Killer Tanks – Fighting The Iron Fist includes rare archive footage, 3D animations, reconstructions, and analysis by the leading authorities of tank warfare. The various sections of the series describe in detail the best tanks of the Allies. We get to know the good and bad aspects of Churchill, Cromwell, Grant, Sherman, KV and T34 tanks of Britain, America and Russia and how they were used to defeat Germany’s best tanks.
A Cromwell/Eagle Media Production for Discovery Networks Europe
Part 1: The Churchill Tank
After the calamitous defeat at Dunkirk during 1940, there were less than 100 tanks left in Britain. The Vauxhall Company were given just one year to design, develop and manufacture a replacement for the Matilda II. Rushed into service by a desperate military, the Churchill had many teething troubles and its operational debut at Dieppe in August 1942 was an unmitigated disaster, but the tanks went on to play an important role in major combat theatres throughout the war.
Part 2: The Cromwell Tank
It was not until 1941 that the British Army General Staff ordered a heavy cruiser tank to replace the vulnerable Crusader. With a design based around the powerful Rolls Royce Meteor, a detuned aircraft engine, the fast and agile Cromwell went through many design modifications before it finally saw action at Normandy in 1944 — 15 months after it was deemed ready for battle. It was however a fast and agile tank, several thousand had been built by the end of the war in 1945.
Part 3: The Grant M3 Tank
Reports from Europe in 1940 convinced the US that the M2A1 medium tank was obsolete — their answer was the M3, a medium tank with a 75mm weapon. An astonishing frenzy of building that included co-opting the car industry meant that the US were able to produce more than 6,ooo M3’s in little more than 15 months.
Part 4: The Sherman Tank
The story of the most produced, most used and most important US tank of World War Two. Nearly 50,000 of these superb fighting vehicles were built during the war and every allied army used the Sherman in a variety of roles in every theatre of combat throughout the world. Although it was inferior to the best German tanks in armament and protection, in reliability, serviceability and cost effectiveness it was unmatched.
Part 5: The KV Tank
When it was designed in 1939, the Russian KV was the most advanced heavy tank in the world, with excellent artillery and top-of-the-range armour. Seemingly impervious to anti-tank fire, more than 600 had been built when Russia was invaded by Germany in 1941, and this simple, robust and powerful tank gave a severe jolt to German armoured planning.
Part 6: The T34 Tank
The T34 was probably the most important tank to see action during the Second World War — its existence remained a well kept secret from the Germans who were shocked by its appearance on the battlefield. Easy to produce and maintain with innovative and formidable heavy armament, more than 40,000 of this superb medium tank were built during the war.