Like the Germans, Soviets and Americans in World War 2, the British also invested time and money into the design and development of heavy tanks during World War 2. Several designs emerged and one of the early war attempts were the pair of "TOG" vehicles as the TOG 1 and TOG 2 in 1940. Both were developed by a committee of personnel that still held a World War 1 battlefield mentality, assuming the battlefields of Europe would become the tattered, cratered countrysides littered with trench networks and protected by fortified positions.
These new, heavy-class vehicles were, therefore, intended for such rough work - trench crossings, infantry support, defeating enemy fortifications, uneven terrain. Design work was through the "Special Vehicle Development Committee" and resulted in the TOG 2 - a 90-ton beast of armor with a six-man crew which borrowed some key elements of the preceding TOG 1 including its drive train. The turret of the Challenger (A30) cruiser tank was used for expediency and two electric motors were installed to supply the needed transmission services. Fosters of Lincoln was charged with the vehicle's construction and a prototype was completed by early 1941.
The TOG 2 was given a length of 33 feet, 2 inches with a width of 10 feet, 3 inches and height to turret top of 10 feet. Her crew consisted of a driver, co-driver, vehicle commander, dedicated gunner and a pair of ammunition handlers. Protection was afforded through cemented armor and steel which raised the vehicle's combat weight considerably as well as its performance. Power was served through a Paxman-Ricardo 12-cylinder diesel-electric engine generating 600 horsepower and mated to 2 x electric motor transmissions. The original prototype form (TOG 2) sported an unsprung suspension system while a later, revised form (TOG 2*) introduced a torsion bar arrangement. Road speeds were limited to 8.5 miles per hour on ideal surfaces with an operational road range of just 50 miles.
Structurally, the TOG 2 was a behemoth of a vehicle which a generally outdated, boxy form. The largely vertical surfaces did little to supply basic ballistics protection, relying instead on thick, heavy armor protection. Unlike the TOG 1 approach, the TOG 2 featured a more modern approach to its track arrangement, protected along the sides and exposed only at the front, rear and underside of the vehicle. The turret was seated above the hull superstructure just aft of the driver position and also featured vertical faces with a flat roof line. The main gun armament protruded from a port at the front of the turret in the usual way. For its time, the TOG 2 held a formidable armament suite consisting of the 76.2mm QF 17-pounder main gun as well as anti-infantry protection from a single 7.92mm BESA coaxial machine gun installation.
The vehicle underwent evaluations since 1941, still in testing throughout the Spring of 1943. However, by this time in the war, developments had changed considerably and the British Army had already taken on greater stocks of American-made tanks - including the famous M4 Sherman - and the need for such a heavy tank system fell by the wayside. Additionally, the pre-war inventory of cruiser and infantry tanks proved suitable under many circumstances while all-new medium-class tank developments appeared by war's end. As such, the heavy, complicated and expensive TOG 2 was yet another tank development of the war that was not furthered and ultimately dropped from serious consideration.
The sole prototype example survived the war and currently (February 2014) resides at the Bovington Tank Museum in the Southwest UK - "Home of the Tank".
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