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Matilda
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Infantry Tank


"Four Matildas and a Churchill are moving in formation!"
―Miho

The A12 Cruiser Tank Mk II "Matilda" (or just Matilda II) was one of the most successful British infantry tanks that served during the early stages of the Second World War.

History

Taking inspiration from the prototypes of the A7 Medium Tank The tank was developed as a gun-armed counterpart to the first British infantry tank, the A11 Infantry Tank Mark I "Matilda" in 1937. Compared to its predecessor it sported thicker armour and, instead of machine-guns, a 40mm QF 2-pounder which had good AT performance. The gun wasn't equipped with HE rounds (the rounds were designed but never introduced due to the small amount of explosives). The first two Matildas were produced in 1937 and were the only ones when the war broke out in September 1939, so a second order was placed in addition of the original order.

Matilda's baptism of fire was during the Battle of France during when they performed well being virtually immune to all German tanks such as the Panzer 38(t), Panzer III or Panzer IV and anti-tank guns. Rommel had the idea to use the mighty FlaK 88mm as an AT-gun which was the only weapon able to pierce their armor. While they managed to disrupt the German progress during the Arras counter-attack, all the surviving Matildas were abandoned around Dunkirk when the BEF evacuated.

The Matilda mainly served during the North African Campaign against the Italians and later Germans. During Operation Compass, Italian tanks and tankettes were proven to be unable to harm the Matilda which permitted the British to push the Italians back to Libya. Ultimately the Matilda showed its limits in the desert due to its low speed and unreliable steering mechanism. The arrival of Afrika Korps and their FlaK 88mm guns turned the tide, when during Operation Battleaxe sixty-four Matilda were destroyed. The lack of an effective HE round left Matildas unable to suppress the enemy anti-tank guns. However, Matildas had a decisive role during Operation Crusader in the breakout from Tobruk after Cruiser tanks failed to overcome Axis tanks but also suffered heavy losses.

Due to the Germans receiving new tanks with more powerful guns along with better anti-tank guns, the Matilda became more and more vulnerable to Germans weapons. Several attempts to upgrade the tank were done but all ultimately failed and by Autumn 1941 the tank was phased out. They stopped to replace its losses in 1942 and their production was discontinued in 1943 to be slowly replaced by the Valentine tank.

The tank saw limited service during the East African Campaign in 1941 where the mountainous terrain prevented it from being as effective as in Egypt and Libya. Some also participated to the defence of Crete where they were all lost.

409 Matildas were supplied to the Australian army during the Pacific Campaign from October 1943 until the end of the war as the Japanese lacked tanks and anti-tank weapons to threaten Matildas.

918 Matildas served in Russian service as part of the lend-lease program and saw action from the Battle of Moscow in 1941 until 1944. It was found slow and unreliable by Russians, the majority were expended during 1942, some were modified to give them better traction. One Matilda III has its turret redesigned to fit a 76mm ZiS-5 gun but the modification was proven to be unsuccessful.

After the disastrous Operation Battleaxe, a dozen Matildas were captured by the Afrika Korps and served under the designation Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen Mk.II 748(e) and were well-regarded by their German users although their use in battle caused confusion to both sides, despite extra-prominent German markings.

Some Matildas were used by Egypt during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

In Girls und Panzer

Anime

St. Gloriana Girls College fields four Matildas in their practice match against Ooarai Girls Academy. They shot up the already abandoned M3 Lee, Nilgiri's tank was the first casualty with a point-blank range side shot from the StuG, Rukuriri's tank was caught in an ambush by Duck Team in a parking lot but was saved by the inability of the Type 89's gun to pierce the rear armor. Rukuriri's tank then disposed of her opponent. The three remaining Matildas overkilled the Panzer 38(t) in its failed attempt to destroy the Churchill, in the confusion Rukiriri's tank was knocked out by the Panzer IV along with the rest of the Matildas with ambush corner shots.

Der Film

During the exhibition match between St. Gloriana and Pravda vs Chi-Ha-Tan and Ooarai, three Matildas were part of Darjeeling's forces on the golf course. Despite being under immensely heavy fire from all sides, only two Matildas were knocked out, one by the Panzer IV and one other by a the StuG, leaving Rukuriri's tank as the sole Matilda survivor during that encounter. Rukuriri was later taken out by the combined efforts of Duck Team and Fukuda's Ha-Go.

St. Gloriana comes with a single Matilda commanded by Rukuriri to help Ooarai against All-Stars University Team, it was assigned to Dandelion Platoon commanded by Miho. The Matilda was present during the engagement against Rumi's platoon in the swamp, after the Karl was destroyed it retreats in the theme park and alongside others St. Gloriana tanks was assigned to the eastern utility gate. After the T28 storms in the park the Matilda fled as it was unable to harm the rolling fortress but was surrounded at the amphitheater alongside others. Thanks to Rabbit Team they escaped and the Matilda was later taken down by Rumi's Pershing attempting to prevent the Bermuda Trio to regroup with the Centurion.

