The emblem of the British tank industry in the years between the two world wars-name was hard pyatibashenny tank AT Independent. This car has become the object of attention of professionals in many states and, no doubt, served as the design layout languid Russian T-35 and the German Nb.Fz
As is known, the construction of tanks, the British started back in the days of the First World War to its end, they were numerous and institutionalized tank forces — Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) — Royal Tank Corps.
In the next 20 years, the British tank building was almost "freezing point". There were several circumstances. First, England was delayed debate on the role and place of tanks in modern warfare. The uncertainty on this issue have hampered the development of the respective military tactical and technical requirements of the industry and the issuance of orders. Played its role and geographical feature of the country — the British attack on anyone not going to, but a real enemy in Europe with them for a long time was not.
This situation has led to the fact that during that time the English industry has made only a few hundred tanks, which are difficult to design an innovative name. More worthy of the attention of their creators or ideas embodied in experienced and experimental samples of the remaining unclaimed, or just not found the introduction of the homeland.
Closing disputes in the Soviet Union and Germany on the role of tanks and followed right behind this overall deployment of armored forces in these countries led British troops to emerge from hibernation. From about 1934 the development of armored vehicles in England dramatically activated.
By this time in the main caused the eyes of the military and tactical management on the use of tanks. In concert with them in the UK tanks were divided into three classes: light, infantry and cruising. When it later emerged the concept of other specific cruiser tanks. At first, their functions were to make light combat vehicles — speed and maneuverability. But the main problem was the infantry tanks, concrete support of infantry on the battlefield. These machines have a limited speed and massive booking. Sometimes reached delirium: a box infantry tank "Matilda I", for example, had only one speed — it was thought that this is completely missing.
In 1936, the British deemed sufficient to arm the tanks only machine guns. Common sense, however, soon prevailed, and at first cruising, and then the car will appear on the infantry 2-pound cannon. Her abilities, in general, were very limited — no ammunition in the high-explosive shells.
The tragedy at Dunkirk forced the British to reconsider their sights somewhat. On light tanks now entrusted only intelligence functions, and of their uniform during the war armored car passed. The role of the infantry tanks, the only proven in battle on the mainland, not actually changed, and efforts to improve them is to increase the power of weapons and armor protection.
At the same time, the unfolding military actions in North Africa have a huge need for the army in a safe and this tank for independent armored formations. HVi one of which consisted then in service with the British Army cruiser tanks fully with these requirements is not answered. One can only wonder that the country build beautiful ships, planes and cars, for a couple of years could not achieve the desired operational reliability of tank engines and chassis parts. To solve these problems the British were able only to 1944. By this time, significantly decreased the value of infantry tanks and their share in the tank units. Cruising same tank more and more features of the universal. Soon after the end of the second World War, the British refused to divide tanks into classes according to destination.
Leading designer and manufacturer of armored vehicles in England in 1930 — 1940 vol. was the company Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. When it was created by the participation of almost half of all British tanks participating in the second world war. In the photo — Polish Vickers tanks in the shop
Assembling the cruiser tanks Mk II in the factory shop offices BRCW, 1940 In terms of the front — stands for the assembly of towers
Lock and the hull of the Mk V «Covenanter" in the factory shop of LMS
Cruising tank Mk V "Covenanter" in
Experienced standard tank A43 Black Prince ("Dark prince"), 1945 This machine is developed on the basis of an infantry tank "Churchill" and armed with 17-pounder gun, is an attempt to present the creation of a British tank languid
For the 1940s, the design and assembly technology of British tanks can not be considered progressive. Hull and turret (if they are not made solid rubber) were collected by means of screws on frames or frameless way ("Valentine"). Welding was used very limited. Armor plates are usually placed vertically without any angles. Neither armor protection or firepower tanks England, especially in the second half of the war, could not compete with the German.
Lagged behind the actual needs and pace of tank production the other day and during the second world war. For example, in December 1938 the industry was to supply the army of more than 600 cruising and about 370 infantry tanks. But first released only 30, and the second — 60. Year after the army received only 314 tanks of all types. As a result, Britain went to war with little more than 600 tanks, of which more than half — light. In total, during the war the British produced 25,116 tanks and self-propelled guns and about 4
,000 ZSU. In this case, a significant part of the past has been made obsolete with the introduction of the chassis and dismantled machines. Speaking about the production of tanks in the United Kingdom, it should be noted that a significant portion of the issued during the war fighting vehicles to the front and did not hit 'and was used for training purposes.