Author: Vollketten (US server)
SS: here we have a little article made by Vollketten and submitted to me. Enjoy!
For those of you who read The Challenger’s threads on the EU server you may be aware that the correct name for the Matilda II should in fact be Matilda Senior. In game we all know it as the Matilda II and it has decent armour, decent gun but terrible speed.
Here are a few buffs we could have for it to make it the ultimate troll tank it could be and to correct some historical inaccuracies within the game model:
Speed: In August 1940 one Matilda was shipped to the USA for evaluation with a view to having it built over there. Although production never began in the USA Mr. L.E.Carr of the British Tank Mission designed a power pack featuring a pair of General Motor two-stroke diesels. An arrangement later adopted for some American medium tanks such as the M4A2 Sherman.
The Detroit Diesel Series 71 engine is a two stroke diesel engine and in the form of the inline 6-71 was adapted for use in the Canadian (and later by the British) built Valentine tanks under the nomenclature GMC 6004. As a twin unit though as used in some versions of the Sherman tank it was known as the 6046 Diesel. The 6-71 is a 7 litre unit which as an inline produced some 238 brake-horsepower (BHP). A twin unit would therefore deliver some 476 BHP. (355 Kilowatts).
The original engines being a twin AEC or Leyland Diesel unit putting out a paltry 174 BHP and 190 BHP gave a power to weight ratio of 6.55 hp/tonne. (6.57 hp/t in game). The new engines would give a blistering power to weight ration in the region of 15.5 hp/t. The top speed therefore could be increased by about 25% to a lighting fast 32 or 33 kmh albeit a very noisy 32 kmh. In real life the wear and tear involved would not have been fun but we don’t need to worry about this in the game.
Armour: Renowed for having very tough armour already the Matilda could get even more. Firstly for anyone living in a hole and was not already aware but the previous model of the Matilda Black Prince lacked an armoured collar around its larger turret. (Now corrected) Many of the surplus converted MBP hulls were shipped it appears to Britain’s commonwealth allies, most notably Australia where these hulls with added collars saw extensive action in the Far East against the Japanese. The collar already in game on the MBP would add a small 15mm thick spaced armour protective ring around the turret base and would look like this:
Secondly the Australians also had heavily armoured track guards to cover the front of the track as the Japanese AT gunners seemed very proficient (or just lucky) in hitting there and disabling their Matilda. Personally I think they look like giant knuckle dusters.
I don’t know whether these were made in the UK and shipped with the Matildas to Australia or if they were fabricated in Australia but either way they are quite substantial and although I can’t find the thickness of them anywhere yet or personally go and measure their thickness they would appear to be about 25mm thick.
Finally as you can see below in the front view of the MBP which uses the same hull there is a steep join between the curvy front glacis and the vertical plate in front of the driver.
But now look at the hull of a real Matilda tank:
Now if you noticed that the glacis slope on the model is wrong you win a prize. The real Matilda had a much more pronounced slope for the front casting which was a single piece rather than the very angled joint between the glacis and vertical section which we see in the in-game model this is due to manufacture. Although the design schematics indeed have a steep angle change it was cast in a single piece and therefore this was never acheived in real life.
Which brings me onto a final point on the armour. Although it was designed to be 78 mm thick due to the difficulties of casting such a thick piece of steel in that shape it was ALWAYS too thick when it came out and had to be ground down by hand on the inside (a very difficult and laborious process) to try and get to the desired thickness originally designed. In real life the front casting on the Matilda hull was generally 2 to 5% thicker than designed meaning it should be 1.56mm to 3.9mm thicker and therefore should be (in order to be realistic) 79.5 to 82mm thick at the front and commensurately thicker in other cast elements of the frontal armour as well.
Firepower: Mentioned previously on the FTR blog is this little Canadian beauty:
Known as the David gun, it is a six pounder shell casing necked down to fire the 2 pounder projectile. It may have been possible to mount this into the Matilda turret had the project come to fruition* and firing a shell at 1264 metres per second (1550 mps with a Littlejohn adaptor) this would be a substantial increase over the Mk.X-B 2 pounder gun. Brought into game this could deliver a significantly better armour penetration. This would be at the expense of a slightly smaller ammunition capacity inside the tank and a small reduction in the rate of fire.
(*Had this project gone further and production of the Matilda was undertaken in Canada of the USA there is no reason why this gun could not have been the weapon of choice)
The Matilda Infantry Tank, David Fletcher
Secret Weapons of the Canadian Army, Roger V. Lucy