Tank Medium Gun Charioteer Mk.VII

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

The Charioteer in the garage.

The FV4101 Tank Medium Gun Charioteer Mk.VII (or just Charioteer) is a Rank IV British tank destroyer with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB), 6.3 (RB) and 6.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour" alongside the rest of the initial British Ground Forces Tree. The Charioteer takes the hull of a Cromwell and replaces the turret with a larger one mounting the heavy-hitting 84 mm 20-pdr cannon, which can deal with the enemies it faces at Rank IV.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The Charioteer, as with most western tank destroyer, is fitted with a very powerful gun, has good mobility, but is very lightly armoured. As such, it is best to play with its mobility to evade the enemy until the opportune moment. As it uses the same hull as a Cromwell, the reverse speed is atrocious that can make any withdrawal very hard once discovered by the enemy. It is recommended that the Charioteer be used with the forward movement more often, and back up by rotating the entire vehicle before whistling away since the armour back and front is inadequate to deal with any of the tanks you face at its battle rating.

Vehicle characteristics

Firepower
The turret of this vehicle is where every changes happens: encased in this fragile 30 mm RHA box, there is an awesome 20 pdr OQF Mk.I gun. To carry such a piece, the turret traverse is quite slow so one should have to pre-aim a bit before going around corners, but the fabulous penetration of this gun is worth every deg/sec in slewing rate. Plus, even the stock shells has as much penetration as the QF 17-pounder's APDS shell found on other Rank III tanks, this only gets better with the upgraded APDS shot, which can pierce up to 262 mm of armour at average combat ranges (or a Tiger II (H)'s UFP at point-blank range !). Another frankly game-changing add-on of this vehicle is its 12 smoke launchers, which can create a smoke screen in seconds, hiding the Charioteer in an arc of about 200°. These smoke launchers are also found on later British tanks, this is a great opportunity to learn high-ranked game play mechanics.

Mobility
As said earlier, the Charioteer share the hull of a typical Cromwell tank featuring 5 wheels on each side (not like the Avenger or Challenger, which have the lengthened 6-wheeled chassis). For any experimented British tanker, this tank will be very familiar as it shares the mobility with its predecessors, with maybe a little loss in power due to heavier weight.

Armour
Lacking. This is the word that comes in mind when thinking about the Charioteer's armour. As if only 63.5 mm of non slopped frontal armour was not enough, the sides of this tank cannot resits HMG fire and turret armour is only 30 mm thick all around. With only 3 crew members inside, any shot to the turret means instant death/crew replenishment. The only things that saves such a weak vehicle from being useless is:

  1. Its poor ammo load: there is no big ammo rack inside and no round is stocked inside the turret.
  2. Non-detonating APHE shells: armour (especially turret) is so thin that some APHE rounds just go right through without detonating, killing/damaging only one crew member.

Tactics

This is a classical sniper/flanker tank: fast, a good gun but no armour. One should never engage in front line fights since even some close range HMG fire can end your day. The best way to play this tank is to use range and speed as armour, only stopping to take a shot and speed up again. Do not worry about sniping, this canon has been made for that: shells have a very low ballistic trajectory, and keep good penetration values even at distances. When fired at, move into safety while blasting out these smoke cannisters on the move, creating a large smoke wall for the enemy, leaving some space for your allies to manoeuvre without being noticed.

In urban maps, pre-aim before getting around corners since turret sewing rate is slow. One could also use its engine/transmission as an armour when ambushed: quick reaction shots will often "only" ignite the tank without damaging the crew too much, plus, if the shot is missed, you are already in a position to escape swiftly since frontwards speed is good. When zipping past an alley, blast a smoke screen to cover allies from enemy fire while shooting an hasteful shot in the general direction of the enemy. Some enemies will turn their turret in order to protect themselves from flanking only to get shot by allied tanks. Your best weapons in close-range fights are both surprise and speed.

