the channel, and an invasion seemed inevitable. There were a limited number of new tanks available for production – the Valentine and Churchill infantry tanks, the Covenanter and Crusader cruiser tanks and the Tetrarch light tank. The next generation of cruiser tanks weren't close tobeing ready for production until 1942. The Tetrarch was a light tank, the Valentine a private venture and neither the Churchill nor the Crusader were that reliable when they first appeared. In the desperate situation Britain was in in the summer of 1940 even the time needed to move individual factories from production of the Covenanter to production of a different unproved tank might have proved fatal.
Churchill had to choose between continuing to produce the existing designs or disrupting production in an attempt to develop better designs. We now know that there was little danger of a German invasion after the autumn of 1940, but that wasn't obvious at the time. Even the invasion of the Soviet Union didn't end the danger, for the initial German successes were so dramatic that many assumed the Soviets would be defeated by the end of 1941, allowing the Germans to turn west to deal with Britain. It was only with the American entry into the war and the arrival of the first US troops in Britain that Churchill felt secure. In this situation it would have been foolish to cancel production of the Covenanter. By the standards of 1940 it had a good gun and its armour was better than that of existing cruiser tanks. If the Germans had invaded then the Covenanters wouldn't have had to travel far to find their opponents, while their presence in the armoured divisions at least gave an impression of increasing strength.
These comments only apply to the situation in 1940 and 1941. Sadly production didn't just continue in 1942 – it accelerated, with just over half of the total number of Covenanters delivered during that year, by which time they were genuinely no longer needed.
Although the Covenanter never saw combat it did enter service with armoured units serving in Britain, initially as a front line tank to defend against any possible invasion and then as a training tank. This role lasted until 1943. Soon after being withdrawn from the training role most of the Covenanters were scrapped.
Cruiser Mk V Covenanter I
The original version, with 2pdr gun and serious mechanical problems, especially with the cooling.
Cruiser Mk V* Covenanter II
This was the designation given to tanks that had been modified in the field in an attempt to improve the cooling system. Several different methods were used to achieve this, amongst them the removal of the armoured covers for the radiators.
Cruiser Mk V** Covenanter III
The Covenanter III was the designation given to tanks built from new with improved cooling, including vertical air louvres.
The Covenanter IV saw even more changes made in an attempt to improve the engine cooling, including air intakes on the rear deck.
The close support version of the Covenanter was armed with a 3in howitzer in place of the 2pdr gun on the standard tank.
Hull Length: 19ft
Hull Width: 8ft 8in
Height: 7ft 4in
Weight: 18 tons
Engine: 300hp Meadows Flat-12
Max Speed: 31mph (road), 25mph (cross-country)
Max Range: 100 miles road radius
Armament: One 2pdr gun, one .303in machine gun
Der Covenanter war ein britischer Kreuzerpanzer im Zweiten Weltkrieg, benannt nach der schottischen Gruppierung der Covenanters im 17. Jahrhundert.
Als Weiterentwicklung des Prototyps A 13, aus dem der Cruiser Tank Mk III entstand, wurde 1939 der Cruiser Tank Mk V, der den Beinamen Covenanter erhielt, geschaffen. 1771 Stück wurden gebaut. Da er niedriger als seine Vorgänger sein sollte, musste aus Platzmangel ein 12-Zylinder-Boxermotor eingebaut und der Kühler im Bug platziert werden. Ständige Motorprobleme waren die Folge, zudem verursachten die schmalen Ketten des Christie-Laufwerks einen hohen Bodendruck. So wurde der Covenanter bei der Panzertruppe nur zu Ausbildungszwecken verwendet.
Bei der Feldartillerie wurde der Covenanter als Befehls- und Beobachtungspanzer eingesetzt. Zahlreiche Exemplare wurden zu Brückenlegepanzern umgebaut. Diese kamen auch bei australischen und exiltschechischen Streitkräften zum Einsatz.
The Covenanter does best when it's able to flank an enemy and dish out damage on the sides. It outpaces almost all other tier IV light and medium tanks, thanks to its higher top speed and increased maneuverability compared with earlier British light tanks. The thin front armor was fixed with 0.8.2 and the sloped front armor is effective now. Hits to the rear are a serious problem as they frequently result in engine damage. This provides even further encouragement for you to get up on an enemy's sides or circle slower targets. Slugging it out head-on is the worst way to make use of this tank.
It has a very good rate of fire and aim time, but the gun's penetration won't get you far if you try dealing with more than that. The Covenanter tends to be useless when dealing with heavy tanks of tier 4 and above - however, when using the 2pdr Mk. X and flanking them, it is possible to penetrate even a KV-1 if you have the right shot. The Covenanter's strength lies in its mobility, outflanking and distracting heavy targets to deprive them of track movement while the other tanks destroy them, or simply to deal with any other target that attempts to cross your defense.
Despite the mobility, this tank is very hard to turn in place. Short turns will be impossible at high speed. Because of this, attacking while the opponent is busy with another tank will give you a much better chance of survival.
- The 40 mm Pom Pom and the WS No. 19 Mk. I and Mk. II radios carry over from the A13 Mk. II Cr. Tank Mk. IV and can be installed immediately. The QF 40 mm Mk. VI gun also carries over, but it requires the second turret.
- The stock suspension is maxed out from the get-go. You can't even mount equipment. However, the second engine, the second turret, nor the OQF 3-inch Howitzer Mk. I require any additional weight capacity, so you can't go wrong no matter what you choose.
- Option 1: Research the OQF 3-inch Howitzer Mk. I.
- Option 2: Research the second turret first if you know you want the QF 40 mm Mk. VI auto-cannon. There is no decrease in traverse speed, so there's no downside to the turret. You'll also need to either research the upgraded suspension or add the Enhanced Christie Suspension equipment to increase the weight capacity.
- Option 3: Researching the Meadows D.A.V. O.C. engine will provide an additional 60 horsepower, but at the cost of increasing the chance of fire to a whopping 40%! Nevertheless, you'll want the extra 60 horsepower.