Manga

During the alternate practice match against Ooarai, St. Gloriana still fielded four Matildas. One Matilda was shot down by the StuG and another is destroyed by the Type 89 from a garage, but the other Matildas will dispose of those two pretty quickly after. The Panzer 38(t) will eventually miss them but they don't, in the confusion one Matilda was destroyed by the Panzer IV and the last was detracked and sent crashing into a building.

Ribbon Warrior

Four Matildas commanded by Rukuriri took part in a training match against St. Gloriana's Tankathlon team, The Chindits commanded by Orange Pekoe and Rosehip. Rukuriri and her tanks, when Pekoe failed to pierce the Matilda side armor with her Tetrarch, she ran away thinking luring the Matildas into a killzone, instead the Matildas formed a close-up line to welcome their opponent as they were unable to pierce their front armor. But in the end they were outsmarted as Rosehip cut through the jungle to Rukuriri's back and destroyed all Matildas by shooting their rear armor.

Little Army 2

During a match against Bellwall Academy for rights to the Commemorative Cup, West Kureouji Grona Academy fielded eight Matilda Mk.III. During the battle two Matildas lured Bellwall's tank, while the rest layed in ambush. Once passed they took pursuit of their opponent but when the Tiger, the Panzer II and the T-44 turned back one Matilda was destroyed by the Tiger, then to break the encirclement two Matildas by the Tiger and the T-44. Then another duo of Matildas were sniped down by the Elefant. Then when the Tiger track snapped the remaining Matildas unleashed hell on the heavy tank without being able to eliminate it.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

It is said that St. Gloriana Girls College have Matildas Mk.IV but weren't fielded because they were under maintenance.

Koala Forest High School fields two Matilda Mk.III during the tournament first round match against Viking Fisheries High School. Their performance during the match is unknown other than that they rushed to the river and fell into Viking's trap.

St. Gloriana High School fielded nine Matilda Mk.III during the tournament first round match against BC Freedom High School. Nilgiri's Matilda was shot down during an ambush in the city by BC's flag tank, a M4A1 Sherman fitted with a 76mm gun. Another Matilda simultaneously fired at the Sherman with the Churchill.

St. Gloriana High School fielded nine Matilda Mk.III during the tournament quarter-finals match against Yogurt Academy. Niligri's Matilda was (again) shot down during the hill ascension trying to locate the enemy. Two Matildas were immediately eliminated by a barrage of fire from the waiting Yogurt tanks when reaching the crest but they locate the enemy's flag tank. The rest of the Matildas fiercely fought at the top of the hill.

St. Gloriana High School fielded eleven Matilda Mk.III during the tournament semi-finals match against Kuromorimine Girls Academy. Darjeeling ordered Matildas to bait their opponent's tanks, in the fight Panthers and Matildas shot each others and ultimately all Matildas were destroyed just before the Churchill was.

Trivia

  • The name "Matilda" was inherited from its predecessor, the A11 Infantry Tank Mk.I, deriving from the codename used for the project.
  • The Matilda earned the nickname "Queen of the Desert" because of its role in the decisive victory during Operation Compass from December 9th 1940 and February 9th 1941 and its success against the opposing Italian vehicles lacking the armor withstanding a shot from the 2-pdr and the power to penetrate their armor. This reputation ended with the arrival of the use of 88 mm Flak guns by Erwin Rommel, capable of penetrating the frontal armor of the tank.
  • The Matilda in the franchise is labelled Mk.III/IV, whereas this designation doesn't exist. This is due to one Tamiya plastic model kits labelled "Matilda Mk.III/IV" which was not a proper designation but permitted to build either Matilda Mk.III or Mk.IV. The GuP staff might have taken this designation regardless if it existed or not.

Gallery

Main article: Matilda/Gallery
Tanks ☰ 
Light Tanks and Tankettes Poland7TPFranceAMR-35FinlandBT-42UKCrusaderItalyCV.33FranceFT-17UKHarry HopkinsUnited StatesM22 LocustUnited StatesM24 ChaffeeUKMark VIGermanyPanzer IICzechoslovakiaPanzer 38(t)FranceR35SovietT-60SovietT-70UKTetrarchPolandTK TanketteJapan2Type 95 Ha-GoJapan2Type 97 Te-Ke
Medium Tanks UKCenturionUnited StatesM3 LeeUnited StatesM4 ShermanItalyM13/40UKMatilda IIItalyP26/40GermanyPanzer IIIGermanyPanzer IVGermanyPanzer V "Panther"FranceSOMUA S35SovietT-34SovietT-44Japan2Type 89BJapan2Type 3 Chi-NuJapan2Type 97 Chi-Ha
Heavy Tanks FranceARL 44FranceB1 BisUKBlack PrinceUKChurchillSovietIS-2SovietKV-2United StatesM26 PershingUKMark IVGermanyPanzer VI "Tiger"GermanyPanzer VI Ausf. B "Tiger II"GermanyPanzer VIII "Maus"GermanyVK45.01 Porsche Tiger
Tank Destroyers GermanyElefantGermanyHetzerSovietISU-152GermanyJagdpanzer IVGermanyJagdpantherGermanyJagdtigerItalySemovente da 75/18GermanyStuG IIIUnited StatesT28 Super-Heavy Tank
Self-Propelled Artillery GermanyKarl-Gerät 040
Main Battle Tank Japan2Type 10