Tank: Sherman Armored - United Kingdom (Battle of the Bulge)
Tank: Sherman Armored - United Kingdom (Battle of the Bulge)

Tank: Sherman Armored - United Kingdom (Battle of the Bulge)

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Part Number:BB_UKAT

British Tanks




gun caliber


Infantry Tank Mark III Matilda

25 t

40 mm (2-Pounder)

16 mph (26 km/h)


British Infantry Tank Mark II, “Matilda”


ID: Plastic tank gaming piece: Tank, Infantry Mk II (A12), Matilda II/ armor piece from the game Axis & Allies Europe 40 & Pacific 40.


The Story of the Matilda Tank: The British, like their allies the French, had insisted on a strict division of labor within their tank force.  For them an “infantry” tank was a breakthrough tank, designed to support an infantry attack and punch through fortified defenses, whereas a “cruiser” tank (called a “cavalry” tank by the French) was designed to be lighter and faster to exploit a breakthrough by occupying as much new ground as possible before the enemy could recover and establish new fixed defensive lines.  This whole model of warfare was based heavily on the experience of trench warfare in World War I... but it was a classic example of generals going astray by “fighting the last war.”  The German “blitzkrieg” or “lightning war” involving faster tanks supported by air power and motorized infantry thus completely caught the French and British allies off guard, leading to France’s collapse in 1940.  Comparatively few of Britain’s tanks (or either the infantry or cruiser variety) had had time to even get into the fight, and so Britain’s tanks would really begin to be tested not so much in France but in the sands of the desert, where, despite being designed for an obsolete approach to warfare, they did pretty well against their main initial opponents there, the Italians.  The British Matilda Infantry tank was slow, because, being an infantry tank it was only thought to need to be fast enough to keep up with infantry units.  In the early desert battles, however, it was found to be unusually well-armored and adequately armed to take on any armored vehicle that the Italians had to throw at it!  The standard Italian “medium” tank gun, only a 37mm, simply bounced right off of the Matilda’s armor!  Thus, slow as it was, it proved a valuable addition to the British armies in the early war, even earning it the moniker “Queen of the Desert” for a while.  Even many of the early German vehicles had trouble stopping it.  Later model German panzers certainly surpassed it, but the Matilda, “Queen of the Desert” certainly had its moment in the sun in the sun of the Sahara, and no one can take that away from it!


Usage Notes: Use this piece for “Global 1939” and “Invasion of Italy” Variants as either a light tank or armor unit (depending on your own “House Rules” preference.) Other Japanese units of interest may be: Takao class cruiser & Shinano class aircraft carrier & Yamato class battleship.

Other armor units of interest might be: 38t Light tank, Pz. III Med. tank, Pz IV Med. tank, Stug III Tank Destroyer, Tiger 1 Heavy Tank, and the Tiger II Heavy tank.

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