Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia

Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia

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Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia

The Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia was an attempt to create a mine-sweeping vehicle by pushing heavy rollers ahead of a Matilda infantry tank.

Anti-mine rollers had originally been created by Fowlers (one of the companies in the Matilda construction pool), for use on cruiser tanks.

The Anti-Mine Roller Attachment was produced to fit these anti-mine rollers to standard tanks. Four anti-tank rollers were linked by a frame, which was then attached to brackets on the side o the tank. The roller-equipped tank would advance ahead of the troops, and reveal the presence of a minefield by detonating the first mine it rolled over. The roller was normally destroyed, so the AMRA could only be used to find minefields, not to clear them.

A number of attempts were made to adapt the Matilda to actually clear minefields. One, the Matilda with Carrot, involved fitting a 600lb explosive to the front of an AMRA frame. The more successful involving fitting flails to the front of tanks, as the Baron or the Matilda Scorpion I.

140 AMRAs were allocated to the Matilda, and some saw service in the Western Desert. Most were then withdrawn to be modernised, while forty went to the Matilda with Carrot test programme. The AMRA system was also used on the Churchill and some other tanks.

The NA 75, a workshop improvised Churchill variant, is a testament to the ingenuity of one British officer, Captain Percy H. Morrell. An officer of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), Captain Morrell served in Tunisia and was charged with disassembling and breaking down battle damaged tanks, in particular, M4 Shermans.
The Captain noted that many of the 75 mm (2.95 in) M3 guns equipping the Shermans were still in an operational condition. As such, he began formulating a plan to make use of them by mounting them into the turret of Mk. IV Churchills.
These tanks would be designated as the Churchill NA 75. This was attributed to the vehicle’s place of birth, NA – North Africa, and the transferred 75 mm M3 gun.

Percy Hulme Morrell enlisted at Leeds on June 29th, 1940. He rose through the ranks to be granted an emergency promotion to Second Lieutenant on February 6th, 1943. He was posted to North Africa in the April of that year – Photo:

Morrell aimed to achieve 2 goals with one action. A noted weakness with the Churchill was the inability of its main armament to fire an effective HE (High Explosive) round. This was a problem faced by the Mk.I and II with their 2-Pounder guns, and the Mk. III and IV with the 6-Pounder. Both of these guns lacked a powerful HE round, so anti-infantry and emplacement operations were difficult. Because of this, ironically, an Infantry Tank was not able to properly support infantry. The Sherman’s 75 mm (2.95 in) M3 gun did not have this issue, as it was able to fire quite a potent HE round.
Morrell had also noted that many Churchills lost in battle around the Medjerde Valley and similar engagements, had received hits to the gun area. It was apparent that in the bright sun of the desert, the recessed mantlet caused a visible shadow, providing a clear aiming point for German gunners. High-velocity 75 mm (2.95 in) or 88 mm (3.46 in) shells hitting this area would either jam the weapon in place, pass straight through the mantlet or knock the whole thing clean off its trunnions.
The Sherman’s external mantlet, specifically the M34 type, provided a quick fix to this problem, giving this weak area a much need boost in armor protection. It was hoped that its curved shape might induce a ricochet and also obviously remove the dark recess aiming point.

Re: A view on why Britsh tanks were so inferior.

Post by PMN1 » 08 Nov 2011, 13:15

According to David Fletcher in his book ‘Mechanised Force: British Tanks between the Wars’

The General Staff considered the A9 to be of less value than the A11 and on December 1937, a decision was made to order 60 A12 and authority sought for either another 60 A11 or 60 A12 ‘whichever could be produced faster’.

This meant that it was the A11 which had the extra 60 built but what extra damage could the units equipped with A11 have done if equipped with A9 or A12?

A Mk VI light tank had been produced before the war by Ruston Hornsby that had an open topped turret with a 2-pdr gun.

According to David Fletcher, ‘Tested at Lulworth and by the 9th lancers at Tidworth, it was found that the larger turret did not unduly overload the suspension and, had it gone into production, there is every reason that it would have resulted in an effective, and highly mobile anti-tank vehicle along the lines of what later became known as a tank destroyer.

If the light tanks that were used in France in 1940 had 2-pdr guns, what extra damage could they have done?

Note: a 2-pdr was also put on a Vickers carrier but this just had a shield and the crew were apparently at risk of suffocation in dust created by the vehicle.

Re: A view on why Britsh tanks were so inferior.

Post by Hoist40 » 08 Nov 2011, 15:25

Re: A view on why Britsh tanks were so inferior.

Post by phylo_roadking » 08 Nov 2011, 17:28

The General Staff considered the A9 to be of less value than the A11 and on December 1937, a decision was made to order 60 A12 and authority sought for either another 60 A11 or 60 A12 ‘whichever could be produced faster’.

This meant that it was the A11 which had the extra 60 built but what extra damage could the units equipped with A11 have done if equipped with A9 or A12?

Nothing worth the trouble. for what Cruisers actually arrived in France with BEFII IIRC were all left there without having had much impact on events.

Also - it reads as if you're making the assumption there that there were units/subunits simply not formed/formated because there were no tanks for them as they waited for the A11/A12? You'd need to find out if this was indeed the case - WHO was slated for the A11s/A12s. or what did they do in training in the UK while waiting. perhaps you'll find these were the forces equiped with training items that were available for Sealion preparations I.E. maybe IF they'd been equiped and sent to France - their tanks would have been abandoned there too.

But I think you'll probably find that given the quite long lead time these designs still entailed in 1939-40, specific units weren't as yet slated to receive them at this early point in their development.

Re: A view on why Britsh tanks were so inferior.

Post by The_Enigma » 09 Nov 2011, 19:08

How many different types of tanks did the British produce and put into service?

Light Tank Mk VII
Matilda I (small numbers)
Matilda II
Valentine (many marks)
Churchill (many marks)
Cruiser Mark I and Cruiser Mark II (very similar)
Cruiser Mark III and Cruiser Mark IV (very similiar)
Covenanter (aka Cruiser Mark V, training use only)
Crusader (many marks)
Centaur, Cavalier, Cromwell (all very similar, different guns and engines)
Challenger (small number only)

Sherman Firefly (up-gunned M4)
Archer (tank-hunting SP gun)

So, 12 different main tank types and 2 additions. Twice as many different types as the Americans, although it should be remembered that the British entered the war 2 years earlier and some of the early US tanks didn't see combat.

PMN1 wrote:
Peter Beale's 'Death by Design' lists the following which took up design time and effort.

A23, A26 and A43 based on the Churchill
A33, A37, A38 and A39 Assault Tanks
A28, A29, A31, A32 and A35 based on the Centaur/Cromwell series

I am steadily working my way through this thread, only up to page 26 thus far. What can I say, amazing discussion and very informative with some exceptions

It seemed towards the beginning of the thread it was mentioned that British designers wasted so much energy spread R+D on many different types when it should have been more limited in approach. In the mid-20s of the thread, as quoted above (and sorry if this has been touched upon in the following pages), we returned to the issue with it seems people using it as damning evidence of just that.

Does anyone have the same kind of information on American, German, and Soviet design, research, and production, in the same light as the above to put it into context?

