- Black Prince (tank)
name=Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43)
caption=Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43)
speed=11 mph (off-road 7 mph)
primary_armament=QF 17 pdr
secondary_armament=2 x 7.92 mm
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 tankwith a larger, wider hull and a QF 17-pounder(76 mm) gun. It was named after a 14th centuryfigure, 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 tankwas 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 Duxfordand the Bovington Tank Museum.
* [http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/7413/a43blackprince.html A43, Tank, Infantry, Black Prince]
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