- Go from there.
- It's a good idea to research the WS No. 19 Mk. III before moving on to the next tank.
Designed by London, Midland and Scottish Railway as a better armoured replacement for the Cruiser Mark IV, it was ordered into production in 1939 before pilot models were built. Problems with the design only became apparent after production was under way.
Although it equipped British armoured divisions in the home defence and training roles, poor engine cooling made it unfit for use overseas in hot climates and it never saw combat. In 1943 it was declared obsolete after more than 1,700 had been built. Contents
A pilot model. Note radiator covers at the left front. Note also the Valentine-type gun mantlet. Most production Covenanters had a different type of mantlet.
In 1938, the War Office had issued a requirement for a new, better armoured "heavy" cruiser tank to replace the Cruiser IV. Nuffield's A16 (and the A14) design was found to be too expensive, and in 1939 a cheaper and lighter cruiser tank - under General Staff specification A13 Mk III Cruiser Mark V - was chosen to be developed. It had nothing apart from Christie suspension in common with the other A13 specifications.
The initial specification required a QF 2 pounder gun, at least one machine gun, the same A13 Christie suspension in a lower hull, epicyclic steering transmission and "armour standard" of 30 mm. The 30 mm referred to any vertical plate having to be 30 mm thick, angled surfaces (through the principles of sloped armour) could be thinner so long as they were at least as effective as a 30 mm thick vertical plate.
From these a design using many sloped surfaces was chosen to keep the weight low. To keep the silhouette low the suspension used cranked arms and a low profile engine was envisaged. The engine to specifically designed for it was to deliver at least 300 hp. The Wilson transmission and steering of the A16 would be used.
Design work was by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company (LMS). They had no prior experience in the design and production of fighting vehicles, they had been invited to participate under a Government policy that British companies should develop necessary skills in expectation of war. The design assumed a welded hull rather than the usual rivetting. The turret was designed by Nuffield, with Henry Meadows designing a new low profile engine for it. On 17 April, before even a single prototype was produced, the first 100 vehicles were ordered from the LMSR. Additional orders soon followed, with English Electric and Leyland Motors joining the production effort, for a final production total of 1,771 Covenanters. Nuffield was also approached, but preferred to design its own offspring of the A13 line, which became the Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader.
Due to the expectations of an imminent war, the design was ordered "off the drawing board". The expectation was that two pilot models would serve for testing and results applied to the production lines.
To meet the engine requirement, a horizontally opposed 12-cylinder design was used. Although flat, it was wide and left no room for radiators in the engine compartment, and so the radiators were situated at the front of the vehicle. The unusual arrangement, although tested in mockup form first, when combined with the rushed design process resulted in serious problems with engine cooling. Even when the systems were redesigned there were problems, and the piping from engine to the radiators heated the fighting compartment. These problems meant that the Covenanter would not be employed in the North African Campaign. Instead, Crusader and American tanks were sent to Africa, while the Covenanters remained in the British Isles.
LMS advised a return to rivetted construction due to doubts about its strength, and rather than risk delays due to a lack of welders, this was accepted. The welded design used two layers of armour plate, the inner being of steel that would weld readily without losing its properties. This two-plate system was retained when the design reverted to rivetted construction. The use of rivetting, along with steel wheels instead of the intended aluminium, and a increase in armour specification to 40 mm to the front of hull and turret increased the weight to a level where the tank suspension was already at maximum load, leaving no room for later development of the design.
A further change was made to the transmission. Rather than risk the availability of the combined Wilson transmission and steering affecting production, the A13 "crash" gear box was used with epicyclic steering units. This had the knock-on effect of a reduced size of cooling fan for the transmission compartment.
The contracts were placed with the manufacturers in 1939. The pilot model (with welded hull) was tested with a favourable outcome in 1940 though the second pilot had cooling issues. The first deliveries of production vehicles were not until after the battle of Dunkirk. Production of turrets lagged behind that of hulls. Although the Covenanter was needed at the time, production continued even when newer better tank designs were waiting for space on production lines.
By late 1943 the Covenanter was considered too weakly armed and armoured to deal with new German tanks. It was decided that neither problem could be addressed without significant changes in the design, so the tank was declared obsolete and all vehicles except the bridgelayer variant were to be scrapped.
Covenanters of the 2nd (Armoured) Irish Guards, Guards Armoured Division, during an inspection (3 March 1942)
Except for a few trial vehicles, Covenanters were never deployed outside of the British Isles. The Covenanter was used to re-equip the British 1st Armoured Division (six armoured regiments in two brigades) which had lost most of its tanks in the Fall of France. When the 1st was sent to Egypt, the tanks were transferred to the 9th Armoured Division.
Eventually a handful of vehicles were sent to the desert for service trials and were allocated to the REME for maintenance and evaluation. It is not clear if these tanks were ever used in combat although the unit markings indicate they may have been deployed alongside Kingforce with their new 6 pounder-equipped Churchill Mk III tanks.
Covenanters were also used to equip the Guards Armoured Division in 1942 and elements of the 1st Polish Armoured Division when it was formed in the UK they were replaced before these units were sent to the front-line, except for a few bridgelayers both divisions retained and used in their advance through Belgium and the Netherlands. The only Covenanter gun armed tank known to have been lost to enemy action was that destroyed by a German air raid on 31 May 1942 in Canterbury.
The Covenanter was declared obsolete in 1943 with orders for the tanks to be scrapped, except for those modified for auxiliary roles.
The Observation Post tanks were issued to artillery units to carry Forward Observation Officers for Royal Artillery batteries. In an armoured division, there were two OP tanks for each RHA or field battery. Medium gun batteries had just one. Command tanks were similar to OP tanks, but had only two No. 19 sets - one on the regiment radio net and the other on the brigade net.
Covenanter Bridgelayers were used by the 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade during the Siege of Dunkirk from October 1944 to May 1945. The bridgelayer version was also used by the 4th Armoured Brigade of the Australian Army at Bougainville and Balikpapan during the Pacific Campaign in 1945.