Although, just for example, is two infantry tank designs made during the war years (one is assuming, since one has lack of sources to hand that he Val was a product of the war years and not before hand ) actually that bad and a waste of development time?

Re: A view on why Britsh tanks were so inferior.

Post by phylo_roadking » 10 Nov 2011, 18:25

Two types? The Matilda II, the Churchill, the Valentine.

Remember that between them, that meant a total of

Infantry Tank Mark II Matilda II
First production model armed with a Vickers machine gun.

Infantry Tank Mark II.A. Matilda II Mk II
Vickers machine gun replaced by Besa machine gun. The "A" denoted a change in armament.

Infantry Tank Mark II.A.* Matilda II Mk III
New Leyland diesel engine used in place of AEC engines.

Infantry Tank Mark II Matilda II Mk IV
With improved engines, rigid mounting and no turret lamp

Infantry Tank Mark II Matilda II Mk V
Improved gear box. Westinghouse air servo used.

Matilda II Close Support (CS)
Variant with QF 3 inch (76 mm) howitzer firing smoke shells. These were generally issued to HQ units.

Baron I, II, III, IIIA
Experimental Matilda chassis with mine flail - never used operationally.

Matilda Scorpion I / II
Matilda chassis with a mine flail. Used in North Africa, during and after the battle of El Alamain.[clarification needed]

Matilda II CDL / Matilda V CDL (Canal Defence Light)
The normal turret was replaced by a cylindrical one containing a searchlight (projected through a vertical slit) and a BESA machine gun.

Valentine I (Tank, Infantry, Mk III) (350 units produced)
The first model of the Valentine, it was not sent out due to problems from rushed production. The tank had riveted hull, was powered by AEC A189 135 hp petrol engine and equipped with a 2 pdr. gun and a coaxial Besa machine gun. Its two-man turret forced the commander to also act as the gun-loader.

Valentine II (Tank, Infantry, Mk III*) (700)
This model used AEC A190 131 hp diesel engine. In order to increase its range, an auxiliary external fuel tank was installed to the left of the engine compartment.

Valentine III
A larger turret was installed, allowing the addition of a dedicated loader to ease the duties of the commander. The side armour was reduced from 60 mm to 50 mm to save weight.

Valentine IV
A Mark II using an American 138 hp GMC 6004 diesel engine and US-made transmission. Though it had slightly shorter range, it was quieter and more reliable

Valentine V
Valentine III with the GMC 6004 diesel engine and US-made transmission.

Valentine VI
Canadian-built version of IV. It used some Canadian and American mechanical parts. Late production vehicles had cast glacis detail. First few produced with a 7.92 mm Besa coaxial machinegun, soon replaced by a 0.30 inch Browning coaxial machinegun.

Valentine VII
Another Canadian version, it was essentially the VI with internal changes and a different radio set.

Valentine VIIA
Mark VII with jettisonable fuel tanks, new studded tracks, and protected headlights.

Valentine VIII
A III upgraded with the QF 6-pounder gun. In order to fit it, the coaxial machinegun and the loader crew member had to be removed. The side armour was reduced again. Crews came up with a novel way of using a machinegun from inside the hull by fitting a solenoid-fired Browning MG into a 6-pdr shell-case. When needed, this was inserted into the 6-pdr breech and the solenoid cable connected, allowing the gunner to aim it using the main gun elevating gear, traverse and telescope.

Valentine IX
A V upgraded to the 6 pdr gun. Similar armour reduction as the VIII. On late production units an upgraded, 165 hp version of the GMC 6004 diesel was installed, somewhat improving mobility.

Valentine X
A new turret design and 165 hp engine. A Besa coaxial machinegun was fitted again. Welded construction.

Valentine XI
An X upgraded with the OQF 75 mm gun and 210 hp version of the GMC 6004 diesel. Welded construction. Only served as a command tank.

Valentine DD
Valentine Mk V, IX and Mk XI, made amphibious by the use of Nicholas Straussler's Duplex Drive. Used by crews training for the M4 Sherman DD tanks of the Normandy Landings.

Valentine OP / Command
Observation Post and command version with extra radios. To give more space inside, the gun was replaced with a dummy.

Valentine CDL
A continuation of the Canal Defence Light experiments. The conventional turret was replaced with one containing a searchlight.

Valentine Scorpion II
Mine exploder, turretless with flail attachment. Never used operationally.

Valentine AMRA Mk Ib
Mine exploder with Armoured Mine Roller Attachment. Never used operationally.

Valentine Snake
Mine exploder, using Snake mine clearing equipment. Few used operationally.

Valentine Bridgelayer
An armoured bridgelaying vehicle a turretless Mk II fitted with 34 ft x 9.5 ft Class 30 scissors bridge. Several dozen were produced, some of them supplied to the USSR.

Valentine with 6pdr anti-tank mounting
Experimental vehicle built by Vickers-Armstrong to examine the possibility of producing a simple tank destroyer by mounting the 6pdr in its field carriage on the hull in place of the turret. Trials only, 1942.

Valentine Flamethrowers
Two Valentine tanks were modified to carry flamethrowers. These were tested by the Petroleum Warfare Department to determine which system was best for a tank-mounted flame projector. One used a projector ignited by cordite charges and one used a projector operated by gas pressure. The flamethrower fuel was carried in a trailer and the flame projector was mounted on the hull front. Trials started in 1942 and it showed that the gas-operated system was better. From this test installation was developed the Crocodile equipment for the Churchill Crocodile flamethrower used in the North West Europe campaign in 1944-45.

Valentine 7.92in flame mortar
Experimental vehicle with turret replaced by fixed heavy mortar intended to fire 25 lb TNT incendiary shells to demolish concrete emplacements. Trials only by Petroleum Warfare Dept, 1943-45. Effective range was 400 yards (maximum range 2,000 yards).

Churchill I (303)
Equipped with a 2 pounder gun in the turret (150 rounds), and a coaxial Besa machine gun. There was a 3 inch howitzer in the hull (58 rounds). It was a tank that was noted for poor mechanical reliability. It was the main tank issued to the Canadian forces at Dieppe.

Churchill Mk II (1,127)
Replaced the hull howitzer for another machine gun to reduce cost and complexity. Sometimes referred to as Churchill Ia.

Churchill Mk IICS (Close Support)
Placed the gun in the hull and the howitzer in the turret, available in very limited numbers. Sometimes called Churchill II.

Churchill Mk III (675)
The III was the first major armament overhaul of the series, eliminating the hull howitzer and equipping the tank with a more powerful 6 pounder gun (84 rounds). Unlike early versions, it had a welded turret.

Churchill Mk IV (1,622)
The IV was the most numerous Churchill produced, and was virtually identical to the III, the largest change being a return to the less costly cast turret.

Churchill Mk V (241)
A Churchill III / IV which was equipped with a close support 95 mm howitzer in place of the main gun (47 rounds).
Churchill Mk VI (200)

Churchill Mk VI (200)
Along with several minor improvements, it was produced as standard with the 75 mm Mk V gun. Few were built due to the near release of the VII and current upgunning of the III / IV.

Churchill Mk VII (A22F) (1,600 with VIII)
The second major redesign from previous models, the VII used the 75 mm gun, was wider and had much more armour. It is sometimes called the Heavy Churchill. This version of the Churchill first saw service in the Battle of Normandy, and was re-designated A42 in 1945.

