United Kingdom

Britain had been the worldwide trend-setter in tank development from 1915, but had lost its leadership position as the Second World War approached. Hampered by restricted expenditure in the years leading up the war and still organised for operations in Imperial defence as an expeditionary force, the British Army entered the war unprepared for the very sort of combat its influential theorists such as J.F.C. Fuller and B. H. Liddell Hart had advocated. The British Army had developed two types of tanks - "Infantry Tanks" which were heavily armoured with good all terrain performance but were slow. This lack of speed was not considered a flaw as they were designed to support infantry assaults on enemy strong points or urban warfare where the ability to outpace a man on foot was deemed unnecessary. The other type were "Cruiser Tanks" which were intended for independent maneuvering, rapid breakouts and flanking attacks. Early Cruiser tanks gained performance at a cost in the armour they could carry. Reliability was an important issue especially in the harsh conditions of North Africa and the mountainous terrain of Southern Europe, where the A10 and A13 in particular were plagued by broken tracks and overheating engines.
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Tank, Cruiser, Mk VIII, Cromwell (A27M)
The Cromwell tank, officially Tank, Cruiser, Mk VIII, Cromwell (A27M),[a] was one of the series of cruiser tanks fielded by Britain in the Second World War. Named after the English Civil War leader Oliver Cromwell, the Cromwell was the first tank put into service by the British to combine high speed from a powerful and reliable engine (the Rolls-Royce Meteor), and reasonable armour. However the originally proposed dual-purpose high velocity gun could not be fitted in the turret and the medium velocity dual purpose gun fitted proved inadequate. An improved version with a high velocity gun became the Comet tank. The name "Cromwell" was initially applied to three different vehicles during development. Early Cromwell development led to the creation of the A24 Cavalier. Later Cromwell development led to the creation of the competing Tank, Cruiser, Mk VIII, Centaur (A27L) design. The Centaur tank was closely related to the Cromwell, both vehicles being externally of very similar appearance. Cromwell and Centaur differed in the engine used. While the Centaur had the 340 hp Liberty engine, the Cromwell had the significantly more powerful 600 hp Meteor. The Cromwell first saw action in the Battle of Normandy in June 1944. The tank equipped the armoured reconnaissance regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps, in the 7th Armoured Division, 11th Armoured Division and the Guards Armoured Division. While the armoured regiments of the latter two divisions were equipped with M4 Shermans, the armoured regiments of the 7th Armoured Division were equipped with Cromwell tanks. The Centaurs were not used in combat except for those fitted with a 95mm howitzer, which were used in support of the Royal Marines during the amphibious invasion of Normandy.
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Tank, Cruiser, Challenger (A30)
The Tank, Cruiser, Challenger (A30) was a British tank of World War II. It mounted the QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun on a chassis derived from the Cromwell tank to add anti-tank firepower to the cruiser tank units. The design compromises made in fitting the large gun onto the Cromwell chassis resulted in a tank with a powerful weapon and reduced armour. The extemporised 17-pounder Sherman Firefly conversion of the US-supplied Sherman was easier to produce and, with delays in production, only 200 Challengers were built. The Challenger was able to keep up with the fast Cromwell tank and was used with them.
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FV4101 Tank, Medium Gun, Charioteer
The Charioteer Tank, or FV4101 Tank, Medium Gun, Charioteer was a post-war British armoured fighting vehicle. The vehicle was produced in the 1950s to up-gun units of the Royal Armoured Corps continuing to use the Cromwell tank during the early phases of the Cold War. The vehicle itself was a modified Cromwell with a more powerful gun installed in a relatively lightly armoured two-man turret.

