The cruiser or cavalry tank served as the main driving force for the British cavalry, serving on the front lines alongside the main body of the British forces.
The first of the cruisers was produced by Vickers-Armstrong in the economic downturn of the mid 1930s, and consequently included a number of cost-saving features.
This was the first of the cruisers to have Christie suspension and it formed the basis of further development of the cruiser line. The Mk I and Mk II cruisers had been stopgap designs whilst the A13 was perfected, and the A13 itself was more of a testbed and proof of concept than a final design for mass production.
Despite this, a small number saw action in France, Greece and North Africa. It was very lightly protected with armour only 15mm thick to keep weight down.
The cruiser Mk IV was essentially an up-armoured version of a Mk III in much the same way as a Mk II was a better armoured Mk I.
This additional ‘spaced’ turret armour is what gives this tank its distinctive silhouette and makes it easy to distinguish from early models. It was the first of the cruisers to be produced in quantity and formed the basis of several armoured divisions in France and North Africa.
For the King!