Churchill Mk VIII
A Churchill VII which replaced the main gun with a 95 mm howitzer (47 rounds).
Refitted previous versions:

Churchill Mk IX
Churchill III / IV upgraded with turret of the VII. Extra armour added along with gearbox and suspension modifications. If the old 6 pounder had been retained, it would have the additional designation of LT ("Light Turret").

Churchill Mk X
The same improvements as for the IX applied to a Mk VI.

Churchill Mk XI
Churchill V with extra armour and Mk VIII turret.

Churchill NA75 (200)
Churchill III / IV with upgraded weaponry using the turret and mantlet from a destroyed or scrapped Sherman (known as NA 75 from North Africa where the conversions took place), or having their current gun re-bored to 75 mm (III* / IV (75 mm) ) (84 rounds). More IVs were modified than IIIs, and their performance is virtually identical to the VI. To fit the Sherman mantlet required cutting away the front of the Churchill turret before it was welded in place, then the mantlet slot had to be cut away to give sufficient elevation. The Sherman 75 mm gun was designed for a left hand loader and the Churchill in common with British practice had a right hand loader. The gun was therefore turned upside down and the firing controls adapted.[13] The conversion of about 200 tanks was carried out between March–June 1944 and the conversion project earned the officer in charge an MBE as well as promotion.

Churchill Oke (3)
A Churchill II or III with a flamethrower. The Oke flamethrowing tank was named after its designer, Major J.M. Oke. The design was basically for a Churchill tank fitted with the Ronson flamethrower equipment. A tank containing the flame fuel was fitted at the rear, with a pipe from it leading to the mounting on the front hull to the left, leaving the hull machine gun unobstructed.

Churchill AVRE with fascine on tilt-forward cradle. This particular example is a post-WW2 AVRE on the MK VII chassis.

Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers)
A Churchill III or IV equipped with the Petard, a 290 mm Spigot mortar, throwing the 40 lb (18 kg) "Flying dustbin" with its 28 pound high explosive warhead a weapon designed for the quick levelling of fortifications developed by MD1.

Churchill ARV (Armoured Recovery Vehicle)
Mk I - A turretless Mk I with a jib. Mk II - A Churchill with a fixed turret/superstructure with a dummy gun. It was equipped for recovering other tanks from the battlefield. Mounted a front jib with a 7.5 ton capacity, a rear jib rated for 15 ton and winch that could pull 25 ton. Crew was 3 with enough room to carry the crew of the tank being recovered. Armament was single Besa machine gun.

Churchill ARK (Armoured Ramp Carrier)
A turretless Churchill with ramps at either end and along the body to form a mobile bridge. The Mark 1 had trackways over the tracks for vehicles to drive along. The Mark 2 was an improvised version and crossing vehicles drove directly on the Churchill's tracks. the Link Ark (or "Twin Ark") was two ARKs used side-by-side to give a wide crossing. The ramps on these were folding types giving a longer - 65 ft (20 m) - crossing.[15] This was used for the post war Conqueror heavy tank.

Churchill Crocodile (no more than 800[16])
The Crocodile was a Churchill VII which was converted by replacing the hull machine gun with a flamethrower. The fuel was in an armoured wheeled trailer towed behind. It could fire several 1 second bursts over 150 yards. The Crocodile was one of "Hobart's Funnies" - another vehicle used by the 79th Armoured Division. A working example can still be seen at the Cobbaton Combat Collection in North Devon.

Gun Carrier, 3in, Mk I, Churchill (A22D) (50)
A fixed 88 mm (3.5 in) thick superstructure with the gun in a ball mount. The gun was an otherwise obsolete 3 inch anti-aircraft gun. Fifty were built in 1942 but none are known to have been used - the 17 pounder anti-tank gun gave the British the necessary firepower.

Churchill Flail FV3902 or Toad
A post-war (1950s) mine-clearing flail tank built on a Churchill chassis.

Churchill Goat
A chargelayer like the Double Onion device.

Churchill Great Eastern
A much larger longer ramp than the ARK for crossing 60 ft. The ramp was launched into position with rockets. Ten built and two delivered in 1945 but not used in action.[17]

Churchill Kangaroo
Churchill hull converted to an APC

Black Prince
Heavy Churchill tanks modified to take a 17 pounder gun, as was done with the Sherman Firefly. This resulted in the Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43) in May 1945. Six prototypes were built

The A10 was developed by Sir John Carden of Vickers in 1934 by the adaptation of his A9 design. The A10 specification called for armour of up to 1 inch (25 mm) standard (the A9 was 14 mm (0.55 in)) a speed of 10 mph (16 km/h)) was acceptable. [2] The two sub-turrets present on the A9 were removed, and extra armour bolted onto that already present on the front and sides of the hull, along with all faces of the turret, providing approximately twice the armour in most areas. The A10 was two tonnes heavier than the A9, but used the same 150 bhp (110 kW) engine, and as a consequence the tank's top speed was cut from 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) to 16 miles per hour (26 km/h).

The turret armament consisted of a QF 2-pounder (40-mm) gun and a coaxial .303 Vickers machine gun. For the production version, there was a 7.92 mm BESA machine gun mounted in the hull in a barbette to the right of the driver. This was added to give extra firepower, but at the expense of simplicity - the Vickers and the BESA using different ammunition. The tank had a crew of five (Commander, gunner, loader, driver and hull machine gunner). There was no separation between the driver's compartment and the fighting compartments.

The prototype ("Tank, Experimental A10E1") was completed in 1936, a few months after the A9 prototype. [3] Carden had died in an air crash in 1935 and development was slower than expected. In 1937, the A10 was dropped as an infantry support tank, but in 1938 it was decided to produce an order of 75 as an interim "heavy cruiser". [4]

The A10 was accepted for service - initially as "Tank, Cruiser, Heavy Mk I" and then "Tank, Cruiser A10 Mk I" and finally "Tank, Cruiser Mk II". Production was ordered in July 1938. Total production was 175 vehicles, including the 30 CS versions (see below) 45 were built by Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, 45 by Metropolitan-Cammell, 10 by Vickers. In late 1939, another order was placed with Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, this time for a larger order of 75 vehicles. Entering service in December 1939 the tank was something of an oddity, it had been intended to sacrifice speed for armour like an Infantry tank but was still relatively poorly armoured and not effective.

A number of Mark IIs were part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to France in the early stages of the Second World War. The cross country performance was recorded as poor, but they were still used later in North Africa at the defence of Tobruk in 1941, where reliability and suspension performance in the desert conditions was praised. Sixty worn out examples were taken to Greece by the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment and, although they performed well against the German tanks, over 90% were lost due to mechanical breakdowns as opposed to enemy action (mainly lost tracks). [5] [6]

Classified as a 'heavy cruiser', 31 were sent to France with the 1st Armoured Division, but performed poorly in the Battle of France. The tank also served in the North African Campaign until late 1941.

Tank, Cruiser, Mk IIA (A10 Mk IA)

The coaxial Vickers machine guns were replaced with BESA machine guns. Armoured radio housing added.

