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"Matilda" - infantry support tank

matilda tank
The original designation of armored forcesis to suppress the enemy's infantry resistance and overcome the lines of fortifications. The Second World War overturned the established ideas about the rules of warfare and tactical methods. Cases of tank artillery duels and even counter battles were not uncommon. However, it remained true that armored vehicles can not attack without infantry.

But what about the other way around? Can the enemy troops attack the enemy positions on their own? They can, but it's difficult. In the mid-thirties, the governments and military ministries of the Western countries did not give the armored vehicles the importance it deserved, but certain progress did take place. British tank "Matilda" A11 was conceived as a machine supporting the advancing troops. Low-power (engine in 70 hp, like the Zhiguli), slow-moving (speed up to 13 km / h), devoid of artillery weapons, but equipped with a good reservation, he intended the designers to cover the infantry with his silhouette, firing from machine gun mounted in a small tower.

British tank Matilda

Almost all of the A11 were lost in the course of the urgent evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk in 1940.

By this time, a new"Matilda". The tank was significantly upgraded and received the A12 Senior (senior) index. The car was far from perfect, it was difficult to compare it with the models that were used by the Red Army. The body was riveted, and the power plant consisted of two coaxial engines of 87 liters. from. For comparison: BT-7, which is so fond of calling "obsolete", was equipped with a 400-horsepower diesel engine. The caliber of a 40 mm turret was also inferior to the Soviet size of a 45 mm projectile. True, the British tried to install a more powerful cannon (50 mm) on the Matilda tank. A photo of such a modification exists, but it did not arrive in the military units.

tank matilda photo

The geography of the combat application sounds loud. El Alamein, Tobruk, Eritrea, Malta, Borneo, New Guinea - these are just some of the names of places where Matilda had time to fight. The tank, despite its more than modest technical characteristics, coped with its function, if it was not opposed by serious opponents. In North Africa, the Italian corps was armed with technology even more obsolete, the Japanese in the Pacific also could not boast of powerful machines.

After the attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR, sirWinston Churchill was so interested in the successes of the Red Army that, having set aside anti-communism aside for the time being, and despite the plight of Britain, decided to provide military assistance to our country. Among the supplied samples of military equipment was "Matilda". The tank was seriously inferior to the Soviet brethren, but, as they say, on bezrybe ... In total, about a thousand cars were delivered. In 1943, the Soviet Union refused to accept this type of armored vehicles, its maintenance was problematic, and combat effectiveness was highly questionable.

matilda tank
In the British Army itself, since 1943,The process of rearming the US "Shermans" and "grants." There were also English "valentines", which were also imperfect, but still better than Matilda. The tank played a role in defeating the Nazis and Italian fascists in the African theater of operations, and the great merit in this of the British tankmen who showed courage, ruled this complex, unreliable and low-power car, won victories over a strong and skilful foe.

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