T.7368 GNU III, 7 RTR, Matilda II Tank [Queen of the Desert]--tank and two crew figures
Item Number: ACCPACK039H
T.7368 GNU III, 7 RTR, Matilda II Tank [Queen of the Desert] The only British tank to serve from the start of the war to its bitter end.
The Matilda II, with its heavy armour was an excellent infantry support tank, but there were limits to its performance due to limited speed and armament, which included the lack of a HE round for its main gun. An HE shell was designed for the 2-pounder, but was rarely issued, as the bursting charge was so small. With an average speed of about 6 mph (9.7 km/h) on desert terrain and 16 miles per hour (26 km/h) on roads, the Matilda II was certainly no racing snake. The Matilda II first saw action in the France 1940 campaign and is best remembered for the counter attack at Arras on 21st May 1940. Where the attack severely disrupted the Germans, due to armour thicknes,s it was largely immune to German AT and Tank guns. After breaking through to the rear area of 7th Panzer Division, the attack was halted by the infamous 88mm gun organised by the divisional commander General Erwin Rommel. The sustained heavy losses amounted to 30 British tanks destroyed or abandoned. The Matilda is particularly associated with the North Africa Campaign. During Operation Compass in 1940, 7th Armoured Division Matilda IIs caused chaos amongst the Italian forces in Egypt, as they had no AT guns which could destroy a Matilda II. But there were a number of factors which meant the Matilda II was soon beginning to show its weaknesses, the fast pace of the desert campaign meant the slow Matilda tanks struggled, lack of HE ordinance and the emergence of new heavier gunned German tanks and better AT guns meant the invincibility of the Matilda was no more. However, during Operation Crusader in late 1941, Matilda II tanks of 1st and 32nd Army Tank Brigades were instrumental in the break-out from Tobruk and the capture of the Axis fortress of Bardia. Elements of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment [B Squadron] were transferred to Crete, 9 Matilda tanks with 3 officers and 35 other ranks left Egypt on May 11th 1941, and took extensive part in the Battle for Crete, which lasted from May 20th to June 1st 1941. With part of the original plan being to base some of the tanks, in pairs, at three Cretan airfields to bolster the defences. They were supposed to be dug in, although at Rethymon airfield and elsewhere commanders decided to use them in their mobile role. All were, of course, lost during the battle for Crete. For further in-depth information on what happened to the Squadron of Matilda tanks on Crete, we recommend the After The Battle Magazine. Number 175. Matilda Tanks On Crete, which has some excellent pictures of the Matilda IIs in Crete.
Thanks to Todd in NZ for his help with these tanks. Our models all come in a beautiful realistic weathered Caunter camouflage colour scheme.
Limited to 40 worldwide.
Due to be released in NOVEMBER 2023.