Comwell Box Set, Tank Company; 5 tanks (4 Cromwell and 1 Sherman Firefly)
Cromwell Armoured Platoon (BBX12)
Tank, Cruiser, Mk VIII, Cromwell (A27M) & Sherman VC Firefly
The Cromwell was the product of further development of British cruiser tanks designed to replace the Crusader, which had proved to be under armoured and mechanically unreliable during the fighting in North Africa.
As early as 1940 the General Staff set out the specifications for the new tank, and designs were submitted in early 1941.
After a number of designs had been submitted, it was soon realised that the current British built tank engine (the Liberty) was not up to the task of powering a tank heavier than the Crusader. A new engine based on the Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine was designed to replace it. Production of the new Meteor tank engine was handed over to the Rover Car Company.
The new Meteor engine had approximately 600 hp (447 kW), double that of the Liberty.
A new tank design, based on the initial post Crusader design the Cavalier, was drawn up to take the new engine. The new tank was designated the A27 Mk VIII Cruiser tank. Despite all intentions the first production models of the A27, name the Centaur and designated the A27L, were only powered by the Liberty engine.
It was not until January 1943, that sufficient Meteor engines were available.
The A27 powered by the Meteor became known as the A27M Cromwell.
Initial version were armed with the 6pdr, but the opening Operation Overload, and the Cromwell’s first combat the Armoured Recce Regiments and the 7th Armoured Division were equipped with the OQF 75mm gun armed Cromwell IV, or earlier marks brought up to the same standard.
Cromwells were used to fully equip only one division, the 7th Armoured Division
The Cromwell was also used as the main tank in the reconnaissance battalions of British armoured divisions because of their great speed.
The Cromwell had a top speed of 32 mph (51 kph), though if ungoverned it was as high as 40 mph (64 kph) and was considered the fastest British tank in Service.
The Firefly VC
Though development of a 17pdr armed Cromwell was under way to accompany the Armoured Troops of the Armoured Division.
The Challenger, however, was not used in Normandy and the 7th Armoured Division used the Firefly VC.
In Flames Of War
The Cromwell Armoured Platoon has been designed to be used with the Armoured Squadron Intelligence Briefing in Villers-Bocage.
The 7th Armoured Division was one of the few British Armoured Divisions fully equipped with Cromwell tanks. They also were equipped with one Sherman Firefly VC in each Armoured Platoon (Troop).
The Cromwell IV is Fully-tracked and has armour front 6, side 4 and top 1. It is armed with a Co-ax MG, Hull MG and OQF 75mm gun. As a Light tank it can move 16”/40cm cross-country. It has Protected ammo giving it a re-roll to un-bail and a Tow hook, so it can tow 6pdr and 17pdr guns if required.
The OQF 75mm gun has a Range of 32”/80cm, ROF 2, Anti-tank 10 and FP 3+. It can fire Semi-indirect fire at target at long range and also has a Smoke round.
The Firefly VC adds some punch to each platoon. The Firefly VC is Fully-tracked and has armour front 6, side 4 and top 1. It is armed with a co-ax MG and the OQF 17pdr gun. It also has a Tow hookThe 17pdr provides some real danger heavier German tanks lurking in the bocage. It has a Range of 32”/80cm, ROF 2, Anti-tank 13 and FP 3+. It can also fire Semi-indirect fire at long range targets, allowing it to re-roll misses if the tank doesn’t move.
The box comes with four Cromwell IV tanks and a Sherman Firefly VC. This gives you an extra Cromwell IV to go towards you Squadron HQ.
Two boxes will get you two Armoured Platoon and you two HQ tanks. If you go for three of four Armoured Platoon the extra tanks can be used for the Cromwell CS tank in the HQ. The Cromwell CS OQF 95mm howitzer is also supplied in box for one tank to allow this option.