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Old 16-03-23, 13:03
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Philliphastings Philliphastings is offline
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Default Matilda FROG flamethower

I noticed a stripped out Australian Matilda FROG Flamethrower tank hull is up for auction in Victoria Australia, along with pallets of assorted spare parts for Matilda FROG and Matilda gun tanks.

It got me very interested:

Does anyone have in images, line drawings, data or details of the rare Matilda variants ?

Were they an Australian idea or British ?

Just curious, not bidding

Cheers

Phill
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Old 17-03-23, 13:16
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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The Matilda isnít my area of expertise, but IIRC, most of those conversions were an Australian initiative to cope with the conditions of jungle fighting.
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Old 17-03-23, 23:08
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Phil & Jakko,

The British Matilda 2 Infantry tank armed with either the 2-pdr QF or 3-inch Howitzer remained relevant against the Japanese for a number of reasons. In jungle fighting, the heavy armour and low gearing was ideal for the purpose of slogging slowly along jungle tracks in support of infantry.

The usefulness of the Matilda 2 with 2-pdr QF was also increased by the Australian Army by the introduction of two locally-devised and manufactured projectile types: a nose-fuzed HE/T round and an anti-personnel Canister round in addition to the British AP/T round already in service (There was also a British base-fuzed HE round but very few were imported from the UK).

Australia also adapted/improved the Matilda by the addition of various modifications, viz turret ring protection, front idler armoured covers, additional armoured stowage boxes on the turret exterior, and an infantry tank-telephone. An all-round vision cupola was also in an advanced stage of development when the war ended.

The tank was also adapted by the Australian Army with a Hedgehog Naval missile system mounted on the rear deck, as a flamethrower using a locally-developed fuel called 'geletrol', and as a dozer.

All these mods and adaptations made the Matilda a very useful family of tanks in jungle warfare, where being geared low allowed the infantry to remain close for both their protection and the tank's protection, while being heavily armoured significantly reduced the possibility of being disabled by Japanese artillery.


I know of very few readily-available drawings or detailed specifications for the various Australian adaptations.


Mike
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