A43 Black Prince

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The A43 Black Prince was a British tank created in World War II as an upgrade of the Churchill tank


Black prnc

The Black Prince tank

The A43 Black Prince was the name assigned to an experimental development of the Churchill tank with a larger, wider hull and a QF 17-pounder (76 mm) gun. It was named after a 14th-century figure, 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. This led to the last of the cruiser line and the first of the "Universal tanks", the very successful Centurion tank.

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 war's end.

Black Prince tanks saw useful service during the Korean War in 1951, where their high gear ratios gave them an unparalleled gradient climbing capability in the hilly terrain of the Korean peninsula.[1]


The only surviving Black Prince tank is held by the Bovington Tank Museum in Bovington, UK.


Black Prince (A43)
Crew Commander, driver, gunner, loader, co-driver/hull gunner.3


Physical Characteristics
Weight 112,000 lb 3

49 tons1, 50 tons4,12,13 49,786 kg1, 50,802 kg12

Length w/gun 25' 6"1, 28' 11"3,4,12

7.7 m1, 8.81 m12

Length w/o gun
Height 9'1,3,4,12

2.7 m1, 2.74 m12

Width 11' 3"1,3,12, 11' 3.5"4

3.4 m1, 3.43 m12

Width over tracks
Ground clearance
Ground contact length
Ground pressure
Turret ring diameter
Main 76 mm (17 pdr)1

17 pdr OQF3 17 pdr4,12

MG 2: 7.92 mm Besa MGs1,3,12

2: MG4

Side arms
Side arms
Armor Thickness (mm) 18 - 1521

25 - 1524,5 253, 1523,12

Hull Front, Upper
Hull Front, Lower
Hull Sides, Upper
Hull Sides, Lower
Hull Rear
Hull Top
Hull Bottom
Turret Front
Turret Sides
Turret Rear
Turret Top
Engine (Make / Model) Beford Flat 121

Bedford Twin3 Bedford4,7,12

Bore / stroke
Cylinders 2x63,7, 1212
Net HP 3503,4,7,12
Power to weight ratio
Compression ratio
Transmission (Type) Merrit-Brown1
Steering ratio
Electrical System
Fuel (Type) Gasoline12
Fuel consumption road
Fuel consumption cross country
Traverse 360°3
Max speed 11 mph1,3,4,12,13

17.7 kph1, 18 kph12

Cross country speed 7 mph3
Road radius 80 miles3, 100 miles1,12

160.93 km1, 161 km12

Cross country radius
Turning radius
Elevation limits
Fording depth 3' 4" unprepared.3
Trench crossing 10'3
Vertical obstacle 2' 6"3
Climbing ability
Suspension (Type)

Sprung bogies.3

Wheels each side
Return rollers each side
Tracks (Type)
Width 24"3
Number of links
Tire tread
Track centers/tread
Production 612, Vauxhall12


  1. "Killer Tanks, Fighting the Iron Fist - The Churchill Tank". Pegasus Entertainment. 15 August 2005. OCLC 276636533. 

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