By Pat Ware
During this significant other quantity to British Tanks: the second one international warfare, Pat Ware presents a professional advent to the layout, creation and operation of British tanks considering the fact that 1945. Fewer different types of tank have been outfitted than throughout the wartime interval, however the complexity of layout and manufacture elevated, and a degree of technical sophistication within the key parts of armor, firepower and mobility used to be past the imaginings of the tank pioneers of the 1st global warfare.
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Additional resources for British Tanks: 1945 to the Present Day: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
This gun belonged to Private Adam Wakenshaw, who gained a posthumous VC for knocking out a German self-propelled gun. It could be emplaced in one minute, and had a lightweight firing platform which allowed a rapid all-round traverse (a valuable asset when fighting tanks). Similarly, once Hitler committed his forces to support Mussolini in North Africa, Rommel became reliant on the port of Tripoli. (Author’s Collection) Getting troops and supply ships to Alexandria became a major preoccupation for Churchill and his commanders.
What Churchill did know was that Hitler was threatening Britain from across the English Channel, while Mussolini was greedily eyeing British interests in Africa. By the following year it was supposed to be an armoured division, but equipped as it was with various marks of Vickers light tanks, some 1920-pattern Rolls-Royce armoured cars and a few old Vickers medium tanks, it clearly lacked punch. 7-inch mountain guns towed by tracked ‘Dragons’. Most notably the 7th Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) was equipped with the much heavier Matilda infantry-support tank.
Hitler’s Blitzkrieg by proxy in North Africa had ended as a complete and utter shambles, leaving Churchill occupying half of Libya. The Italian Army was left reeling and Mussolini was furious that his military might had been squandered. When asked if he could have taken it, he responded, I think we could have done so at once, or fairly shortly after, before the Luftwaffe came into the picture. Of course, the question of supplies would have been difficult. Like the rest of the campaign it would have been a risk, but I think personally not a dangerous one.