A15 Crusader


The Crusader developed by Nuffield Mechanization & Aero as a ‘Heavy Cruiser’ was the last of the pre-war designs to go into production.

In common with most British tanks, the Crusader had a number of faults, the worst of which was undoubtedly engine cooling – so critical in the desert.

It had an auxiliary MG turret fitted next to the drivers vision hood which mounted a BESA machine gun but later this was removed as it was found to be a danger to the crewman due to lack of ventilation and vision.

Originally equipped with a 2 pdr gun, it was modified to accept a 6pdr in 1942 at the expense of 2 crew members, however its chronic unreliability, particularly when compared with American tanks gave it a very poor reputation.

Almost all of the vehicles were deployed to North Africa, including 6th Armoured Division which landed in Tunisia.

Technical Specifications

Armament:1 x 2 pounder
1 or 2 x BESA Machine-guns
Engine:Nuffield Liberty developing 340 bhp
Max Speed:27mph
Year into service:1941

Armoured Fighting Vehicles Index

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