Even before the loss of the majority of the United Kingdom's tank force in France in 1940 after Dunkirk, it was recognised that tank production in the UK at the start of the war was insufficient and capacity in the US was taken for British needs.  So it was necessary that if Canada was to equip with tanks they would have to be manufactured locally.  In June 1940 the Canadian Pacific Railway's Angus Shops in Montreal, as the only large firm with spare capacity, had received a contract to produce 300 partially fitted out Valentine tanks for the British this was followed later with one for 488 complete tanks for Canada.  However the Valentine was an infantry tank and Canada required a cruiser tank for its recently formed armoured division. In the end 1,420 Valentines were produced by CPR, most of which were supplied to the USSR. Although the Valentine used a number of American produced parts, its reliance on British components, difficulties in adapting its manufacture to North American methods, and other problems such as limitations to the availability of the right type of armour plate affected Valentine production. The Canadian Joint Committee on Tank Development concluded, in September 1940, that its cruiser tank should be based on a US rather than a British design.  This would be quicker and allow it to use components already in production for the US design. 
The Canadians were interested in production of the M3 Medium. However the M3 was an interim design its main armament was in a side sponson, it was tall and under-armoured, and it was clear that it would be unsatisfactory for Canadian and British use. In early 1941 the Canadian Interdepartmental Tank Committee adopted a compromise: to develop a superior design locally but still using the M3 chassis.  The British Tank Mission which was involved in the modifications of the M3 for British use contributed a tank expert, L.E. Carr, to design a new hull and turret for the Canadian tank which could take a 6-pounder (57 mm) or 75mm gun while retaining the lower hull of the US M3 Medium. 
The new hull was cast rather than welded or riveted and lower than that of the M3. The pilot model's turret and upper hull casting was produced in the US by General Steel Castings and later they aided the set up of Canadian production.  Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) was chosen to make the new Canadian M.3 Cruiser Tank (as it was then known) and was given the funding to set up the Canadian Tank Arsenal at Longue Pointe. MLW was a subsidiary of the American Locomotive Company, which had experience in producing large castings and another ALCO subsidiary was producing cast hulls for the M3 Medium.
Canadian engineers ran into many challenges when developing the tank as Canada had never produced a tank before. Along with the lack of knowledge, it took time for Canadian factories to gear up for the production of many of the Ram's components. Initially Canada relied heavily on United States and British materials to complete the construction of the Ram. Most critically the Ram's Continental engine and transmissions were available only in the USA and these were always in short supply. The Ram tank was developed with a turret which unlike the US M3 could traverse the main armament 360 degrees. Its fully cast armoured steel hull gave reinforced protection and, with the driver's seat repositioned to meet British requirements for right-hand drive,  lower height while the U.S.-designed chassis and power train ensured its overall reliability. 
Although it could mount a US 75 mm gun, the preferred armament for the Ram was the QF 6 pounder which had superior armour-piercing capability. As neither the 6 pounder nor the Canadian-designed mounting for it was immediately available, early production (50 tanks) were fitted with the 40 mm QF 2-pounder gun.  
A prototype Ram was completed in June 1941 and general production of the Ram I began in November of the same year. The Ram I and early Ram IIs were fitted with side doors in the hull and an auxiliary machine gun turret in the front. The former weakened the hull and complicated production, and the doors and the machine gun turret were discarded in later modifications. By February 1942 production had switched to the Ram II model with a 6-pounder gun and continued until July 1943. In March 1942 a decision had been made to change production over to the automotively-similar M4A1 Sherman tank for all British and Canadian units. Ram production continued due to delay in starting the new M4 production lines and a reluctance to let the plant lie idle.  By July 1943 1,948 vehicles plus 84 artillery observation post (OP) vehicles had been completed.
The official Canadian history of the war compares the Ram to the Ross rifle as examples of unsuccessful Canadian weapon designs. It states that given the Sherman's superiority, in retrospect it would probably have been better for the United States to produce more tanks, and for Canada to have focused on manufacturing more transport vehicles such as the successful Canadian Military Pattern truck designs. The Sexton self-propelled gun based on the Ram chassis, however, was very successful. 
As built, the Ram was never used in combat as a tank, but was used for crew training in Great Britain up to mid 1944. The observation post vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carrier, gun tractor, and munitions carrier versions of the Ram saw considerable active service in North West Europe. These tanks were mainly rebuilt by Canadian Army workshops in the United Kingdom. Conversions of Ram tanks with the Wasp II flamethrower gear were used by the 5th Canadian Armoured Brigade in the Netherlands in 1945. 
In 1945 the Royal Netherlands Army got permission from the Canadian government to take free possession of all Ram tanks in army dumps on Dutch territory. Those not already converted into Kangaroos were used to equip the 1st and 2nd Tank Battalion (1e en 2e Bataljon Vechtwagens), the very first Dutch tank units. These had a nominal organic strength of 53 each. However it proved to be impossible to ready enough tanks to attain this strength because the vehicles were in a very poor state of maintenance. In 1947 the UK provided 44 Ram tanks from its stocks, that were in a better condition. Forty of these had been rebuilt with the British 75 mm gun four were OP/Command vehicles with a dummy gun. This brought the operational total for that year to just 73, including two Mark Is. In 1950 only fifty of these were listed as present. The Ram tanks (together with the Sherman tanks of the three other tank battalions, in part simply taken without permission) were replaced by Centurion tanks leased by the U.S. Government in 1952. [ citation needed ] Some Ram tanks were used in the 1950s as static pillboxes in the IJssel Line, their hulls dug in and embedded within two feet of concrete.
One Dutch Ram tank, an OP/Command vehicle, survives at the Dutch Cavalry Museum in Amersfoort.
A Ram tank modified as a Kangaroo serves as a memorial to the 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment in Mill, Netherlands.
Ram tanks can also be seen at the Canadian War Museum, in Worthington Park at Canadian Forces Base Borden, in front of the Beatty Street Drill Hall in Vancouver, and at the Bovington Tank Museum (both a tank  and a Kangaroo  )
A Ram Tank can also be seen outside of the Armoured Trial and Development Unit based at Bovington Camp.
