British Tanks Q&A: Answered Questions

Big thanks to the team at Armoured Archives for doing this Q&A! Make sure to subscribe to their YT channel here:

1. What other projects did Nicholas Straussler did that the public does not know of?
After that excellent article of Hungarian tanks, we should look into more of Straussler’s works.

There are quite a few Stuassler’s projects recorded, from small contraptions to large vehicles – like his four-track MBT and an 88mm SPG, among others.
Sadly while parts of the text survive at Bovington, the attached pictures and plans are missing.

2. Which British tank, in your opinion, contributed the most to WW2?

A question with many answers, while Churchill’s are up there for numbers, and Cromwell’s for further growth. For me, it’s the plucky Matildas who fought gallantly at Arras.
Despite being outnumbered and unsupported, they were able to stall the Germans and aid with Dunkirk’s evacuation, at a heavy cost.

3. Is the Super Conqueror from World of Tanks completely fictional or was it ever actually designed?

Partially fake. A WOT player entirely made up the name – Super Conqueror. The underlying turret was based on a napkin design; the burster plates were real but never fitted to vehicles in service. The vehicle we have in-game is modeled from a few that were used as range targets only to test HESH and HEAT warheads’ effect. It’s not entirely fake, but far from the truth. Meanwhile, the Caernavon AX is entirely fake from top to bottom.

4. Is there documentation on the rationale behind giving the Centurion’s hull sides a slope? If it was to accommodate a turret ring, why not use a more conventional (and more spacious) layout like having straight hull sides with sponsons similar to a Sherman or Panther?

Alas, much of the early Centurion’s work is missing. There are tank board minutes and discussions between the war office and Ministry of Supply (MOS), but the most initial stuff has been lost. In the way of plans and design notes and even older photos. We now know the project’s first work goes to 1942, but what/where and when is all gone.

5. Please list all British and Commonwealth military vehicles in Hong Kong military, the vehicles those were captured by axis power in ww2, and captured by allied power in ww1, and the vehicles that fight against communists( China, Korean, Vietnam,Russia in 1920s, etc.). Thank you.

This is far too big and wider a topic for a simple Q/A.

6. How many tank designs like the Cobra are out there in the archives, unknown to the world, waiting to be uncovered?

There are a lot from STT projects, at least 80 of them. GSOR projects, maybe 30 or more from that period alone, too FVRDE projects which have a vast selection. FBMT-70 alone has some 24 designs.

7. How many GSOR tanks are out there, and how are they named (what are the tanks’ names)? Where could I find pictures of at least some of them?

As above, plenty still left; many will be the same overall project, with different layouts and ideas. Bovington is the right place if you want to spend a solid 8 hours. Kew too, but their filling is terrible and so can be hit and miss.

8. Are there other post-war heavy tank designs that aren’t known about?

The heavy tank was even by a decade after the war, a dying project in the UK. There were STT projects for sure, but the focus was on the universal tank, which evolves into the MBT.

9. I read somewhere that the Crusader was tested with the Rolls-Royce Meteor engine, was the test successful and if it was was it ever used?

Both Crusader and Covenanter have Meteors fitted in them; the first was part of the early Cromwell project carried out at the Clan foundry under Robotham. Meanwhile, the latter was used for testing and evaluation. I recommend the book on from the Rolls Royce heritage trust, which covers this, there was even a meteor used in a torpedo.

10. What do you know about British 4-track tank designs? I’ve seen a picture of a small mockup of such a vehicle, vaguely resembling the Cruiser tanks.

That would be one of Martel’s articulated tanks. The original model and data survives at Bovington and can be found in the archive storage room.

11. Are there any previously unknown “wheeled vehicles” that you could share some info/pics of?

There are a lot of these that, however, is still sadly NDA. So can’t share and discuss. 😛

12. How many other examples are there/how far did designers take the concept of british vehicles with unusually large main armaments along the same lines as the FV4004 Conway, FV4005 Stage II, FV4101 Charioteer, FV217 Badger and Chimera, many of which were designed with guns of 127mm and greater? Was this most of all spurned by the fear of soviet armor?

With large guns, not too many as the favor was with missiles, the two 183mm platforms, and the odd ones like Caliban. But the others were super heavy missile destroyers, with large HESH missiles of which there are quite a few.

13. HI ! How much do we know about the funny FV304″ mortar” arty in the game. I think there were a lot of variants, the FV304 being a variant itself. With that speed, there are surely some lights or reconnaissance tanks !

Bert is part of the FV300 family, the proposed light tanks to go alongside the FV200 and FV400 family, etc. There were ten proposed vehicles, from APC to a 20pdr tank destroyer and a 120mm turreted version mentioned.
The Bert 304 and its bigger brother 305 got some way into development with small parts cast. Mockups made out of cage wire were built to test dimensions; Meanwhile, crews were exhaustively tested to work out fire rates within a given size.

14. I heard the rail and trains of Britain affected the overall diameter of the turret rings, thus preventing the tanks to use bigger guns If that is true, how did they manage to make Cromwell and so on? Did they change the railroad infrastructure?

The rail width affects the vehicle’s width and height, which in turn affects the size of the turret ring and the turret height. The Centurion was the first ‘wartime’ tank to do away with this restriction to an extent.
This width factor is one of the reasons the dimensions, weight, and cost trump the whole firepower, mobility, protection trope. Most UK designs before this are restricted to a certain turret width, yes.

9 thoughts on “British Tanks Q&A: Answered Questions

    1. Well, Listy was the real researcher who found the sketch of upgraded turret. But I was that “WOT player” who suggested the name “Super Conqueror” to Storm in WG. I proposed several other names like “Conqueror Mk. III” or “Mk. II*”, but “Super Conqueror” was used because… people like things that called “Super”. ;))
      Dave Lister never liked the name “Super Conqueror”.

  1. There are quite a few Stuassler’s projects recorded, from small contraptions to large vehicles – like his four-track MBT and an 88mm SPG, among others.
    Sadly while parts of the text survive at Bovington, the attached pictures and plans are missing.
    I wish there was a way to recover them, Straussler’s designs are unique and most importantly, perfectly appliable for the proposed Hungarian tech tree. Damn, such a loss.

    1. for historical recollection it is really a pitty, but from a “pure modelling” point of view some people may be confident enough to risk modelling it based on descriptions alone
      from WoT perspective we already now that we can expect WG to come up with a “historical recreation based on document description and armor development trends/technology available at the time of design”

        1. yes, there’s hope we may see something in the future, if not on a Hungarian TT at least as premiums for Britain, but it still won’t be exactly the same thing
          I don’t know if WG has someone on their WoT modelling departmant with engineering background like the WoWs team has on theirs, sure Yuri P. (if he is still working for them) can probably work with some people to make something (if I am not mistaken they did some of that for the Czech TT) that may be as close to the “real” thing as possible, but it will still not be the same and WG will likely modify it for their own convinience, which won’t be as bad IF it results in a perfectly balanced vehicle

    2. Karika has already found it a few years ago. Unfortunately, I assume that it doesn’t fit World of Tanks, because it was nothing more than only a recoilless gun, and the vehicle itself looked something like this:
      By the way, all of Straussler’s post-war projects were wheeled, except his Main Battle Tank concept.

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