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Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:24

The Archer Tank Destroyer

The tank destroyer concept was initially dismissed by the British but due to the success German Tank Destroyers were having it was decided to ahead. The first attempt was to mount a 3" Anti-Aircraft gun on a Churchill Tank, the first of these were completed in August 1942 and a total of 50 of these vehicles were completed. These vehicles do not seem to have been used in combat but their gun would have easily been capable of dealing with any German tank of the period. It had been hoped that the American M10 would have been available in numbers in 1942 but when it was realised this would not be the case it was decided to try to mount the 17pdr on any vehicles that would take it. Both the Valentine and Crusader were looked at, the Crusader due to it's high power to weight ratio and the Valentine due to its reliability and low profile. The Valentine was eventually chosen as mounting the gun on the Crusader would have meant it was extremely exposed.

Development continued in 1943 but progress was slow as the M10 had been made available in larger numbers and it was realised that the M10 would also be able to be converted to carry a 17 Pounder gun. The first Archers were completed in April 1944, the 17 Pounder gun was mounted facing backwards on the Valentine. Armour was very thin and would probably only have protected against small arms fire and shrapnel but the gun was powerful and the vehicle had a low silhouette.

Name Archer
Type Tank Destroyer
   
Production Date April 1944
   
Crew 3
(In turret) -
   
Length 18'-8”
Length With Gun 21'-11.25”
Width 9'
Height 7'4.5”
   
Weight   
Ground pressure  
Ground clearance  
    
Track type  
No per track  
Weight of one Track  
Track width 14”
   
Engine  
B.H.P  
Max road speed 20.91
Average road speed 19.55
Cross Country Speed 9.62
Gear box type  
Gears  
   
   
Fuel consumption (road) – MPG 2.9
Fuel consumption (cross country) 1.32
Petrol  
Auxiliary capacity  
Radius of action (road)  
Radius of action (cross country)  
Trench Crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Fording height  
Gradient  
   
Main Armament 17 Pounder
Ammunition 39
Secondary Armament -
Ammunition -
Transverse type Hand (22.5)
Max elevation 15
Max depression 7.5
Turret Ring Size -
Optics No.43x3
   
Armour  
     
Lower Hull Nose 20(I.T.80)
Upper Hull Nose 20(I.T.80)
Hull Front 20(I.T.80)
Hull Sides Upper 20(I.T.80)
Hull Sides Lower 20(I.T.80)
Hull Rear Lower 20(I.T.80)
Hull Rear Upper 20(I.T.80)
Engine Deck 10(I.T.80)
Hull Floor 10(I.T.80)
   
Turret Mantlet 20(I.T.80)
Turret Front 20(I.T.80)
Turret Sides 10(I.T.80)
Turret Rear 20(I.T.80)
Turret Floor  

 

Production of Archer SP by year (UK Only)

  1943 1944 1943(End of May)
Archer - 353 214

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 August 2012 13:54
 

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