The Covenanter Bridgelayer
In this video/article we will examine some rare footage of the Covenanter Bridgelayer in action. The footage is available to watch on the BFIs website and originally comes from the Wessex Film and Sound Archive. The 16mm film was filmed at some time in August 1942 but little else is said about locations in the BFI archive entry for the footage.
The Covenanter Bridgelayer being demonstrated (IWM MH 3674)
The tank’s hull number is visible as T.18434 which I think would make it one of the earliest English Electric-built Covenanters. The covenanter was developed in the late 30s as a cheaper cruiser tank. It entered service in 1940, but saw limited active service – instead being largely used in training roles. The bridge element of the vehicle was a Scissors Bridge 30ft, No. 1. – it was deployed and recovered by a clutch and 2 to 1 reduction gear, it was powered directly from the tank’s engine.
Cruiser Mk V Covenanter III (A13 Mk III) (IWM KID 778)
A US report on the Covenanter Bridgelayer explains how it worked:
“The opening of the bridge begins after the launching mechanism has begun to pivot on the rollers of the launching frame. Since the cables are of fixed length, they act to open the bridge as it is pivoted about the rollers.
Having been laid across the obstacle, the bridge is disengaged from the prime-mover [the tank itself]. The bridge is then ready for the passage of other vehicles.
To retrieve the bridge, the prime-mover crosses the bridge to the far side of the obstacle, hooks up to the bridge, pulls it back to the traveling position, and is then ready to proceed to the next obstacle.”
The bridge had a span of 34 feet and vehicles up to 30 tons could cross it. It could be deployed in under 3 minutes and in total the bridge and the system which launched it was 3.5 tons. The vehicle had a two man crew, with a driver and a commander.
The US report also noted that “In one case 1,200 successful launchings and recoveries were made by one vehicle without undue maintenance.” The system was only mounted on a small number of Covenanters. One source suggests 20 Covenanter I and 60 Covenanter IV tanks were converted into Bridgelayers. Far more Valentines were equipped with them and subsequently the Churchill AVRE became the British Army’s primary bridging tank.
A later Valentine Bridgelayer in action in Burma, 1945 (IWM)
No location is given for the footage but the presence of a number of barrage balloons to the rear is intriguing! It may have been filmed at the Royal Engineers Establishment at Christchurch or at another demonstration elsewhere. Scissor Bridges, with similar basic designs remain in service with numerous militaries around the world today.
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Gaijin Pls Covenanter Mk.IV
The Cruiser tank Mk V or A13 Mk III Covenanter was designed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway as a better-armoured replacement for the Cruiser Mark IV, it was ordered into production in 1939 before pilot models were built. Problems with the design became apparent only after production was under way.
The tank equipped various British armoured divisions in the home defence and training roles. Except for a few trial vehicles and a handful of vehicles that were sent to the desert for service trials (which may have been deployed alongside Kingforce’s Churchill IIIs as evidenced by their unit markings), it never left the British Isles as poor engine cooling caused versions Mk I-Mk III to be declared unfit for use overseas service especially in hot climates. This was rectified in the Mk IV after many corrective actions were undertaken but, by February 1944, it was declared obsolete. More than 1,700 of the type were built.
Cruiser Tank Mk III (A13 Mark I)
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/16/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
By the time of World War 2 (1939-1945) the British Army adopted a two-prong assault doctrine concerning armored warfare. This doctrine involved heavier, heavily armed and armored "infantry tanks" operating alongside infantry elements while lighter and faster "cruiser tanks" were used to exploit holes created in the enemy defense by these units. As such, many types of cruiser tanks were ultimately introduced into British Army service heading into the war. One development, the "Tank, Cruiser, Mk III" (A13 Mark I)" appeared along with others during the latter half of the 1930s in preparation for war with Germany.
The Mk III followed behind the original Mk I and Mk II models, both rather primitive lightweight pre-war cruiser tanks. The Mk I was introduced in 1936 and saw 125 produced with the Mk II arriving in 1938 and seeing 175 examples completed. However, it was in the Christie suspension system that was witness by British officials of Soviet BT fast tanks and spurred interest in a similar local fast tank design. The Christie suspension system allowed for much improved off-road travel as well as optimal speed for lightweight tank types and it was envisioned that such a quality would play well into the cruiser tank approach by the British Army.
The Nuffield Mechanization & Aero Limited concern was arranged to develop and produce the new tank based on the Christie design. The design was largely rewritten (by Morris Commercial Cars) to produce a product more in line with the British Army requirement and this begat the "A13" vehicle. The original tank's crew of two was expanded to four and included a driver, commander, gunner, and loader. Armor protection ranged from 6mm to 14mm and a QF-2 pounder gun was fitted to a forward-set turret. 87 x 40mm projectiles were carried. Additional firepower was through a sole .303 Vickers machine gun and 3,750 rounds were carried for it.
The new suspension system allowed for a light aircraft engine to be fitted as the powerplant and this became a Nuffield Liberty V12 gasoline-fueled unit of 340 horsepower output. Running gear included four solid road wheels fitted to a hull side with the drive sprocket at rear and the track idler at front. The engine was installed at a compartment to the rear of the hull with the crew and turret forwards of amidships. Operational range reached 90 miles on internal fuel with a road speed of 30 miles per hour possible.
The pilot vehicle arrived in 1937 and two were eventually realized before serial production was undertaken. The British Army originally commissioned for 50 tanks but eventually took on a stock of 65 units with production spanning from 1938 to 1939. The type entered service during 1938 but was ultimately limited in production due to what eventually proved to be light armor protection and a general mechanical unreliability in the field. Pressed into combat action during the European campaigns of 1940, many were lost in action in the defense of France and their value dwindled from then on. Some managed to fight on during the Balkan and Desert campaigns but, on the whole, their design was outclassed by Axis-sponsored offerings and tactics and ultimately replaced by more competent British tank offerings of the war.
