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Charioteer at Latrun museum.
Type Tank destroyer
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service -
Used by British Army
Wars Operation Litani
Lebanese civil war
Production history
Manufacturer Robinson and Kershaw Ltd, Cheshire
Number built 442[1]

Ordnance QF 20 pounder
Suspension Improved Christie

The Charioteer officially known as FV4101 Cromwell Heavy AT Gun[2] and FV4101 Tank Medium, Charioteer was a British armoured fighting vehicle. It was produced in the 1950s as a self-propelled anti-tank gun to add firepower to units serving in West Germany by mounting a 20 pdr (84mm) gun on a Cromwell tank chassis.

Development[edit | edit source]

In the early 1950s, in an attempt to give extra firepower to the Territorial Army units of the Royal Armoured Corps, some Cromwell tanks received a 20 pounder gun (the same as used by the Centurion) in a new but lightly armoured two-man turret.[3] The resulting vehicle was designated as the FV 4101 Charioteer tank destroyer. About 200 units were converted by Robinson and Kershaw Ltd in Cheshire.

Service[edit | edit source]

In practice the Charioteer was used by British Territorial Army units only and during mid and late 1950s most of the vehicles were sold to Austria, Finland, Jordan and Lebanon.

Survivors[edit | edit source]

  • A Charioteer is on display at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, UK.[4]
  • A Finnish Charioteer is on outdoor display in the Parola tank museum.
  • Another Finnish Charioteer is on outdoor display in Lappeenranta near the main entrance of Army Academy.
  • A Charioteer tank destroyer is on outdoor display in Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel.
  • An Austrian Charioteer in the Austrian Military Museum (HGM - Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) in Vienna

Operators[edit | edit source]

  •  Austria – Austria purchased 56 vehicles in 1956.
  •  Finland – Finland bought 38 "Charioteer Mk VII Model B" by 1960 and they remained in use until 1979. The tanks were stored until 2007 when they were auctioned off.
  •  Jordan – Jordan equipped two squadrons (24 vehicles) of their 3rd Tank Regiment in 1954. Some of the Jordanian Charioteers were sold to Lebanon.
  •  Lebanon – Lebanese Army (43 vehicles), passed on in 1976 to several Lebanese or Palestinian warring factions.
  •  United Kingdom
  • Lebanesearmyfirstflag.png Lebanese Arab Army – unknown number in service (1976–77).
  • Lebanese Forces – unknown number in service (1980–1993).
  •  Palestine – several ex-Lebanese vehicles employed by the Palestine Liberation Organization against Israeli forces in Southern Lebanon during the 1978 South Lebanon conflict.
  • Tigers Militia, Lebanon – unknown number in service (1976–1980).

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Finnish Defence Forces sale of used equipment
  2. "Fighting Vehicle 4101 Cromwell Heavy Anti-tank gun
  3. Bingham p27
  4. FV4101 Tank Medium, Charioteer (E1965.3)
  • Bingham, James (1971). "AFV Profile No. 25 Cromwell and Comet". Profile Publishing. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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