Tank, Cruiser, Mk IIA CS (A10 Mk IA CS)

The CS (Close Support) version of the Mark II had a 3.7 in (94 mm) howitzer in the turret instead of the 2-pdr. The standard ammunition load was 40 rounds smoke, and a few HE shells.

This weapon was derived from a World War I field howitzer, the QF 3.7-inch mountain howitzer. It was not related to the 3-inch (76 mm) howitzer used in later British tanks in the Second World War, which was itself replaced by a 95 mm (3.7 in) howitzer in the later versions of the Churchill infantry tanks and all CS versions of the Centaur and Cromwell cruiser tanks. British doctrine was that the CS tank was to provide smoke cover in advances or retreats and hence many more smoke rounds were carried than HE. [7]

The Valentine used the suspension and transmission of the A10 but with a much more heavily armoured hull and turret.


, `, ", ^ or ALT+2+1, or Shift+3 to access the console (key varies based on keyboard layout)

Country tags [ edit ]

Country tags Ώ] are case insensitive, but conventionally written in upper case eg. USA, CHI, ENG, SOV. Nations spawned in civil wars are given a tag in the range D01, D02, D03 and onwards depending on availability (note that D50 is the highest available tag).

You can see the country tag by entering "tdebug" and hovering over a province of the country you want to know the tag of.

Useful commands [ edit ]

Command Effect Example/Comment
gain_xp [<amount>] Adds experience to selected Leader/General/Admiral gain_xp 100000(level capped at 9)Can also be used to add traits ie: gain_xp desert_fox (list can be found in your ../localisation/traits_l_english.yml file. Here are some explanations)
gain_xp [<trait>] Adds gainable trait to selected Leader/General/Admiral ie: gain_xp seawolf (list can be found in your ../localisation/traits_l_english.yml file. Here are some explanations)

Note To make it work with new, generic created Admirals:
1. Open 'DocumentsParadox InteractiveHearts of Iron IVsettings.txt' with a text editor and change 'save_as_binary=yes' to 'save_as_binary=no'.
2. Start game, load savegame and save as new file, exit game.
3. Open 'DocumentsParadox InteractiveHearts of iron IVSave Games' , open new created savegame-file, search (CTRL-F) for the name of your generic created Admiral
4. Go few lines below to max_traits=0.000 and add following code block behind it
in_progress= <
5. Make sure to save the file with ANSI encoding format.
6. Start game, load save game, use gain_xp command, enjoy.
(Optional turn back on binarization in settings.txt)

To add modified equipment, you have to address it by given name. Example: You create a variant of 'Matilda LP'-tank with better Armor and Main Gun and name it 'Matilda LP Mk. IV'. Now use 'add_equipment 1000 Matilda LP Mk. IV'.

M3 variants

The M3, as a basis for further developments, was incredibly successful. Not only did it allow the long-awaited M4 Sherman to be designed and produced faster, thanks to the many parts it shared with the M3, but the same chassis also served for other vehicles.
These included the Canadian Ram tank, the 105 mm (4.13 in) Howitzer Motor Carriage M7, better known as the M7 Priest, 155 mm (6.1 in) Gun Motor Carriage M12, the Kangaroo armored personnel carrier, and the Sexton Mk.I self-propelled gun.

Many were also converted as recovery tanks, the model M31 (also called Grant ARV in British service), and the M31B1 and M31B2, based, respectively, on M3A3/A5 versions. The M31 was fitted with a dummy gun and turret, a crane and a towing apparatus with a 27 ton (60,000 lb) winch installed. The M33 Prime Mover was a conversion of former towing versions as artillery tractors (109 units in 1943-44).
The British variants were the Grant ARV, an armored recovery vehicle obtained from disarmed Grants Mk.Is and Mk.IIs, the Grant Command, equipped with map table, extra radio, and dummy guns the Grant Scorpion III, a mine-cleaning vehicle equipped with the Scorpion III flail, and its variant the Scorpion IV and eventually the Grant CDL, which stands for “Canal Defence Light”, featuring a powerful searchlight and a machine gun. 355 were produced in all, which were also registered in US army service as the “Shop tractor T10”. A single Australian conversion (800 had been transferred by 1942) was the BARV, a beach recovery vehicle, which used the M3 chassis. Probably the last of these versions was the Australian Yeramba Self Propelled Gun, with 12 units adapted from the M3A5 in 1949.

An American M3 and crew, posing at Souk-Al-Abra, Tunisia, November 23, 1943.


Origins Edit

In the 1930s, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was primarily interested in twin-engine bombers. [3] These designs put significant demands on engine production and maintenance, both of which were already stretched with the introduction of many new types of aircraft into service. Power limitations were so serious that the British invested heavily in the development of huge engines in the 2,000 horsepower (1,500 kW) class in an effort to improve performance. However, during the late 1930s, none of these engines was ready for production. Meanwhile, both the United States and the Soviet Union were developing bombers powered by arrangements of four smaller engines with favorable results, including excellent range and fair lifting capacity. Accordingly, in 1936, the RAF decided to investigate the feasibility of a four-engined bomber. [3]

During the mid 1930s, the British Air Ministry released Specification P.13/36, seeking a twin-engine heavy-medium bomber suitable for "world-wide use". [4] Further requirements of the specification included the use of a mid-mounted cantilever monoplane wing and all-metal construction, and encouraged use of the Rolls-Royce Vulture engine then in development. [4] In response, Handley Page produced the twin-engine HP56 design to meet Specification P.13/36. [5] Handley Page aircraft designer George Volkert had responsibility for the design. [ citation needed ]

Other candidates were submitted for the same specification, including the Avro 679, and designs from Fairey, Boulton Paul and Shorts all submissions were designed around two-engine configurations, using the Rolls-Royce Vulture, Napier Sabre, Fairey P.24 or Bristol Hercules engines. The majority of these engines were under development at this point while four-engined bomber designs were considered for specification B.12/36 for a heavy bomber, wings mounting two pairs of engines were still in the experimental stage and required additional testing at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE). Adopting a stronger wing also required additional strengthening of the overall aircraft structure, resulting in an increase in overall weight. [6]

In February 1937, following consideration of the designs, the Air Ministry selected Avro's submission, with Handley Page's bid chosen as "second string". Accordingly, during April 1937, the Air Ministry ordered two prototypes of each design. [7] [4] The introduction of the successful P.13/36 candidates was delayed by the necessity of ordering additional Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley and Vickers Wellington bombers first. In mid-1937, it was decided to order both the Avro 679 and HP56 designs "off the drawing board" in order to speed up delivery timetables. [ citation needed ]

During July 1937, Handley Page was instructed to redesign the HP56 to use a four-engine arrangement, instead of the original twin-engine configuration by this point, the Vulture had already been suffering from reliability and performance problems. [4] The rival Avro 679 proceeded into service as the Avro Manchester powered by a pair of Vulture engines, but was only built in limited quantities after suffering substantially from engine-related difficulties. [ citation needed ] The four-engine redesign increased its wingspan from 88 ft (27 m) to 99 ft (30 m) and added 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) of weight. [4] In September 1937, the Ministry specified the use of four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines according to aviation author Phillip J. R. Moyes, this redesign to four Merlin engines had been done "much against the company's wishes". [4]