The cruiser tank design culminated with the "Cromwell" (A27M) of 1943 with the primary infantry tank counterpart being the famous "Churchill" line. Additionally, large supplies of American M4 "Sherman" Medium Tanks helped to strengthen the British armor corps inventory during the war.
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- Salmon, R. E. (2013). The Management of Change: Mechanizing the British Regular and Household Cavalry Regiments 1918 (PhD). University of Wolverhampton. hdl:2436/315320. OCLC 879390776.
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British Sherman Firefly VC
British Sherman Firefly VC
1st Armoured Division, 2nd Dragoon Guard
Italy (Gothic line) Hiver 44/45
Au niveau de la dotation, il y avait dans une division blindée Anglaise un Firefly pour quatre Sherman ou Cromwell.
In terms of staffing, there was in a British armored division a Firefly for four Sherman or Cromwell.
The British Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), in service with the Canadian Army Overseas
The Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), was the fifth ‘mark’ in a series of British designed and built cruiser tanks, and was the third ‘mark’ in the A13 series of British cruiser tanks. The A13 series consisted of, the A13 Mark I, the A13 Mark II, and the A13 Mark III, which respectively were the third, fourth, and fifth marks of British designed and built cruiser tanks. The earlier, first and second marks of British cruiser tanks, were the A9 series (A9 Mark I and A9 Mark I Close Support), and the A10 series (A10 Mark II and A10 Mark IIA).
The initial Cruiser Mark V Covenanter (A13 Mark III) pilot model, armed with the 2-pounder Ordnance Quick Firing gun, and co-axial 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun, mounted in the turret front, and the second 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun, mounted in the driver’s position, which was dropped from production vehicles, due to the limited space left for the driver, when mounted. Source: IWM (KID 772).
In 1936, when considering the future requirements of tanks within the British Army, the British War Office, came to the conclusion, that two tank types would be required in future conflicts, one type being the ‘infantry’ tank, and the other type being the ‘cruiser’ tank. The ‘cruiser’ tank was designed with speed in mind, as their role was envisioned, as that of going through the gaps in the enemies defences created by the infantry and ‘infantry’ tanks, in the attack, and exploiting behind the enemy line, into his rear areas, in order to engage his tanks held in reserve, and to cut his lines of supply and communications. The British concept behind these two types of tanks, came from their experiences during the Great War of 1914-1918, where tanks had developed as infantry support weapons, hence, the concept of the ‘infantry’ tank. On the other hand, the concept of the ‘cruiser’ tank, came about from the traditional role of their cavalry during much of the conflict, that of waiting for a breakthrough to be achieved by the infantry, so that they could ride deep into the enemies rear areas and cut his lines of supply and communications.
An example of a standard production Covenanter I, bearing the British War Department number T15488, and armed with the 2-pounder Ordnance Quick Firing gun, and co-axial 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun. This particular tank, was built under Contract No. T.7218, by Leyland Motors Ltd., at their Kingston-upon-Thames works (London, England). Source: IWM (H 12377).
A brief note on the nomenclature (names) used by the British for the various ‘marks’ of the Cruiser Tank, A13 series. Prior to June 1940, the three ‘marks’ of the Cruiser Tank, A13 series, had simply been known, as the A13 Mark I, the A13 Mark II, and the A13 Mark III, respectively. As of 11 June 1940, British tanks were broken down into three classes as either, ‘light,’ ‘cruiser,’ or ‘infantry,’ by which,
– the A13 Mark I, became the Cruiser Mark III
– the A13 Mark II, became the Cruiser Mark IV (or Cruiser Mark IVA, the letter ‘A’ denoting a change in armaments)
– the A13 Mark III, became the Cruiser Mark V (or Cruiser Mark V* (the asterisk denoting service modifications to the engine cooling system), or the Cruiser Mark V** (the two asterisks denoting that the engine cooling system modifications were built-in).
An illustration of the front end view of the Meadows Flat 12-cylinder 300-horsepower gasoline engine, taken from the 1941 First Edition of the Tank, Cruiser Mark V Instruction Book, as prepared by London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company. Source: authors’ collection.
As of July 1941, the nomenclature of British tanks was changed again, as the British War Office began allocating type names to tanks, to make designations easier. Under this,
– the Cruiser Mark V, became the Covenanter I
– the Cruiser Mark V*, became the Covenanter II
– the Cruiser Mark V**, became the Covenanter III
– and the name Covenanter IV, was assigned to those tanks built to Covenanter III production standards, but with additional built-in engine cooling system modifications.
An example of the Liberty V12-cylinder 340-horsepower gasoline engine. Note the height and slimness of this engine, as compared to the flat and spread-out nature of the Meadows Flat 12-cylinder 300-horsepower engine. Source: authors’ collection.
A brief description of the Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III)
The Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), came about, in early 1939, when the British General Staff, directed London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, of Crewe, Cheshire, to design a new cruiser tank, which was to be known as the Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III). The requirements issued by the General Staff, on 2 February 1939, specified, that the A13 Mark III, was to have a maximum armour thickness of 30-millimetres (later increased to 40-millimetres), it was to be armed with the 2-pounder 1 Ordnance Quick Firing gun, and a co-axial 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun, it was to retain the Christie suspension system 2 , as used on the earlier A13 Mark I, and the A13 Mark II, and it was to have a lower overall height, then that of the A13 Mark I, and A13 Mark II 3 .
A general view of Covenanter tanks at various stages of production on the assembly line of a factory, somewhere in the United Kingdom, 1941. Source: IWM (P 174).
On 17 April 1939, with the threat of war with Germany imminent, one pilot model (Contract No. T.7077) and 100 production vehicles (Contract No. T.6931) were ordered straight off the drawing board, more or less, of London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company. Production of the Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), was split between London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, Crewe, Cheshire, English Electric Valve Co., Stafford, Staffordshire, and Leyland Motors Ltd., at their Kingston-upon-Thames works, with deliveries of production vehicles, beginning in November 1940. The last order for 196 Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), was placed in August 1941. After the initial order of 17 April 1939 (for one pilot model, and 100 production vehicles), an additional 15 production contracts, totalling 1,771 vehicles were placed, and spread between London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, the English Electric Valve Co., and Leyland Motors Ltd., for the Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III).