Charioteer saw limited use with the British army, but was used more extensively by overseas nations in Europe and the Middle East. Charioteers saw action in conflicts in the Middle-East.
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Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34)
The Comet tank or Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of the Second World War. It was designed as an improvement on the earlier Cromwell tank, mounting the new 77 mm HV gun in a new lower profile and part-cast turret. This gun was effective against late war German tanks, including the Panther at medium range, and occasionally, at close range, the Tiger. The tank was widely respected as one of the best British tanks of the war, and continued in service afterwards. The Comet, which was a development of the Cromwell, rendered the Challenger obsolete, and led to the development of the Centurion tank. When firing APDS rounds, the 77 mm HV was superior in armour penetration capability to the 75 mm KwK 42 gun of the equivalent Axis tank, the Panther. The Comet saw action in the closing stages of the Second World War and remained in British service until 1958. In some cases, Comets sold to other countries continued to operate into the 1980s.
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Tank, Cruiser, Mk IV (A13 Mk II)
The Cruiser Tank Mk IV (A13 Mk II) was a British cruiser tank of the Second World War. It followed directly on from the Tank, Cruiser, Mk III (A13 Mk I). The first Mk IVs were Mk IIIs with extra armour fitted to the turret. Later Mk IVAs were built with the complete extra armour. The tank was used in France in 1940 and in the early part of the war in North Africa, before being withdrawn from service. In total, 955 of these tanks were built.
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Tank, Cruiser, Mk III (A13 Mk I)
The Tank, Cruiser, Mk III, also known by its General Staff specification number A13 Mark I, was a British cruiser tank of the Second World War. It was the first British cruiser tank to use the Christie suspension system, which gave higher speeds and better cross-country performance; previous cruiser tank models had used triple wheeled bogie suspension.
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Tank, Cruiser, Mk II (A10)
The Tank, Cruiser, Mk II (A10), was a cruiser tank developed alongside the A9 cruiser tank, and was intended to be a heavier, infantry tank version of that type. In practice, it was not deemed suitable for the infantry tank role and was classified as a "heavy cruiser".
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Tank, Cruiser, Mk I (A9)
The Tank, Cruiser, Mk I (A9) was a British cruiser tank of the interwar period. It was the first cruiser tank: a fast tank designed to bypass the main enemy lines and engage the enemy's lines of communication, along with enemy tanks. The Cruiser Mk II was a more heavily armoured adaptation of the Mark I, developed at much the same time.
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Tank, Infantry, Mk III, Valentine
The Tank, Infantry, Mk III, Valentine was an infantry tank produced in the United Kingdom during the Second World War. More than 8,000 of the type were produced in eleven marks, plus various specialised variants, accounting for approximately a quarter of wartime British tank production.[1] The many variants included riveted and welded construction, petrol and diesel engines and a progressive increase in armament. It was supplied in large numbers to the USSR and built under licence in Canada. Developed by Vickers, it proved to be both strong and reliable.
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Sherman Vc Firefly
The Sherman Firefly was a tank used by the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth and Allied armoured formations in the Second World War. It was based on the US M4 Sherman, but fitted with the powerful 3-inch (76.2 mm) calibre British 17-pounder anti-tank gun as its main weapon. Originally conceived as a stopgap until future British tank designs came into service, the Sherman Firefly became the most common vehicle mounting the 17-pounder in the war.

Though the British expected to have their own new tank models developed soon, the previously rejected idea of mounting the 17-pounder in the existing Sherman was eventually accepted, despite initial government resistance. This proved fortunate, as both the Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger and Cruiser Mk VIII Cromwell tank designs experienced difficulties and delays.

After the difficult problem of getting such a large gun to fit in the Sherman's turret was solved, the Firefly was put into production in early 1944, in time to equip Field Marshal Montgomery's 21st Army Group for the Normandy landings. It soon became highly valued, as its gun could almost always penetrate the armour of the Panther and Tiger tanks it faced in Normandy. In recognition of this, German tank and anti-tank gun crews were instructed to attack Fireflies first.[citation needed] Because the Firefly had a visibly longer barrel, crews tried to camouflage it so the tank would look like a normal 75 mm-gun Sherman from a distance. Between 2,100 and 2,200 were manufactured before production wound down in 1945.
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Light Tank Mk VII Tetrarch
The Light Tank Mk VII (A17), also known as the Tetrarch, was a British light tank produced by Vickers-Armstrongs in the late 1930s and deployed during the Second World War. The Tetrarch was originally designed as the latest in the line of light tanks built by the company for the British Army. It improved upon its predecessor, the Mk VIB Light Tank, by introducing the extra firepower of a 2-pounder gun. The War Office ordered 70 tanks, an order that eventually increased to 220. Production was delayed by several factors, and as a consequence, only 100 to 177 of the tanks were produced.[Note 1] The tank's design flaws, combined with the decision by the War Office not to use light tanks in British armoured divisions, ruled out the use of Tetrarchs in the North African Campaign. As a result, the majority of the tanks remained in Britain, although 20 were sent to the USSR as part of the Lend-Lease program. In early 1941, the Royal Armoured Corps formed three squadrons for use in overseas amphibious operations, one of which was equipped with Tetrarchs. In May 1942, a small number of Tetrarchs formed part of the British force which participated in the invasion of Madagascar, and, in June 1942, Tetrarchs were attached to the 1st Airborne Division after it was decided that the design allowed its use as an air-portable light tank to support British airborne forces. The Tetrarchs were transported and landed in specially designed General Aircraft Hamilcar gliders.[4] A lack of gliders prevented their participation in the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943; instead they were attached to the new 6th Airborne Division and became part of the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment.
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M3 Stuart family
The M3 Stuart, officially Light Tank, M3, was an American light tank of World War II. It was supplied to British and other Commonwealth forces under lend-lease prior to the entry of the U.S. into the war. Thereafter, it was used by U.S. and Allied forces until the end of the war.

