David Fletcher’s Tank Chats #1: The A13 Cruiser | The Tank Museum


hello I’m David Fletcher I’m in the Tank Museum what follows the short films about one or two exhibits which we hope you’ll enjoy you now this is the a13 Cruiser it entered service the British Army in about 1938-39 and was almost certainly the best of the cruiser tanks we had in the early part of the war it’s real claim to fame its most important feature the Christie suspension and that’s characterized by large wheels Springs which you can’t see because they hidden behind the armor and each spring works independently on a wheel so each wheels free to lift up and down at any speed really which was the secret of these tanks they were very fast this particular type would do about thirty miles an hour which was pretty good for those days really it’s powered by a Nuffield Liberty v12 engine which had about 395 horsepower so that really pushed it along compared with the other tanks we had at the time and Christie was an American engineer who came up with this idea of the suspension he was one of those people slightly awkward who was best worked away from if possible he brought a sample tank over went back to the States the production of these tanks was then taken over by Lord Muirfield who started a new firm in Birmingham to build tanks and aircraft and really he made all the difference he came up with his own idea of what the Christie suspension was all about he did away for instance with the idea Christie had of running tanks on tracks or wheels as you could do with any of his early designs with the Nuffield tanks only tracks would do nothing else the rest of the tank chemically is very simple you’ve got the v12 in the back driving through an ordinary gearbox and then out to the drive sprockets which a clutch and brake steering very very simple but quite adequate for what was there at the time the arm was pretty thin on these tanks and I think about eleven millimeters but it was armed with a two pound a 40 millimeter gun it was probably one of the best guns available in anti-tank work at the time very high velocity and quite powerful the armor of the tank has been upgraded it’s been brought up to Mach 4 level and that’s with spaced armor around turret the rear the original turret is underneath here and this space dharma was introduced with the mark 4 version of the cruiser 2 just to make it a bit more powerful and lasts a bit longer in battle but the rest of the tank has the original thin armor on it was easily penetrated by German anti-tank guns the turret was power traversed the gammas stood there and he had a rotating platform that he stood on and cause the tank to the turret at least to turn around but everything else was the old-fashioned manual thing elevation of the gun was done purely by shoulder controlled by the Gama who had absolutely no control over it otherwise he hadn’t got any gears till they make you go up and down he had to aim virtually by eye and by by shoulder pad lifting the Ganon equalizing it with his knees as it went over rough ground really um other than that it’s really a very conventional tank of its time very simple with them typically British in that the armoured part of the tank is within the tracks the rest of it the tin plate is on the outside that doesn’t really matter it’s only ten and can absorb punishment and fall to bits and nobody really cares but altogether probably the best tank we had in 1940 you

100 thoughts on “David Fletcher’s Tank Chats #1: The A13 Cruiser | The Tank Museum

  1. Another Jingles fan checking in. I'm familiar with David Fletcher's work from his many appearances on the History Channel, when they actually presented historical documentaries. I'm very excited by the prospect of Jingles and David sharing some screen time. Bovington remains one of those locations I wish to visit before I die Sadly, there is a rather large body of water lying in my path. I hope to find a good excuse to cross it one of these days.

  2. Got word from Jingles that the Bovington Tank Museum has a channel. He also highly recommend Tank chat. No regrets great videos.

  3. Jungles sent me here too. Fletcher is a pleasant and knowledgeable man, who gives a lot, in a little bit of time 😀

    More Fletcher chats please!