Towards the end of the year, a full mock-up of the design was assessed production of a pair of HP57 prototypes commenced in March 1938. [8] Further design modifications resulted in the definitive aircraft, now considerably enlarged and powered by four 1,280 hp (950 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines. Such was the promise of the new model that, in January 1938, the RAF chose to place their first production order for the type, ordering 100 Mk.I Halifaxes "off the drawing board", at which point the serials which had already been assigned to HP56 were switched to HP57. [4]

Prototypes Edit

The first prototype was built at Handley Page's facility in Cricklewood, London, It was then dismantled and transported by road to RAF Bicester (the nearest non-operational RAF airfield with suitable facilities) for reassembly. On 25 October 1939, the maiden flight of the first prototype Halifax, serial number L7244, was performed by chief test pilot Jim Cordes with E A 'Ginger' Wright as flight test observer during this flight, the undercarriage remained locked down as an extra safety precaution. [9] [4]

On 17 August 1940, the first flight of the second prototype, L7245, now complete with full armament and operationally-representative equipment, was performed by Cordes from Radlett Aerodrome. [4] The HP57 was given the service name Halifax upon its acceptance. This name followed the practice of naming heavy bombers after major towns – in this case, Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In September 1941, a production Halifax Mk.I participated in an official naming ceremony of the type, officiated by Lord Halifax and Lady Halifax. [4]

Production Edit

Series production of the Halifax began at Handley Page's factory at Cricklewood and at English Electric's site in Samlesbury, Lancashire. In order to speed up production, Handley Page implemented several new manufacturing techniques, including two pioneering approaches: photo-lofting and split construction. In the latter capacity, each Halifax was built from various sub-assemblies. [10] Surface panels were flush-riveted, although the application of the matt black night bomber camouflage probably negated its benefit. [11]

Handley Page built the assemblies and components at Cricklewood and the aircraft were assembled and flown from Radlett Aerodrome the first production aircraft flew from Radlett on 11 October 1940.

The sizeable production run envisioned required the involvement of several external parties in addition to Handley Page. [10] The resulting Halifax Group was established to oversee the manufacturing programme, comprising English Electric (who had previously been a valued contributor in the production of the Handley Page Hampden), various firms within the London Aircraft Production Group, Fairey Aviation, and Rootes Motors. [10] Because of this scheme and other initiatives, the Halifax was manufactured by a variety of aviation companies at sites across the British isles.

The Halifax was produced in large numbers during the war: of the 10,018 heavy bombers produced in Britain between 1940 and 1944, 4,046 were various models of the Halifax – in excess of 40%. [10] In all, 6,178 Halifaxes were built, the last delivered in April 1945. [12] [10] At the peak, 41 separate factories and dispersed units were involved in production, along with 600 subcontractors and 51,000 employees, with one Halifax completed every hour. [10] The first English Electric-built aircraft was flown from Samlesbury on 15 August 1941.

The first production standard Halifax, the Mk.I, had a 22 ft (6.7 m) long bomb bay as well as six bomb cells in the wings, providing a bomb capacity of 13,000 lb (5,900 kg). Defensive armament consisted of two .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in a Boulton Paul Type C nose turret, with an additional four in a Boulton Paul Type E tail turret. Some aircraft included two additional .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine guns in beam (side, or "waist") positions. Subtle modifications distinguished the Mk I aircraft. Aircraft of the first batch of fifty Mk I Halifaxes were designated Mk I Series I. [ citation needed ]

Factories [ citation needed ]
Manufacturer Location Number produced
Handley Page Radlett 1589
English Electric Preston 2145
Fairey Aviation Stockport 662
London Aircraft Production Group Leavesden [a] 710
Rootes Securities Speke 1070

Improvements Edit

Handley Page were initially disappointed with the performance of the Halifax which was below their predictions, [13] much of this was because they had under estimated the aircraft's drag. [14] Another contributory factor was Handley Page sticking to the 100ft maximum wingspan originally demanded by the Air Ministry's P13/36, the Halifax originally had a span of 98ft 8in whereas Avro did not adhere to that with the Manchester MkIII (i.e. the Lancaster) at 102ft 0in. The Mk III Halifax had a wider span of 103ft 8in and had significantly improved performance. [13] Arguably the Merlin engine did not suit the Halifax as much as the Hercules (fitted from the MkIII on) which suited the Halifax better both aerodynamically [14] and power wise.

The Halifax Mk.I was quickly followed by 25 of the Mk I Series II these featured an increased gross weight from 58,000 lb (26 t) to 60,000 lb (27 t) but with maximum landing weight unchanged at 50,000 lb (23 t). The Halifax Mk I Series III featured increased fuel capacity (1,882 imp gal (8,560 l 2,260 US gal), and larger oil coolers, the latter of which having been adopted in order to accommodate the Merlin XX engine. A dorsally-mounted two-gun Boulton Paul Type C turret replaced the beam guns. [15]

Introduction of 1,390 hp (1,040 kW) Merlin XX engines and a twin .303 in (7.7 mm) dorsal turret instead of waist guns resulted in the Halifax B Mk II Series I. The Mk II Series I (Special) achieved improved performance via the removal of the nose and dorsal turrets. The Halifax Mk II Series IA was fitted with a moulded Perspex nose (this nose became standard upon future Halifax variants), a four-gun Boulton Paul Type A dorsal turret similar to that used in the Boulton Paul Defiant, and Merlin 22 engines. The rudder overbalance / directional instability with engine(s) out problem was solved on the Mk III with the fitting of a larger D type fin (40% bigger) and modified rudder. [16] The Mk III Halifax had satisfactory stability in all axes, and in fact were more stable in a dive than a Lancaster, a Lancaster tended to go deeper into a dive whereas a Halifax had to be forced to stay in the dive as the speed increased, i.e. it naturally flew out of a dive. [17]

Owing to a shortage of Messier-built landing gear and hydraulics, Dowty-built landing gear were used on some aircraft instead. As it was incompatible with the Messier equipment, this led to these Halifax bombers being given new designations: a Mark II built with Dowty gear was the Mark V. [15] The use of castings rather than forgings in the Dowty undercarriage had resulted in an increased production rate but had also led to a reduced landing weight of 40,000 lb (18,000 kg). The Halifax Mark V were manufactured by Rootes Group at Speke and Fairey at Stockport operationally, these were generally used by Coastal Command and for training purposes. Some 904 had been built when Mark V production ended at the start of 1944, [18] compared to 1,966 Halifax Mk IIs. [ citation needed ]

The most numerous Halifax variant was the much improved B Mk III of which 2,091 were built. First appearing in 1943, the Mk III featured the Perspex nose and modified tail of the Mk II Series IA but replaced the Merlin with the more powerful 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Bristol Hercules XVI radial engine. Other changes included the adoption of de Havilland Hydromatic propellers and a wider wing span with rounded wing tips. [15] With the coming of the MkIII the Halifax's performance finally matched that of the Lancaster [19] though the latter had a larger bomb load and could take larger bombs. The B.VI Halifax's performance improved still further with a cruising speed of 265 mph and a maximum speed (in 'Full Speed' supercharger mode) of 309 mph at 19,500 ft. [17] Halifax crews, though admittedly not unbiased, considered the MkIII Halifax to be the equal of any other bomber, including the Lancaster, and further improved versions (with more powerful Hercules engines) to be superior to all. [2] The improvement in the Halifax MKIII's performance could be measured objectively. In 1943 4 Group's Halifax squadrons flew 11,607 sorties for a loss of 485 aircraft, a loss rate of 4.2%. Halifax MKIII production started in early Autumn 1943 and for 1944, when the MkIII constituted an increasing percentage of the Halifax force, 4 Group flew 25,454 sorties for a loss of 402 aircraft, a loss rate of 1.6%. [20]

