TOG1 (tank)

TOG1 (tank)

The Tank, Heavy, TOG 1 was a prototype British heavy tank design produced in the early part of the Second World War in the expectation that battlefields might end up like those of the First World War and was designed so it could cross churned up countryside and trenches. A single prototype was built but interest faded with the success of the Churchill tank, another cross country performance design, and the mobile war that was being fought.


In July 1939 the Special Vehicle Development Committee was drawn up for future tank designs suitable for Great War conditions under Sir Albert Stern; who had been on the original Landships Committee and head of the Tank Supply Depot during World War I. The committee included others who had been instrumental in the development of the tank during the Great War: former Director of Naval Construction, Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt, General Swinton, engine designer Harry Ricardo, the gearbox and transmission expert Major W G Wilson. Unsurprisingly they got the nickname "The Old Gang" (hence, the initials TOG were applied to their design). Together they proposed the development of a heavy tank design, which they entrusted to another of the first tank's developers and builders of the first tank, Sir William Tritton of Foster's of Lincoln.

Designed with trench crossing abilities to the fore and the capability to carry infantry as well, the design was a large hull with side doors supported on broad tracks, with a small turret on top. The prototype TOG I was delivered in October 1940. After problems with the electro-mechanical drive, it was converted to hydraulic drive, a process that took until May 1943 after which it was called TOG 1A. The prototype was sent to Chobham and then seems to have disappeared into history.


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