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Osprey New Vanguard 14 : Crusader Cruiser Tank 1939-1945

The Crusader first saw action in the North African desert in June 1941. Its speed and sleek design made it a hard target to hit and its Christie suspension system allowed for high speeds across the desert as well as on metalled roads. David Fletcher examines this tank and the similar Covenanter. The circumstances surrounding their hurried development just before the Second World War are examined, as are their resulting inefficiencies and proneness to mechanical failure. Their production is investigated, as is the need to upgun the Crusader in the face of better armed German opposition. Crew attitudes towards both tanks are also examined: these were generally unfavourable - although both weapons were fast, this was of little use if they broke down, as they constantly did. Although better in this respect than the Covenanter, the Crusader was nevertheless plagued by problems when in North Africa, due both to the dusty climate and to deficiencies in design: the Covenanter was so unreliable that it never even saw combat. Covenanter crews remained in England, and by the time of El Alamein Crusader crew were anxious to dump their tanks and get into Shermans as soon as possible. David Fletcher examines variants of the Covenanter and Crusader tanks including bridge laying and amphibious models. Illustrations by Peter Sarson.

    Contents
  • Design and Development
  • Technical Analysis
  • Variants
  • The Crew
  • Operational History
  • Variants

 

Osprey New Vanguard


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