Combining speed, armament, and armour protection, this was the best all around British designed battle tank in service in 1943. The Cromwell was intended to replace the outmoded Crusader, and represented a great leap forward in British tank development. Perhaps the principal value of the Cromwell to the British armoured regiments during 1943 was as a training tank, at last the troops had a tank that was something of a match for its German counterparts. 1: Turret The box-like turret of the Cromwell accommodated three crew - the commander, gunner, and loader - while the driver and co-driver occupied positions in the hull. 2: Periscopes The Cromwell's commander, driver, co-driver, and gunner were provided with periscopes but had only a limited view of the terrain ahead. 3: Main Armament The QF 75-mm (2.95-in) cannon was deadly against enemy troop concentrations. It replaced the 6-pounder mounted on earlier Cromwells, in spite of the fact that the 6-pounder had been considered more effective against enemy armour. 4: Secondary Armament Two 7.92-mm (0.31-in) Besa machine guns, mounted in the turret and the hull, provided defence against enemy infantry. 5: Armour Protection Initially, the Cromwell's armour protection ranged from 8 mm to 76 mm (0.31-3 in). In later Marks, however, areas that were especially vulnerable to enemy fire were augmented with welded plates up to 102 mm (4 in) thick. 6: Tracks Wide, reliable tracks gave the Cromwell added stability and facilitated rapid manoeuvre across country. 7: Suspension The proven Christie suspension provided the basis for the good cross-country characteristics of the Cromwell chassis. 8: Engine The 447-kW (600-hp) Rolls Royce Meteor V-12 engine powered the A27M Cromwell Mark VIII, improving performance significantly over the Liberty engine in the related Centaur. With a top speed of 61 km/h (38 mph), the Cromwell was the fastest of the British tanks. Country of Origin: United Kingdom Crew: 5 Designer: Leyland, then Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Designed: 1941 Manufacturer: Nuffield Organisation Number Built: 4016 In Service: 1943-50 Weight: 28 tonnes (31 tons) Dimensions Length: 6.35 m (20 ft 10 in) Width: 2.908 m (9 ft 6 in) Height: 2.832 m (9 ft 3 in) Performance Max Speed: 61 km/h (38 mph) Range, Road: 270 km (170 miles) Range, Cross-country: 129 km (80 miles) Fording: 1.22 m (4 ft) Vertical Obstacle: 0 91 m (3 ft) Trench: 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in) Engine: Powerplant: 1 x Rolls Royce Meteor VI2 petrol 447 kW (600 bhp) Power/weight: 203 kW (21.4 hp)/tonne Suspension: Improved Christie Fuel Capacity: 416 I (110 gallons) Armour and Armament Armour Type: Homogeneous rolled and riveted/welded nickel-steel Hull Front: 100 mm (3.98 in) Hull Sides: 32 mm (1.25 in) Hull Rear: 32 mm (1.25 in) Hull Top: 1 9 mm (0.75 in) Hull Bottom: 7-10 mm (0.25-0.4 in) Turret Front: 76 mm (3 in) Turret Sides: 63 mm (2.5 in) Turret Rear: 57 mm (2.25 in) Turret Top: 19 mm (0.75 in) Primary armament: 1 x OQF 75 mm (2.95 in) with 64 rounds Secondary Armament: 2 x 7.92-mm (0.31-in) Besa machine gun Variants Cromwell I: Meteor engine. Only 357 produced. Cromwell II: Increased track width and removal of the hull machine gun to increase stowage. None produced. Cromwell III: Centaur I upgraded with Meteor VI2 engine. Only about 200 produced due to scarcity of Centaur I's. Cromwell IV: Centaur III upgraded with Meteor engine. The most numerous variant with more than 1935 units produced. Cromwell IVw: Meteor engine, and all-welded hull. Cromwell Vw: Cromwell built from the start with the 75-mm (2.95-in) gun. Used a welded instead of riveted hull. Cromwell VI: Cromwell armed with 95-mm (3.74-in) howitzer. 341 produced. Cromwell VII: Cromwell IV and V upgraded with additional armour, wider tracks, and additional gearbox. 1500 produced. Cromwell Vllw: Cromwell Vw reworked to Cromwell VII standard. Cromwell VIII: Cromwell VI with same upgrades as VII. Cromwell Facts More than 4000 Cromwell variants were built during World War II. The Cromwell was the predecessor of the Comet, the last British designed tank to see action in the war. Only the British 7th Armoured Division was fully equipped with the Cromwell.