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A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Crusader Mk III - A15 cruiser tank 6pdr gun - case report.

      The subject of this article is about the best-armed variant of the fast British desert tanks. Let's meet the Crusader Mk.III, armed with the efficient 6 pounder gun.

Crusader Mk.III with 6pdr. L/43 gun - Bovingtom Museum
      The Tank, Cruiser, Mk VI or A15 Crusader was one of the primary British cruiser tanks during the early part of the World WarII. 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 as gun tank, but the chassis of the tank was modified to create anti-aircraft, fire support, observation, communication, bulldozer and recovery vehicle variants.
      The first variation 'Crusader I' tank entered service in 1941, and, though manoeuvrable, it was relatively lightly armoured and under-armed. Improved armour thickness to 49mm marked out the "Crusader II' variant.
Crusader Mk.I (early) captured by Germans.

Crusader Mk. II
     The main armament for the Crusader Mark I and II's was an Ordnance QF 2 pounder (40mm) main gun, but the 'Crusader III' was fitted with an Ordnance QF 6 pounder (57mm) main gun ( first series with Mk.3 L/43 gun and final series with more powerful Mk.5 L/50 gun).
Crusader Mk III tank with L/43 gun in alert.
January 1943. - North Africa

       The Crusader III was more than a match for the mid-generation German Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks that it faced in combat. As part of the 1st Armoured Brigade, the Crusader was to prove vital during the Battle of El Alamein, at Tobruk and in Tunisia.

      Retained in service because of delays with its replacement, by late 1942, the lack of better armour, plus reliability problems due to the harsh desert conditions and the appearance of Tiger I heavy tanks among the German Afrika Korps, saw the Crusader replaced by US-supplied M3 Grant and then by the Sherman medium tanks. More about all versions of Crusader, see in this Bunker's article.

Crusader Mk.III:
      Due to delays with the Cruiser Mark VII Cavalier and the need for cruiser tanks, the Crusader was up-gunned with the 6-pounder, the first British tank to mount this gun. Design work for a new turret started in March 1941, but Nuffield was not involved until late in the year, when they adapted the existing turret with a new mantlet and hatch.
Cruiser tank Mk.VII A-24 Cavalier - prototype
armed with QF 6 pdr. Mk.3 L/43 gun
Crusader Mk.III with L/43 gun
North Africa - 1943

Crusader III in  road to Bou Arada - 10 January 1943 Tunisia

A rare (and poor quality) pic: Crusader Mk.III with twin Vickers K .303 in the turret
Crusader Mk III tank, 1 January 1943.North africa
Crusader III with L/43 gun pursuing the retreating German troops
overcomes an anti-tank ditch. El Alamein - November 1942
     The turret also received an extractor fan to clear fumes from the firing of the gun. The larger gun restricted turret space, so the crew was reduced to three, with the commander also acting as gun loader, a role previously performed by the wireless operator. The auxiliary turret space was given over to ammunition stowage.

Crusader Mk III with 6pdr Mk 5 L/50 gun from Independent Czech Armour Brigade
Parade in Harwich - England Spring 43.

      Crusader III also saw the introduction of the Mk. IV Liberty engine, fixing many of the reliability issues previously encountered. This featured the Mk. III engine's later updated water pumps along with a shaft drive replacing chain drive for the cooling fans.
      Production started in May 1942 and 144 were complete by July. The Crusader III first saw action, with about 100 participating, at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942.
Crusader Mk.III at the head of the column of Sherman IIs
enters Mersa Matruh.- Battle of El Alamein - November 1942
      The initial vehicles of Crusader III series were armed with the Mk III version of the 6pdr gun (QF 6pdr. Mk.3 L/43). The final vehicles were armed with the long barreled QF 6pdr. Mk.5 L/50, with more penetration power.
Crusader III in North Africa
Initial serie armed with QF 6pdr. Mk.III L/43 gun
Crusader Mk III (final series) with 6pdr Mk V L/50 gun from Independent Czech Armour Brigade.
 Visit of French Gen Paget - August, 12 - 1943 - England

    Between Nov 1940 and 1945, 5,464 Crusader tanks were built. Production of Crusader tanks, broken down by year, was as follows:


Crusader Mk.III - Tank, Cruiser, Mk VI
TypeCruiser tank
Place of origin                                        United Kingdom
Service history
In service1942–1945
WarsSecond World War
Production history
ManufacturerNuffield Mechanizations and Aero Ltd
ProducedMay 1942–1943
No. built1.717 (Mk.III)
Mass19.1 to 20.0 t
Length5.97 m
Width2.77 m
Height2.24 m
Crew3 (Commander, gunner, driver) 

