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Inside the Chieftain's Hatch presents a Cruiser Mark II A10 Mark Ia CS

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  • Inside the Chieftain's Hatch presents a Cruiser Mark II A10 Mark Ia CS

    Even starts with a look at an A9 with the frontal MG subturrets.

    Part 1 - exterior



    Part 2 - interior (which will autoload after part 1)



  • #2
    Two things of note from our previous discussions on this vehicle I noted:

    1. The top speed he gave is 16 mph. Right or wrong, that's what he stated.
    2. The crew on that thing are all but blind buttoned up. I doubt they could spot anything that wasn't big and right in front of them in combat. That in my book makes it something of a deathtrap. Your first indication that there are bad guys is rounds coming through the vehicle or bouncing off it.

    There were some good things in the design, but on the whole I'd say it was mediocre, the negatives outweighing the positives.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
      Two things of note from our previous discussions on this vehicle I noted:

      1. The top speed he gave is 16 mph. Right or wrong, that's what he stated.
      2. The crew on that thing are all but blind buttoned up. I doubt they could spot anything that wasn't big and right in front of them in combat. That in my book makes it something of a deathtrap. Your first indication that there are bad guys is rounds coming through the vehicle or bouncing off it.

      There were some good things in the design, but on the whole I'd say it was mediocre, the negatives outweighing the positives.
      The crew on all tanks of that era were blind when shut down. The reason for high casualties amongst tank commanders of all nations was putting the head out of the turret hatch to have a look round.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

      Comment


      • #4
        Not true. The German tanks of that period had numerous vision ports and slits, commander's cupolas, and reasonably good view for the crew when buttoned up. The French tanks, likewise generally had numerous view ports, vision blocks, and often a cupola for the commander / turret crewman. Of course, having two man crews, and a commander who was also loader, gunner, radio operator, and everything else made the French vehicles inefficient but not for lack of vision devices. The Germans and French also generally had glass blocks behind things like vision slits to prevent bullet splash from entering the vehicle.

        Now, I can understand that part of the problem was likely a penny-pinching government that wanted the tank on the cheap so Vickers took every opportunity to lower their costs in making it. Hence, a minimum of castings, riveted construction, and elimination of any refinements or details that would add to the production cost.

        Comment


        • #5
          The A10 was an astonishingly good tank at the start of WW2, and we can think ourselves lucky that the Naziís did not produce an afv like this, instead of the Pz III and IVís, during the ĎBlitzkriegí years of 1939-41.
          As far as the battle of France 1940 was concerned, the A10 was roughly equal as a tactical element to the two German mediums. Compared to III, the standard A10 has a superior AT round and quality armour. The III has HE ammo, a cupola and both better power to weight ratio and flotation. However, the latter advantages are more theoretical than actual. 37mm (and 50mm) HE was found almost useless against AT guns, and anyone in cover. The early cupola does not give a hatch down commander any real observation ability, and technically better mobility in an absolute sense was not needed in a 1940 French summer. The CS version of the A10 is even much better armoured than the IV, and fires a HE round just over twice the weight of the IVís howitzer. In nearly every element, the A10 is equal or better than the III or IV where it matters, bar one. The IVís 75mm howitzer was actually a very good all purpose weapon, and probably the best overall gun in any tank turret in WW2 prior to Barbarossa.
          The A10ís true superiority over the III and IV begins at the Strategic level. Not only is the tank far cheaper to produce, but it is far simpler to construct, and you would only need one type of production line (and parts) to create both AT and HE versions. Instead of c629 IIIís and IVís available for Fall Gelb, you could have had at least 900, probably 1000 A10ís, or maybe even more, and for the same resources allocated. Of course this would have meant greater numbers of machines overall, and with about equal capability (or better where it counted).
          Where the A10 truly shines over the German mediums is at the ĎOperationalí level. The A10 needs less fuel, and has greater range on a single load. It is lighter and thus requires lower transportation needs to send a battalion of armour to a rail junction. Bridging requirements would be less as well. More importantly, it was both more reliable and easy on maintenance, meaning the proportions of tanks lost to breakdown on a campaign would be reduced. During the Battle of France, the Nazis would have had more tanks at the start of the campaign, and a greater proportion of them in working order when Dunkirk was reached. One of the main reasons that Hitler gave his infamous ĎHoldí order was due to his apparent losses in tanks. However, it would be apparent that Ďlossesí were mainly mechanical issues, and around 250k British and 100k French were able to escape. With the A10ís greater reliability, ruggedness, and ability to take on French armour, its losses would almost certainly have been far lower. If the Germans did have the armour to advance, those losses may have changed WW2. Britain loses c13 infantry divisions equivalent (count how many UK produced IDís that fought), and there are no Free French Forces either. Itís a major What If, but if Britain had then desired a truce, albeit a temporary one, no Battle of Britain would need to have been fought. This would leave the Wehrmacht with more planes and pilots for Barbarossa, as well as more tanks. Further, it is also likely that the British would lose the Mediterranean, given the shortfall of men for the defence of the UK. The A10 was that good.

