Britain orders the 16 tonner Mk III tank into Serial production - how does this change British AFV development

Two/three thing come to mind immediately. What are the 'new playthings'? Certainly not the existing guns that are actually in warehouses. The 2pdr was movable, but was also 150% heavier than for example the 47mm Bohler, that was every bit as good (or bad) hole puncher as the 2pdr, and was could fire a bigger HE shell. The 47mm from interwar tanks will be punching holes in German tanks of 1939-40 every bit as good the 2prd, and 3pdr Vickers will do even better.
As for criticysing the 3pdr for having too small a HE, and then go with 2pdr instead??

These matters would have to be addressed to the decision makers at the time. I don't justify them, only describe their line of thinking as I understand it. When the 40mm 2 Pounder was put into production the Germans and Americans were choosing 37mm guns.

17 pdr was not too big and certainly not too powerful for tanks, it was indeed a thing where British tank designers and brass botched the whole turret/gun equation. Design a turret, and then discover the gun won't fit??
Purpose of a tank is to carry a worthwhile cannon, and British made mistakes when going down from 6pdr of ww1 down to 3pdr in interwar period, and again down to 2pdr.

Everyone went down in calibre post WW1. The gun/turret mismatch was the fault of separate requirements for each and not a single unified requirement. Vickers were asked for a HV 3" gun specific to tanks. The turret designers were asked for turrets to take existing production. Both did adequate jobs: only separately. Cock ups occur all the time everywhere. The mystery is why it was so long to fix it. Probably because the existing gun went to a 75mm barrel in the same gun and gave adequate infantry support HE for the moment. Overlord was in the offing and Cromwell production lines could not afford a delay. Cromwells were getting all the QF75mm guns that were being made a the time. The standard 17 Pounder is a beast of a gun to squeeze into an existing design. Just look at the improvised Firefly with it's weird fixes to force the thing in the turret without it hitting the rear wall or killing the crew on firing, all in the space that would be ergonomically inferior to a poorly made gibbet. I have been in one and I still wonder how I got out with all my limbs and minor projections. The infantry mount reduced the forces on the mounting by allowing a long recoil movement which let it have a lighter mount. Despite which it was a nightmare for infantry to move about once released from it's tractor. Thus we can see the OTL 17 pounder WW2 tank, the Challenger, needed a larger hull and high turret to let the 17 Pounder fully recoil. The issues of turret ring diameter, often quoted, are rather thrown aside by the Charioteer which mounted the 84mm 20 Pounder on the Cromwell turret ring. Albeit with only small arms/shrapnel proof turret armour. There was a good reason why the Germans did not put an 8.8cm in the Panzer IV. Like the mismatched Cromwell/Vickers and Comet it could only fit a 75mm size and weight. Had the Vickers/[Cavalier/Centaur/Cromwell/Churchill turret designs] worked then the 17 pounder would have been superfluous in a British tank and the same production lines would have been pouring them out continuously for the last 3 years of the war with only minor changes.

There was the RR Kestrel around, tooling and all, before 1939. Not needed for ww2 use, trainers can use Mercury.

Actually the Kestrel tooling went over to Merlin and Vulture production by and large and the early war Mercuries were in demand for operational types so the remaining Kestrel stocks and spares supported trainers. Lord Nuffield should never have been allowed to make his Liberty variation but should have been forced to make the existing tank specific Meadows and/or Bedfords.
 
Britain has the worlds oldest rail net work, Made up of lots of different companies who in the early years had different load gauges. When these companies merged or grouped it was the smallest load gauge that usually became the group standard. If you discounted the few choke points that set the minimum load gauge then you could carry a larger load. I believe this is what was done in the case of the Churchill tank. I am no expert but I an sure someone out there can give the exact details.
 
These matters would have to be addressed to the decision makers at the time. I don't justify them, only describe their line of thinking as I understand it. When the 40mm 2 Pounder was put into production the Germans and Americans were choosing 37mm guns.
Soviets were choosing 45mm, French were with 47mm for AT duties and were introducing the 47mm as a tank gun, Italians introduced 47m as AT gun and were installing the 47mm on a M13/40.