Main armament
Mk III: QF 6 pdr (57 mm) 65 rounds (L/43 or L/50)
Secondary armament
1  Besa machine gun 4,950 rounds
EngineNuffield Liberty Mark IV
27-litre V-12 petrol engine
340 bhp (254 kW) at 1,500 rpm
Power/weight17 hp (12.7 kW) / tonne
TransmissionNuffield constant mesh
SuspensionChristie helical spring
Ground clearance0.41 m
Fuel capacity500 liters 3 fuel tanks (+130 liters  auxiliary)
Operational range
322 km on roads
235 km cross country
Speed42 km/h (road)
24 km/h (off-road)
Steering system
Wilson epicyclic steering

The kit:
      For this building, I have an old kit from Testors / Italeri (# 812) Crusader III. This kit is from the time that Tutankhamun was in kindergarten!! 
Testors/Italeri (#812) Crusader III box art (awful).
      It is so old that the instruction booklet is written in hieroglyphics on a papyrus!! Kojak had to take a Course of "Ancient Egyptian and Hieroglyphs for Beginners" to face the challenge ...
Kojak with a certain level of concern.
*translation: " I'm so screwed!!!"
The the content of the "Plastic Sarcophagus"...
The decals seem to have borne well the mummification process !!
Hail Amon, glorious and mighty !!
Cleaning the wheels with Dremel, dental tool and scalp...

Fixing the flaws of the kit; front mudguard and idler...

This is fast...like this cruiser tank!!

With shoes!!
      And growing and growing...
Driver station...

Details in the nose...

Opening the driver's vision slit ...
Chuck approves!!
      And as we are detailing, lets correct a fault in this kit of Italeri .. A very old failure: the absence of the exhaust of the engine.
Crusader's engine exhast - Bovington Museum
      I was forced to drink a beer to do this detail ... We really sacrificed ourselves for our hobby !!
Scratch time...with beer!!

Done...Our girl can, shall we say, release the gases now ...

      And now, the moment of irreversibility: Our young lady leaves the Desert (short 6 pdr.) and goes to the green fields of England, in the hands of the brave combatants of the Czech Independent Armored Brigade: long gun 6 pdr. Mk.5 - L / 50, characteristic of the last Crusaders.
Crusaders III of  Czech Independent Armoured Brigade in parade - 1943
Notice the late version of main gun: QF 6 pdr. Mk.5 - L/50 

Czech Crusaders III in parade - England, 1943
Czech Independent Armoured Brigade

       This girl is Czech now !!!
Changing the main gun: spare parts of my Churchills...
This version only used in England, by Jove.

My Girl now is more penetrating !!!

Naughty girl!!
      The future marings of my girl: Crusader Mk.III with 6pdr. Mk.5-L/50 gun, belonging to Czech Independent Armoured Brigade, in drills in England, October, 1943.
Notice the "early" Red Lion in white shield. In 1943
this is the Czech marking. Thanks, Jirka Zahradník!!
The early Czech Lion badge (England)
 Thanks, Jirka Zahradník!

The late Czech Lion badge (Normandy)
 Thanks, Jirka Zahradník!

      The building of kit is finished!!
Done...ready for painting...

White primer!!
   and Khaki Brown:
Crusader Mk.III

In good company: Centaur CS Mk IV - Royal Marines

Pledge to prevent silvering in the decals...
      Decals ready for application:

The "home-made" decals in layers...

The Czech girl has the full makeup for the party !!!

      Well...Now is waiting by the night, to dry the decals and Pledge... After that, matt varnish and a light layer of weathering (After all, this girl did not go into combat ...).

      And finally, the Crusader Czech was ready for action: Crusader Mk.III with 6pdr. Mk.5-L/50 gun, belonging to Czech Independent Armoured Brigade, in drills in England, October, 1943.
Crusader Mk.III  6pdr. Mk.5-L/50 gun - Czech Independent Armoured Brigade
 England, October, 1943.

Crusader Mk.III  6pdr. Mk.5-L/50 gun with Kojak
and Rover, the dog. Kojak is very pleased!!!

The start and end of a brave dinasty: Crusader Mk. I and Crusader Mk.III

Thanks to my dear friend, Jirka Zahradník, for the great tips in this building ...

Děkuji, přátelé !!