Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia

The Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia was an attempt to create a mine-sweeping vehicle by pushing heavy rollers ahead of a Matilda infantry tank.

Anti-mine rollers had originally been created by Fowlers (one of the companies in the Matilda construction pool), for use on cruiser tanks.

The Anti-Mine Roller Attachment was produced to fit these anti-mine rollers to standard tanks. Four anti-tank rollers were linked by a frame, which was then attached to brackets on the side o the tank. The roller-equipped tank would advance ahead of the troops, and reveal the presence of a minefield by detonating the first mine it rolled over. The roller was normally destroyed, so the AMRA could only be used to find minefields, not to clear them.

A number of attempts were made to adapt the Matilda to actually clear minefields. One, the Matilda with Carrot, involved fitting a 600lb explosive to the front of an AMRA frame. The more successful involving fitting flails to the front of tanks, as the Baron or the Matilda Scorpion I.

140 AMRAs were allocated to the Matilda, and some saw service in the Western Desert. Most were then withdrawn to be modernised, while forty went to the Matilda with Carrot test programme. The AMRA system was also used on the Churchill and some other tanks.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 April 2015), Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_matilda_amra.html

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