The Halifax B Mk IV was a converted B Mk II non-production design using the Rolls Royce Merlin 65 engine with a two stage supercharger with a four bladed propeller fitted. The result was an increase in top speed by 60 mph to 324mph at 19,000ft. However, as a result of there being a shortage of Merlins with two stage superchargers meant that production of the B Mk IV was not proceeded with. [21]

The definitive version of the Halifax was the B Mk VI, powered by the 1,800 hp (1,300 kW) Hercules 100. The final bomber version, the Mk VII, which reverted to the less powerful Hercules XVI. However, these variants were produced in relatively small quantities. [ citation needed ]

The remaining variants were the Halifax C Mk VIII, an unarmed transport that was fitted with an 8,000 lb/3,630 kg cargo pannier instead of a bomb bay, which could accommodate a maximum of 11 passengers and the Mk A IX paratroop transport, which had space for up to 16 paratroopers and their equipment. A transport/cargo version of the Halifax was also produced, known as the Handley Page Halton. [22]

Overview Edit

The Handley Page Halifax was a mostly orthodox design, a mid-wing monoplane with a tail unit featuring twin fins and rudders. The Halifax featured all-metal construction with a smooth, stressed skin covering the majority of the exterior surfaces the flight control surfaces were an exception, being fabric-covered instead. [4] The slab-sided fuselage contained a 22-foot bomb bay, which contained the majority of the Halifax's payload, while the cockpit was flush with the upper fuselage. [4]

The Halifax was powered by four engines, two spaced evenly on each wing. [4] Early production Halifax bombers were powered by models of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine later aircraft were commonly powered by the larger Bristol Hercules radial engine. To contain and attach the engines to the airframe, Handley Page developed their own design for the power egg instead of using the typical, slimmer Rolls-Royce counterpart despite generating increased drag, this in-house design was readily adaptable to the alternative Hercules engine on later aircraft. [4]

Each engine drove a Rotol-built compressed wood constant-speed propeller, enabling the Halifax B.I to attain a maximum speed of 265 mph at 17,500 feet. [23] With a typical payload of 5,800 lbs of bombs and 2,242 imp. gal. of fuel, it had a range of 1,860 miles. The defensive armaments included power-assisted gun turrets in various positions located across the aircraft. [10] Different models of the Halifax used different numbers and combinations of turrets, effectively trading speed for firepower and vice versa. [10]

Accommodation and armament Edit

The bomb aimer's position was in the extreme nose with the navigator's table located behind it, both roles fulfilled by the same crew member. Above the navigator's position was the forward gun turret. The wireless (radio) operator was behind the navigator's position, separated by a half-width partition. [24] Just behind the front turret (or later the nose) on the floor, was the escape hatch. This was 24 in × 26.5 in (61 cm × 67 cm) the same size as the Stirling's. The Lancaster's was 22 in × 26.5 in (56 cm × 67 cm) Halifax crew had good reason to appreciate the size of the escape hatch, on average 25% of Halifax and Stirling crew successfully bailed out from a damaged aeroplane, but only 15% did so from Lancasters. [25]

The pilot sat on the left side in the cockpit above the wireless operator. The flight engineer filled in as a co-pilot, seated on a folding seat to the right of the pilot, during crucial manoeuvres such as take-off. Aft of the pilot and on the same level as the navigator and wireless operator was the flight engineer's compartment. Another compartment aft of the flight engineer contained two bunks originally intended for resting crew members, but almost always used for treating and berthing injured crew. This area led to the two-gun dorsal turret. The tail gunner occupied a four-gun turret at the extreme aft end of the aircraft. [24]

Starting with the Halifax Mk II Series IA and from the Mk III onwards, the nose turret was deleted instead the bomb-aimer occupied a streamlined perspex nose containing a single hand-held machine gun. On later-built aircraft, the two-gun dorsal turret was replaced by a four-gun Boulton Paul turret.

The maximum bomb load was 14,500 lb (6,600 kg), which was primarily carried in a bomb bay housed within the fuselage, divided into six separate bomb compartments, with three bomb compartments in the inboard sections of each wing this division of the payload between multiple compartments limited the maximum size of the individual bombs which could be completely enclosed to 2,000 lb (910 kg) when carrying the 4,000lb and 8,000lb high capacity (HC) bombs the bomb bay doors could not close fully. [26]

In November 1940, the Handley Page Halifax entered service with No. 35 Squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Its operational debut occurred on the night of 10–11 March 1941, when six Halifax bombers flew a bombing raid against Le Havre, targeting the area around the docks and any shipping that might be present. [10] [27] The existence of the Halifax was not officially acknowledged until July 1941, after it was used in a daylight attack on La Pallice, France, against the German battleship Scharnhorst. At the end of 1941, the Halifax was withdrawn from daylight bombing operations after intensifying fighter opposition had increased the casualty rates to unsustainable levels. [10]

In the second half of 1942, No. 35 Squadron and four other squadrons were selected to form the Pathfinder Force, later expanded to become No. 8 Group. [10] Pathfinder crews flying the Halifax would mark routes and identify and mark targets for the Main Force. Effective marking greatly increased the accuracy and destructive power of Bomber Command. As a Pathfinder and Main Force aircraft, the Halifax was a core part of the bombing offensive against Germany and its Axis allies. [28]

By the end of 1943, No. 4 Group had been entirely equipped with the Halifax, and would continue to operate the aircraft until the end of the war. [10] No. 6 Group, formed of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) squadrons, also adopted the Halifax around the same time, and would go on to operate it in each of its 14 squadrons, although it was never solely equipped with the type. At its peak strength, Bomber Command operated a total of 76 Halifax-equipped squadrons. [10]

While the early-built models of the Halifax were heavily used by Bomber Command and made valuable contributions to operations, the aircraft's performance was considered unsatisfactory for the most part, mainly due to the underpowered Merlin engine, which meant that it could not fly at the higher altitudes needed to avoid enemy fighters, which were becoming increasingly effective throughout 1943. [15] This was answered by the Halifax Mk III, which was powered by Bristol Hercules radial engines in place of the Merlins. Introduced into service in November 1943, the Mk III was first delivered to No. 433 Squadron and No. 466 Squadron. [29] By January 1944, the Hercules-powered Halifax was available in quantity and quickly proved to have superior performance in the face of German fighter defences. [15]

