Tank Cruiser Mark VIII A27M, Cromwell IV (E1949.342)

Tank Cruiser Mark VIII A27M, Cromwell IV
Tank Cruiser Mark VIII A27M, Cromwell IV
vehicle info
Precise Name
Tank Cruiser Mark VIII A27M, Cromwell IV
Main Utility Type
Medium/Cruiser
Country of Use
U.K.
production
Manufactured
1943, Leyland Motors, United Kingdom
Era
World War 2
Nationality
British
location in the museum
One of the fastest tanks of the War.
The origins of Cromwell are complicated. They began with an attempt by Morris Motors to design a new Cruiser Tank for the 57mm gun, and ended with Rolls-Royce developing a new V12 engine known as the Meteor (derived from the Spitfire's Merlin) for use in tanks. Designed in 1942 it took nearly two years to rid the new tank of faults and it was not ready for action until June 1944.

By this time it was, in many respects, two years out of date. Firepower had been improved by the fitting of a 75mm gun but nothing could be done to improve protection and the tank had to rely very much on its speed. In terms of mobility, however, it was excellent. The engine, coupled to a Merritt-Brown transmission, supported on the famous Christie suspension, enabled the tank to maintain high speeds across country or spin around in its own length.

Cromwell tanks were issued to 7th Armoured Division and the reconnaissance regiments of other armoured divisions. In this role they were superb, heading the six-day dash across Europe which freed Antwerp and Brussels at speeds which prevented the Germans from establishing strong defence lines. Cromwells remained in service for some years after the war and a few served with British forces in Korea.

The Cromwell was produced in eight marks in 1943-44. Many (including the Mark IV) were ordered as Liberty engined Centaurs but completed as Cromwells. In turn, remanufacturing earlier Cromwells produced the Cromwell Mark VII and the MarkVIII.

The Tank Museum’s Cromwell is displayed in the markings of the reconnaissance regiment of the 1st Polish Armoured Division, North West Europe, 1944-45.

FURTHER READING

D. Fletcher 1993. The Universal Tank. British Armour in the Second World War, Part 2. ISBN 0 11 290543 X, HMSO, London 1993.
P. Chamberlain and C. Ellis 1969. British and American Tanks of World War 2. SBN 85368 033 7, Arms and Armour Press, London 1969.

Summary text by Mike Garth V1.0
VEHICLES Features
Full Tracked
Tracks/Wheels
Gun - 75 mm QF Gun
Armament - Main Weapon Type
2 x 7.92mm Besa Machine Guns
Armament - Secondary Weapon Type
Rolls Royce Meteor Mark 1B, V-12, 27 litre, 600 bhp
Engine
5 Forward, 1 Reverse : Merritt-Brown type
Transmission
Independent Coil Springs
Suspension
21.2 bhp/ton
Power to Weight Ratio
Vehicle Statistics
5
Number (Crew)
28.33tons
Weight (Overall)
32mph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
101mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness)
600bhp
Power (Engine Output)
75mm
Calibre (Main Gun)
116gall
Volume (Fuel)
163ml
Radius (Range)
64rounds
Number (Projectile)
6.50m
Length (Overall - Gun Forward)
3.05m
Width (Overall)
2.36m
Height (Overall)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
1.5mpg
Consumption (Fuel)