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Crusader
Broken down and on fire This article, Crusader, is currently under renovation.


Crusader Tank


"It looks like a crab!"
―Anzu
"I'm removing the speed limiter!"
―Rosehip

The Cruiser Tank Mk VI or A15 Crusader was one of the primary British cruiser tanks during the early stages of the Second World War. Over 5,000 tanks were manufactured and they made important contributions to the British victories during the North African Campaign. The Crusader tank would not see active service beyond Africa, but the chassis of the tank was modified to create anti-aircraft, fire support, observation, communication, bulldozer and recovery vehicle variants. It first appeared in the anime in Girls und Panzer der Film.

History

In 1938, Nuffield Mechanizations and Aero Limited produced their A16 design for a heavy cruiser tank based on Christie suspension. Looking for a lighter and cheaper tank to build, the General Staff requested alternatives. To this end, the A13 Mk III cruiser tank, which would enter service as the "Tank, Cruiser Mk V"(and known in service as "Covenanter"), was designed. Nuffield was, in 1939, offered the opportunity to take part in the production of the Covenanter.

Nuffield, however, preferred to work on its own version of the A13—though it still provided design work for the Covenanter's turret. This new tank was adopted as "Tank, Cruiser, Mk VI Crusader", under General Staff specification A15. Although Crusader is often referred to as an improved version of the Covenanter, in fact it was a parallel design. Both tanks were ordered "off the drawing board" without building prototypes first. Despite a later start, the pilot model of the Crusader was ready six weeks before the first Covenanter.

Unlike earlier "Christie cruisers" (A13, Marks III and IV and the Mark V Covenanter) that were built with four road wheels, Crusader had five road wheels each side to improve weight distribution in a tank that weighed almost 20 tons instead of the 14 tons of the previous cruisers. The 32 in (810 mm)-diameter wheels were of pressed steel with solid rubber tyres. The hull sides were built up of two separated plates, with the suspension arms between them.

It had a different engine from the Covenanter, different steering system and a conventional cooling system with radiators in the engine compartment. At the left side of the front hull—a place occupied by the engine radiator in the Covenanter—was mounted a small hand-traversed auxiliary turret armed with a Besa machine gun. The auxiliary turret was awkward to use and was often removed in the field or remained unoccupied.

Both the A13 Mk III and the A15 designs used the same main turret. The turret was polygonal—with sides that sloped out then in again—to give maximum space on the limited turret ring diameter. Early production vehicles had a "semi-internal" cast gun mantlet, which was quickly replaced in production by a better protected larger cast mantlet with three vertical slits for the main gun, a coaxial Besa machine gun and for the sighting telescope. There was no cupola for the commander who instead had a flat hatch with the periscope mounted through it.

The main armament, as in other British tanks of the period, was balanced so that the gunner could control its elevation through a padded shaft against his right shoulder rather than using a geared mechanism. This fitted well with the British doctrine of firing accurately on the move.

When it was understood that there would be delays in the introduction of successor heavy cruiser tanks (the Cavalier, Centaur and Cromwell), the Crusader was adapted with a six-pounder gun, producing the Crusader Mk III.

In Girls und Panzer

Anime

A single Crusader Mk II can be seen behind Assam in Episode 4 after the St. Gloriana vs Ooarai match.

Radio Drama

The Crusader was meant to participate in the training match against Ooarai but it was scrapped by Darjeeling due to Rosehip's lack of gracefulness.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

Two Crusaders Mk.III were used by St. Gloriana during the match against Kuromorimine. In the match they were used as scouts after Nilgiri's Cromwell caught the attention. They were likely destroyed as all St. Gloriana were destroyed in the match.

Girls und Panzer: Der Film

During the exihibition match against Ooarai Girls High School and Chi-Ha-Tan Academy, St. Gloriana Girls High School fielded four Crusaders Mk.III commanded by Rosehip. Three of them were destroyed by Miho, Rosehip's one is accidentaly responsible of the destruction of Klara's T-34/85 by ramming her and making her outers fuel tanks exploding. Rosehip's Crusader was ultimately destroyed by a lucky shot from Momo (she was aiming at the Churchill).

The Crusader was among the reinforcements from St. Gloriana to Ooarai alongside the Matilda and the Churchill. It was part of Dandelion Company under the command of Miho and Darjeeling. It was often saw during the Karl bombardment avoiding massive explosions. After the retreat to the Amusement Park, the Crusader was assigned to the Eastern Utility Gate. When their opponent break in the park Rosehip and her Crusader rush the enemy thinking it was a Chaffee only to face the T28 Super-Heavy Tank, she narrowly dodge the shell. During Ooarai's disarray, the Crusader with the most of their tanks were trapped in the amphitheater, they were saved from destruction by Rabbit Team and the ferris wheel. The Crusader also act as a bait with B1 Bis to lure Pershings to Hippo Team and ultimately Rosehip remove the speed limiter of the Crusader and jumps over a little canal to shoot a Chaffee only to crush herself on a wall.

GuP: Anthology

Erika commanded one Crusader Mk.I during a match in her elementary school time.

Trivia

  • The Crusader tank, like most other British cruiser tanks, has a name traditionally beginning with a C. This tradition most likely began due to the British similarly naming classes of destroyers after a specific letter.
  • Speed limiters were introduced in North Africa as the dust kicked up and ingested made the engine unreliable. Sometimes the crew removed to speed limiter causing the engine to break down.

Gallery

Main article: Crusader/Gallery
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