Early on, Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris, head of Bomber Command, was scathing in his criticism of the Halifax's performance in comparison to the new Avro Lancaster, primarily of its bomb-carrying capability: an average Halifax was calculated to drop 100 tons of bombs in its lifetime, compared to a Lancaster's 154. Harris continued to have a poor opinion of the Halifax, despite the fact that later Hercules-engined machines had lower loss rates and higher crew survival rates after abandoning the aircraft than Lancasters, and came very close to the Lancaster's speed and altitude performance. [30] The Halifax was progressively outnumbered in front-line service over occupied Europe as more Lancasters became available from 1943 onwards many squadrons converted to the Lancaster. [note 1]

Production of the Halifax continued, supposedly because it was more efficient to keep building it than to stop its production and convert to building another aircraft. But any new facilities were devoted to the Lancaster. [ citation needed ]

Harris's view of the Halifax changed sometime after spring 1942. On 2 June 1942, in a response to a telegram sent by Frederick Handley Page, congratulating Harris on the success of the first 1000 bomber Cologne raid, he stated: "My Dear Handley Page. We much appreciate your telegram of congratulation on Saturday night's work, the success of which was very largely due to your support in giving us such a powerful weapon to wield. Between us we will make a job of it." [31]

Following the invasion of Europe in 1944, the Halifax resumed daylight bombing operations, performing semi-tactical strikes upon enemy troop concentrations, gun emplacements, and strongpoints of the Atlantic Wall defences along the French coast with a reportedly high degree of accuracy. [32] Other common targets were enemy communications and the launch sites for V-1 flying bombs. Bombing activity became increasingly brazen throughout late 1944 as the Luftwaffe became incapable of putting up effective opposition against them. [32] The Halifax also found itself being increasingly tasked with transport duties around this time in one instance, around half a million gallons of petrol was delivered to Brussels in support of the advancing Second Army, then engaged in heavy fighting at Arnhem. [32]

During the latter half of 1944, the bombing of German-held oil facilities became a major priority of the offensive. [32] On 27 August, a force of 216 Halifax bombers, alongside smaller numbers of de Havilland Mosquitos and Lancasters and a sizable escort of Supermarine Spitfires, conducted the first major daylight operation by Bomber Command against a target inside Germany that year, attacking the oil refinery at Homberg on the Ruhr. In spite of heavy fire from anti-aircraft defenses, no bombers were downed and the refinery was severely damaged in places. [33] Attacks upon oil production facilities throughout Germany would become commonplace within the remaining months of the war. [34]

The only Victoria Cross to be awarded to any Halifax pilot went to Cyril J. Barton of No. 578 Squadron for displaying great gallantry in bringing his heavily damaged aircraft back after a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 30/31 March 1944. Barton continued to fly the Halifax while other crew members bailed out, he was killed in the aircraft's crash-landing, but the remaining crew survived due to his actions. [32]

Large numbers of Halifax bombers were also operated by Coastal Command, which used it to conduct anti submarine warfare, reconnaissance and meteorological operations. The Halifax was heavily used to deploy mines in the vicinity of enemy-held ports. [34] It served increasingly in other support capacities as the war progressed, being used as a glider tug, an electronic warfare aircraft for No. 100 Group and to conduct special operations, such as parachuting agents and arms into occupied Europe, for the Special Operations Executive (SOE). [35] As a glider tug the Halifax was particularly effective, the Halifax Mk III's "tug weight at take off" at 59,400lbs was higher than a Lancaster Mk2 at 52,800lbs [36]

Throughout early 1945, the Halifax was frequently dispatched against cities within the German homeland, including Hannover, Magdeburg, Stuttgart, Cologne, Münster, Osnabrück and others. [34] During these months, infrastructure such as oil facilities and railways were given a high priority these targets were attacked right up until the end of the war. According to Moyes, within the final few months, bomber losses had fallen to all-time lows while raids were frequently regarded as having been highly successful. [34] During the final months of the war the improved Halifax Mk VI and Mk VII were introduced. In particular, these models had been 'tropicalised' with an eye towards their potential use in the Pacific War against the Empire of Japan. [34] While some of these Mk VI and Mk VII machines were deployed to the theatre, they played little meaningful role as the war ended before larger numbers could be brought to bear against Japanese forces. [37]

On 25 April 1945, the Halifax performed its last major operation against the enemy during an attack upon coastal gun batteries on Wangerooge in the Frisian Islands of the North Sea. [38] While the type continued to fly operations after this, these were primarily diversions to other operations and sporadic, uncoordinated attacks against targets of opportunity. Upon the end of the conflict, Bomber Command quickly disbanded the majority of its Halifax-equipped squadrons the aircraft themselves were transferred to Transport Command. [35] During the type's service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs. 1,833 aircraft were lost. [39] [40]

By 1947, the majority of Halifax bombers were deemed to be surplus and scrapped. [35] The Halifax remained in widespread service with Coastal Command and RAF Transport Command, Royal Egyptian Air Force and the Armée de l'Air until early 1952. The Pakistan Air Force, which had inherited a number of Halifax bombers from the RAF, also continued to operate them and become the last military user of the type, retiring the last aircraft in 1961.

In September 1997 Halifax 57 Rescue of Canada excavated Halifax LW682 from a bog near the River Dender in Belgium. The plane was part of RCAF 426 Squadron, and had been shot down near Geraardsbergen during a raid on Leuven, Belgium on 12 May 1944. During the excavation, the bodies of three crew members were recovered and later given proper burial. Several items from the plane were used in restoration of NA337, while other items were transferred to museums. The airframe was melted down and used to construct the ceiling of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in London, which was unveiled in 2012. [41]

Civilian operation Edit

A number of former RAF Halifax C.8s were sold from 1945 and used as freighters by a number of mostly British airlines. In 1948, 41 civil Halifax freighters were used during the Berlin Air Lift, operating a total of 4,653 sorties carrying freight and 3,509 carrying bulk diesel fuel. Nine aircraft were lost during the airlift. The Low-cost airline business pioneer Freddie Laker bought and serviced war-surplus Halifaxes for Bond Air Services operations in the Berlin airlift. [ citation needed ]

With the airfreight market in decline, most of the civilian Halifaxes were scrapped on their return to England. The last civilian-operated Halifaxes were withdrawn from service in late 1952.


Given that cirrhosis underlies HCC in most of the patients, prognosis depends not only on tumor burden, but also on the degree of liver dysfunction and the patient's PS. In the majority of solid tumors, staging is determined at the time of surgery by pathological examination of resected specimens, leading to the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) classification. However, the TNM staging system fails to account for the degree of liver dysfunction and patient PS, which determine the feasibility of treatment and need to be considered in making clinical decisions for patients with HCC. Several alternative staging systems have been proposed, including the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC), Cancer of the Liver Italian Program, Japan Integrated Staging, Chinese University Prognostic Index, among others. 93

Although there is not one universally accepted staging system, the BCLC (Fig. 2) may offer the most prognostic information because it includes an assessment of tumor burden, liver function, and patient PS and thereby has been endorsed by the societies that specialized in liver disease. 3, 94 The prognostic ability of the BCLC has been validated in European, American, and Asian populations. 95-97 The value of the BCLC is in its ability to stratify the survival of patients with HCC among the substrata of 0, A, B, C, and D, and therefore it can be easily applied directly to patient care.

