A39 Heavy Assault Tank Tortoise

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:50 pm

At 78 tons, the A39 Heavy Assault Tank Tortoise represented Britain’s final attempt to build a heavy tank during World War II.

The Tortoise was first designed in 1942, but work on it did not move rapidly until 1944 when Germany’s Jagdtiger appeared. Only pilot models of the Tortoise were built, and these were not delivered until 1946-1947, after the war was already over.

The Tortoise’s armor was 8.86 thick at its maximum. It had a 32 pounder main gun with limited traverse and held a crew of seven.
A39 Heavy Assault Tank Tortoise
Although it appeared to perform sufficiently well in trials, because of its size the A39 could only move at a top speed of 12mph and therefore would not have been very useful in real combat.

Great Britain

Tortoise Heavy Assault Tank (A39)

Active: 1946-1947 (pilot models)
Crew: 7
Weight: 78 tons (79,252 kg)
Length: 33ft (10.06m)
Height: 10ft (3.05m)
Width: 12ft 10in (3.91m)
Weapons: Main – 32 pounder OQF (ordnance quick-firing) gun Secondary – 3 x 0.312in (7.92mm) Besa machineguns, 2 in anti-aircraft mount
Armor Maximum – 8.86in (225mm)
Engine: Rolls-Royce Meteor V12 Gasoline, 650hp
Speed: 12 mph (19kph)
Range: 50 miles (81 km)