Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

As andys pointed out the light tank MkVII should be being looked at right now. The tank that comes out though will be quite different from Tetrarch as Carden is still alive to lead it's development.
I'd imagine you get a better and more conventional Light tank than Tetrarch.
If the Tetrarch can be ready in time with the cooling problems cured that would be good, if it can emerge as the Mk VIII Harry Hopkins with it's maximum of 38mm Armour as well that would be ideal.

1602948000048.png


It also made a fair SPG and bull dozer.


1602947921362.png
1602947959468.png
 

Attachments

Does anyone happen to know what size the turret ring was on a Mark VI? I can't find it in any book or website. I was thinking of trying to put a Tetrarch turret (50 inch ring) onto a Mark VI.
I've come across 1025mm for the Vickers Mk VIB, Don't know how accurate it is, but seems right, about the same as the APX4 turret on the Char B1 bis
 
I always kind of thought that Britain should have continued making the A9 with some minor modifications as a light tank.
Get rid of the MG turrets, increase the armour and put in a better engine and your golden. 5 man crew with a dedicated radio operator, great for a scout vehicle and is fast and survivable.

That said I do tend to think this when i'm a few whiskey's deep, like I am now. Read into that what you will.
 
If the Tetrarch can be ready in time with the cooling problems cured that would be good, if it can emerge as the Mk VIII Harry Hopkins with it's maximum of 38mm Armour as well that would be ideal.

View attachment 591463

It also made a fair SPG and bull dozer.


View attachment 591461 View attachment 591462
Its a light tank and the army had decided that light tanks were a dead end - they wanted Infantry and Cavalry tanks - they actually wanted a universal tank but didn't know it at the time, but the treasury liked light tanks as you could build several of them for each Infantry/Cruiser/Universal (had such a creature existed).
 
Its a light tank and the army had decided that light tanks were a dead end - they wanted Infantry and Cavalry tanks - they actually wanted a universal tank but didn't know it at the time, but the treasury liked light tanks as you could build several of them for each Infantry/Cruiser/Universal (had such a creature existed).
They should have put the Treasury Civil Servants into them at the start of the war!
 
Its a light tank and the army had decided that light tanks were a dead end - they wanted Infantry and Cavalry tanks - they actually wanted a universal tank but didn't know it at the time, but the treasury liked light tanks as you could build several of them for each Infantry/Cruiser/Universal (had such a creature existed).
The Army was willing to use properly armed light tanks when they could get them. They used plenty of Honey's in the dessert and would have used Tetrarchs there but for their cooling problems.

1603143338669.png
 
Last edited:
The Army was willing to use properly armed light tanks when they could get them. They used plenty of Honey's in the dessert and would have used Tetrarchs there but for their cooling problems.
The honeys performed well probably one of the better light tanks of that period - and they were 15 odd tons each which makes them as heavy as the early PzIII and heavier than the earlier Cruiser tanks

But they were still light tanks mounting a gun that was not as good a hole puncher as the 2 pounder and it was only the 'need' for tanks and their very impressive reliability that allowed them to serve as they did.
 
18 April 1938. 10:00hrs. Farnborough, England.
18 April 1938. 10:00hrs. Farnborough, England.

Vulcan Foundry, despite all the delays due to shortage of components and armour plate, and especially the Wilson epicyclic gearbox, had finally delivered the A12E1 to the MEE for testing. When the mock-up had been looked at the previous year some changes had been suggested, and these were incorporated into the prototype, including the provision of a Close Support howitzer in place of the 2-pdr in some of the tanks.

The twin AEC diesel engines behaved beautifully during testing, though there were cooling problems that would need to be resolved before the production model could be produced. The six-speed Wilson pre-selector gearbox and Rackham clutches also performed fairly well in conjunction with the Vickers’ designed bell-crank ‘Japanese’ type commercial suspension just some minor modifications would need to be made for it to work a bit better. The trial team also recommended the provision of air cleaners if the tank was to be used in ‘colonial’ settings.

The thickness of the armour on the A12E1 made a sub-frame unnecessary, so the plates and castings were bolted together resulting a very smooth finish. It was noted that this form of construction needed accurate castings and many skilled-man hours to complete it. The question was asked therefore about when the production types would actually be delivered for use. The initial order for 65 ‘off the drawing board’ would likely be increased by at least 100 more, so Fowlers of Leeds, Ruston Hornsby and the LMS were all approached to take part, under the parentage of Vulcan Foundry, to contribute to production.
 

perfectgeneral

Donor
Monthly Donor
The thickness of the armour on the A12E1 made a sub-frame unnecessary, so the plates and castings were bolted together resulting a very smooth finish. It was noted that this form of construction needed accurate castings and many skilled-man hours to complete it. The question was asked therefore about when the production types would actually be delivered for use.
Even with other railway foundries pitching in, they might be better served by a new process. Too early for welding? The weight saving makes it tempting.
 
Casting should be both stronger and lighter than either welding or riveting. The problems are:
- Casting can be slooow (Big castings take an age to cool)
- Unless your castings are very high-quality there's a bunch of finishing work to be done before they'll all fit together properly
OTL that was the production bottleneck on the Matilda - they needed many more man-hours than other tanks because of the finishing work on the castings.
Welding thick armour plates is not a trivial process (those things make great heat sinks)
 
Fettling castings is time consuming but only needs relatively unskilled cheap labour whilst welding heavy plate has very real bottlenecks in welding plant and skilled welders. As the Soviets demonstrated, once you have the castings being made in quantity and have gone through the days of cooling, the casting method will churn them out thereafter as long as you have plenty of unskilled fettlers with grinders. The Soviets also skipped making the castings pretty and just ground for fit. It does require new moulds made for each cast which is a skilled process in these sizes and frequent use of the huge crucibles together which is another draw upon skilled foundry labour, even eked out in both cases with skilled labour in charge of new semi skilled (i.e. basically trained) labour. What it does is call upon more common skills and plant than specialist heavy plate welding which is is constant ship yard demand. Making and pouring many tons of molten steel into huge sand casting moulds and monitoring the slow cooling to avoid casting flaws, voids and cracks etc. is no small task but you can throw labour at it. If you can make cast T34 hulls and turrets in quantity in Russia then it should be easily possible in the UK. IOTL riveting plate armour was the simplest answer and industry and labour was well set up already to achieve this. Casting can be better, even than welding sometimes, but riveting is a quick 'we can do it now' choice with a negligible investment of resources.

The Soviets had no pool of riveters etc. so casting was the way for them to go. Britain chose to rivet until it had the welding plant and welders to change to welded construction. The Italians had to stick with riveting as they had no industrial base for heavy welding or large castings (even if Italian foundries were famous for their intricate small casting quality). The Japanese had the Navy snaffle any heavy welding capacity. The USA had an industrial base experienced in heavy welding and large castings plus much larger population but even they had to begin with some riveting but quickly changed to cast and welded.

When you look at the circumstances of each nation their choices IOTL make sense and explain why they made different choices. Each was reasonable for them. AH folk love to assume they pick out the best but real life forces you to accept the merely good if you are going to get the thing to turn up at the battle in quantity and be able to do something useful.
 
Top