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GarageImage Excelsior.jpg
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The Tank, Heavy Assault, A33 (Excelsior) was developed after early combat experience with Churchill infantry tanks. These tanks had very poor reliability and were also very slow for the modern battlefield. Thus, while the prototype A27 Cromwell was being developed, it was decided to use the A27 as a basis for a new universal tank meant to replace the cruiser and infantry tanks and combine them into a single vehicle. In 1942, the project was approved and the A33 Excelsior was born. However, the issues with the Churchill were fixed by 1943 and cruiser tanks were replaced by American M4 Shermans, thus the Excelsior was no longer needed and the project was cancelled.

It was introduced in Update 1.67 "Assault" as a reward for the 2017 "War Thunder Chronicles" event. The Excelsior is a weird tank, since it combines reliable armour, with good mobility and decent firepower for its BR. The gun is a 75 mm OQF Mk.V with good penetration values, although it lacks access to APHE shells like most British tanks of WWII, the gun handling is also great at -12 degrees of depression. The tank is also fairly survivable, especially if it is angled, and also has access to smoke launchers to easily retreat or change position. However the reverse speed is very poor and it should be taken into consideration, while the armour is decent, the Excelsior is a very large target and will easily be spotted from far away.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull114 / 76 / 76
Turret114 / 89 / 76
Crew5 people
Visibility85 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 114 mm (1°) Front plate
55 mm (74°) Front glacis
114 mm (18°), 55 mm (65°) Lower glacis
39 + 25.4 mm 32 mm (1°) Top
20 mm (18-62°) Bottom
20 mm
Turret 114 mm (1°) Turret front
63.5 mm (1-41°) Gun mantlet
63.5 mm 63.5 mm (1°) 20 mm


  • Suspension wheels and bogies are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.


Speedforward / back
AB42 / 3 km/h
RB and SB39 / 3 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight40.0 t
Engine power
AB1 198 hp
RB and SB628 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB30.0 hp/t
RB and SB15.7 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 42 3 40 811 1,198 20.28 29.95
Realistic 39 3 555 628 13.88 15.7

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB1 070 Sl icon.png
RB1 127 Sl icon.png
SB1 421 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts165 000 Sl icon.png
Aces470 Ge icon.png
Research Aces710 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 90 / 130 / 150 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 148 / 148 / 148 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Mods new tank filter.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement uk.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade


Main armament

Ammunition80 rounds
First-order28 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
6.5 → 5.0 s
Vertical guidance-12° / 20°
Main article: OQF Mk.V (75 mm)
75 mm OQF Mk.V Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 80 -12°/+20° ±180° N/A 19.4 26.9 32.6 36.1 38.4 6.50 5.75 5.30 5.00
Realistic 14.3 16.8 20.4 22.6 24.0


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
M72 shot AP 91 88 78 67 57 49
M61 shot APCBC 103 100 89 77 66 57
M48 shell HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
M72 shot AP 619 6.3 - - - 47° 60° 65°
M61 shot APCBC 618 6.53 - - - 48° 63° 71°
M48 shell HE 463 6.3 0 0.1 666 79° 80° 81°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Screen radius
Screen deploy
time (s)
Screen hold
time (s)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
M89 259 3 13 5 20 50

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Excelsior
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
80 55 (+25) 50 (+30) 48 (+32) 46 (+34)
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
29 (+51) 12 (+68) (+79) No


  • Racks 6 and 7 are first stage ammo racks.


A.33 Optics placement in Simulator Mode.

When in simulator mode the gun will fire slightly low and to the left of the aimed position due to the sight being offset, this should be kept in mind and accounted for when engaging targets.

Excelsior Optics
Which ones Default magnification Maximum magnification
Main Gun optics x1.85 x3.5
Comparable optics Churchill Mk I

Machine guns

Ammunition5 400 rounds
Belt capacity225 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Main article: BESA (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm BESA
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 2,700 (225) 600 N/A N/A
Hull 2,700 (225) 600 ±10° ±10°

Usage in battles

The A33 Excelsior is a fast moving highly manoeuvrable, well armoured heavy tank offering great speed of up to 40 km/h. It excels at flanking and catching the enemy of guard. To get the best from this tank in battle, use it speed and manoeuvrability to your advantage. Since the Excelsior is a heavy tank it armour offers up to 114 mm of protection and if angled it can further increase it to offer over 210 mm. Allowing the tank to become immune to virtually all enemy rounds. However, the thickest parts of the armour plate is on the front of the tank and front of the turret, so it is important to keep the front pointed towards the enemy in combat.

