Cruiser Mk I file photo [6510]

Cruiser Mk I

CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerVickers-Armstrongs, Limited
Primary RoleCruiser Tank


ww2dbaseThe Cruiser Mk I (A9) tanks were the first cruiser tanks in the history of the British military, designed to bypass main enemy lines of defense to disrupt communications and logistics in the rear. This first attempt at creating a fast and mobile tank design was fairly successful, but the design did have flaws, such as the relatively thin and vertical armor and the relatively large crew size, but the design was considered good enough for production, which began in 1937. 75 of them were built by Harland and Wolff, and 50 were built by Vickers, bringing the total production number to 125 between 1937 and 1941.

ww2dbaseDuring WW2, Cruiser Mk I tanks were employed by the UK 1st Armored Division in France and by the UK 2nd and 7th Armored Divisions in North Africa. With the latter divisions, they were initially fairly effective in North Africa early in the war, where their QF 2 pounder guns were large enough to punch through the weakly-armored Italian tanks. Once German forces arrived in North Africa en force, however, Cruiser Mk I tanks were quickly rendered obsolete in the face of more modern German tanks and anti-tank weapons.

ww2dbaseThe later Infantry Mk III Valentine tanks shared the same lower hull structure and suspension systems as the Cruiser Mk I tanks.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2008


MachineryOne AEC 179 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 150hp
SuspensionSprung triple wheel bogie
Armament1x40mm QF 2pdr gun (100 rounds), 3x7.7mm Vickers machine guns
Length5.80 m
Width2.50 m
Height2.65 m
Weight12.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range241 km


British Cruiser Mk I tank at rest, date unknownBritish Cruiser Mk I tank moving, date unknownClose-up of the front of the British Cruiser Mk I tank, showing 3.7-in howitzer main armament, date unknown

Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code


Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
Cruiser Mk I Cruiser Tank Photo Gallery
British Cruiser Mk I tank at rest, date unknown
See all 3 photographs of Cruiser Mk I Cruiser Tank

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945