  4. These videos are amazing, I found these because of the mighty jingles and he is right. These videos are absolutely marvelous. Great job bovington I hope to visit one day

  5. Love how you can't see his mouth, but his mustache wiggles when he talks! xD Great video though! I DID enjoy it!

  6. I am very grateful for these short chats but we need full-blown "discussion" versions for each of these tanks!

  7. What?? Not a peep about the T-35? The Soviet Independentski? It was almost a direct rip off of the British Independent, five turrets and all. Manufactured back in the days when Stalin had giganto-mania. He had to have the biggest, the fastest, the tallest of everything, and never mind the human cost. Never mind the T-35 was a horrific failure, Stalin had a fleet of them and they were featured in every May Day parade for all the world to see. Their performance on the battlefield speaks for itself. Most were simply abandoned by their crews. It's a good thing Britain didn't build more Independents. What a waste,

  8. Did the british also had this Rule that Barrels should not go over the Chassis ?
    That Cannon when 2 Meters longer and with a nice big Powder Charge could penetrate like 60mm on 500 meters i guess

  9. What a great series of informative videos! They are the right length and packed with real info while narrated in my favorite type of the British tradition.

  10. Mighty Jingles mentioned you in his Mingles with Jingles episode 201, so I thought I'd give you a look. I like the looks of the series and will enjoy watching them to the present.

  11. To give Mr. J. Walter Christie his credit , running a tank on wheels, or tracks does make sense if, say for example if one of the tracks is damaged, a tank with that suspension system could continue moving on to an objective, or back to friendly lines to be repaired. Sounds like a good idea to me.

  12. After discovering brilliant Mr. Fletcher im going back to watch all of his vids as i can listen to this man for days.

  13. What were the four crosses on the front of the tank. Were they for crew who were killed in the tank?

  14. Not sure if you ever read these David Fletcher, but I've watched every one of these videos and you are magnificent 😊

  15. Great video but he is wrong on two things.The Matilda II was the best British tank in 1940 and probably in WW II (The Sherman Firefly being the other 100% winner). And it was the Panther that was overrated and not worth the effort, NOT the Tiger I, whose K/D ration was twice that of the Panther (10 to 1 vs 5 to 1) and whose presence caused 'Tiger panic'. Still otherwise a very, very good series!

  16. My grandad fought in one of these against rommell in the western desert campaign Click this link for the story https://imgur.com/a/4boXc

  17. I know this video is a bit old now, but could someone tell me if the crosses with poppies are dedicated to a fallen crew?

  18. "…was best worked away from if possible", says Fletch of Christie, the American engineer who designed the suspension.

  19. What an informative and interesting video delivered with refreshing honesty by a very pleasant expert. Great stuff!

  20. A13 has paper thin armor but the Lepoard 1 designed 30 years later was very thin as well. The West Germans figured weapons had become so powerful that anything that hit would penetrate the Leopard 1 so there was no point trying to improve the armor. So they gave it great speed. Speed became the best armor for the Leopard tank.

  21. Dear Britischer upper classes,
    For the upcoming desert war, bitte, could you make your tanks unreliable, poorly armoured and poorly gunned; if possible, could you also make it difficult for the lower-class crew to escape, so that they die inside a burning wreck?

    Dear Helmut,
    Already done! As a bonus, we will repeat the same tactic of charging forward unimaginately every time, so that you can blow us to bits with your marvellous 88mm (which we promise not to copy and use ourselves).

    Danke, Tommy.

  22. This tank looks great. Very handsome design. Maybe the armor was thin, but in early part of the war heavy armor was not essential. Enemy infantry was not well equipped with anti-tank weapons, and the existing anti-tank weapons were small caliber. High mobility gave the tank a good chance of surviving.

  23. Best Brit tank of 1940 with 14mm armor was woefully inadequate on the battlefield. Surprising how little preparation and intelligence was available to meet the upcoming blitzkrieg and opposing armour.

  24. Tank God has spoken. I hope all the other "experts" were taking notes. Sit back and listen to a man who loves his job, imparting his vast knowledge to us mere mortals and avid tank disciples.

  25. David is the epitome of the people at the tank museum. Knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I love it there.
    I just wish I lived closer.
    A lot better than that dump in Hendon.

  26. David Fletcher is detailed and quite calming to listen to. The A13 was a great tank for it's time, great combination of subject and host.

  27. Where is the info about the tea powered engine? Is not in here? If not…. THEN ITS NOT BRITISH ENOUGH

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