A10 Cruiser Mk IIA (Desert)
with one A10 Cruiser Mk IIA tank (2pdr gun and CS gun option) & one Tank Commander figure.
British Cruiser tanks were designed, as their naval title implied, to be able to manoeuvre around the battlefield, operating completely independent of the infantry, who had their own tanks to support them.
With their speed, Cruiser Squadrons could quickly react to opportunities present in battle and punch through gaps in the enemy’s lines. In many ways their tactical doctrine represented the glory days of the British heavy cavalry, and hence their design emphasised speed over armour.
These decisions meant that British tankers bravely went into battle knowing that they were fighting better armoured opponents. Initially A9 Cruiser tanks built before the war made up the bulk of the armoured regiments, but newer A10 and A13 Cruiser tanks eventually replaced them.
With the completion of the A9 in 1934, the War Office then requested an up armoured version in order to better support infantry formations. The A10 was very similar in looks to the A9 and the extra armour was provided by the addition to bolt-on armour plate to the outside of the hull and turret.
However, by 1938 the A10 was considered too lightly armoured to fall into the new classification of an infantry tank; therefore to it was classified as a heavy cruiser. The A10 saw action with the 1st Armoured Division in France during 1940 and in the Western Desert until the later stages of 1941. With more advanced designs on the drawing board, both the A9 and A10 were known as a stop-gap measure until designs like the A13 could reach the battlefield.