A Covenanter Close Support, bearing British War Department number T7117, which was built under the initial contract for 100 production vehicles (Contract No. T.6931), as a standard production Covenanter I, by London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, which since production, was converted to a Covenanter Close Support, by the replacement of the 2-pounder Ordnance Quick Firing gun, with that of a 3-inch Howitzer Ordnance Quick Firing gun, and the retention of the co-axial 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun. Note the turret full-width top hatch, in the open position, and the driver’s hatch, consisting of a hinged two piece rear section and a small hinged front section, which is folded down in the open position. Also of note, on the right side of the turret, is the Lakeman anti-aircraft mount, with the anti-aircraft/ground defence .303-inch Bren light machine gun connected to it. This particular tank, is seen here in British service with ‘A’ Squadron, 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars, 9th Armoured Division, in the fall of 1941. Source: IWM (H 15182)
The Covenanter, had a crew of four (commander, gunner, loader, and driver), it had an approximate battle weight of 18 tons, it was 19-feet, 3/8-inches in length 4 , and was seven-feet, 3 ¾-inches in height (which made its profile lower then that of the A13 Mark I, and A13 Mark II tanks, by one-foot, 2 ¼-inches), and was eight-feet, 6 ¾-inches wide. It was armed with a 2-pounder Ordnance Quick Firing gun Mark IX or Mark X, and a co-axial 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun, both of which were mounted in the turret front. Initially, a second 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun, was to have been mounted in the driver’s position, but this was dropped from production, due to the limited space left for the driver, when mounted. A .303-inch Bren light machine gun, which could be mounted on either side of the turret, for anti-aircraft/ground defence, was also provided. Also, a 2-inch bomb thrower was fitted into the right front turret roof, for the firing of smoke bombs, for the laying of a smoke screen. It had a maximum armour thickness of 40-millimetres, and a minimum armour thickness of 7-millimetres. Steel, instead of aluminum, was used in the production of the road wheels. Riveted construction instead of welding, was used, vertical surfaces were avoided, which resulted in an almost flat hull. Even a new lower turret was designed, which resembled a ‘squashed’ version of the type used on the A13 Mark II, although in reality it was a completely new design, though still mounting a 2-pounder, and co-axial 7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun. The turret was fitted with a full-width top hatch, which became known as a ‘sunshine roof,’ which opened horizontally, and slid backwards on parallel link arms.
Front view of a Covenanter IV, of Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, armed with the 2-pounder Ordnance Quick Firing gun, and co-axial .7.92-millimetre Besa machine gun. The barrel of the anti-aircraft/ground defence .303-inch Bren light machine gun, connected to the Lakeman anti-aircraft mount, can be seen, just above the driver’s right shoulder, and behind it, the spotlight, which was standard on British tanks of the period, and in the case of the Covenanter, was mounted on the right-side of the turret. The number ‘171,’ which appears on the right-front track guard, is the Arm of Service marking, by which vehicles belonging to Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, were identified, from August 1941 to May 1943. This Arm of Service marking, consisted of the number ‘171,’ in white, centrally located on a horizontally divided blue over brown coloured square. The white square, directly below the headlamp housing, is the centre portion, of the ‘Armoured Fighting Vehicle Recognition Sign,’ which was used as a form of “National Identification” marking for British and Canadian armoured fighting vehicles, of the period. It consisted of a 10-inch high by 18-inch wide rectangle, which was divided vertically into three 6-inch wide red/white/red strips. Source: MilArt photo archive.
Internal stowage bins for 109 rounds of 2-pounder ammunition, 18 boxes of 7.92-millimetre ammunition 5 , 26 rounds of 2-inch Bomb, smoke, and 600 rounds of .303-inch ammunition 6 , along with other miscellaneous items, were provided for. Like most other British tanks in service at this time, external stowage bins and containers (for various tools, and crew equipment), were also provided for, along with the standard compliment of pioneer tools (shovel, crowbar, pickaxe) and recovery/breakdown equipment (tow rope, jack and wood blocks), which were carried on all tanks.
A Covenanter IV, of Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, passing troops of an unidentified Canadian unit, while on exercise, somewhere in the United Kingdom. Source: MilArt photo archive.
The Covenanter, was powered by a Meadows Flat 12-cylinder 300-horsepower gasoline engine, and had a maximum speed of 31-miles per hour, and a cross-country speed of approximately 25-miles per hour. Three interconnected fuel tanks were located in the engine compartment, one on either side of the engine, and one below the engine, and an auxiliary fuel tank, which was mounted on the exterior of the rear hull, which was connected to the main fuel system, but could be jettisoned from the tank in an emergency 7 . Because a Meadows Flat 12-cylinder 300-horsepower gasoline engine was used, instead of the Liberty V12-cylinder 340-horsepower gasoline engine, as used in the earlier ‘marks’ of the A13 series, the engine cooling radiators could not be fitted into the engine compartment, at the rear of the tank. Instead they had to be mounted in the front-left of the tank, which meant that he drivers’ compartment, was moved to the front-right of the tank, with the radiators to his left. The mounting of the radiators at the front of the tank, instead of in the engine compartment at the rear of the tank, resulted in constant overheating along with other mechanical problems. In order to rectify the cooling system problem, various modifications were required in subsequent production vehicles, in order to correct the vehicle’s overheating, which in the end, was never satisfactorily overcome 8 .
