|TOG 2* Heavy Tank (MM01)|
When the war broke out in 1939, many in Britain expected a repeat of the First World War with the army joining the French in the trenches. They would build up an unbeatable material advantage and then smash the German trenches and roll on to Berlin.
|The old gang of Swinton, Ricardo and Wilson who created the diamond-shaped heavy tanks of the First World War advised the General Staff to request designs for a ‘shelled area’ infantry tank to lead the breakthrough. The A20 specification called for a modernised version of the old heavy tank with all-round tracks, shell-proof armour, a field gun in the hull front, and two pdr guns in side sponsons! The ideal tank for the last war.|
Fosters of Lincoln who had built the heavy tanks in the First World War worked with ‘The Old Gang’ to create a massive 81-tonne tank, the TOG (short for The Old Gang!).
The first version with sponson-mounted armament wasn’t finished until after the German Blitzkrieg demolished the army in France.
Immediately work was started on a new version with lower tracks and more powerful armament in a conventional turret. This TOG 2* was an interesting hybrid of the old and the new. The tank still had no suspension, just like the original heavy tanks, but used an advanced electric transmission, while the turret mounted the brand-new 6 pdr gun. This armament was deemed too light for such a big tank, so they fitted the turret of the Challenger cruiser tank—then being developed to carry the new 17 pdr anti-tank gun—producing the TOG 2*.
|Hypothetical Combat Service|
When rumours of the new German Tiger heavy tank reached British intelligence, the TOG 2* gained new importance as the only British design capable of carrying a 17 pdr gun. The tank was rushed into production and a weak battalion of two small companies was rushed to Africa. In typical British fashion, they never operated as a battalion, being given out in penny packets to attacks all along the front.
|TOG 2* Specifications|
The TOG 2 heavy tank was used as a test bed for the turret of the new Challenger heavy cruiser tank, producing the TOG 2*.
The designers of 1941 were used to tiny 2-pdr ammunition, so they gave the Challenger tank two loaders to handle the much larger 17 pdr ammunition. While the result was a huge turret and an extravagant use of manpower, it did allow the big 17 pdr to maintain a similar rate of fire to the smaller guns.
|The 17 pdr gun in the TOG 2* heavy tank has ROF 3 as a result of having two loaders and a plentiful ammunition supply immediately to hand. With its excellent anti-tank performance, the TOG 2* is an outstanding tank killer.|
ROF 3; Anti-tank 13; Firepower3+
Front 7; Side 5; Top 2
Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Jeremy Painter