- "4 Matildas and Churchill is Moving in Formation"
The Infantry Tank Mark II "Matilda" was a British infantry tank that saw action in the early part of Second World War. In the anime, it appeared in a flash-forward in Episode 1, and was first seen during Episode 3.
Arguably the most successful iteration of the "infantry tank" concept, the Matilda was designed in 1938 and mass production began in 1939. Having been conceived for supporting infantry attacking trenches, it sported thick armour to withstand enemy guns and a low top speed; it was chosen to fit the tank with an Ordnance QF 2-Pounder gun (optimized for firing on the move, and therefore balanced by the gunner), which had good anti-armour performance but was ineffective against soft targets. Some 3'000 were built until 1943.
When deployed on the battlefield, the Matilda proved to be virtually invulnerable to all the standard anti-tank and tank guns their opponent had, and its 2-Pounder gun proved effective against early enemy tanks such as the German Panzer III or the Italian Carro Veloce CV.33. However, as more powerful guns and tanks became available, the Matilda's advantage disappeared, while the firepower and mobility issues could not be adressed. By 1942 the Matilda had been withdrawn from the frontline, replaced by better designs like the Valentine and eventually the Churchill tanks.
In Girls und Panzer
St. Gloriana Girls High School fields four Matilda IIs in their practice match against Ooarai; with the intitial lineup of Oarai being somewhat lackluster, those were more than an equal for all but the StuG III. Even Miho's Panzer IV was arguably weaker, due to the low velocity gun it carries and its thin frontal armour.
They proved very resilient to their opponent's guns, with the M3 Lee or the Type 89B being unable to penetrate their armor at all (and the latter even in the weaker rear plate, from point-blank range); tanks with better weaponry like the StuG III or the Panzer IV were able to knock them out with a single shot (albeit fired from point-blank range and in the former's case against the weaker side plate). However, their 2-Pounder guns proved rather ineffective, only being able to penetrate the side armor of the Lee (that had just been abandoned by its panicked crew) and the thin armor of the Type 89B, leaving their more heavily-armed Churchill tank to get most kills.
During the exhibition match between St. Gloriana and Pravda vs. Chi-Ha-Tan and Ooarai, three Matildas were part of Darjeeling's last-stand unit on the golf course. Despite being under immensely heavy fire from all sides, only two Matildas were knocked out, leaving Rukuriri's tank as the sole Matilda survivor during that encounter. Rukuriri was later taken out by the combined efforts of Duck Team and Fukuda.
A Matilda commanded by Rukuriri was part of the St. Gloriana detachment sent to reinforce the Ooarai compound team.
West Kureouji Grona Academy
Seiguro is in posession of at least 8 Matilda Infantry Tanks. They fielded them during a match against Ooarai for rights to the Commemorative Cup. However, despite the fact that the Matildas themselves outnumbered Ooarai's tanks, they were knocked-out with ease by the experience of the enemy commanders, as well as the strength of Bellwall's vehicles (Elefant, Jagdpanther and Tiger I especially).
Matilda II specifications
- Weight : 25 tons
- Length : 6.0 m
- Width : 2.6 m
- Height : 2.5 m
- Speed : 23 km/h
- Main Armament : OQF 2-Pounder Mk. X
- Secondary Armament : 7.92 mm Besa machine gun coupled with main gun
- Hull armor / Turret armor :
- Front : 78mm / 75mm
- Sides : 70mm / 75mm
- Rear : 55mm / 75mm
- Engine : 2x Diesel 6-cylinder AEC for the Mk II or for the Matilda II Mk III/IV the Leyland 98 hp
- The name "Matilda" was inherited from its predecessor, the Infantry Tank Mk. I, deriving from the codename used for the project.
- The Matilda earned the nickname "Queen of the desert" because of its role in the decisive victory during Operation Compass in late 1940 and early 1941, and its success against the opposing Italian vehicles (all of them far weaker than it).