British tank engines


ACCESS: Top Secret
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Jun 4, 2006
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From David Fletcher's 'Mechanised Force'

Regarding what became the Matilta II

'Inevitably the question of a suitable power unit arose, and one suggestion involved a Napier-built version of the Junkers Jumo engine, although this was rejected in favour of an AEC unit'.

Any idea what Jumo engine was in mind with this suggestion?

This occurred quite early on in the process by the looks of it, just after the prototype A11 had appeared, its effectiveness was being questioned and a faster gun armed 3 crew 14 ton version was considered which gradually morphed into the A12.

This from another board i've posted on

I've just had a look in David Fletcher's Osprey book on the Matildas; it looks from that that there was three months of stumbling/arguing over the engine fitment...amongst other the three months after the new tank was proposed in September 1936 - but by the time the prototype and first contract was issued to the Vulcan Foundry, engine fitment had indeed been settled on. So this discussion on a Napier-built Jumo variant must date to the September-December 1937 period.


You're Mad, You Are.....
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May 1, 2007
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I believe this engine would have been a version of the Napier Culverin, which was itself a licence-built Jumo 204 aero engine.
It would, of course, have to be modified for use as a tank engine, probably quite radically, for, despite appearances, apparantly it was designed to run only in the vertical orientation...
"In theory, the flat layout of the engine could have allowed it to be installed inside thick wings of larger aircraft, such as airliners and bombers. Details of the oil scavenging system suggest this was not possible and the engine had to be run "vertically", as it was on all designs using it."



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