The Crusader Tank was the standard British tank during the early stages of the Second World War. This tank could reach 40mph and was well armoured and was was used in Tobruk in June 1941. Tank crews soon found out that the Crusader was uncomfortable to operate and the engine was unreliable.
As a result the General Staff of the British Army ordered a new tank to replace the Crusader Tank. The Leyland company was given the contract and it was decided to power the new Cromwell Tank with a Rolls Royce Meteor, detuned aircraft engine.
The Cromwell Tank was not used until the D-Day Landings in June 1944. It proved to be a fast and agile tank but its 75mm gun was outmatched by the German tanks in the battles that took place in France during the next few weeks. Accompanied by the American built Sherman Tank, the Cromwell was employed in Europe throughout the rest of the war. Production of the Cromwell came to an end in 1945.