Matilda Mk IV, Infantry Tank Mk IIA**

The Matilda Mk IV Infantry Tank Mk IIA** (A12) was a slightly improved version of the Matilda Mk III, with a modified engine mounting system and larger fuel tanks.

On earlier versions of the Matilda the engines had been carried on a three point mounting system. This had proved to rather vulnerable to damage, with the engines twisting around on their mountings. On the Mk IV a new rigid engine mounting was installed, eliminating this problem. The oil and air lines were also moved into better positions and the fuel tanks were made larger and given an evacuation pump. The Mk IV was also given ether carburettors to make it easier to operate the engines in very cold weather.

The Mk IV was produced both as a gun tank and a close support version, armed with the 3in howitzer (Mk IVCS).

Thirty three Matilda Mk IVs tanks went to New Zealand in 1942 as part of the equipment of a planned tank brigade. This was to use the Valentine gun tank, with the Matilda to provide the close support tanks. They were kept for a year, but when New Zealand decided to sent a battalion to Guadalcanal it was decided to only send AEC-engined Valentines. The 3in howitzers were removed from the Matildas and fitted in Valentines. In 1944 the un-armed tanks were handed over to the Australians, who were still using them as gun tanks.

The Mk IV is hard to identify in photos. All Leyland powered versions had two exhaust pipes one on each side of the engine deck, while the Mk I and Mk II only had a single pipe on the left. The Mk III also saw the introduction of a radio set with two aerial (the No.19). On the Mk IV the turret signal lamp was eliminated, but this wasn't always visible even when installed. The only changes made to the Mk V were internal, making it impossible to tell the Mk IV and Mk V apart.

Stats
Hull Length: 18ft 5in
Hull Width: 8ft 6in
Height: 8ft 3in
Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Weight: 59,360lb (battle weight)
Engine: Twin ? hp Leyland 6 cylinder engine
Max Speed: 15mph
Max Cross-country speed: 8mph
Max Range: 160 miles on road
Radius of Action: 113 miles
Armament: One 2pdr OQF gun, 7.92mm Besa MG in others
Armour: 13-78mm

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

37.5m

75mm

75mm

20mm

Hull

78mm

40mm

55mm

20mm

Hull Skirt

 

25mm

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 March 2015), Matilda Mk IV, Infantry Tank Mk IIA** , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_matilda_mk_IV.html

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