Hobby Master 1-72 Ground Power
HG3111 British Cromwell IV 1st Regiment, Czech Independent Brigade, Dunkirk, May 1945
In WWII the British had an armour doctrine that called for two classes of tanks. Infantry
tanks were just that, fairly slow well armoured with the main goal to support the infantry.
The Cruiser tanks were just the opposite they compromised armour for speed and agility.
This was very important during their reconnaissance roles. Using the Meteor engine the
Mk. IV could attain speeds up to 52 km/h while almost gliding across the terrain on the
Christie Suspension. Later models received heavier armor when it was deemed some
speed should be given up for crew protection. Late in WWII there probably were more
Cromwell Mk. IV in operation than any other British tank but the Churchill and the Sherman
overshadowed its importance.
On September 1, 1943 the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade Group
(CIABG) was formed. Delays with gathering vehicles and supplies delayed their departure
to France until August 30, 1944. On October 6, 1944 the brigade moved north to Dunkirk
that was held by German forces and under siege by British troops. The CIABG used
strong armoured reconnaissance using M5A1 Stuart and Cromwells, artillery, aerial
bombardment and propaganda. On May 9, 1945 the 15,500 German troops surrendered.
On May 1, 1945 a symbolic 140 man unit of the CIABG raised the Czechoslovak flag at
their homeland border. With the capture of Dunkirk completed the entire CIABG moved
east and on May 18, 1945 they marched into Prague.
Vehicle Type - Cruiser Mk. VIII (A27M) Cromwell Mk. IV
Crew - 5
Length - 6.35 m (20.8 ft)
Width - 2.91 m (9.55 ft)
Height - 2.49 m (8.17 ft)
Weight - 27,500 kg / (60,627 lb) / (27.06 British long tons) / (30.13 US short tons)
Ground pressure - 14.7 lb/sq. in
Powerplant - Rolls Royce Meteor V-12 26.9 liters 600 hp@2550 rpm
Power to weight ratio - 21.4 hp/t
Fuel - Gasoline capacity 527 liters (139 US gallons)
On road - 52 kph (32 mph)
Off road - 29 kph (18 mph)
On road - 265 km (164.66 miles)
Off road - 134 km (83 miles)
Main - 1 x 75mm ROQF Mk. V or VA cannon with 64 rounds
Secondary - 2 x 7.92mm Besa MG (coaxial, bow) with 4,950 rounds
Maximum - 76mm (2.99 in)
Minimum - 20 mm (.79 in)