The British service name "Stuart" came from the American Civil War Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart and was used for both the M3 and the derivative M5 Light Tank. In U.S. use, the tanks were officially known as "Light Tank M3" and "Light Tank M5".

Stuarts were the first American-crewed tanks in World War II to engage the enemy in tank versus tank combat
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Tank, Light, Mk VI
The Tank, Light, Mk VI was a British light tank, produced by Vickers-Armstrongs in the late 1930s, which saw service during the Second World War.

The Tank, Light, Mk VI was the sixth in the line of light tanks built by Vickers-Armstrongs for the British Army during the interwar period. The company had achieved a degree of standardization with their previous five models, and the Mark VI was identical in all but a few respects. The turret, which had been expanded in the Mk V to allow a three-man crew to operate the tank, was further expanded to give room in its rear for a wireless set.[6] The weight of the tank was increased to 10,800 pounds (4,900 kg), which although heavier than previous models actually improved its handling characteristics, and an 88 horsepower (66 kW) engine was added to the model to increase its maximum speed to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h).

It had the Horstmann coil-spring suspension system, which was found to be durable and reliable, although the fact that the tank was short in relation to its width and that it pitched violently on rough ground made accurate gunnery whilst moving exceptionally difficult.[5] The Mk VI possessed a crew of three consisting of a driver, gunner and commander, who also doubled as the radio operator, between 4 millimetres (0.16 in) and 14 millimetres (0.55 in) of armour, which could resist rifle and machine gun bullets, and its armament consisted of one water-cooled .303 inch and one .50 inch Vickers machine gun.
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Universal Carrier (Bren Gun Carrier)
Model comes supplied with seperate Bren guns. So you can fit them or leave them off the vehicle.

The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier from the light machine gun armament,[3] is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrongs and other companies.The first carriers – the Bren Carrier and the Scout Carrier with specific roles – entered service before the war, but a single improved design that could replace these, the Universal, was introduced in 1940.The vehicle was used widely by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War. Universal Carriers were usually us The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier from the light machine gun armament,[3] is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrongs and other companies.

The first carriers – the Bren Carrier and the Scout Carrier with specific roles – entered service before the war, but a single improved design that could replace these, the Universal, was introduced in 1940.

The vehicle was used widely by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War. Universal Carriers were usually used for transporting personnel and equipment, mostly support weapons, or as machine gun platforms. With some 113,000 built by 1960 in the United Kingdom and abroad, it is the most produced armoured fighting vehicle in history.ed for transporting personnel and equipment, mostly support weapons, or as machine gun platforms. With some 113,000 built by 1960 in the United Kingdom and abroad, it is the most produced armoured fighting vehicle in history.
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Willys Jeep (multiple variants)
The Willys MB and the Ford GPW, both formally called the U.S. Army Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4, Command Reconnaissance,[2][3] commonly known as Jeep or jeep, and sometimes referred to as G503 [nb 3] are light, off-road capable, military utility vehicles that were manufactured during World War II (from 1941 to 1945) to help mobilize the Allied forces.The jeep became the primary light wheeled transport vehicle of the United States Military and its Allies in World War II, as well as the postwar period — becoming the world's first mass-produced four-wheel drive car, manufactured in six-figure numbers.

