Infantry Tank Mk II Matilda II

A12E1  – Infantry Tank Mk II Matilda II prototype with six mud chutes in side skirts.

 

 

Mk II (First production model armed with a water cooling Vickers .303 (7,71 mm) machine gun). The tracks are of the original pattern with extra bars welded on.

 

Mk IIA (Vickers machine gun replaced by Besa machine gun).

 

Mk III. New Leyland diesel engine used in place of AEC engines.

  

Linked along a common shaft two AEC straight-six water-cooled diesel engines A183-A184.

New Leyland E148-E149 diesel engines used in place of AEC engines.

 

Mk III CS. Variant with QF 3 inch (76 mm) howitzer, firing high explosive or smoke shells.

 

Mk IV With box section spudded tracks, jettisonable auxiliary fuel tank, improved engines, rigid mounting, and no turret lamp.

 

Mk IV CS. Variant with QF 3 inch (76 mm) howitzer, firing high explosive or smoke shells.

Matilda II with sunshield like a truck

 

 

Matilda Bangalore.
Matilda adapted to carry and project a length of bangalore torpedo. The flying Bangalore torpedo equipment tube rests in crutches on the side.

 

Baron I Experimental Matilda chassis with mine flail – never used operationally.

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Matilda Baron II – Rebuilt Baron I with shaft-drive from 6-cylinder bedford engines and hydraulic rams for the flail arms.

 

 

Matilda Baron III – Version with lower perambulator-type flail shaft-driven from bedord engines mounted over the rear of each track.

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Matilda Baron IIIa – Turretless version of the Baron III with operators cab in space formerely occupied by the turret.

 

Matilda Scorpion I. Matilda chassis with a mine flail.

Matilda Scorpion (Prototype) – Flail tank with flail on lattice girder driven by engine mounted on right side over tracks. A middle East mine clearing flail tank – used at El-Alamein in 1942.

 

Matilda Scorpion I – Flail tank with flail operator in armoured box beside right track.

 

Matilda Scorpion II – Flail tank with simplified lattice girder

A Matilda Scorpion II flail tank showing the modified girder arrangement. Viewed from this side one can see the Crusader type air-filter inboard of the engine housing and the wedgeshaped fitting at the back. In this version the flail operator formed part of the turret crew.

Matilda AMRA I (Anti-Mine Roller Attachment).

 

Matilda AMRA IA (A Matilda with AMRA Mark IA featuring the drum pattern rollers and with a Carrot demolition device mounted at the front).

 

Matilda Fowler Plough

The original Fowler roller device attached to a Matilda in Egypt. The rollers are of the open, spoked pattern with what appear to be studs on the outer surface.

 

Matilda Plough – unrecorded Matilda modification from the time of the Bardia operation fitted with truncated AMRA frame, large ploughshares and lorry wheels.

Matilda TLC carpet-layer. (Fitted with carpet laying device).

Matilda fascine-carrier

Matilda Inglis Bridge – Tug for long skeleton bridge supported by Orolo tracked bogie assemblies.

 

 

Matilda with experimental Trench Crossing Device.

Middle East experimental bridging device comprising long lattice girder bridge with front end support on modified bren carrier.

 

Matilda Crane tank

 

Matilda V CDL (Canal Defence Light).

Matilda CDL These were Matilda II’s and V’s fitted with a new special turret which contained a powerfull De Thoren flashing arc searchlight for illuminating night battlefields. The normal turret was replaced by a cylindrical one containing a searchlight (projected through a vertical slit) and a BESA machine gun. The searchlight was intended to disorientate and confuse enemy at night.

Matilda Mk II CDL (early turret)

Matilda Mk II CDL (late turret)

British CDL turrets

 

Mk II with A24 turret.

A late production hull has been modified up to take a larger diameter A24 style 6-pdr gun turret ring. One produced, no documentation other than photographs of it remain.

Matilda Flame-thrower tank ‘Frog’.
Matilda Frog Mark I – Australian flamethrower version based on Matilda IV & V with flamethrower replacing 2pdr gun.

 

 

Matilda Tank-Dozers.

Matilda Dozer No 1 Mark 1 – Australian dozer tank with Britsand box-shaped dozer blade raised and lowered using cables.

 

Hydreco oil pump driven by chain and sprocket from the propellor shaft. The former type was used by 2/1 Australian Armoured Brigade Reconnaissance Squadron during the landings on Labuan and Balikapan in August 1945, but with no apparent success. The extra weight of the blade and pushpoles kept the nose of the tank down, causing the blade to dig in. The tank driver was unable to see what he was doing while bulldozing and, even with the Rackham clutches in perfect condition, it was very difficult to steer.

The second version was supplied as a field fitting kit at the end of the war, but even this caused problems due to poor manufacturing standards.
Most of the shortcomings already encountered with the first model were repeated in the second. The original idea had been to use the dozer tanks to remove obstacles under fire, fill in craters in roads or, as a last resort, bury occupied Japanese bunkers, while the tanks were capable of jettisoning their blades and acting as conventional
tanks if necessary.

 

Matilda Dozer No 3 Mark 1 – Australian dozer tank utilising hydraulic pump driven by chain and sprocket from the propellor shaft, to raise and lower the blade.

Matilda Hedgehog – Fitted with rear-mounted 7 spigot-type rocket-launcher on elevatable and rotatable launch platform.

It stemmed from an original scheme to launch an anti-submarine depth charge from a tank against enemy bunkers, but was modified to fire a battery of smaller projectiles. The conversion involved fitting a seven chambered launcher box to the back of the tank, above the engine louvres. It was pivoted at the rear and raised or lowered by hydraulics adapted from the Logan turret traverse apparatus from an American M3 Medium tank.

 

 

Matilda III with the Soviet 76.2mm F-96 gun (the modified version of ZIS-5 gun).

 

  

  

 

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