Vickers Armstrongs A9


Designed as a potential replacement for the old Medium Tanks which had been the mainstay of the Royal Tanks Corps battalions for most of the 1920s and 1930s, the A9 was the first of the cruiser tanks.

It was made originally by Vickers Armstrongs from whom 50 tanks were ordered in 1937 with a further 75 from Harland & Wolff in Belfast later in that year.

The turret included power traverse, which was an innovation at that time, with 2 of the machine guns placed in small auxiliary turrets on either side of the driver (these were cramped and very unpopular with the tank crews).

The front layout (2 small turrets and the driver’s cab) made it impossible to add extra armour in the face of an increased German threat.

The tank saw some service in France in 1940 and also in North Africa during the earlier campaigns but was soon phased out to be replaced by later Cruiser variants.

Technical Specifications

Armament:1 x 2 pounder
3 x .303 Vickers water-cooled Machine-guns
Engine:AEC 6 cyl developing 150 bhp
Max Speed:25mph
Year into service:1935

Armoured Fighting Vehicles Index

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