Specific enemies worth noting

While the 20 pdr OQF Mk.I gun is amazing, it has a hard time piercing some foes you are likely to encounter at the BR:

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USA
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Germany
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USSR
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Britain
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Japan
M26E1
T26E1-1 "Super Pershing"
T34
T95
T29
Tiger II(P)
Tiger II (H)
Panther II
Jagdtiger
T-44
T-44-100
T-44-122
IS-2 mod. 1944
IS-6
Churchill Mk VII
A34 Black Prince
FV 221 Caernarvon
Ho-Ri Prototype
Type 5 Ho-Ri Production

Counter-tactics

Any HMG/autocanon fire to the side is very deadly. Try to shoot the turret from the side in order to disable both gunner and commander, leaving only the driver to kill with the next shot. Any large-caliber HE shell will wreck this tank.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great gun at the BR 6.0-6.3 level.
  • Very easy stock grind.
  • Good reload speed, very good for a tank with only 3 crew member.
  • 20-pdr has access to powerful APDS rounds.
  • 5.7 BR at AB.
  • Can potentially be played in higher BR games.
  • Very good penetration, even with stock rounds.
  • High muzzle velocity.
  • Can fill a role of a medium tank for rushing caps.
  • Very good gun optics, has a high magnification.
  • Very fast due to Cromwell chassis.
  • Fast hull traverse speed.
  • Has no ammo in the turret, and ammo storage is well spread inside the tank.
  • Arguably the best turreted tank destroyer at Rank IV.
  • Able to deal a large amount of damage if left unchecked.
  • Good smoke screen system.
  • Very low risk of fire due to rear mounted transmission and no fuel tanks on the front of the tank.

Cons:

  • As with all Cromwell chassis, reverse speed is awful.
  • Thin, unangled armour.
  • Only 3 crew members, easy crew knock out.
  • Low damage with gun due to no explosive fillers.
  • Very poor ammo capacity for the co-op Tank Assault mode, forcing you to stay close to Rearm/Repair circle, which can be suicidal depending on the map.
  • Poor gun depression and elevation (-5­° to 10°).
  • Light armour make you easy target for strafing planes.
  • Cromwell chassis starting to show its weaknesses at the BR. It will not protect you at all from even SPAA.
  • Doesn't have a fire power advantage over British medium/heavy tanks of the rank.
  • Unlike other British Rank IV tanks, no stabilization system.

Specifications

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Armaments

1 × 84 mm 20 pdr OQF Mk.I cannon (25 rounds)
1 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun (4,900 rounds)

Main armament

1 x 84 mm 20 pdr OQF Mk.I cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 25 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -5°
  • Gun Elevation: 10°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 10.7°/s (Stock), 14.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 8.1s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 84 mm 20 pdr OQF Mk.I cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 25 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -5°
  • Gun Elevation: 10°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 10.7°/s (Stock), 12.6°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 8.1s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 84 mm 20 pdr OQF Mk.I cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 25 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -5°
  • Gun Elevation: 10°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 10.7°/s (Stock), 12.6°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 8.1s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.1 218 215 203 189 176 163 APCBC 1019 9.1 N/A N/A N/A +4° 42° 27° 19°
Shell Mk.1 9 9 9 9 9 9 HE 1019 7.8 0.4 0.5 586 +0° 11° 10°
Shot Mk.3 285 283 262 239 218 198 APDS 1430 4.0 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 15° 12° 10°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
20pdr Shell SS Mk.1 Smoke 650 10 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Charioteer.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
25 17 (+8) (+16) (+24) Keep full No

Secondary armament

1 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander/Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver

Total: 3 Crew members

Armour

Armour Type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Driver port)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 63.5 mm Front plate
25.4 mm (70°) Front glacis
57.1 (19°), 25.4 mm (66°) Lower glacis
25.4 mm Top hull
14 mm Lower hull
32 mm Top
20 mm (7°) Lower
14 mm
Turret 30 mm (7°) 30 mm (1-18°) 30 mm (1°) 14 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The area where the machine gun port would be has an additional 63 mm of armour placed on it.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 30.0 ton

Max Speed: 62 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 852 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 28.40 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 30.0 ton

Max Speed: 57 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 531 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 17.70 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 30.0 ton

Max Speed: 57 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 531 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 17.70 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°

Modules and improvements

As per usual, "Parts" and "FPE" should be the focus first for modifications to increase combat survivability. Everything else is fair game after you get those two.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

After World War II, the Western Allies prepared plans to repel a possible invasion by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Britain called for its Royal Armoured Corps formation to be stationed at West Germany with their tank units. However, due to the low number of the newer Centurion tank, the armoured corps were to be equipped with the more plentiful Cromwell cruiser tank. Due to the deficiency of the Cromwell in the face of the much stronger Soviet tanks, it was required to upgrade the tank with a 20-pounder gun, the same one used on the Centurion at the time. However, the gun mounting required a new turret to accommodate the gun, and the limited space restricted the turret crew to only two crew members. This vehicle with the 20-pounder turret would be known as the Charioteer.