The ca. 640,000 units built, constituted a quarter of the total U.S. non-combat motor vehicle production in the war,[6] and almost two thirds of the ca. 988,000 light vehicle class, together with the Dodge WC series, outnumbering those by almost two to one."In many respects, the jeep became the iconic vehicle of World War II, with an almost mythological reputation.." — (Hyde, 2013)[4], having proven itself exceptionally capable, tough, durable and versatile. Not only did it literally become the workhorse of the American military, as it replaced the use of horses and other draft animals (still abundant in World War I), in every role, from cavalry units to supply trains. But also, improvised field-modifications made the jeep capable of just about any function GI's could think of.

Variants
  • Jeep Open topped
  • Jeep covered
  • Airborne Jeep
  • Airborne Jeep - Recon
  • SAS/LRDG Jeep - desert
  • SAS Jeep - European Theatre
  • SAS Jeep - European Theatre armoured
  • Jeep with .50cal MG
  • Jeep with .30cal MG
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Tank, Infantry, Mk I, Matilda I (A11)
The Tank, Infantry, Mk I, Matilda I (A11)[1] was a British infantry tank of the Second World War. Despite being slow, cramped and only armed with a single machine gun, the Matilda I had some success in the Battle of France in 1940, owing to its heavy armour which was proof against the standard German anti-tank guns. It is not to be confused with the later model Tank, Infantry Mk II (A12), also known as the "Matilda II", which took over the "Matilda" name after the Matilda I was withdrawn from combat service in 1940. They were completely separate designs.
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Humber Armoured Car MK II

The Humber Armoured Car was one of the most widely produced British armoured cars of the Second World War. It supplemented the Humber Light Reconnaissance Car and remained in service until the end of the war.

Made by the Rootes Group, the Humber was essentially a combination of the Karrier KT 4 artillery tractor chassis and the armoured body of the Guy Armoured Car. The KT4 was already in production for the Indian Army, and Guy were having problems with the production levels required. The Karrier name was dropped to avoid confusion.[3]

The first order for 500 was placed in 1940. The first Humbers were more or less identical to the Guy down to the faults in the armour, but this was later rectified. Production started in 1941.

The Mark III improved upon the Mark II by providing a three-man turret. Mark III production ended in 1942 after 1,650 had been built. With a possible replacement, the 2-pounder armed Coventry armoured car, on its way, the Mark IV was designed. This put the US 37 mm gun in the turret but at the cost of one crewman. The Coventry was not ordered as a replacement and so production of Mark IV continued, for a total of 2,000, despite its flaws.

 

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Daimler Mk2 Armoured Car

The Daimler Armoured Car was a successful British armoured car design of the Second World War that continued in service into the 1950s. It was designed for armed reconnaissance and liaison purposes. During the postwar era, it doubled as an internal security vehicle in a number of countries.

Former British Daimler armoured cars were exported to various Commonwealth of Nations member states throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 2012, some were still being operated by the Qatari Army.

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17 pounder, Self-Propelled, Achilles Tank Destroyer

The 17 pounder, Self-Propelled, Achilles was a British variant of the American M10 tank destroyer armed with the British Ordnance QF 17 pounder 76.2 mm (3 inch) anti-tank gun in place of the equipped 3 inch (76.2 mm) Gun M7. With a total of 1,100 M10s converted, the 17 pdr SP Achilles was the second most numerous armoured fighting vehicle to see service armed with the 17 pounder gun, behind the Sherman Firefly.

The name "Achilles" was officially a designation applied to both the 3" gun and 17 pounder versions (as Achilles I/II and Achilles Ic/IIc respectively) but was little used during the Second World War; at the time, the vehicle was called 17pdr M10, or 17pdr SP M10, or even occasionally, "Firefly". It has since become identified almost exclusively with the 17 pounder version.

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M9 A1 Half-track
The M9 half-track was a half-track produced by International Harvester in the United States during World War II for lend-lease supply to the Allies. It was designed to provide a similar vehicle to the M2 half-track car. It had the same body and chassis as the M5 half-track (also built by International Harvester for lend-lease) but had the same stowage and radio fit as the M2 half-track.

The M9 served for a significant amount of time. Three thousand five-hundred were produced by the end of World War II. It was used during World War II, the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the Korean War, the Suez Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Six-Day War, and the Yom Kippur War. It had been used by eleven different countries by the end of its service.
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