DescriptionEditThe 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.
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
|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|
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 contact length|
|Turret ring diameter|
|Main||76 mm (17 pdr)1
17 pdr OQF3 17 pdr4,12
|MG||2: 7.92 mm Besa MGs1,3,12
|Armor Thickness (mm)||18 - 1521
25 - 1524,5 253, 1523,12
|Hull Front, Upper|
|Hull Front, Lower|
|Hull Sides, Upper|
|Hull Sides, Lower|
|Engine (Make / Model)||Beford Flat 121
Bedford Twin3 Bedford4,7,12
|Bore / stroke|
|Power to weight ratio|
|Fuel consumption road|
|Fuel consumption cross country|
|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|
|Fording depth||3' 4" unprepared.3|
|Vertical obstacle||2' 6"3|
|Wheels each side|
|Return rollers each side|
|Number of links|
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