The A9 Cruiser Tank was a British cruiser tank of the interwar period. It was the first cruiser tank, a fast tank designed to bypass the main enemy lines and engage the enemy’s lines of communication, as well as enemy tanks. It was developed by Vickers-Armstrongs and was first produced in 1937.
This Cruiser Tank, Mk I (A9) was on display at the Tank Museum at Bovington.
The A9 was armed with a 2-pounder (40 mm) main gun and three .303-inch (7.7 mm) machine guns. It had a top speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) on road and 15 miles per hour (24 km/h) off. Its armor was relatively thin, at only 14 mm (0.55 in) thick on the front and 10 mm (0.39 in) thick on the sides.
The A9 was used by the British Army in the early years of World War II. It saw action in the Battle of France in 1940 and in the North African Campaign in 1941. It was soon replaced by more modern tanks, such as the Cruiser Mk IV.
The A9 was a relatively successful tank for its time. It was fast and maneuverable, and its main gun was effective against early German tanks. However, its thin armor made it vulnerable to enemy fire, and it was soon replaced by more heavily armored tanks.
Though entering service in 1938, development had started earlier with the pilot model of the medium tank design being finished in 1936. This makes it an ideal tank for use during the Very British Civil War background.