Crusader III

Due to delays with the Cruiser Mark VII Cavalier and the need for cruiser tanks, the Crusader was up-gunned with the 6-pounder, the first British tank to mount this gun. Design work for a new turret started in March 1941 but Nuffield was not involved until late in the year when they adapted the existing turret with a new mantlet and hatch. The turret also received an extractor fan to clear fumes from the firing of the gun. The larger gun restricted turret space so the crew was reduced to three, with the commander acting also as gun loader—the loader was already the wireless operator. The auxiliary turret space was given over to ammunition stowage. The Crusader III first saw action, with about 100 participating at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942.

Crusader III
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Nuffields
Production Period 1942 - 1943
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1942
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Nuffields 1942 1943 5300 View
GENERAL DATA
Formal DesignationCruiser Tank Mk. VI Crusader Mk. III (A15)
Manufacturer(s)Nuffields
Production Quantity5300*Production PeriodMay 1942-Oct. 1943
TypeMedium/CruiserCrew3
Length /hull (m)6.31/5.98Barrel Overhang (m)n.a.
Width (m)2.77Height (m)2.24
Combat Weight (kg)20100Radio Equipmentn.a.
FIREPOWER
Primary Armament57mm ROQF 6-pounder Mk. 3 or 5Ammunition Carried65
Traverse (degrees)Hydraulic (360°)Elevation (degrees)-12° to +30°
Traverse speed (360°)10 sec.Sightn.a.
Secondary Armament1 x 7.92mm Besa MG (coaxial)Ammunition Carried5000

MOBILITY CHARACTERISTICS
Engine Make & ModelNuffield Liberty Mk. IVTrack Linksn.a.
Type & DisplacementV12, 27 litersTrack Widthn.a.
Horsepower (max.)340hp@1500rpmTrack Ground Contactn.a.
Power/Weight Ratio16.9 hp/tonneGround Pressure14.1 psi
Gearbox4 forward, 1 reverseGround Clearance (m)0.41
FuelGasoline (Petrol)Turning Radius (m)n.a.
Range on/off road (km)204 (with auxiliary tank)Gradient (degrees)30°
Mileage (liters/100km)312 on roadVertical Obstacle (m)0.67
Fuel Capacity (liters)500+136 (auxiliary)Fording (m)0.99
Speed on/off road43/24 km/hTrench Crossing (m)2.59
ARMOR PROTECTION
Armor DetailsFrontSideRearTop/Bottom
Hull32mm@60°14+13mm@90°27mm@90°6&10mm@0°
20mm@30°(nose)
Superstructure20mm@60°-14mm@45°7mm@0°
9mm@8°(glacis)
32mm@58°
Turret32mm@90°23mm@40°29mm@60°12mm@18°,0°,8°
Mantlet51mm@90°---
NOTES
*Mk. I, II and III inclusive production from May 1940 to October 1943

End notes