Chieftain’s Hatch – Crusader Part I


The Crusader was one of two key tanks supporting the Allied attack on the Axis forces that was code-named the same (the other being the American M3 Stuart). It equipped 22 Armoured Brigade (fully) and 7 Armoured Brigade (partially) in 7 Armoured Division in the initial battle, and 1 Armoured Brigade (partially) in 1 Armoured Division during the counteroffensive, when 7 Armoured Division had been withdrawn. The tank was much maligned for its mechanical reliability, and it is clear from contemporary records that it was considered problematic at the time, not just because of a major concern being the hitting power of the 2-pdr gun that was it’s main armament, but also because of its mechanical reliability.




Crusader tanks moving to forward positions in the Western Desert, 26 November 1941. THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH AFRICA 1941 © IWM (E 6724)

I have posted information on the contemporary views in previous posts:

Mechanical Reliability of Allied tanks

Mechanical Reliability of Allied tanks II

Experience with Cruiser tanks in 1 Armoured Brigade