Monday, 10 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the Desert Part 3

Part 3

Colonel M A Studd made two provisos the design was to be cheap the second it had to be ready within six months the code name for the plans was Matilda

The project wasn't challenging and was ready in  September1936 and for testing by the (MEE)
Mechanisation Experimental Establishment. it wasn't an Large machine by any means
it had a single Vickers machine Gun a small turret the commanders head and shoulders near enough
filled the turret space

                                                                Matilda MK 1

The driver was located  ahead of the commanded in a very cramped compartment when the hatch was open
it fouled the gun. The engine an 70hp Ford V8 was located behind the turret the suspension was designed from a Dragon medium MK1V artillery Tractor in all with it Armour etc it weighed nearly 11 tons but the MEE always said it was a heavy tank its top speed was 8 mph which was ok for infantry pace.

the little tanks were designed to be used against specific targets in large numbers but they were just
motorize machine guns.they were never order in large numbers a contract for 60 was placed with Vickers
and a repeat order ten days later in 1938 and a last order in 1939 only 19 was made. a change in policy
because war was coming  it was decided to produce a cannon army tank to be known as Matilda senior

                                                     Vickers machine gun

Vickers Machine Gun being fired