The Hong Kong Liver Cancer (HKLC) staging classification has been proposed as a more granular staging system for HCC with improved discriminatory ability. 98 Compared with the BCLC, the HKLC potentially distinguishes differential prognosis between patients with mild tumor-related symptoms and those with more severe symptoms. Furthermore, the HKLC may be able to identify patients with intermediate or advanced HCC who still may be eligible for more aggressive treatments. However, there are several issues with the HKLC classification. It utilizes nine substrata with significant overlap, and therefore its clinical use may not be easily applicable. While a subsequent study changed the substrata from 9 to 5, 99 this change still requires external validation. It is also not yet validated in non-HBV populations and is linked to a treatment strategy that also may not be generalizable.

Evidence-based criteria have been developed for the assement of prognosis, 100 and the BCLC staging system is the only staging system that meets all the criteria. Figure 2 shows the BCLC staging system, with minor modications. The PS for BCLC stages 0, A, and B has been changed to 0-1 to better reflect clinical practice, given the significant overlap that exists between PS0 and PS1 and the potential bias of patient-reported and physician-reported PS. 101 For BCLC stage C, most criteria for phase 3 trials include patients with PS of 0-1 therefore, expansion of the PS to include 0-2 is warranted. The BCLC staging has been recently modified. 102 Because the prognositic ability of this modification has not been prospectively validated, we have kept the previous iteration of the BCLC staging that has been prospectively validated.


Production went through 5 variants which were mostly minor improvements. 6,626 vehicles were produced from 1939 to 1945.

  • Mk I - original model with four-wheel steering and sliding roof.
    • Mk IA - folding roof.
    • Mk IB - reversed engine cooling fan.

    A closely related vehicle, the Lynx Scout Car, was produced by Ford Canada in Windsor, Ontario. The Lynx took a Dingo-type hull and set it on a chassis with four wheel drive taken from the rear mounted engine. While the engine was more powerful than the Dingo's, the gearbox and suspension were inferior. 3255 units were built, entering service sometime around 1943.

    Another Dingo clone, the Autoblinda Lince was developed by Lancia, Italy. In 1943-1944, 129 cars were built. They were employed by both German and RSI forces.

    Tanks, a lot: Hudson’s American Heritage Museum is home to an array of armored vehicles and much more

    The German Panther Ausf. A. tank on display in the "Clash of Steel" exhibit at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson. Pamela Wright

    War may not be the answer but it’s part of our history, and on full display at the American Heritage Museum. Tucked away on the Collings Foundation property in Hudson, about 45 minutes from Boston, the museum has an impressive collection, with more than 85 military vehicles and equipment featured in its 67,000-square-foot space. There are 20 tanks and artifacts that are the only ones on public display in North America, including the museum’s newest acquisition, the world’s last fully restored and flying fighter plane that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

    There are also Disney-like theater productions, with lights, sounds, and archival photos and footage, emotionally moving personal accounts, and well-thought-out and stylized displays. We’re not big wartime history buffs the sight of tanks and weapons of war actually brings qualms, and yet we were captivated during our recent (and first) visit to the museum.

    The concept of the American Heritage Museum began in 2013 when the nonprofit Collings Foundation received the massive private collection of tanks, armored vehicles, and military artifacts from the Jacques M. Littlefield family. Over his lifetime, Jacques Littlefield amassed the world’s largest privately held collection of tanks and military vehicles.

    The museum is organized in chronological order beginning with the Revolutionary War to present times, highlighting the advances in weaponry and warfare through the years. Visitors begin by entering the first of three theaters, highlighting the Revolutionary and Civil wars, moving on to a second theater, set up as a trench during World War I. It’s an immersive presentation of the battle-torn landscape of Saint-Mihiel, France, with lights and voices, and archival footage. On display is a Ford Model T Ambulance, a German 1917 machine gun, and a M1917 6-ton tank. The third theater features a film on the rise of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany and includes a replica of the Mercedes G4, favored by Adolf Hitler, and other artifacts. The presentation ends with a film on the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the screen lifts, and you walk into a second-floor mezzanine overlooking the massive World War II display.

    “We couldn’t have people climbing on the vehicles, but this allows you to look into them from above it’s a different perspective,” says executive director Rob Collings. “When we designed the museum, it was important to make it as immersive as possible.”

    The D-Day exhibit, one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history, displays a Higgins boat. Pamela Wright

    The main WWII display follows the war from the North African Campaign, with a rare Matilda Mk.II tank, through the Italian Campaign, to the Eastern Front. Of the estimated 70 million to 85 million deaths attributed to World War II, around 40 million occurred on the Eastern Front, as the two principal powers, Germany and Russia, battled, suffering immense loss of life. The “Clash of Steel” video, shown every half hour on a large screen in the middle of the exhibit hall, features a battle between two of the most advanced tanks along the Eastern Front: the Russian T-34/85 and the Panther Ausf. A. On display below the screen is a fully restored model of each tank. The tanks light up, bombs ignite, fire erupts as part of the video production. Of note: the Russian T-34 is the only one in the world that is completely restored and on public display. Another video provides an overview of the museum collection.

    We moved through the hall to the D-Day exhibit memorializing one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history. Displays include a Higgins boat and a flame-throwing Churchill Crocodile tank. Then we strolled through the Battle of the Bulge exhibit, which includes a rare Jumbo Sherman Tank, and the Crossing of the Rhine exhibit, considered the last major German offensive of World War II, and where American forces incurred their highest casualties. The Battle of Berlin, the Defense of the Reich, and the Liberation of Europe exhibits include more war artifacts and displays.

    The left side of the exhibit hall begins with the World War II Pacific War, where you’ll find the Curtiss P-40B Warhawk, the last fighter plane to survive the attack on Pearl Harbor, and ends with 9/11 and the War on Terror. There are displays on the Korean War, the Cold War (including a section of the Berlin Wall), the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War, with a rare SCUD missile and launcher.

    The museum concludes with two original feature films. One highlights an interview with Lieutenant Heather “Lucky” Penney and Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville, F-16 US Air National Guard pilots, talking about their experience on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Penney and Sasseville took off from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to intercept United Airlines Flight 93 headed toward a target in Washington, D.C. They had no live weapons on board, but they were ready to conduct a Kamikaze-like mission. Penney described her thoughts at the time. “Our nation was under attack we need to defend our nation’s capital, and that’s what we’re sworn to do,” Penney says. “It wasn’t until he [Sasseville] said ‘I’ll take out the cockpit,’ it became very clear that if we were successful, we would not be coming back.” Flight 93 crashed into a field in Somerset, Pa., before Penney and Sasseville could intercept it.

    The second video tells the story of a crew on a M1A1 Abrams tank mission in Iraq, resulting in the death of one of its crew members. The museum brought the soldier’s widow and crew members to the museum, where they saw the tank on display. The video shows the reunion and tells what happened on that fateful day with personal accounts from the soldiers.

    Geez, by then, we agreed with Marvin Gaye: brother, brother, sister, sister, mother, mother, father, father, war is not the answer. Can we find another way?

    While driving out of the parking lot, we noticed a tank circling the field in the back of the museum. A real tank on the move! It’s part of the museum’s immersive program that allows you to drive a tank from World War II, either the M24 Chaffee light tank ($995) or the M4A3 Sherman medium tank ($1,495).

    Watch the video: 15 September 2021


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