British and American tank designs of WW2


Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
South of the barcodes
Indeed you are quote correct.
However his claim that there was NO tank industry and NO tank development between the wars is clearly wrong.
While the numbers weren't huge, the British designed/built at least 4 or 5 types of medium tanks before WWII, while the US was stll working on the obsolete M-2 medium. The British would also start building 4 more (Valentine, Covenanter, Crusader, Churchill) before the Americans ever fielded a modern combat tank.

All of the work 1934-1940 on the Cruiser mk. I,II,III,IV, Covenanter & Matilda helped to develop engineering and design concepts for the more successful Cromwell, Churchill & Comet.
Thats mainly due to a difference in funding and political intent.

Because of the continuing issue of European war plus export markets, the security situation throughtout the empire and political lobbying from the army the Government had to spend money on tanks.
However once the 20s were over and the recession started to hit they abolished the experimental armoured forces and cut back funding to the minimum then used tank building as a way of feeding government funding to struggling manufacturing companies. thats why theres five different companies all building their own different idea of what a tank ought to be, its a way to prop up struggling companies.
Its only once you get to the end of the 30s and the government has to start thinking about armoured development for a serious war they get down to paying for what the army needs.

In the Us there was even less use for tanks, Pancho villa and the Arapaho werent going to field armoured forces so the US government abolished them after 1918 and forbade the army from developing them except as experimental and research projects.
That meant the army had to be very careful with its funding so they came up with a standard design that could be evolved cheaply and then produced simply since they would have to send out the plans to vehicle manufacturers to be produced at short notice.
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