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Cromwell VII in Normandy?

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This is interesting, though I am not sure it helps.

The Cromwell VII was a post-war modification of the tank. It was armed with the 75mm gun, had a low-speed final drive, 15.5in wide tracks and heavy duty front axles. It was produced by modifying Mk IV and V tanks, and was also produced as the Mk 7w which was based on the Mk Vw.


And scroll down on the following page.


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Thanks for the links, wingedone.

So it seems the Cromwell VII should not really have been included as such in CMBN, but will come in handy as a rare vehicle in any forthcoming scenarios set in 1945. -Maybe it could also stand in for other types of Cromwell with additional armor in Normandy, about which I've seen mention.

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You should probably consider Cromwell VII 'misnamed' more than anything. What they meant to call it, I suspect, was "Mk IV (uparmored)". It doesn't show any of the VII modifications to conform to the Comet hull standard. But it does have applique armor and a slightly lower speed rating.

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From Bill Bellamy's book Troop Leader after he is edged his Cromwell up an embankment and received a hail of fire, retreated, and then went for a recce on foot:

"The view was fantastic and we could see Grobbendonk very

clearly a couple of miles away and to our left. Below us was the

canal and on the far bank about a mile away, driving at break-neck

speed along the road, was a German truck on the back of which was

mounted a 20mm multi-barrelled Oerlikon. What a fool I had been

not to stand my ground and destroy it. However by now it was too

late try to engage it so we set up a look-out post at the top.

eventually running a telephone down to my tank and we settled

down to watch. Again it was a lovely soft warm day and we took it

in turns to keep guard and man the lookout post. I was not going to

be caught out again.

As soon as all this had been organised I went and inspected 'Abbess

of Chantry'. We had received a lot of hits during our brief encounter

and everyone told me that I would be astonished at the results. I

certainly was. The shells had penetrated the armour plate to the

extent of about two inches and had stuck in it. looking as if they had

been spot welded on. I asked for Bill Best to come up from the LAD

and have a look when he had time, and sure enough a short while

later, up he came on his old motorbike. He was as nonplussed as we

all were, and went back to check it out. The upshot of the matter

was that, having checked the serial number, he found that I had

been issued with an unarmoured training tank! Our beloved Abbess'

was made from soft steel and was lighter than the others, which

explained why she was so much faster, but wouldn't have stopped

much except 20mm shells. I was offered a replacement tank, but we

all wanted to keep her and despite a great deal of pressure from

outside we managed to persuade them that for us she was a 'must'."

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I've got that book, and Bill comes across as if he prefers mobility to armour (the above example being a point in case).

I wonder what he would have thought if he had started out in one of the independant tank brigades and had been issued a Churchill?

In the instance above he might have had the confidence in his armour to press on - but in an earlier escapade his troop leaped over a canal in a 'tactical withdrawal' - now I cannot see a Churchill being able to do that.

I wonder if the driver and hull gunner shared his enthusiasm with his ersatz armoured speedster?

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Never read that before, and it initially freaked me out--until I got to the explanation! Reminds me of a great article Jim Diehl wrote in AFV-G2 in the 1970s, in which he systematically analyzed, described and illustrated all possible outcomes when AP projectile meets armor.


John Kettler

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