Author: Vollketten The British A12 Matilda is a popular tank, because it has decent armour and a good gun. It is however slow and an easy target and really plays more like a heavy in my opinion more than as a medium. It already exists in game as the British Tier IV Medium, Tier 5 Matilda ‘Black Prince’ (not the correct name but anyway) and as a Russian Tier V Medium too. So, why not have some love for the Commonwealth? Specifically Australia, who received 409 Matildas starting March 1943 and some remained in service in Australia as late as 1955. The most famous Australian Matilda versions are the Bulldozer, Frog (flamethrower) and Hedgehog (multiple mortar firing) versions. Australian Matilda of 2/9 Armoured Regiment in action at Tarakan 20th May 1945 using the 3″ howitzer against Japanese positions So why would it be any different to the regular A12? Well, a discerning eye will notice that the A12 Matilda’s sent to Australia retains that armoured collar from the project mounting the A27 turret, which in game we know as the ‘Matilda Black Prince’. Also, in terms of armour, we have these giant “knuckles”. These are of an Australian indigenous casting, designed to protect directly against Japanese antitank guns, which caused a lot of detracking incidents and are 50+ mm thick (useful for ramming in-game too). Additional armour was added over the engine bay at the back in the form of sections of ‘PSP’ (Pierced Steel Planking), which served dual purpose of both covering the top to protect in from Japanese satchel mines, magnetic mines and grenades etc., but would also provide a small amount of protection from a shells landing on the back. In the game, this would be a simple matter of modeling a layer of spaced armour over the back. In active service, there was also a wide use of spare track links over the front and sides, which – even if not counting as armour in the game at the moment (apart from the Churchill VII) – would make the vehicle much more distinctive. The in-game armour effects of the collar and rear panels would be very small, but would be very nice visually. The ‘knuckles’ would provide one very useful bit of armour at the front, preventing detracking and – when one day WG actually models the top of the track guards, which also form a substantial section of steel into the in-game model (which would buff all the Matilda versions’), we end up with a better armoured, albeit slower A12 Australian Matilda. Not that that is the only armour model issue with the Matilda in the game, as the current model already needs corrections to be accurate. “But Vollky, it’s already OP!” – there are those who moan about the current British Matilda because of the Littlejohn adapter and it may be reduced in penetrating power or in reload time in the future. For Australia however, no such concerns exist, as the LittleJohn adapter would not be available for the 2 pounder gun at all, as the choice of guns is the plain 2 pounder or the 3” tank howitzer. “So, just some visual changes to the hull and a bit more armour, is that all?” – nope – in March 1944, the Australians still using the Matilda were having problems with visibility in the jungle and so, they designed a completely new commander’s cupola and tested it in New Guinea. The new cupola was taller and when tested against the 2 pounder at 64 metres, it was found to be insufficiently armoured to prevent the penetration, but would have provided a significantly better view for the commander. So, in a nutshell, fix the armour and collision model, re-use the MBP hull (nice and cheap way to get new tanks for WG), add the ‘knuckles’ and rear panels and add the Australian cupola and spare tracks links liberally and we have a slightly slower, better hull-armoured Matilda with a better view range and a weaker gun. In general, it would make an interesting addition to the game and ANZAC day is upon us in April next year, so there is time to release this as part of the commemorations there. Australian Matildas at Morotai, Dutch East Indies 1945

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