Everyone went down in calibre post WW1. The gun/turret mismatch was the fault of separate requirements for each and not a single unified requirement. Vickers were asked for a HV 3" gun specific to tanks. The turret designers were asked for turrets to take existing production. Both did adequate jobs: only separately. Cock ups occur all the time everywhere. The mystery is why it was so long to fix it. Probably because the existing gun went to a 75mm barrel in the same gun and gave adequate infantry support HE for the moment. Overlord was in the offing and Cromwell production lines could not afford a delay. Cromwells were getting all the QF75mm guns that were being made a the time. The standard 17 Pounder is a beast of a gun to squeeze into an existing design. Just look at the improvised Firefly with it's weird fixes to force the thing in the turret without it hitting the rear wall or killing the crew on firing, all in the space that would be ergonomically inferior to a poorly made gibbet. I have been in one and I still wonder how I got out with all my limbs and minor projections. The infantry mount reduced the forces on the mounting by allowing a long recoil movement which let it have a lighter mount. Despite which it was a nightmare for infantry to move about once released from it's tractor. Thus we can see the OTL 17 pounder WW2 tank, the Challenger, needed a larger hull and high turret to let the 17 Pounder fully recoil. The issues of turret ring diameter, often quoted, are rather thrown aside by the Charioteer which mounted the 84mm 20 Pounder on the Cromwell turret ring. Albeit with only small arms/shrapnel proof turret armour. There was a good reason why the Germans did not put an 8.8cm in the Panzer IV. Like the mismatched Cromwell/Vickers and Comet it could only fit a 75mm size and weight. Had the Vickers/[Cavalier/Centaur/Cromwell/Churchill turret designs] worked then the 17 pounder would have been superfluous in a British tank and the same production lines would have been pouring them out continuously for the last 3 years of the war with only minor changes.
Nobody suggested that Germans install 8.8cm on the Pz-IV. They, however, installed the 7.5cmL43 and later L48 there, cannons that were in the league of the Vickers HV 75 and 77 mm cannons - a quick job, unlike the Cromwell situation that stopped cold such attempt.
Nobody was asking too much that 17pdr fit on existing tanks; when it was asked, Sherman was able to do it.

Actually the Kestrel tooling went over to Merlin and Vulture production by and large and the early war Mercuries were in demand for operational types so the remaining Kestrel stocks and spares supported trainers. Lord Nuffield should never have been allowed to make his Liberty variation but should have been forced to make the existing tank specific Meadows and/or Bedfords.
You might as well be right about a better part of tooling for the Kestrel going into other RR engines. OTOH - why would British government invest a single penny for any Meadows engine past 4 cylinder type(s)? Liberty at least gave useful combat service.
 
That was carried out by the local colonial forces (ever since the Cardwell reforms), but the regular army was intended to fight a high-intensity conflict against near-peer forces. In those cases any form of defense is useless so the only thing the regular army- or any modern army (that's focused on that kind of war) has to learn or use are offensive tactics.
Don't forget that until early 1939 the Government was telling the Army that it wouldn't be sent to Europe in the event of a war breaking out. Quite what they expected the Army to be doing I wouldn't like to speculate.
 
Don't forget that until early 1939 the Government was telling the Army that it wouldn't be sent to Europe in the event of a war breaking out. Quite what they expected the Army to be doing I wouldn't like to speculate.
The silent Implication for any POD such as this one has to imply that a requirement for a continental force was proposed and acted upon several years earlier than late 38/early 39 and also that national Service conscription was enacted earlier than early 1939.

Otherwise it would not matter if the UK builds 1 or 2 thousand decent Medium tanks if they have not got the ability to stand up a army to use them with!

So there
 
Not really, the Medium I's and II's were getting long in the tooth and needed replacing anyway. This can be done with Medium III's as proposed or as otl with A9's, A'10's and Matillda's without changing the intentions of the Government. What tanks the government chooses to buy doesn't need to change how many they intend to buy or how they intend to use them. That's down to a combination of economics and politics.
 
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What imperial policing couldn’t be done with armoured cars? The armoured cars could then double as scouts in a continental commitment. There is still need for universal carriers. Use the Abyssinian crisis as a driver for tanks capable of desert conditions.
 
What imperial policing couldn’t be done with armoured cars? The armoured cars could then double as scouts in a continental commitment. There is still need for universal carriers. Use the Abyssinian crisis as a driver for tanks capable of desert conditions.
The Italians had shown that tanks could be used in the desert during their colonial battles in Libya and obviously later on in Ethiopia

The British had already made great use of Armoured cars to police the Middle east - and many of those were heavily involved in the initial victory over the Italians
 
The issues of turret ring diameter, often quoted, are rather thrown aside by the Charioteer which mounted the 84mm 20 Pounder on the Cromwell turret ring.
Size wise, the 20 pdr is slightly larger the 17 pdr, much of it in a longer barrel.
Cartridge was 84×618R vs 76x583R, and the US 90mm M3 was 90x600R

That one also mounted the gun higher in the turret, making a taller turret, along with 1626mm ring diameter from the Comet, not the 1448mm or the Cromwell

From my notes of latewar and early Cold War tank guns you can see where it fits in

