Tuesday, 12 May 2009

British Covenantor - Least Successful British WW2 Tank ?

This without doubt must rate as one of the least successful tanks of WW2. Check out this link about the British Covenantor tank which makes entertaining reading:
Here's a quote: "Deliveries to units began straight away, the first vehicles sent direct to the army were received at Bovington in late 1940, unfortunately without instructions as to starting, etc. Trials here revealed some annoying defects. Rushed design showed - ammunition bins were fouled by various projections, it took four hours to change batteries and one hour to top them up, fitting the radio was difficult, odd items were inaccessible - mostly fairly minor but unlikely to make the vehicle popular, and they would have been easily corrected had production only started after troop trials"


BarryC said...

Yeah... also, putting the radiator right next to the driver on the front glacis was another wonderful design feature. The poor guy wound up nicely toasted and crispy about the edges.

Mark said...

Possibly...but I really like these tanks. Great for post BEF games in France 1940 with 1st Armoured Division or Operation SeeLowe.

The French nicknamed them "Casseroles". You can guess why.


jongo said...

Although the British invented the tank, our designs have not really been very good. In WW1 the concept of using catapiller tracks was not the first choice and for a while the chosen method was something called 'pedrail wheels'. These were large tractor wheels with pneumatic treads that looked like elephants feet. In a trail in 1915 these proved superior to catapiller tracks, but the inventor didn't produce drawings in time for an upscaled vehicle (bearing in mind this was for a tank to hold at least 70 men and mount a dozen machine guns and be able to cross a 12 foot trench)

The first tanks produced had the engine in the middle of the tank and until the mark 5, the exhuast was not piped away from the engine. Also if the crew leaned back too far they would touch the engine and burn themselves.

In action the tanks suffered from spalling when hit by bullets to the extent that the crew had to wear chainmail facemasks. The tanks recieved so much machine gun fire that the paint was literally shot blasted off and they would have to re-painted.

With the Mk I tank, there was a crew of 8 men. 4 of them steered the vehicle. The arangement was that 2 men were up front and if they wanted to go left then the left hand man would pull a lever to stop the tracks whilst a second man in the rear of the tank changed the gear down, then change it up when the tracks were released. The Mk IV was steerable by 1 man.