T18368, a Covenanter I, which was issued to Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, on 5 August 1941, taking part in the filming of a British Military Training Film, entitled ‘Ten Tips for Tackling Tanks,’ in the fall of 1941, for which the crew is dressed as a German tank crew. The Covenanter driver’s compartment was notably cramped, as is illustrated here, note, there isn’t too much room between the driver, who is leaning on the folded down hinged front section, and the hinged two-piece rear section, of his hatch. Note the short pipe, on the turret side, just behind the driver, this was for the barrel of the anti-aircraft/ground defence .303-inch Bren light machine gun, to rest on when connected to its Lakeman anti-aircraft mount (a portion of which is visible), when not in use. The number ‘2,’ which appears midway along the turret side, indicates, that this is the number two tank of brigade headquarters (see the next caption for details). Source: authors’ collection.
The ongoing issues with the cooling system, brought about the Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), being deemed unfit for foreign service, though it was used to equip armoured formations based in the United Kingdom for training purposes. However, improvements incorporated into the Cruiser Mark V** Covenanter III, and the later Covenanter IV, did deem these fit for foreign service, ‘in an emergency.’
The Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III) in Canadian service
The 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, commanded at that time by Brigadier F.F. Worthington, was the first formation of the Canadian Armoured Corps (CAC) to arrive in the Untied Kingdom, landing on 30 June 1941. The General Officer Commanding, Canadian Corps (VII Corps), Lieutenant-General A.G.L. McNaughton had been anxious to add an armoured formation to his force in the Untied Kingdom at the earliest possible moment, and had encouraged the authorities in Canada to hasten the departure of Brigadier Worthington’s, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade as much as possible. The brigade came under command of the Canadian Corps immediately upon its arrival in the United Kingdom. At this time, the brigade consisted of the following units:
Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, CAC
1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade Headquarters Squadron (The New Brunswick Regiment (Tank)), CAC
11th Canadian Army Tank Battalion (The Ontario Regiment (Tank)), CAC
12th Canadian Army Tank Battalion (The Three Rivers Regiment (Tank)), CAC
14th Canadian Army Tank Battalion (The Calgary Regiment (Tank)), CAC
Another view of T18368, while taking part in the filming of ‘Ten Tips for Tackling Tanks.’ The ‘F2,’ in the centre of the nose plate, directly below the headlamp, indicates, that this tank is the number two tank of the ‘Fighting Group’ (commonly referred to as the ‘Fighting Troop’) of the brigade headquarters, with the other three tanks bearing the markings ‘F1,’ ‘F3,’ and ‘F4,’ respectively. To the left of the ‘F2’ marking, can be seen the Arm of Service marking (‘171’) of the brigade headquarters, as explained earlier. The marking that appears above left, of the Arm of Service marking, is that of the Formation sign (by which the formation that the unit operating the vehicle belonged to, was identified), used by the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, from mid August 1941 to mid October 1942, which consisted of a gold or yellow maple leaf centred on an eight-inch by ten-inch square black background, with a black left-facing image of a ram superimposed centrally on the maple leaf. Source: authors’ collection.
1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade was to have been equipped with the Canadian-built Infantry Tank, Mark III, Valentine, before leaving Canada. However, because of delays in Canadian tank production, Lieutenant-General McNaughton set out to persuade the British War Office to lend tanks to the incoming 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade. These would be replaced with Canadian-built tanks when Canadian production problems were overcome. With the added support of the British Army’s Commander of the Royal Armoured Corps, Major-General G. Le Q. Martel, he was successful in this endeavour. Immediately upon arrival in the United Kingdom, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade was able to draw equipment on a respectable training scale. The Ontario Regiment was equipped with the new Infantry Tank Mark IV, Churchill (A22), straight from the Vauxhall Motors production line, while the brigade’s other two battalions, the Three Rivers Regiment and the Calgary Regiment were issued with the Infantry Tank Mark IIA*, Matilda III.
At the time that Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade arrived in the United Kingdom, the war establishment of an army tank brigade headquarters, under which they were organized, authorized the entitlement of four cruiser tanks, for the ‘Fighting Group,’ of the brigade headquarters. To this end, two of the British Army’s new Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), bearing British War Department numbers 9 T7127, and T18715, respectively, were issued to Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, on 10 July 1941. T7127, had been built under contract number T.6931, by London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, while T18715, had been built under contract number T.7219, by the English Electric Valve Co. On 5 August 1941, the last two, Covenanter I tanks, bearing British War Department numbers T18366, and T18368, both of which had been built under contract number T.104, by the English Electric Valve Co., were issued to Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, thus bringing them up to their full establishment, of four cruiser tanks.
As mentioned previously, with the change in the nomenclature of British tanks, in July 1941, the Cruiser Mark V, became known as the Covenanter I, which was the type of tank that Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, was issued with on 10 July and 5 August 1941. Although, now known as the Covenanter I, it wasn’t until December 1941, that this designation began to appear in ‘Tank States/Returns,’ of the period, in the United Kingdom, up until December, they appeared as Cruiser V tanks. All four of these Covenanter I tanks (T7127, T18366, T18368, and T18715), despite having the cooling system problem of the basic production model, remained in working order from the time of their issue to Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, to the time they were withdrawn, for return to the British in April 1942, as all, were reflected as ‘ready for battle,’ on the ‘State of Readiness Return,’ for the months of July 1941, through to April 1942.
An overhead view of a Covenanter I, in British service, bearing British War Department number T18703, which was built under Contract number T.7219, by English Electric Valve Co., showing the driver’s hatch in the closed position, and the turret full-width top hatch, in the open position. The three small external stowage bins, on the left-side of the turret, each held two 100 round drums of .303-inch ammunition, for the anti-aircraft/ground defence, .303-inch Bren light machine gun. The long bin on the right-side of the turret, was for the stowage of the .303-inch Bren light machine gun, when not in use. The marking on the front left-side of the turret, is that of the British Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School, which was located at Lulworth Camp, Dorset. Source: authors’ collection.
Near the end of April 1942, all four of these Covenanter I tanks, were withdrawn from service with Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, and sent to No. 1 Canadian Base Ordnance Depot, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, located at Bordon Camp, Hampshire, where they were inspected for any mechanical faults, and insuring that all the appropriate tank tools and equipment for each individual tank were in place, and if not, noting what deficiencies there were, before they were passed back to the British. Covenanter I tanks, T18366, T18368, and T18715, were returned to the British, from No. 1 Canadian Base Ordnance Depot, on 10 June 1942, with T7127, following on 16 June. Of interest, T7127, and T18366, went to the British Guards Armoured Training Regiment, while T18368, and T18715, went to the 54th Training Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps.
