Archer (tank destroyer)

From Academic Kids

The Archer was a British tank destroyer used during World War II based on the Valentine chassis.

With the development of the 17 Pounder gun, the need arose for it to be mounted on a combat vehicle. The Valentine chassis was soon chosen for this role, as it was in production but rapidly becoming obsolete as a tank. It was also one of the few chassis that could accommodate the large gun.

The Valentine had a relatively small hull and it was not possible to use a turret. Instead a simple armoured open-top box surrounded the gun. The gun was mounted facing over the rear of the hull which kept the overall vehicle length short.

The rear mounting at first seemed like a liability, but it was soon made into an advantage. Combined with its low silhouette, the Archer made an excellent ambush weapon, allowing its crew to fire off a few shots, then drive away without wasting time turning around.

The Archer began to be issued in October 1944, and saw combat in the Western Front and the Italian Campaign. By the end of the war, 655 of them had been produced.

Post war the Archer served with the Egyptian Army.

External links

  • OnWar (http://www.onwar.com/tanks/uk/farcher.htm)
  • WWII Vehicles (http://www.wwiivehicles.com/html/unitedkingdom/tank_destroyer/archer.html)

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