Author Topic: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations  (Read 11413 times)

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2017, 02:09:12 PM »
For the US Army to want their version of the 'tilly, you'd need the US Army to figure out how to use it first.  As the concept of the "I" tank never took root in the form the British had thought it out (and which the 'tilly became), you'd need to make it into the equivalent of the British Cruiser.   It would need improved suspension to allow a higher cross-country speed to be sustained as well as, of course a more powerful engine.   As the Churchill turret would not fit on a standard 'tilly hull, it would need to be wider to allow a larger ring to carry it.   The American 75mm gun would be adequate for most of the war.   If the standard Churchill could mount a 17 Pounder, then so should the American Churchill turret.   It'd end up looking rather like a lower, longer, wider 'tilly with a square moulded cast Churchill turret.

Offline jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2017, 02:44:10 PM »
To build on Brian's comments, in order to figure out what to do with a slow infantry tank,
the US Army would have to throw out all of their conceptions of offensive movement versus
static defense thar they had developed throughout the '20s and '30s, all of which was based on
their experience in WWI and a desire to prevent that deadlock from reoccurring. There was
no place for a slow infantry tank in any of their deliberations. The lesson that Britain took was
to protect the infantry in a set piece battle, the lesson the US took was to not engage in a set
piece battle. Ultimately, both were right and wrong. Sorry Paul, in the period you're looking at
a US Matilda is simply a non-starter, as there is no mechanical feature of the vehicle that would
appeal to the Army board, they would probably like the armour aspect, but they'd apply it to a
different vehicle.
"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2017, 07:17:39 PM »
Guys you are missing the point, the US Matilda I am referring to is the Matilda the UK wanted the US (or anyone) to build for them, i.e. an easier to build improved version using available US components.  In the real world the US decided not to build foreign designs but to adapt US designs to foreign needs, but I have come across information that the UK requested the US build the Matilda and the British Purchasing Commission even developed the concept of the GM6048D, i.e. two bus engines arranged in the same way as the Matildas AEC and Leyland power plants, to power this improved Matilda.

On the Churchill turret, its turret ring diameter was almost identical to that of the Matilda making its adoption much easier than the Cromwell/Cavalier turret that was adapted to the Matilda.  Besides, this is an improved version using available US components that could have been ordered and shipped to Canada, or Australia for example and fitted to the adapted cast hulls that could be produced in those nations.  With the GM power plant and VVSS suspension the Matilda would not have been a slow infantry tank, it would have been superior to the M-3 in performance while lower, better balanced and better armoured.

This suggestion had nothing to do with changing US doctrine but rather getting a useful tank for the British Commonwealth.  Besides, an improved Matilda as described (GM diesel, VVSS suspension) would actually have been closer to the US Army's requirements than the M-3 actually produced and using these components would still have lead to the Sherman.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2017, 12:37:38 PM »
OK, that is clearer.   However, while you now don't want to change US Army military theory, you need to change Industrial attitudes, which IMO would be nearly as difficult.   US industry would want to use as much US componentry as possible because it would be quicker and easier than trying to manufacture anew British componentry.  The Merlin is a good example of that.  It might have looked like a Rolls Royce Merlin and it might have worked like a Rolls Merlin but under the skin, it used US fasteners and components.  They were arranged in the same way but they were sufficiently different to the original Merlin that a completely new series of marks were assigned to them to differentiate them for the mechanics working on them.

I wasnt aware that the Churchill's turret ring was "nearly" the same diameter as the Mathilda.   You learn something new everyday.  While it might have made it easier to mount the Churchill turret, I somehow think that US industry would look rather askew at the Churchill turret.   No doubt they'd like to mount their own design of turret.   As for the weapon carried, the British were enamoured for quite a long time of mounting dual weapons - the 2 Pdr and the 3 inch How.  One for AP the other for HE/Smoke.   I could see the US manufacturers scratching their heads at that and preferring the 75mm.    Even so, the ring would be too small to fight from.   They would want a larger one for crew comfort and fightability.

