Tuesday 7 June 2016

The Real Matilda I, Continued

Somehow, in English language armoured history, the index "Matilda I" managed to latch onto the Infantry Tank MkI despite some evidence to the contrary. Interestingly enough, this never happened in Russian literature. Here is a page from the Tankomaster magazine, February 1991 edition, listing the A indices of various British tanks.

Holding up this list against the Wikipedia one, it seems identical... almost. In this list, the A11 is not a Matilda, only "Infantry Tank MkI". Soviet wartime documents would have still been classified, meaning that the "nameless" MkI had to have come from an English source. Several other traits hint to this, including referring to the engine on the A16 as "Nuffield Liberty" (contemporary Soviet sources just called it "Liberty") and the transliterations rather than translations of "Centaur", "Cromwell", and "Tortoise".


  1. General Hugh Elles, Master-General of the Ordnance, described his new “toy” as the “Matilda”

    Matilda A12 doesn't look anything like a 'toy'.

    1. Ah yes, a quote from "tanks-encyclopedia", the amazingly reputable resource whose owner can't tell the difference between Latin and Cyrillic characters. Good job.

  2. Now look. The long and short of it is that you're not going to prove anything about this matter without actual, contemporary, British documents from back when the MkI was still vaguely relevant, ie. in (however modest) active service.

    At-best circumstantial evidence from however long after those junkers were retired isn't really going to cut it.