A10 Heavy Cruiser Mk I - Not Even A Week Of Service

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TL;DR: An A10 Heavy Cruiser Mk I in incredibly limited service with France.

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History:

The German invasion of France, especially its later stages, was a very difficult time for the French military. As pressure mounted, more and more desperate attempts to repel the German invaders were carried out, from utilizing vehicles in roles they were not intended to fielding turretless B1 Bis tanks. The French military arsenal at this time was nowhere near organized. One of the oddities that found its way into French hands was the British A10 Heavy Cruiser Mk I, which were acquired through a series of misfortunes. French troops were being recalled from the Norwegian Campaign to support their homeland. This included the 342ème Compagnie Autonome de Chars de Combat, or the 342nd Autonomous Tank Company, which landed in Brest, Brittany, on June 13th, 1940. The H39 tanks they were supposed to be equipped with, however, ended up in Britain. This meant that the company comprised of tank crews had no tanks to fight with. At the same time, the British 1st Armoured Division were making their retreat in the same harbor and they didn’t have nearly enough time or equipment to take their tanks with them. One thing led to another and at least 10 British cruiser tanks, visually confirmed to included A10s and A13 Mk IIs, fell into French hands. These vehicles were quickly pressed into French service. So quickly, in fact, that their crews didn’t even bother repainting them or adding French insignias. There is no detailed information on the French’s use of the cruisers, however, what is known for sure is that the cruisers did not serve the French for long as, by June 13th, France was in complete and utter disarray. Paris had already been declared an open city and would fall into German hands the next day. Brest would soon follow, falling on the 19th of June, 1940. Six days of service at most.

Place In War Thunder:

France is not very well known for its employment of British armor due to American armor being in much wider service and for much longer. That being said, French operated British armor should be more represented in-game. France’s rank I premium section is essentially empty, with a hero variant of the H39 being the sole occupant, which is honestly not the best vehicle. Yes, its armor and mobility are pretty good, however, its gun leaves a lot to be desired in its current implementation, firing a round with only 54mm of max penetration with a minimum reload of 4 seconds. The A10 Heavy Cruiser Mk I, by comparison, is slower and less armored but it has a fantastic gun capable of firing significantly better ammunition with a faster minimum reload of 2.8 seconds due to the more spacious turret. Its highest penning rounds can penetrate up to 89mm of armor. It can also fire a deadly APHE round with 66mm of max penetration. On top of this, the gun has a shoulder stabilizer. When combined with the tank’s slow speed, the gun would be almost completely stable on the move. This would allow you to get the first shot off on any pesky speed demons. While the A10’s armor is fairly thin, it is arranged very effectively, taking on a boxy shape. This allows the armor to be angled very easily. Playstyle would be pretty slow. You would not be the first to the battlefield, however, once you get there, you can dish out APHE rounds every 2.8 seconds without ever having to stop your vehicle. When facing an enemy, you’d want to point the one of the front corners of your hull toward them, increasing your armor’s effective thickness. You’d also want to keep moving while doing this to throw off their aim. Try to engage players who are moving as they will not be able to reliably hit you until they come to a complete stop. By then, you’d have fired your gun at least 3 times.

Specifications:

Armament: 40mm QF 2pdr cannon and 1x 0.303 in Vickers Machine Gun

Dimensions: 5.59m, 2.54m, 2.64m (L,W,H)

Weight: 14300kg

Armor: 30mm front and 14mm side

Crew: 5

Ammunition: AP, APHE, APCBC

Speed: 26kph

Horsepower: 150hp

Pictures:

Abandoned:

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With German Soldiers:

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Sources:

Tank Archives: Cruiser Tank Mk.II: With Best Intentions

A10 Cruiser Mk.II

Cruiser A.10 and A.13 in French Service - Tank Encyclopedia

Cruiser Mk II - Wikipedia

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Wouldn’t this go to Britain?

This is not a suggestion for a A10s in British service. It is a suggestion for A10s in French service.

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