They would sneer at the 'tilly's suspension.   They'd rather use the US standard VVS suspension.   So, ultimately, you'd end up with as I've said, a lower, wider, faster Matilda with a more powerful engine, a bigger turret and a bigger gun.   It would take about 2 years to design and develop to manufacturing standard.    It would be a good tank but it would not look like a Matilda.

As for manufacturing downunder, we didn't really have the manpower to sustain aircraft, ship building and tank building.   Particularly by 1942 which is when I'd expect this to come on line.   It was one of the major reasons why the Sentinel was dropped.   We redeployed the manpower to ship building, which was used in the offensive against Japan.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2017, 09:28:53 PM »
I mentioned Canada and Australia as Canada produced the Valentine, Ram and Grizzly while Australia produced the Sentinel so both proved capable of producing tanks.  One of the key issues with the Sentinel was the difficulty Australia had obtaining the necessary machine tools and components that could not be sourced locally.  Combining the cast and bolted hull of the matildas and the cast turret of the Churchill IV would have been a good fit with the capabilities of Australian industry, building in US automotive and suspension components would have accelerated the entire program.

On the armament side of things, yes the US had the 75mm in the M-3 and M-4 but remember there was also a 105mm howitzer armed Sherman as well as the 75mm howitzer armed M-8, not that different to the 3" complement to the 2pdr, the 95mm complement to the 6pdr and 75mm and the 165mm was originally designed to complement to the 17 and 20pdr in a similar way.

This is what if, it is working backwards from a concept of what I would like to build trying to explain how it came about.  Discovering that the British desired an improved US built Matilda and that the GM6048D was conceived as a US alternative for the AEC and Leyland power plants, also that the basic engine bay was large enough for a Meteor or obviously anything similar or smaller, means that this build I have wanted to do for ages is becoming more and more believable.  Its gone from "that is impossible" to "this very nearly happened" making consideration of what could have pushed it over the threshold a reasonable proposition.  THe question is what was more likely, the US government letting a US company build a modified British design, the US exporting components and or tooling to aid in the building of the vehicle elsewhere.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2017, 03:15:59 PM »
The more I read this the more I'm looking at my Tamiya Matilda II with a Scratch'n'Bash mindset.

I'm thinking an Australian built tank in my RAM's universe, in which Australia has a larger population & is more industrialised post-WW1. Basically a heavy-cruiser type to operate in Australia in Australian conditions (from desert, to arid tropics, to high country, to tropical jungle & rain-forest) using a beefed-up Horstmann type suspension system (pretty much a HVSS) but based on the Matilda II hull & turret (more by accident than design in this universe), only larger & with a better engine (I'm still working on that, but probably diesel & probably American).

To get some extra range for open plains operations I'm thinking the initial armament will be an indigenous design based on the QF 3-inch 20 cwt.

Entering service somewhere between 1938 & 1940.


*******************************************************************************************************************

This is annoying, as I only have one Matilda II in the stash & will need to buy another to fulfil this idea & build a stock-standard(ish) version. ::)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2017, 06:27:21 AM »
Not quite what's being talked about but here's a rough reworking of an upgunned Matilda with US running gear ... based on models by Panzerserra -- a Matilda II (6 pdr) and a Skink (with Grizzly tracks).
"And loot some for the old folks, Can't loot for themselves"

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2017, 08:00:08 PM »
 :smiley:

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Matilda II ideas and Inspirations
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2019, 06:20:42 PM »
I just bought the New Vanguard Churchill book on Kindle and low and behold the A20 was designed with as 54" diameter turret ring to take the Matilda II turret. The A22 (Churchill), that was developed from it, retained the same turret ring diameter, due to the track sponson design making it impossible to have a larger diameter.  Interestingly many of the original Churchill turrets were manufacture in the US.

Extrapolating this, a minimum change local production matilda II in Australia, Canada or even the US could be easily turned into something superior to the M-3 Grant in the same sort of time frame, using US engines and suspension and even US manufactured Churchill turrets.  Later versions replacing the 2pdr with a 6 pdr and then a 75mm.