Crusader Gun Tractor
History, technical sheet and photo
Crusader Gun Tractor history
When the QF 17 pounder (76.2 mm) cannon is created, British gunners want to have a vehicle to tow this piece on all terrains and in all weather conditions. The Ruston & Hornsby engineers then imagined using the chassis of the aging Crusader tank and installing an armored protection box open on top. This new machine, called Crusader Gun Tractor, became the main tracked artillery tractor of the British army.
At the rear of the tracked tractor and within the personnel crate, spaces are devoted to the transport of ammunition. Because of its crossing capabilities and speed, it is also chosen to serve as an armored reconnaissance and command vehicle for the benefit of artillery regiments.
Used during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, some units of the Crusader Gun Tractor are reinforced by welded plates to make the tracked tractor watertight during the disembarkation phase or when crossing a shallow wet break.
Crusader Gun Tractor specification
Denomination: Crusader II, Gun Tractor, Mk I
Length: 5,23 m
Width: 2,46 m
Height: 2,51 m
Weight: 19,000 kg
Maximum speed: 48 km/h
Operational range: 160 km
Powerplant: Nuffield Liberty, 27-litre V-12 petrol engine 340 bhp (254 kW) at 1,500 rpm
Crew: 1 driver
Transport capacity: 6 artillerymen
Armor: 14 mm