And that looks like an interesting POD in it's own right!30th May 1938
...Spears smiled slightly. "Well, Sir, yes and no. It's definitely better than what our chaps have been making the tracks out of. But it's not exactly new. The somewhat embarrassing bit is that the track used a manganese steel, which stood up a lot better. What's embarrassing is they started using it in Britain in the 1870's, for railway track!
"Really?" Jackman looked down at the report in his hand. "I suppose that makes sense, a railway line gets a lot of heavy use. I'll take a look through it, then we'll pass it on to the manufactures. They can probably use it to improve our own tracks, and a longer-lasting track is something the RTC will probably like. Good work, Spears."
Something I think I missed earlier. OTL, as I understand it, the reason for equipping infantry tanks with the 2-pdr AT gun was that their job was seen as protecting the advancing infantry against enemy tanks (or other mobile forces) that might try to disrupt the advance. They were not seen as "breakthrough tanks" on the French Char-B/Char-2C model. Dealing with fixed positions (bunkers etc) was the job of the artillery.In order to actually crack a defence, they need an infantry tank (the Vickers A11). Thick armour (although it's a bit lighter than the OTL Matilda), a big LV close-support gun (it's intended to be used as part of an infantry attack), and reasonably fast (the higher speed than OTL is because they want to open that hole as fast as possible, and a really slow infantry tank just won't do that). They also intend to be driving the infantry around, again for speed (and again just as they did on the early exercises), so the A11 is intended to do over 20mph.
There were a couple of justifiable reasons for that - they wanted to avoid the single point of failure the was relying on one company for all their tanks, and they wanted to spread tank-building expertise around (it's often easier for a company to ramp up production from 5 vehicles/month to 50/month than to go from 0 to 10). Of course, the order sizes were often so small that the companies involved could get away with building the tanks "by hand" without setting up a true production line at all; and there was the ever-present tendency to use procurement as an arm of industrial policy and send orders to companies that were seen as needing the work.The other change is in tank supply. By adopting the new doctrine early, the only firm that can supply tanks in 1935 is Vickers. So Vickers have designed two useful tanks, and are busy building them. With those orders, they have upgraded their tank plants (as they did OTL, but to build different tanks this time). The (very odd) decision in OTL to spread tank orders around firms with no experience will change.
If I remember right, the exercises showed that even when the artillery were ready and waiting for a target request it was very convenient to be able to lob a HE shell at a machinegun nest, sandbagged position, or basically at all those little targets of opportunity that can be dealt with using only a single shell or two so your artillery can focus on the really tough targets that would bog the line down.Has this changed as a result of the exercises?
I imagine the OODA loop for 'The Tank I'm next to' is somewhat speedier than for the Regimental/Brigade/Divisional RA.If I remember right, the exercises showed that even when the artillery were ready and waiting for a target request it was very convenient to be able to lob a HE shell at a machinegun nest, sandbagged position, or basically at all those little targets of opportunity that can be dealt with using only a single shell or two so your artillery can focus on the really tough targets that would bog the line down.
Otherwise this is truly awesome.3 June 1938 70 A12, 50 A11
70 A12 (Vulcan) (first May 1939, last Oct 39)
50 A11 (Vickers) (first Dec 38, last March 39)
Order not yet started
July 1938, 70A12, 100 A10*
H&W, 50, first Dec 38, last April 38
Vickers, 50, first Feb 39, last Apr 39
Vulcan, 50 A12,
Orders not yet started
A12 - 100
Cheeky.Major Jackman took the proffered report with interest. "That's odd, why would someone want them to examine a tank track?"
"Well, Sir, it seems it wasn't one of ours. They were testing a Czech tank over at MEE, and were a bit puzzled as to why its tracks seemed to last a lot better than ours. They wondered of it was something in the metallurgy, so they, ah, liberated a spare tread and sent it down to Teddington for analysis. "