Comet Cruiser Tank

The Comet was was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of the second world war. It was designed as an improvement on the earlier Cromwell tank, mounting the new 77 mm HV gun in a new lower profile and part-cast turret. This gun was effective against late-war German tanks, including the Panther at medium range, and the Tiger.

This Comet was on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in their Land Warfare Exhibit.

The Comet saw action in the closing stages of World War II and remained in British service until 1958, but was rapidly eclipsed by Centurion. In some cases, Comets sold to other countries continued to operate into the 1980s.

Service history of this tank is unknown. It spent the last years of its service life as a test bed at the tank development unit at Chertsey. It is painted as a tank of 7th Royal Tank Regiment about to be despatched to Korea from Hong Kong, 1953 (war ended before transit).

There was another Comet at the entrance to the museum.

I do have some of the Flames of War plastic models, but they are still currently still in their boxes. I have been thinking of using them not only for Late War Flames of War games, but also 1950s Cold War games. The Comet remained in British service until 1958. Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus Russians T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman manned by (West) German forces.

Why such a liking for this tank, well, as with other models, I suspect that it was because I bought and made the Matchbox Comet many, many years ago.

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