Image: Mk. II (IWM)
YearJuly 1939
Vehicle TypeHeavy Tank
Origin & DesignerBritain/Vulcan & Various
Numbers Produced146
Crew4 (Commander, Gunner, Loader & Driver)
Main Armament1 x OQF 2 pdr L/50 Mk IX Gun
Main Armament[@sponson_traverse]
Elevation-15° to +20°
Turret Traverse360° (Powered)
Gun Traverse[@gun_traverse]
Gun Mount[@gun_mounts]
Maximum Range[@maximum_range]
Armour Penetration[@armour_penetration]
Gun SightNo. 33 Mk. IV S
Secondary Armament1 x 7.92mm Besa Machine Gun (Coaxial)
Smoke DischargerTwin 4-inch Smoke Mortars (Turret Right Side)
Ammunition Carried93 x 40mm & 2.925 x 7.92mm + 8 x Smoke Rounds
Combat Weight26.500 kg
Ground Clearance0.48m
Fording Depth0.91m
Trench Crossing2.10m
Obstacle Clearance0.61m
Climbing Ability30°
RadioNo. 11 Set
ArmourHull Front: 78mm.
Hull Sides: 70mm.
Hull Rear: 55mm.
Hull Top: 20mm.
Hull Bottom: 20mm.
Gun Mantlet: 75mm.
Turret Front: 75mm.
Turret Sides: 75mm.
Turret Rear: 75mm.
Turret Top: 20mm.
EngineLeyland E148 (Diesel)
Transmission6 Forward & 1 Reverse
Maximum Road Range257 km
Maximum Cross Country Range129 km
Maximum Water Range[@maximum_water_range]
Maximum Road Speed25 kph
Maximum Cross Country Speed15 kph
Maximum Water Speed[@maximum_water_speed]
VariantsMk. III:
Total: 675 & 118 x Close Support.
Close Support Version: 18 x 3-inch (HE) & 36 x Smoke Rounds.
Mk. IV:
Total: 1.613 & 283 x Close Support.
Close Support Version: 18 x 3-inch (HE) & 36 x Smoke Rounds.
NotesThe Matilda Mk. II has the accolade as the only British tank to be kept in service right through the whole of WW2. A slow moving Infantry tank armed with a 2 pdr gun and very thick armour the Matilda first saw action in France and later in the western desert, it was impervious to most tank and anti-tank guns and the Germans had to bring forward their 88mm anti-aircraft guns to knock them out, the Italians had nothing in the way to stop this AFV and it caused chaos as it simply rolled over any defenses. The main problem with the tank was that it could not be up-graded with a larger gun, so once better tanks like the Valentine and Churchill came available the Matilda was relegated to use in the far east were it finished the war serving as an Infantry tank.