After the fall of France it became public knowledge that the British Army did not possess a tank which was equal in performance or firepower to the tanks of the German Panzer divisions. British tanks were notoriously underpowered and underarmed and most of these were lost in France. This deplorable state of affairs was due to a variety of causes. The funds allotted for tank development work in the twenties and thirties — which the War Office made no great efforts to increase — were negligible, during rearmament the claims of the Air Force were so great that the Army was perforce neglected, few large firms apart from Vickers-Armstrong found it profitable to develop and produce tanks, and both the General Staff and the regiments of the line had little interest in tanks and armoured vehicles generally. The role which armoured divisions would play in the land battles of the Second World War had not been envisaged, except by a few eccentric officers such as Captain Liddell Hart and Colonel Martel.
KeywordsCombustion Europe Diesel Expense Petrol
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