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1943 Leyland A27M Cruiser Tank Mk.VIII Cromwell Mk.IV

1943 Leyland A27M Cruiser Tank Mk.VIII Cromwell Mk.IV in The Black Tent, Movie, 1956 IMDB

Class: Others, Military armored vehicle — Model origin: UK

1943 Leyland A27M Cruiser Tank Mk.VIII Cromwell Mk.IV

[*] Background vehicle

Comments about this vehicle


carlosma ES

2006-07-07 12:49

it is a british Cromwell tank, from second world war

antp BE

2006-07-07 15:06

Cromwell is the maker or the tank "model name"?

stronghold EN

2006-07-07 16:20

I think Cromwell is the model name ..Maker.?

stronghold EN

2006-07-07 16:36

The only reference I can find to a maker is on this site:- http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.a.paterson/equiparmourtanks.htm
..suggesting Leyland Motors started things off. (..still not convinced myself.! ..I'd wait for Alexander. ;) )

Pokeoddsponge US

2006-07-08 02:09

Rover car company manufatured them. Should be listed as "Rover Cromwell" I think.

Sunbar UK

2006-07-09 13:16

Rover, Leyland, Rolls Royce and the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company appear to have had a part in the manufacture of the Cromwell tank.

The introduction of the Cromwell tank centred around the search for an engine that could replace the Nuffield built Liberty engine. This eventually turned out to be a de-tuned Rolls-Royce Merlin aero-engine without the supercharger and with the light-weight alloy castings replaced with cast-iron. The engine was re-named the Meteor for tank use.

Leyland produced the heavier cast-iron crank case castings for the engines. Rolls-Royce would have had problems in producing enough engines for tanks in addition to those for aircraft use so they agreed with Rover for them to produce the Meteor tank engine engine and Rolls-Royce took over the development Rover were doing on jet engines. Rover as far as I can see did not produce the Churchill tank itself. Where the suggestion came from to use the engine developed from the Merlin seems to be unclear both Leyland and Rolls-Royce are mentioned and its quite possible it came from both sources.

When the first tank prototypes with the new engine had shown the idea was a good one the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company was approached to do the design development and manufacture of the tank itself. Although its almost certain the Cromwell tanks were made at more than one location the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company appears to be the main manufacturer with Rover making the Meteor engines.

A good amount of first-hand and detailed information is available here look for 'Cromwell tank' about halfway down. Link to "www.rrec.co.uk"

I can only suggest applying 'Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon' as a maker's name for the Cromwell.

-- Last edit: 2006-07-09 13:19:44

Alexander DE

2006-07-09 15:00

Let me give some additional information to Sunbar's comment:

This film plays during the British retreat in North Africa, some time between mid 1940 and mid 1942. It would be too early for these tanks, but they were deployed to North Africa at a later time. So that's not too bad for a film.

The specifications for this tank design were drawn up in late 1940, designs by Nuffield and Leyland submitted in 1941. As from the outside they looked (almost) identical we have three different versions:
1: Nuffield A24 Cruiser Tank Mark VII Cavalier (with the Liberty engine)
2: Leyland A27L Cruiser Tank Mark VIII Centaur (again with the Nuffield Liberty engine, as the Rolls-Royce engine was not yet available)
3: Leyland A27M Cruiser Tank Mark VIII Cromwell (with the Rolls-Royce Meteor engine)

The later Cromwells had a welded hull, so this one is an earlier type.

In the beginning a 6 pdr. gun (57 mm) was used which was later exchanged with a 75 mm gun, which we see here (but not originally used in Africa). This upgrade was not performed on the Cavalier tanks ... so one is out!

The upgraded Centaur would then be the Centaur Mk.III, the upgraded Cromwell the Cromwell Mk.IV.

Additionally the Centaur was upgraded with the Meteor engine and then renamed Cromwell Mk.X, later renamed again to Cromwell Mk.III, and with the gun upgrade to Cromwell Mk.IV.

The Cavalier was produced from 1941-43.
The Centaur was produced from June 1942 to 1945.
The Cromwell from January 1943 to 1945.

As the tank in this image has the 75 mm gun and if we assume it has the Meteor engine it would be the:
Leyland A27M Cruiser Tank Mk.VIII Cromwell Mk.IV

It is true what Sunbar says that the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company took over the production but all my references still name Leyland as the producer.

-- Last edit: 2006-07-09 15:01:16

antp BE

2006-07-09 15:24

Isn't that a little big name for one vehicle? :D

Alexander DE

2006-07-09 16:04

antp wrote Isn't that a little big name for one vehicle? :D

Well, its a tank, it deserves a bigger name than, lets say, a teeny-weeny SUV. :whistle:

I think you need to be British to actually use two mark numbers in one name and finding that perfectly normal. :)

antp BE

2006-07-09 16:07


lkchild UK

2017-06-04 23:16

Maker should indeed be BRC&W as the production lead for this vehicle. Leyland produced the Centaur.

There's some more information on the Wikipedia article since this ID was created which may help (I helped to expand it a while back). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromwell_tank

johnfromstaffs EN

2017-06-05 08:47

One of the good things about this site is the continued cooperation of its participants as fresh knowledge comes to light. Thank you.
One of the bad things is that I spend far too much time looking at it.

lkchild UK

2017-06-05 22:05

no worries :)

Any idea how we nominate it for a change of name?

dsl SX

2017-06-05 22:32

@lkchild - your suggestion has been noted. A 27-page "Registration of change" form will be sent to you shortly, which should be returned with the appropriate administration fee, currently £50 .....

Seriously, change of name can be easily done, but needs some confirmation for:
- does it just apply to this one, the whole batch, or just some of them (and if so which ones??)
- what is the exact wording of the new title (in full)? I don't see anything else we have with BRC&W as make, but do we have different titles running anywhere (so that everything can be brought in under same roof)?

And (as I know diddley squat about these things) do we have agreement from our other WW2/tank-ists?? :hello:

mike962 DE

2017-06-05 22:42

the british had the absolute worst tank designation nomenclature of the entire WW2 :o

they were also some of the worst tanks of WW2 bar the italian and japanese ones

-- Last edit: 2017-06-05 22:43:01

ExceedingLimits IS

2017-06-05 22:43

I agree

johnfromstaffs EN

2017-06-06 09:29

My great uncle, Jack Battisson, and my uncle, Arthur Woodward both worked for BRC&W. Jack would have been there during WW2 since he was too old to have been called up, Arthur spent the latter part of the war in the Navy. It is interesting to find out that I was not the first member of the family to have been involved in tank manufacturing. Unfortunately both men are now only known as memories.

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