Designed as an ‘Infantry’ tank, following lessons learned in World War I. Design started in 1936, and the first few Matilda IIs were in service by the start of the war. Slow, but heavily armoured and mounting a 2 pounder main gun and co-axial machinegun, its first action occurred with the 7th Tank Regiment in France, and provided a nasty shock to the German armour, being almost invulnerable to the anti tank guns and main armament of the German tanks. But the German 88mm flak gun proved its nemesis.
In the Western Desert, up to 1942 the Matilda II continued to show its superiority to German armour, and was overwhelmingly superior to anything the Italians had, but by 1942 the German anti tank guns had improved, and the main armament of German tanks had been upgraded, which sounded the death knell for the Matilda.
But over 1000 had gone to Russia through the ‘Lend-Lease’ scheme, the Russians generally pleased with the tank’s performance, if not its armament. In the Far East the armament issue was not an issue against Japanese armour, and the Matilda II continued in front line service until the end of the war. Nearly 3000 were built in total.
This model is painted to represent a tank of 7th Tank regiment in France in 1940.