Matilda Hedgehog

Commonwealth of Australia (1945) Tank-Mounted Spigot Mortar – 6 Built Rumble in the Jungle Beginning in 1942, as Australian forces battled against the Japanese through New Guinea and the South West Pacific, it became apparent that there was an increasing need for offensive armaments capable of demolishing Japanese defensive positions. The typical Japanese bunker was…

Matilda II in Australian Service

Commonwealth of Australia (1942-1945) Infantry Tank – 400 Delivered Her Majesty Heads East By 1940, the Matilda II Infantry Tank had made a name for itself in the western deserts of North Africa, aptly earning the moniker of ‘Queen of the Desert’. However, by 1941, the Matilda II had fallen behind the increasing pace of desert warfare in…

Matilda Frog and ‘Murray FT’ Flame Tank

Commonwealth of Australia (1943-1945) Flamethrower Infantry Tank – 25 Built A Need for Firepower In early 1943, a General Staff specification was issued for a tank mounted flame projector for use by Australian units in the Pacific. Plans were submitted for a cordite based flamethrower designed by Major A.E Miller, the commanding officer of the Australian 2/9 Armoured…

Matilda Dozer

Commonwealth of Australia (1945) Infantry Tank – 18 Built Clearing the way Although the Matilda II could negotiate a wide variety of jungle undergrowth, even toppling trees when the need arose, conditions in the Pacific were not ideal for tanks and some areas were still considered impassable to them. The Japanese took advantage of the rough terrain across…

AC IV 17-pdr Armed Sentinel Cruiser Tank

Commonwealth of Australia (1942-1943) Cruiser Tank – 1 Prototype Built The one with the big gun Another offspring of the AC I Sentinel was the AC IV, which was to be equipped with the new British Ordnance QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun. After the July 1942 decision to proceed with increased armament for the Australian Cruisers, a…

AC III Thunderbolt Cruiser Tank

Commonwealth of Australia (1942-1943) Cruiser Tank – 1 Prototype Built The inadequate 2 Pounder In 1941, The QF Vickers 2-Pounder had been recognised as likely to become obsolete by the time that the AC tanks were scheduled entered production. The armament of the Mark I “Sentinel” was seen as transitional since the beginning, and the tank…

AC II Cruiser Tank

Commonwealth of Australia (1941) Cruiser Tank – None Built The Sentinel that never was Contrary to a popular misconception the AC II was not a design for the installation of an Ordnance 6 pounder gun in the AC I Sentinel cruiser . Such a design did exist, entitled AC IA, but this is covered more appropriately with the…

AC I Sentinel Cruiser Tank

Commonwealth of Australia (1942-1943) Cruiser Tank – 65 Built The only WWII Australian tank design Among the Commonwealth nations, Canada probably had the best industrial capacities and helped Allied tank production during the war. Canadian factories built Shermans and Valentines, as well as the Ram or the Sexton, which were indigenous designs. Australia and New Zealand…