Matilda Hedgehog

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This page is about the British heavy tank Matilda Hedgehog. For other versions, see Matilda (Family).
Matilda Hedgehog
GarageImage Matilda Hedgehog.jpg
ArtImage Matilda Hedgehog.png
Matilda Hedgehog
2.7 2.7 2.7
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The Matilda Hedgehog was an Australian late-war experiment of the early but legendary Matilda infantry tank. Developed in early 1944, it was equipped with the Hedgehog anti-submarine spigot mortar. The tank was needed after the Australian Forces encountered difficulties dealing with Japanese bunkers in the jungles of the Asian front. The Matilda II was chosen to be the carrier of this weapon since it was already a combat proven infantry tank. However, testing of the new design went too far, even considering not using the Matilda and instead using the M3 Lee, thus the war ended before the tank was ready for frontline service.

It was introduced during Update "New Power" as a reward for Battle Pass: Season I. The Matilda Hedgehog is a very interesting design, the most notable difference from other Matildas is the presence of a new type of armament in the rear; a Spigot system fitted with Hedgehog mortars. This mortar was commonly used in naval warfare as an anti-submarine weapon and as such is very lethal weaponry if used correctly against tanks. One of the flaws of the Matilda Hedgehog over other variants is the reduced combat readiness and versatility. This is because the Hedgehog mortar is a situational and limited weapon in tank warfare. The vehicle also loses its smoke grenade launchers and receives a large weak spot in its rear, since the Hedgehog launcher acts as a large unprotected ammo rack.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull75 / 70 / 55
Turret75 / 75 / 75
Crew4 people
Visibility84 %

The uneven and sloped armour protection is generally useful versus most low to medium calibre (40-75 mm) guns in the rank; the farther from the target makes it better for the armour. The irregular front and sloped side armour configuration on the turret makes it perfect to bounce some poorly aimed shots, yet some areas are not sloped at all and can be easily penetrated by shells of over 80 mm of penetration in close ranges. This armour has not changed drastically since the Matilda III, however, some noteworthy areas did receive an increase in protection: the turret ring received an additional armour plate of 40 mm. Extended from the front to the sides and partially reaching the back of the turret ring area. Effectively concealing a good portion of the previously vulnerable turret ring. This armour acts also as spaced armour since the shell needs to penetrate the first plate and then will likely shatter before colliding with the turret ring armour. Flanking tanks like the Sd.Kfz.234/2 will be troubled when firing at this area from the sides or the rear, yet will be easier to just penetrate the turret side armour. Anti-tank assault guns like the StuG III F will struggle equally when firing at the turret ring. The area under the gun mantlet remains only protected with a sloped armour prone to bounce shells.

The commander cupola has been lowered. This reduces effectively the previously noticeable large weak spot on the turret of the Matilda III. While the 75 mm of armour remains unchanged, the flatter cupola is difficult to penetrate.

Aside from these changes, minor structural armour has been added as fenders and the structure for the Hedgehog mortar system in the rear. This armour is barely effective in countering armour-piercing shells, and might just protect versus powerful HE shells as those on the 15cm sIG 33 B Sfl.

Msg-info.png Increasing the "Vitality" feature of the tank crew can increase survivability against spalling and shrapnel.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull ___ mm ___ mm Top
___ mm Bottom
___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Turret ___ - ___ mm Turret front
___ mm Gun mantlet
___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Cupola 75 mm All-around
25 mm Base
75 mm
25 mm Base
75 mm
25 mm Base
75 mm


  • Unlike the Matilda III, the cupola roof is 75 mm thick
  • The Hedgehog launcher structure is 5 mm thick


Speedforward / back
AB26 / 5 km/h
RB and SB24 / 4 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
1 back
Weight27.3 t
Engine power
AB363 hp
RB and SB190 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB13.3 hp/t
RB and SB7.0 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 26 5 27.3 294 363 10.77 13.3
Realistic 24 4 168 190 6.15 6.96

With a rounded heavyweight of over 27 tons, the Matilda isn't the fastest vehicle, but one of the heaviest. However, the tank has a double Leyland diesel powerplant that provides 190 HP and is just enough to boost the tank through regular terrain. Maps with lots of slopes and rocks will be difficult to overcome because of the outpowered engine; is best to avoid intricate shortcuts since if stuck, the Matilda won't be able to get out - Maps like Karelia or Stalingrad Factory.