Combined with the 75 mm cannon, which has a reload of up to five seconds, it is able to cause mayhem on the battlefield. load M61 Shot round and fire away, always aim for the sides and rear of the enemy tanks, this is the weakest parts, when at range. However, when fighting tiger tanks get as close as you can, approach from the rear and shoot the rear of the turret, it will knock the tigers turret out allowing you to head to its side and knock it out with some precision shots.

The A33 Excelsior, does not have any turret mounted machine guns, its roof armour is only 25 mm thick allowing enemy aircraft to cause havoc. To evade the aircraft use smoke and head towards any additional smoke rounds which you may fire, this will prevent the aircraft from following you and allowing you to evade them.

Pros and cons


  • Decent front armour thickness
  • Quite fast
  • Hull machine gun works
  • -12 degrees of gun depression
  • Access to smoke


  • Front armour is not sloped
  • Large ammo rack in turret ring makes for easy detonation
  • Very slow reverse
  • Shells have no HE filler
  • Weak side armour



The early combat experience of the Churchill infantry tank raised concerns on its reliability and speed, with a suggestion that production be halted while development focus on an "universal tank" for the British armoured forces to replace the cruiser and infantry tanks. However, until such a design could be formulated, they still needed a tank for the assault role the infantry tanks would take.

Rolls-Royce Company, the company producing the prototype A27 Cromwells, suggested that the Tank Board use the A27 as an interim design with stronger armour, suspension, and armament. The suggestion was supported with the English Electric Company, whom plan to upgrade the A27 with thicker armour and elements from the American M6 heavy tank.

Development and Cancellation

On 07 May 1942[1], Tank Board approved for the production of these uparmoured A27 under the designation A33, though it would also have the name Excelsior. English Electric Company were in charge of producing the uparmoured A27 models and produced two prototypes. The first had the M6 suspension system and a 6-pdr cannon. The second had a wider track, different armoured skirts, additional frontal armour, and a 75 mm gun. Both used the same V12 Meteor engine as the A27.

Reliability issues with the Churchill were soon ironed out by 1943, to the point it became a very successful infantry support vehicle and multiple variations were made based off the chassis. The A33 Excelsior, meant to replace the Churchill, was no longer needed and the project was dropped in 1943.

Today, the second prototype can be seen at the Bovington Tank Museum.



See also

Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links


  1. Newsome, Bruce. "TANK INFANTRY A38, VALIANT (E1952.39)." Tankmuseum.org. The Tank Museum, n.d. Web. 10 May 2017. Web Archive

The English Electric Company Limited
Jet Fighters  Lightning F.6 · Lightning F.53
Jet Bombers  Canberra B Mk 2 · Canberra B (I) Mk 6
Tanks  Excelsior
  The English Electric Company allowed the Glenn L. Martin Company to license-build Canberra bombers for the United States Air Force.

Britain heavy tanks
Matilda  Matilda III · Matilda Hedgehog
Churchill  Churchill I · Churchill III · Churchill VII · Churchill Crocodile · Churchill NA75 · Black Prince
Post-war  Caernarvon · Conqueror
Other  Independent · Excelsior · TOG II

Britain premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  A13 Mk I (3rd R.T.R.) · A13 Mk II 1939 · AEC Mk II · Crusader "The Saint" · Rooikat 105
Medium tanks  A.C.I · Grant I · Cromwell V (RP-3) · Sherman IC "Trzyniec" · A.C.IV · Comet I "Iron Duke IV"
  Centurion Mk.2 · ▄Strv 81 (RB 52) · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk.5/1 · ▄Sho't Kal Dalet · Centurion Action X
  Vijayanta · Khalid · Challenger DS · Challenger 2 OES
Heavy tanks  Independent · Matilda Hedgehog · Excelsior · TOG II · Churchill Crocodile · Black Prince
Tank destroyers  Alecto I · Achilles (65 Rg.) · QF 3.7 Ram