Design

The improvement on the Cromwell focused only on its offensive armaments. Armour was not taken into priority and the turret used very thin armour ranging from 20 to 30 mm thick. Some Charioteers were given additional welded armour over the hull for improved protection. The turret mounted the 84 mm 20-pounder gun with a 7.62 mm Browning machine gun as a coaxial weapon. Smoke dischargers were attached to the left and right of the turret, and a flap on the rear of the turret allow the removal of fired ammunition casings from the turret interior. To mount the larger turret, the turret ring was increased to the limits of the Cromwell's hull width, requiring the turret to have a larger profile to make up the room needed for it. Despite this enlargement, ammunition stowage was limited, the hull machine gunner position was removed to make additional room for the large ammunition, but only allowed 25 rounds to be carried inside the tank. Primary ammunition carried in the tank were high-explosive and armour-piercing discarding-sabot (APDS) rounds.

The Cromwell tanks were converted to Charioteers at the Robinson & Kershaw Ltd at Dukinfield, Cheshire. The first order was for 630 vehicles in 1951, but the production was cut short at a later time. The first 200 were delivered in March 1953 and another 200 the next year. The total number produced is believed to be around 442 vehicles.

Service life

The Charioteers were assigned to the Royal Armoured Corps unit in the British Territorial Army in West Germany. In practice, the vehicle's three man crew was increased to a fourth additional man due to the restricted visibility inside the tank. The fourth crew member was to act as an external observer like a commander to pick out targets. The high profile turret on the Charioteer was beneficial in providing a good hull down position to fire at the targets. Despite that, the Charioteers never saw combat action in the British forces before being fully replaced by the Centurion.

The surplus vehicles were sold to Austria, Finland, Jordan, and Lebanon. The vehicles saw more action in the Six-Day war in the middle east in the Arab countries surrounding Israel. It is suspected that the Charioteers continue to see action in the many conflicts in the middle east region.

During its service life, the Charioteer saw many upgrades, such as one using an improved 20-pounder which has a fume extractor along the barrel. In Jordanian use, the Charioteer upgraded the turret traverse motors and also allowed a mounting of a .50 caliber machine gun. In 1969, the Charioteer saw an up-gunning with the Royal Ordnance L7 105 mm gun, though only one was produced for trials. This was intended for export, but never saw service.

Survivors

About six Charioteers exist in intact condition in the world. One is in Austria in the Museum of Military History. Two are in Finland in outdoor display in the Parola tank museum and the Army Academy in Lappeenranta. One is in Israel in the Yad la-Shiryon Museum. Two more are in the United Kingdom, with one normal one in the Bovington Tank Museum and the 105 mm Charioteer variant at the East of England Tank Museum.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

References


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uk_charioteer_mk_7.png

Icon-country-gbr.png Charioteer Mk VII
Nation Britain
Type Tank destroyer
Rank 4
Battle Rating
5.7
6.3
6.0

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
30,000 kg
66,139 lb
Number of Crew 3
Hull armour thickness
63.5/28/32/14 mm
2.50/1.10/1.26/0.55 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
852 hp
531 hp
531 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
1,049 hp
600 hp
600 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
28.40
28.85
17.70
17.98
17.70
17.98
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
34.97
35.53
20.00
20.32
20.00
20.32
Max speed
62 km/h
38 mph
57 km/h
35 mph
57 km/h
35 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 84 mm 20pdr OQF Mk.I Cannon
Ammo stowage 25 rounds
Vertical guidance -5°/10°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 4,900 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 71,000 RP
Vehicle cost 210,000 SL
Crew training cost 61,000 SL
Max repair cost*
1,550 SL
3,420 SL
3,110 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
3d 07h
8d
7d
Free repair time (Upgraded)
1d 02h
2d 22h
2d 13h
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.77.2.149.