Fortunately because of the weight, in flat ground, the vehicle keeps a lot of traction and can reach top speed in approximately 17 seconds. This slow top speed suits Matilda's gun stabilization, effectively firing on the move while on cruise gear 1. As most British tanks on the rank, the reverse leaves a lot to desire. Still, the lack of any smoke cover means using the reverse gearbox is the only way to effectively retreat from frontal engagements without angling. The sluggish nature of the Matilda also sets up the tank for ambushes.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB876 Sl icon.png
RB645 Sl icon.png
SB1 428 Sl icon.png
Crew training3 400 Sl icon.png
Experts23 000 Sl icon.png
Aces160 Ge icon.png
Research Aces380 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 40 / 60 / 80 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 118 / 118 / 118 % 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 ammo.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Mods tank ammo.png


Main armament

Shoulder stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in one plane while moving
Ammunition93 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.6 → 2.8 s
Vertical guidance-20° / 20°
Horizontal guidance-150° / 150°
Main article: QF 2-pounder (40 mm)

With an average reload of 3.6 seconds, the 40 mm 2-pounder remains a threat for most tanks at the rank. The also decent penetration values and ballistics make Matilda a capable heavy tank in frontal engagements. Despite the effectiveness of the gun, the small calibre will usually require a follow-up shot to knock out a tank.

The recommended ammunition is the Shot Mk.IXB APCBC/T. Because of the overall better penetration values and ballistics. With the auxiliary ammo being either the Shell Mk.2 or the Shell Mk.1 AP/T to counter light targets as anti-air trucks or exposed crew, which are quite common at the rank.

40 mm QF 2-pounder Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 93 ±20° ±150° Vertical 16.2 22.4 27.2 30.1 32.0 3.64 3.22 2.97 2.80
Realistic 11.9 14.0 17.0 18.8 20.0


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
Shot Mk.1 AP/T AP 72 68 52 37 27 19
Shell Mk.2 HE 9 8 7 6 6 5
Shot Mk.IXB APCBC/T APCBC 89 86 77 66 57 50
Shot Mk.1 APHV/T AP 80 75 58 41 30 21
Shell Mk.1 AP/T APHE 66 62 49 36 26 20
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.1 AP/T AP 792 1.08 - - - 47° 60° 65°
Shell Mk.2 HE 687 1.34 0.1 0.1 85 79° 80° 81°
Shot Mk.IXB APCBC/T APCBC 792 1.24 - - - 48° 63° 71°
Shot Mk.1 APHV/T AP 853 1.08 - - - 47° 60° 65°
Shell Mk.1 AP/T APHE 792 1.08 1.2 9 20.9 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Matilda III (identical).
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
93 86 (+7) 78 (+15) 63 (+30) 52 (+41) 40 (+53) 28 (+65) 14 (+79) (+93) No


  • Racks disappear after you've fired all shells in the rack.
  • Turret empty: 52 (+41) shells.

Additional armament

Ammunition7 rounds
Belt capacity7 rounds
Fire rate90 shots/min
Vertical guidance30° / 45°
Main article: Hedgehog

Baptized by its name, the Matilda Hedgehog features an experimental spigot mortar system launching Hedgehog depth charges. These mortars can be widely found in ships like the Town class because they were designed for anti-submarine warfare.

The Hedgehog mortar now placed behind the Matilda offers lethal explosive ordnance. Yet the death from above by the Hedgehog will be challenging to accomplish. Firstly, the Hedgehog is only effective in a default distance of 190 m or less. The launcher can be raised by aiming upward, lowering the horizontal distance the mortar will travel from the tank. Secondly, the mortars will be launched individually from right to left. Yet they will fall quite close to each other. Depending on the intentions of the player, they might turn the hull while deploying the Hedgehog, to spread the fire. Lastly, there is available a limited number of mortars (7) and the eventual reload of more inside a capture point will be tediously slow and dangerous. This means the mortar is likely to be a piece of single-use equipment. The mortar rack is also poorly shielded and vulnerable to machine gun fire. If hit, the mortars will likely detonate and disable all of them.

In more positive regards, a single hit of the mortar atop enemy tanks will be destructive. Acting as a small bomb, the mortar will be effective versus light or unarmoured vehicles as half-tracks and open-top vehicles. Armour thickness will not be an issue, since the 80 mm of penetration are enough to take down most tanks in the rank.

Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer
7 +30°/+45° N/A N/A


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
Hedgehog projectile Rocket 65 65 65 65 65 65
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
Hedgehog projectile Rocket 340 29.5 0 0.1 25.28 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Matilda Hedgehog
7 No


  • It is not possible to select how many mortar projectiles to bring into battle.
  • Missiles are fired from right to left when looking from behind (see image).

Machine guns

Ammunition4 050 rounds
Belt capacity225 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Main article: BESA (7.92 mm)

Albeit relegated to obstacle clearing and last resort anti-air armament, the machine gun can be handy when fighting enemies with exposed crew members, e.g, the Sd.Kfz. 6/2, CCKW 353 (M45), Lvtdgb m/40 or ZiS-30.

7.92 mm BESA
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 4,050 (225) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

Matilda should be played as a support tank. While is unlike to be the first tank in the line, Matilda Hedgehog should advance to take place in the vanguard or rearguard of the joint attacking force. Pushing slowly towards the enemy positions with support from team members; halt or reduce the speed to fire at any target that reveals itself. When moving and firing with the stabilizer, Matilda's armour weakness is not only harder to pinpoint, but more prone to bouncing shells. Additionally, players should keep in mind the importance of smart positioning and proximity to allies since if ambushed by the sides or the rear, the Matilda will likely be eliminated.

