The Cromwell tank

War memories are sometimes teeming with amazing anecdotes, and in this video, Lindybeige recounts two of them and also talks a little about the British WW2 battle tank units.

The Cromwell tank was one of a series of battle tanks put into service by Britain and the most successful in the Second World War. There were over 4,000 built. The tank was named for Oliver Cromwell, the English Civil War leader. The Cromwell was the first tank deployed by the British to combine a number of battle features including a dual-purpose gun, high speed from the formidable and the dependable Meteor engine, and reasonable strength armor, in a balanced package.

The Cromwell tank’s first action was in June 1944 at the Battle of Normandy. The Cromwell was part of the equipment of the reconnaissance regiments of the Royal Armored Corps in the 7th Armored Division, 11th Armored Division, and the Guards Armored Division. While the armored regiments of the 11th and the Guards Armored Divisions were equipped with the US M4 Sherman tanks, the armored regiments of the 7th Armored Division were equipped with the speedy Cromwell tanks.

The tank was acclaimed for its speed and dependability, while its low profile made it a very hard target to hit. A significant disadvantage was the inability of the Cromwell tank to mount the latest 75mm High-Velocity cannon. The standard 75mm gun was successful against the majority of the German armored vehicles but had much difficulty penetrating the front of the heavily armored German tanks like the Tiger tank.

After the war had ended, the Cromwell tanks continued service in the British forces and were called to service in the Korean War.

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.