Cruiser Mk III

Cruiser Mk III

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Cruiser Mk III

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Description:
The Tank, Cruiser, Mk III (A13) was a British cruiser tank of the Second World War. It was the first British cruiser tank to use the Christie suspension system which gave higher speeds and better cross-country performance, previous models of cruiser tanks having used triple wheeled bogie suspension.

Design and development

Orders for the Mk I and Mk II Cruiser tanks were restricted, since the British Army had decided to produce a more advanced and faster cruiser tank which would incorporate the Christie suspension designed by American inventor J. Walter Christie and have better armour. In 1936, General Martel, a pioneer in tank design who had published works on armoured warfare and pioneered the lightly armoured "tankette" to enhance infantry mobility, became Assistant Director of Mechanization at the War Office. Later that year Martel witnessed demonstrations of Soviet tank designs including the BT tank, which had been influenced by Christie's work. He urged the adoption of a tank that would use the suspension system and also follow Christie's practice of using a lightweight aircraft engine such as the Liberty Engine. The government authorized purchase and licensing of a Christie design via the Nuffield Organization rather than contact the Soviet authorities.

The vehicle obtained from Christie became the basis of the Cruiser Mk III (A13). It had to be extensively...
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