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A33 Excelsior

The A33 "Excelsior" Heavy Assault Tank was an experimental British tank of the Second World War, which did not enter service. The experience of battles in North Africa in 1941-1942, as well as the appearance of American medium tanks in the British Army, led to a serious change in the "tank policy" of the General Staff of the British Army. It was decided to create a universal tank capable of replacing infantry and cruiser tanks. To create such a tank, it was decided to use the chassis of the newly adopted Mk VIII Cromwell.

In 1942 the firm Rolls-Royce unveiled two new tank projects, which were modernized Cromwells. Project A31 was a Mk VIII with patch armor plates, and A32 - Mk VIII with enhanced armor and improved suspension. However, the General Staff regarded both projects as unsatisfactory in view of the increase in tank mass and, as a consequence, deterioration in mobility. At the same time, the company English Electric presented the military project A33 "Excelsior". Preference was given to this project and in 1943 two prototypes were built.

The crew of the tank consisted of five people: the commander, the driver, the radio operator (also performed the duties of a machine gunner), the gunner and loader. The hull of the tank A33 was similar to the hull of the Cromwell. The 75 mm gun was installed as weapon on the tank, along with and two 7.92-mm BESA machine guns. It is worth noting that the 57 mm gun was installed on the first prototype. The ammunition consisted of 35 shells and 5,000 rounds of ammunition. The thickness of the armor armor protection was 114 mm. In the vertical front plate there was a driver's hatch (right) and a ball mount with a 7.92-mm BESA machine gun (left).

The undercarriage of the first prototype in relation to one board consisted of six road wheels and three supporting rollers. On the second prototype, the undercarriage was used the extended tracks from the "Cromwell". It is worth noting that almost all elements of the chassis were protected by shields. On the "Excelsior" the 12-cylinder gasoline engine Rolls-Royce "Meteor" was installed, with a capacity of 600 liters, equipped with a liquid cooling system. The speed of the tank on the highway was up to 38.6 km / h, and over rough terrain - up to 19 km / h.

The results of the tests of the military were not favorable. On tests, the A33 Excelsior showed a fairly good maximum speed on the highway (39 km / h) with poor maneuverability. Cruising range was 160 kilometers, which did not suit the customer. As a result the A33 appeared with a modified chassis. However, while the tests and refinements were going on, the creators of Churchill corrected most of the flaws of that vehicle, putting 75 mm and 95 mm guns on the tanks. Consequently, the production of A33 "Excelsior" considered inappropriate.

Subsequently, based on the A33 developments, English Electric together with Rolls-Royce developed a fifty-two- ton heavy tank A37 , which, however, did not go beyond the limits of the project documentation.

Tank Encyclopedia notes "Official naming changed throughout the life of the project several times, with both A.33 Assault Tank and A.33 Heavy Tank used interchangeably in documentation. Beyond 1943, it appears to be referred to as an amalgamation of both names, as the A.33 Heavy Assault Tank. Interestingly, though for a short period of time in November of 1943, documentation and correspondence between the Department of Tank Design and English Electric suddenly begins to refer to it as the Commodore alongside Cromwell and Centaur. The name continues for two weeks time and is made mention of several times, before unceremoniously returning to being called the A.33 Heavy without any further mention of that name. The name Excelsior does not appear in any of the literature related to the A.33. The name may either be a post-war invention or perhaps an internal name, in a similar nature to Vickers Valentine. English Electric vehicles may have been titled with an E-name, although proof of this has yet to surface."

Classification Heavy tank
Layout scheme classic
Developer English Electric (body and ETA ),
Rolls-Royce (chassis and MTG )
Manufacturer English electric
Years of development 1942 - 1943
Number issued, pcs. 2
Combat weight, t 40 tons
Hull length , mm 6900
Width, mm 3400
Height mm 2400
Engine type 12-cylinder petrol Rolls-Royce "Meteor"
Engine power, l. 600
Highway speed, km / h 38.6
Specific power, l. s./t 14.62
Gun type Ordnance QF 75 mm (English) Russian.
Ammunition gun 35 shells and 5000 rounds
HV angles, hail. -13 + 20
Angles GN, hail. 360
Machine guns 2 x 7.92 57 mm Besa
Front, mm / deg. 114
Body, mm / deg. 114
Front of the turret, mm / deg. 114
Stern of a turret, mm / hail. 92
Roof of the turret, mm 20
Crew , pers. 5 persons

A33 Excelsior Heavy Assault Tank A33 Excelsior Heavy Assault Tank A33 Excelsior Heavy Assault Tank A33 Excelsior Heavy Assault Tank

A33 Excelsior Heavy Assault Tank

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Page last modified: 10-12-2018 18:40:00 ZULU