This week sees the addition of a new vehicle for the brave Tommies of the British Expeditionary Force – the A11 Matilda I.
Amongst the most distinctive-looking tank designs of World War II, the A11 Matilda I was the first of the British infantry tanks. Not to be confused with it’s namesake, the A12 Matilda II, which replaced it’s predecessor as the war progressed and armoured technology also moved forwards. The two tanks were very different in design and shared only the name and the role of infantry support vehicles, sacrificing speed for greater protection.
The A11 turret was fitted with a single heavy machine gun – either a .303 Vickers or a larger, Vickers .50. This lack of anti-tank capability was one of the compromises the Matilda I would suffer from.
The Matilda I was designed to be delivered quickly and as such utilised many components from other vehicles.
Although the hull and turret were well protected against most anti-tank weapons, the tracks and running gear were completely exposed and more vulnerable than on tanks that had protected tracks.
In addition to operating the macine gun, the tank commander also needed to direct the driver and operate the wireless set as the cramped turret had no room for the radio meaning the commander would need to duck down into the hull to access it..
The A11 remained in production until August 1940. One hundred and forty were produced.
This new resin and metal model comes complete with British tank commander miniature and can be added to your BEF force in our webstore.
Matilda I and Matilda II tanks fought together in the 1st Army Tank Brigade of the British Expeditionary Force in the Battle of France. Participating in the defence and counter-attack operation at Arras against the invasion by Germany in May 1940, Harrassing Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division.
Our recently released Matilda II is also waiting for you to add it to your army. Don’t disappoint it…