75mm KwK 42 Weight with muzzle brake and breech: 2,200 lbs 46400 psi 6.8 kg shell @ 935 m/s for a muzzle energy of 2.97 MJ
British 17pdr weighed 2,032 and was 184.05 in long. 17lb projectile at 2900-2950fps,---3,084632 joules muzzle energy.
88mm L56 fires a 10.2 kg shell @ 773 m/s for a muzzle energy of 3.05 MJ
90mm M3 weighed 2450lb with muzzle brake 186" long fires a 10.94 kg shell @ 808 m/s for a muzzle energy of 3.57 MJ
French 105mm/57 weighed 2343lb? and was 182in long. 10.95 HEAT at 800 M/S---3,504,000 joules muzzle energy.
British 20pdr weighed 2,885lbs and was 220in long . 20lb ABCBC at 3300fps. ---4,545,000 joules muzzle energy.
88mm L71 fires a 10.2 kg shell @ 1000 m/s for a muzzle energy of 5.10 MJ
100 mm D10T fires a 15.8 kg shell @ 880 m/s for a muzzle energy of 6.11 MJ
US 90mm M41 weighed 2370lbs and was 186" long. 19.9kg APBC-T at 914m/s for a muzzle energy of 6.31MJ
British L7 105mm weighed 2,826lb and was 231.9 in long. 6.48kg APDS at 1480m/s---7,096,896 joules muzzle energy.
 
[QUOTE="marathag, post: 20202288, member: 68581"
That one also mounted the gun higher in the turret, making a taller turret, along with 1626mm ring diameter from the Comet, not the 1448mm or the Cromwell
[/QUOTE]
I never have seen a Charioteer in real life but a few of my peers had been Charioteer crews in the past and they spoke of it as a straight forward Cromwell chassis using existing gun tanks re turreted. Happy to be advised of evidence that the Charioteer was fitted with a Comet turret ring. No Comets were used for Charioteers. Like the Archer it was a mobile AT gun in use.
 
I never have seen a Charioteer in real life but a few of my peers had been Charioteer crews in the past and they spoke of it as a straight forward Cromwell chassis using existing gun tanks re turreted. Happy to be advised of evidence that the Charioteer was fitted with a Comet turret ring. No Comets were used for Charioteers. Like the Archer it was a mobile AT gun in use.
'64" turret ring was fitted to the Cromwell, increasing the diameter from 57.5 inches'
 
If you mean the garbage that is the backwards step-off and do-not-do-it Vickers Mark III that was based on the "Independent?" (See below why human factors and WW I battlefield tank experience matters.).

View attachment 522833

Number 4. is the kicker. You want HE shell to kill enemy infantry, Arty (pesky guy.) and machine gun nests as well as shoot enemy tanks. Repeat after me; "Tanks are supposed to kill EVERYBODY; not just enemy tanks. with the MAIN GUN."
I dont really follow,
1- perfectly acceptable on most modern MBTs......
2- I would prefer top due to dust and dirt but does it really mater with the thickness (or rather lack of) that tank is likley to be?
3- Again considering the thinness of protection what's it trapping, and would it not be a added spaced plate out from and in addition to the hull side anyway improving protection?
4- why 4.7cm is fine for the time period....
5- used on many other perfectly good tanks and they can simply add a thin deflector near the top....
6 - like many others PZ MKIII/IV.......
 
What imperial policing couldn’t be done with armoured cars? The armoured cars could then double as scouts in a continental commitment. There is still need for universal carriers. Use the Abyssinian crisis as a driver for tanks capable of desert conditions.
Armoured cars are useful - on roads. Once they go cross country, they are less able to maneuver. Tanks, being full tracked vehicles don't face that limitation. The Germans developed 8x8 armoured cars as a consequence. The British 6x6 post war (Saracen, Saladin).
 
Armoured cars are useful - on roads. Once they go cross country, they are less able to maneuver. Tanks, being full tracked vehicles don't face that limitation. The Germans developed 8x8 armoured cars as a consequence. The British 6x6 post war (Saracen, Saladin).
Yes but 99 out of 100 times the colonial policing could be done from roads and tank tracks carve up paved streets so the A/C is not as hard on the Imperial infrastructure.

From: https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/britains-struggle-to-build-effective-tanks-during-the-second-world-war

The standard British tanks in service for much of this period were the Vickers Mediums – ponderous, box-like vehicles armed with 3-pdr guns. Various attempts to produce replacements fell by the wayside for technical or financial reasons. Much effort was wasted on a new heavy tank, the A1 Independent, which spent ten years in development before being abandoned in 1933. By 1936 the Army had decided that it wanted three main types of tank to suit differing tactical requirements: light tanks for reconnaissance, heavily armoured ‘infantry tanks’ to support frontal attacks and fast 'cruisers' to exploit breakthroughs and take on enemy tanks. It was a decision that would bedevil British tank design and development.

Tank supply continued to be affected by the artificial division between infantry tanks and cruisers, and the imposition of changing War Office requirements. In December 1939, in anticipation of re-fighting the First World War, the General Staff had demanded that two-thirds of production be given over to infantry tanks. A year later, after experiences in France, priority was given to the development of cruiser tanks. Light tank production had been quickly terminated and the divisional reconnaissance role taken over by armoured cars. Cruisers would equip the armoured divisions or independent armoured brigades for mobile operations, while infantry tanks were grouped in separate tank brigades for infantry support. This basic division remained in place for the rest of the war.
The too many light tanks problem could have been avoided.
 
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