The Infantry Tank Mark II known as the Matilda II was a British infantry tank of the Second World War
About this creation
The Matilda II weighed around 14 tons more than its predecessor, and was armed with a QF 2 pounder (40 mm) tank gun in a three-man turret. The turret traversed by hydraulic motor or by hand through 360 degrees; the gun itself could be elevated through an arc from -15 to +20 degrees. One of the most serious weaknesses of the Matilda II was the lack of a high-explosive round for its main gun. A high-explosive shell was designed for the 2 pounder but for reasons never explained it was never placed in production. With its heavy armour the Matilda II was an excellent infantry support tank, but had to rely on its machine gun when operating with infantry units
Main photo by Bernard Zee
Like many other British infantry tanks, it was heavily armoured; from 20 mm at the thinnest it was 78 mm at the front, much more than most contemporaries. The heavy armour of the Matilda's cast turret became legendary; for a time in 1940–41 the Matilda earned the nickname "Queen of the Desert". The sheer thickness of its armour made the tank impervious to the 37 mm and 50 mm calibre anti-tank guns that were then commonly used by the Germans, as well as the 47 mm used by the Italians in North Africa; only the 75 mm PAK 40 anti-tank gun and 88 mm anti-aircraft gun could penetrate its armour reliably
While the Matilda possessed a degree of protection that was then unmatched in the North African theatre, the sheer weight of the armour mounted on the vehicle contributed to a very low average speed of about 6 mph (9.7 km/h) on desert terrain. At the time, this was not thought to be a problem since British infantry tank doctrine prioritized heavy armour and trench-crossing ability over speed and cross-country mobility
The unique color scheme the Matilda II sports was designed specifically for desert warfare. Theoretically, the colors helped the tank's image break up on the horizon, making it more difficult to spot or hit.
The Matilda was difficult to manufacture. For example, the pointed nose was a single casting that, upon initial release from the mould, was thicker than required in some areas. To avoid a needless addition to the tank's weight, the thick areas were ground away. This process required highly skilled workers and additional time. The complex suspension and multi-piece hull side coverings also added time to manufacturing.
The Matilda II at the museum I work at. This Matilda earns the distinction of being one of two vehicles in the collection that will not run.
Weight - 25 tons
Length - 15 ft 11 in or 6 m
Width - 8 ft 6 in or 2.6 m
Height - 8 ft 3 in or 2.5 m
Crew - 4 (Driver, gunner, loader, commander)
Armor - 20 to 78mm
Main armament - 1x QF 2 pounder (40 mm) gun w/93 AP rounds
Secondary armament - 1x 7.92mm Besa machine gun w/2925 rounds
Engine - 2x diesel, AEC 6-cylinder engines
Speed - 6 mph or 26 km/h on road, 9 mph or 14 km/h off road
does the camo scheme, works as a multi-camo?
so that it can cross jungles, oceans, deserts, and urban, without being seen ?
hehe, nice tank, to start with i thought it was a giant model build in lego, (because of the muti-colored camo-paint, nice job, in doing the replica
Always liked this one. The colors definitely make it a looker. Nice build. In your pics the MG appears to be on the right side of the turret, in your LDD it is on the left. Was the pic backwards? :) Just curious