TAMIYA plastic model kit for the construction of a British Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader Mk.III of WW II, in 1/35 scale.
TAMIYA plastic model kit for the construction of a British Cruiser Tank Mk.VI Crusader Mk.III of WW II, in 1/35 scale. Includes sprues with plastic parts, assembly instructions, vinyl tracks and decals.
Crusader, in full "Tank, Cruiser Mk VI, Crusader", also known by its General Staff number A.15, was one of the primary British cruiser tanks during the early part of the Second World War. Over 5,000 tanks were manufactured and they made important contributions to the British victories during the North African Campaign. The Crusader tank would not see active service beyond Africa, but the chassis of the tank was modified to create anti-aircraft, fire support, observation, communication, bulldozer and recovery vehicle variants. Retained in service because of delays with its replacement, by late 1942, the lack of armament upgrades, plus reliability problems due to the harsh desert conditions and the appearance of Tiger I heavy tanks among the German Afrika Korps, saw the Crusader replaced as the main tank by US-supplied M3 Grant and then by the M4 Sherman medium tanks but it was retained in combat use until the end of the war in North Africa and after that for training purposes in Britain.
Due to delays with the Cruiser Mark VII Cavalier and the need for cruiser tanks, the Crusader was up-gunned with the 57 mm 6-pounder, the first British tank to mount this gun. Design work for a new turret started in March 1941, but Nuffield was not involved until late in the year, when they adapted the existing turret with a new mantlet and hatch. The turret also received an extractor fan to clear fumes from the firing of the gun. The larger gun restricted turret space, so the crew was reduced to three, with the commander also acting as gun loader, a role previously performed by the wireless operator. The auxiliary turret space was given over to ammunition stowage. Crusader III also saw the introduction of the Mk. IV Liberty engine, fixing many of the reliability issues previously encountered. This featured the Mk. III engine's later updated water pumps along with a shaft drive replacing chain drive for the cooling fans. Production started in May 1942 and 144 were complete by July. The Crusader III first saw action, with about 100 participating, at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942.
- Great Britain