When defending, find distance away from choke points near vital areas and blast enemies as they try to enter; the excellent depression will be handy during these defensive stances. Procure to keep a safe distance from the enemy to maximise the effectiveness of the armour so Matilda will be very hard to destroy.

Close-distance fighting is ill-advised and tricky as opponents will be able to easily penetrate the front armour or find those weak points; such as the loaded Hedgehog mortar rack in the rear. Therefore, open and vast maps are the forte for Matilda's armour and main gun. Although this is contradictory to the novelty of this variant: the Hedgehog mortar.

Considering the launching range of the Hedgehog is quite limited, a possible tactic to deliver a mortar rain more effectively is to reach capture zones within 190 m away then fire the mortars if the enemy is in the vicinity or inside the perimeter of the zone. This is effective on urban maps like Eastern Europe and Berlin, but on vast areas as those on maps like Maginot, the Hedgehog becomes quite ineffective.

Players should decide depending on the map if it is reasonable and useful to load the Hedgehog mortars. Also acknowledging the very capable 40 mm QF gun remains the principal weapon.

Enemies worth noting

Opponents that deserve extra attention are the tank destroyers. Most tank destroyers at the rank were designed exactly to counter the heavy frontal armour of tanks like the Matilda.

Germany ▀

The two German Marders carry a gun that can easily knock you out at long range, especially the Marder III (H), but those have thin armour, so use that to your advantage. The more armoured German TD, the StuG III, is even more dangerous. The StuG III A carry the short 75 mm that can fire high-penetrating HEAT rounds while its front armour can resist the 2-pounder's shots from a longer distance. The StuG III F is a bigger problem with its longer 75 mm gun and thicker armour, but its higher battle rating should make this an uncommon sight. The Matilda will have a hard time fighting the StuGs due to the front armour and inability to manoeuvre to hit the side armour, thus it would be better to leave that to more manoeuvrable team members.

Medium tanks

Other tanks to worry about are the more common medium tanks each nation carries from the M4 Shermans, Panzer IVs, and T-34s. These medium tanks have frontal armour able to resist Matilda's 2-pounder rounds and easily outmanoeuvre it as well. The most noteworthy tank to worry about is the Panzer IV with the long 75 mm guns, which can easily destroy your frontal armour.

Counter tactics

Unlike Matilda III, this tank has a Hedgehog 183 mm launcher on its back. While it can be useful against clusters of unmoving vehicles, it is inaccurate and takes time or skills to get used to. It also makes the Matilda Hedgehog much more vulnerable to flanking attacks since the backwards firing arc of the 40 mm gun is now limited and blinded by the mortar structure.

The launcher can be shot easily and results in an ammo rack explosion, possibly getting the tank destroyed even by SPAA vehicles or more commonly, burning off most Hedgehog mortars. If impossible to flank, an easy area to target is the thin armour located on each extremity of the lower front glacis (on either side of the driver's position).

Pros and cons


  • Identical 40 mm gun to Matilda III, meaning same excellent gun depression, rate of fire and armour penetration
  • Hedgehogs are lethal versus clusters of immobile or light vehicles; such as those in close quarters battles
  • Frontal armour weak spots as the commander's cupola and the turret ring have been reinforced
  • An empty Hedgehog launcher doubles as rear protection for the turret


  • Poor mobility on all terrains, something retained from its predecessor, the Matilda III
  • Hedgehog launcher cannot be stowed or independently aimed; this means some corrections may be needed when firing
  • Tank layout is identical to the Matilda III, but rearward firing arc is limited by the Hedgehog launcher mounting
  • No smoke grenades
  • The launcher acts as an external ammunition rack, meaning even machine gun fire and artillery shrapnel can cause a detonation


Although the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) had been developing their own tanks, there were also numbers of British tanks in RAAC service, and the A12 Matilda II was among them; around 440 Matilda IIs were in RAAC service from 1942 all the way to the last days of WWII.

In the European theatre, the Matilda II was absolutely obsolete due to its design philosophy of being an infantry tank; however, this would not be the case for the Pacific theatre where neither IJA or IJN marines had the required firepower to take the Matilda out without resorting to kamikaze attacks, traps, or bombing runs. A common problem in the Pacific theatre was the existence of Japanese fortifications which could level extensive firepower against the attacking Allied troops, as well as extensive trench and tunnel networks; this called for a durable vehicle which could deliver devastating offense upon such infrastructure.

An unusual idea was proposed: a tank with a "Hedgehog" ASW launcher installed at the rear by the engine deck to demolish fortifications from a safe distance. The result of this idea was the Matilda Hedgehog. While field tests on mainland Australia proved successful, by the time it would have been commissioned in RAAC service, the war had ended, thus leaving the tank useless.

One of six modified tanks likely intended to be used by the 6th Divisional Calvary Regiment of RAAC, numbered 35357 and nicknamed "Bullpup", is now displayed at the RAAC Memorial and Army Tank Museum at Puckapunyal, Victoria.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

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