Black Prince (tank)

Black Prince (tank)

Infobox Weapon
name=Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43)

caption=Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43)
type=Infantry tank
weight=49 t
suspension=sprung bogie
speed=11 mph (off-road 7 mph)
vehicle_range=~100 miles
primary_armament=QF 17 pdr
secondary_armament=2 x 7.92 mm Besa MG
engine=2 x Bedford Flat 12
crew=5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner)

The Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43) was the name assigned to an experimental development of the Churchill tank with a larger, wider hull and a QF 17-pounder (76 mm) gun. It was named after a 14th century figure, Edward, Prince of Wales, who fought at Crécy.

As a development from the Churchill, the Black Prince was a continuation of the line of Infantry tanks, that is tanks intended to operate in close support of British infantry. The parallel development in British tank design were the Cruiser tanks which were intended for more mobile operations.

The cruiser line of tanks led to the Cromwell tank (and the 17 pounder armed Challenger variant) and then the Comet tank, (which had a variant of the 17 pounder gun) entering service during the war. While not as heavily protected as the Churchill the Comet showed the way tank development was going and the last of the cruiser line and the first of the "Universal tanks", the Centurion tank was approaching completion.

In the light of the slow speed of the Black Prince, and the 17 pounder armament of the Centurion the Black Prince project would be limited. Only six prototypes were completed while the first Centurions were rushed to Germany to try to beat the wars end.

Black Prince tanks are held by the Imperial War Museum Duxford and the Bovington Tank Museum.

External links

* [ A43, Tank, Infantry, Black Prince]

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