To replace these four Covenanter I tanks, Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, were issued with four of the newly built, Covenanter IV tanks, which were built to Covenanter III production standards (built-in engine cooling modifications), but with additional built-in cooling system modifications. On 29 April 1942, two Covenanter IV tanks, bearing British War Department numbers T81688, and T81718, respectively, both of which were built under contract number T.2075, by the English Electric Valve Co., were issued to Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade. This was followed on 30 April, by the issue of the last two Covenanter IV tanks, bearing British War Department numbers T81692, and T81738 respectively, again, both of which were built under contract number T.2075, by the English Electric Valve Co. These four Covenanter IV tanks, from the time they were issued, until withdrawn from service with Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, were all reflected as ‘ready for battle,’ on the ‘State of Readiness Return,’ for the months of May 1942, through to March 1943, except for February 1943, when one was in workshops for minor repairs.
An unidentified standard production Cruiser Tank Mark V Covenanter, photographed on 11 March 1942, somewhere in the United Kingdom. Source: IWM (H 17807)
On 19 March 1943, the Canadian Army Overseas, decided to immediately re-equip the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, with the Canadian designed and built, Cruiser Tank, Ram, Mark II 10 . This decision was followed shortly afterwards, by that of re-equipping all Canadian Armoured Corps formations overseas with the American designed, Medium Tank, M4 series, Sherman, instead of with the Canadian Ram tank. Through the spring of 1943, the four Covenanter IV tanks, of Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, were withdrawn from service, and returned to the British, and were replaced with four Sherman V 11 tanks.
Although the Covenanter I, was deemed unfit for foreign service, and the Covenanter IV, was deemed fit for foreign service, only ‘in an emergency,’ because of the ongoing cooling system problems with the A13 Mark III series, both types, fulfilled their roles, of equipping the ‘Fighting Group’ of Headquarters, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, with the four cruiser tanks, to which they were entitled to, so as to enable the brigade headquarters, to carry out and take part in, the mobile tank training of 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, as a whole.
This however, is not the end of the story of the Covenanter in Canadian service, the Covenanter Bridgelayer also served within Canadian armoured formations, but that is another story, for another day.
The author wishes to thank Miss Courtney Carrier, for proofing reading and offering constructive criticism, and comments, on my draft copy of this article, and Peter Brown, for his assistance with relevant material, and his constructive criticism, and comments, on the draft, and Clive M. Law, for providing photos from the MilArt photo archives, and relevant material, and for publishing this article, and lastly, my wife, Denise, for her never-ending support and understanding.
Any errors or omissions, is entirely the fault of the author, who unfortunately, cannot always remember everything.
1. The 2-pounder (40-millimetre) Ordnance Quick Firing gun, was the heaviest gun fitted to British tanks from 1939 to 1942, when it was superseded by the 6-pounder (57-millimetre) Ordnance Quick Firing gun.
2. The Cruiser Tank Mk III (A13 series) was the first in a long series of British cruiser tanks to feature the Christie suspension system, which had been developed by the American inventor J. Walter Christie. It allowed for independent suspension of each road wheel, which allowed considerably longer movement than conventional leaf spring systems then in common use, which allowed tanks to have considerably greater cross-country speed.
3. Both the A13 Mark I, and A13 Mark II, stood at a height of eight-feet, 6-inches.
4. 19-feet, 6-inches if the auxiliary fuel tank was fitted.
5. Each box contained one belt of 225 rounds of 7.92-millimetre ammunition, for a total of 4,050 rounds of 7.92-millimetre ammunition.
6. Carried in six drums of 100 rounds each. On some tanks, these were carried in three stowage bins on the upper left side exterior of the turret, with each bin holding two 100 round drums of .303-inch ammunition.
7. The two side fuel tanks had a capacity of 28 gallons (127 litres) each, the bottom fuel tank had a capacity of 36 gallons (164 litres), and the auxiliary fuel tank had a capacity of 33 gallons (150 litres), for a total fuel capacity of 125 gallons (568 litres).
8. In the end, the Cruiser Tank, Mark V, Covenanter (A13 Mark III), was declared obsolete, and British Army Council Instruction ACI 295/44 dated 26th February 1944, ordered that Tanks, Covenanter I, II, III, and IV, be “broken down and disposed of to salvage as soon as possible.”
9. In order to provide a positive means of identifying individual vehicles, every British military vehicle was given a separate serial number with a prefix letter denoting the type of vehicle, which for tanks, was the letter ‘T’. These numbers were officially known as War Department numbers, but were commonly referred to as Census numbers, in Canadian service, and were normally stencilled onto the vehicle in white letters 3 ½-inches high.
10. The Canadian designed and built, Cruiser Tank, Ram, Mark II, was armed with a 6-pounder (57-millimetre) Ordnance Quick Firing gun, and three .30 Calibre (7.62-millimetre) Browning machine guns, one of which was mounted co-axially in the turret with the 6-pounder, while another, was mounted in an auxiliary turret, located on the left front of the tank, or in later production vehicles, without an auxiliary turret, in a ball mount in the left front hull. The third .30 Calibre Browning machine gun, was mounted beside the commander’s hatch, on the turret roof, and used for anti-aircraft/ground defence.
11. The Sherman V, was the designation used for the American standard production Medium Tank, M4A4, Sherman tank, in British and Commonwealth service. It was armed with a 75-millimetre gun, and two, or three .30 Calibre (7.62-millimetre) Browning machine guns (one co-axially in the turret with the 75-millimetre gun, and one in a ball mount in the right front hull). In some cases, the third .30 Calibre Browning machine gun, which was used for anti-aircraft/ground defence, was replaced by a .50 Calibre (12.7-millimetre) Browning heavy machine gun.