          By the time of Barbarossa, Both the latest III and IVís are completely superior to the A10 as a tactical element, except perhaps the HE in the A10 CS shell. Even then, the fact that the IV can deal with all the lighter tanks with its AP makes every element of both German mediums better than the British tank in just about every tactical role. However, while the III and IVís are better than the A10, this is largely irrelevant. The A10 would not have coped with either the T-34 or KV-1, but neither could the III or IV. OTOH, the A10 could have more than dealt with the Soviet BT-5/7 and T-26 tanks, meaning that in relative terms, the A10 and III/IVís are equal in actual capability, at the tactical level vs the Soviets in 1941.
          Despite the individual superiority of the more lethal Soviet tanks in 41, they did not seriously slow the Nazi advance. What did slow the advance was the unreliability of German armour, such as much as half of all divisional tanks being out of action after a month into Barbarossa. Worse were the fuel shortages later on, and the Luftwaffe was only able to aid in these contingencies to a very limited extent. If the Luftwaffe had not been burnt during the BoB, we are talking about several thousands more planes and aircrew. With superior reliable tanks able to take on the vast majority of enemy armour, and needing much less fuel to do so, the Soviets could have been in far more serious trouble. IF A10ís were used instead of III/IVís, and IF a vastly more powerful Luftwaffe was available for Barbarossa the world might be a vastly different place.
          How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
          Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome back Nick,

            Very good "what if" scenario introduced based on the shortcomings of the German tanks. Even with the 75mm long barrel added to the IV in all later variants the mechanical problems would still exist. Further, the main reasons you presented in support of the BEF's ability to escape at Dunkirk had little to do with their weapons systems and much to do with fuel consumption and mechanical breakdowns.

            Their were a few places though, because of German tank firepower, their advance (rapid as it was), was held up when they encountered superior British and French tanks. Lucky for them the Luftwaffe was very powerful at the time and they had those 88's that Rommel learned could be so effective.

            I just got around to watching "The Darkest Hour" and still saying to myself what if...Ö..
            Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
            http://sempercool.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
              Welcome back Nick,

              Very good "what if" scenario introduced based on the shortcomings of the German tanks. Even with the 75mm long barrel added to the IV in all later variants the mechanical problems would still exist. Further, the main reasons you presented in support of the BEF's ability to escape at Dunkirk had little to do with their weapons systems and much to do with fuel consumption and mechanical breakdowns.

              Their were a few places though, because of German tank firepower, their advance (rapid as it was), was held up when they encountered superior British and French tanks. Lucky for them the Luftwaffe was very powerful at the time and they had those 88's that Rommel learned could be so effective.

              I just got around to watching "The Darkest Hour" and still saying to myself what if...Ö..
              What ever the reason for the infamous 'hold order', we can probably think ourselves lucky. However, I feel a What If coming on. Since you mentioned it first, I think you should post it .
              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Nick I might but it would probably garner few responses and disappear off the page in a week or 2 like most threads other then "What was the best tank, plane, ship, submarine...Ö. "
                Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
                http://sempercool.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Name one tank battle where the A10 actually outperformed the Pz III and IV...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    Name one tank battle where the A10 actually outperformed the Pz III and IV...
                    You know, I think your onto something there as the tanks Rommel's 7th PzD confronted at Aras were the Matilda Mark I and II. These withdrew when Rommel utilized the 88's. Something he repeated often and with great success in North Africa.

                    Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
                    http://sempercool.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      Name one tank battle where the A10 actually outperformed the Pz III and IV...
                      I don't think there ever was a classic tank battle where a significant group of A10's met a significant group of Panzer III's and IV's on reasonably equal terms.

                      The discussion of the A10 is a bit "what if?" really, which is why it is potentially interminable.
                      "Looting would not be tolerated within the Division, unless organised with the knowledge of C.O.'s on a unit basis."
                      - 15/19 Hussars War Diary, 18th March 1945

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        Name one tank battle where the A10 actually outperformed the Pz III and IV...

                        Whenever A10's actually met German mediums, they were unprepared or already clapped out. For example, during the Battle of France, A10's were sent without guns fitted and with duff ammo. During the Battle of Greece, A10's were sent way past there track life, and when spares finally came, they were for A13 and A15's.

                        Further, The Germans were so far ahead of the British in armoured warfare, they could have used almost any tank and won. After all, the BoF was won with mainly I's and II's. No one doubts the T-34 was better than the III and IV's, but that didn't stop the Nazi's almost reaching Moscow.

                        The fact remains that the A10 specs were good enough for France and the Soviet Union, and yet would have been a better tank for Germany with its greater reliability, ease of maintenance and possibly most important of all, far less thirsty and greater range.
                        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nick, very informative link here and a blog discussing the BOF. Gives German Panzer Divisions a total of 929 Mark II's and 349 Mark III's. So by your theory, if these 1300 tanks were A-10's or an equivalent thereof, The German advance would have been faster and maybe stopped the BEF from escaping at Dunkirk.

                          http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.c...rength-in.html
                          Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
                          http://sempercool.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post


                            Whenever A10's actually met German mediums, they were unprepared or already clapped out. For example, during the Battle of France, A10's were sent without guns fitted and with duff ammo. During the Battle of Greece, A10's were sent way past there track life, and when spares finally came, they were for A13 and A15's.

                            Further, The Germans were so far ahead of the British in armoured warfare, they could have used almost any tank and won. After all, the BoF was won with mainly I's and II's. No one doubts the T-34 was better than the III and IV's, but that didn't stop the Nazi's almost reaching Moscow.

                            The fact remains that the A10 specs were good enough for France and the Soviet Union, and yet would have been a better tank for Germany with its greater reliability, ease of maintenance and possibly most important of all, far less thirsty and greater range.
                            Easiest argument to make really is to say that if the Germans had had A10's and the British Panzer III's, would the British have pulled off some stunning early victories?

                            Highly doubtful, to say the least.

                            "Looting would not be tolerated within the Division, unless organised with the knowledge of C.O.'s on a unit basis."
                            - 15/19 Hussars War Diary, 18th March 1945

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Don Juan View Post

                              Easiest argument to make really is to say that if the Germans had had A10's and the British Panzer III's, would the British have pulled off some stunning early victories?

                              Highly doubtful, to say the least.
                              If they were sent to France without guns fitted and duff ammo, or sent to Greece clapped out and without spares, I believe you would be right .
                              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                              Comment

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