Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two World Wars. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. The UK currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside of the EMU for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. Regional assemblies with varying degrees of power opened in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 1999. - US CIA World Factbook.


Vickers Wolseley Wheel Track Tank---Vickers Wolseley Wheel Track Tank
Vickers Wolseley Wheel Track Tank

This was a 1927 Vickers experiment using a standard Wolseley truck. This vehicle was a prototype only and never produced in series.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 7.5 tons
Length 16' 8"
Width 7' 3"
Height 7'
Armor ?
Powerplant 120hp Wolseley 6cyl
Armament 3 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 25mph (wheels) 15mph (tracks)
Range ?

Vickers D3E1 Wheel Track Tank---Vickers D3E1 Wheel Track Tank
Vickers D3E1 Wheel Track Tank

This was a 1928 Vickers experiment using a British War Office designation of D3E1. This tank could go from wheel to track without the operator leaving the vehicle. All change over was powered. Not produced in series

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 8.4 tons
Length 18'
Width 8'
Height 9'
Armor ?
Powerplant 90hp Armstrong Siddeley
Armament 2 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 45mph (wheels) 15mph (tracks)
Range ?

Mark A---Mark B - Weight: 8tons, Crew: 3, Armament: 1 x 47mm, 1 x Vickers .303 MG, Engine: Armstrong Siddeley 80hp 4 cyl, Performance: 22mph, Length: 15', Width: 7' 11", Height: 7' 2".---Mark F - Same dimentions as the Mark B. Improvements in space for the radio was the major change.

\Vickers 6 ton Type2 see here with a training unit in 1940.---Vickers Armstrong 40mm AA - Photo thanks to IonFonosch.
Vickers 6 Ton

Designed in 1928, this tank would go on to become one of the most important tank designs of the interwar years. Plans and vehicles were widely sold throughout the world. Design features included a fireproof wall between the engine and fighting compartment. A laryngaphone communications system was available. Later models had a Marconi shortwave radio installed. Designed for export, this tank was not adopted for the British army. The British did use this tank for training in 1940 when units awaiting export were confiscated.

Nations that either owned or produced this vehicle (model A) (heavy users in red): Bolivia, Bulgaria, China, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, USSR, USA.

Nations that either owned or produced this vehicle (model B): Finland

Nations that either owned or produced this vehicle (model F): China

Specifications (Model A)
Crew 3
Weight 7 tons
Length 15'
Width 7' 11"
Height 6' 10"
Armor 5 - 14mm
Powerplant Armstrong Siddeley 80hp 4cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG, 1 x Vickers .5 MG
Performance 22mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Amphibious Tanks A4E12, L1E2 ---Vickers Light Amphibious Tanks A4E12, L1E2
Vickers Light Amphibious Tanks A4E11, A4E12, L1E1, L1E2

Experimental tanks for amphibious use developed in 1931 and 1932. More of a tankette than a light tank, they were given the designation A4E11 and A4E12 by the War Office. They were also known as L1E1 and L1E2. Flotation was achieved via balsa wood and propulsion by propeller. Steering was achieved by use of a rudder. Though not adopted by the British army, Vickers sold this tank throughout the world. Principle buyers were China, Dutch East Indies, Thailand, and the USSR. The Soviet T37 came directly from this design.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 2.17 tons
Length 13' 4"
Width 6' 9"
Height 6' 2"
Armor 11mm
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 90hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 3.72mph (water) 20 - 27mph (land)
Range ?

Vickers Mark 1 "Patrol"---Vickers Mark 2 "Patrol"
Vickers Mark 1, Mark 2 "Patrol"

This machine was a Vickers machine gun carrier Mark 6 - with a turret. More like a tankette than a light tank, two versions were built in 1932. The basic differences were in the leaf springs on the suspension. Sold to Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Portugal. Specifically which model was aquired by each state is unknown.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 2 tons
Length 8' 6"
Width 5' 9"
Height 5' 5"
Armor 7 - 11mm
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 40hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 30 mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank Model 1933---Vickers Light Tank Model 1934---Vickers Light Tank Model 1934 designed specifically for the Belgians. Beligum gave this tank the designator T15. Note the oddly shaped turret.

Vickers Light Tank Model 1936.---Vickers Light Tank Model 1936.---Vickers Light Tank Model 1937.---1938 Belgian Light Command Tank - Designed specifically for the Belgians. This vehicle had a specially designed Horstman suspension fitted. Armament was variable. 1 x or 2 x .303 Vickers MG or 1 x 12.7mm Vickers MG or 1 x 2pdr gun. The gunners periscope was mounted on the roof. Weight: 5 tons, Crew: 3, Armor: 4 - 11mm, Performance: 31mph, Engine: 90hp Meadows 6 cyl, Length: 13' 8",  Width: 6' 9", Height: 6' 7".
Vickers Light Tank Model 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938

Similar to light tanks designed for British service, these tanks were designed specifically for export. Having a strong resemblance to the British Light Tank Mark IV of WW2 North Africa fame, the main difference was in the shape of the turret, and the suspension.

Model 1933: Sold to Finland, Lithuania, and Latvia

Model 1934: Sold to Argentina, Belgium, Switzerland. The Belgian units were a special group of 42 built with a taller, conical shaped turret. Called the T15, they were armed with a 13.2mm Hotchkiss MG. Specifications for all units were the same as the Model 1933 except as noted here: Armament: 1 x Vickers .303 or 7.7mm or 13.2 Hotchkiss, Width 6' 2.25", Height 6' 4" (excepting the Belgian models).

Model 1936: Sold to the Netherlands, Dutch East Indies, China. The units bought by the Netherlands were retained in the UK at the outbreak of WW2 and were never delivered (though there is some reason to believe a few might have been delivered as implied by several historians). The British used these tanks for training and were called "Dutchmen". Specifications for all units were the same as the Model 1933 except as noted here: Width 6' 2.25", Height 6' 2.25".

Model 1937: A Model 1936 fitted with a different turret designed to house the British 2pdr (40mm) or the 20mm Oerlikon gun. Specifications for all units were the same as the Model 1933 except as noted here: Performance: 30mph, Length: 11' 10.75", Width 6' 2.25".

Specifications (1933)
Crew 2
Weight 3.8 tons
Length 11' 10.75"
Width 6' 2.5"
Height 6' 2"
Armor 7 - 9mm
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 90hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 40 mph
Range ?

Light Tank A3E1
Light Tank A3E1, Carrier - Machine Gun No. 1

Built by the Royal Ordnance Factory in 1925. This tank can best be described as a attempt to make a Volkswagen because of the desire to produce a good but cheap tank. The tracks were inexpensive cast steel plates. The engine came from an omnibus, the suspension came from a Vickers medium tank. The tank was one of the more unusual in history as the two turrets were located at each end of the tank. In 1926 the tank was re-designated as "carrier, machine gun number 1".

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 3 tons
Length 17' 6"
Width 9'
Height 6'
Armor 6mm
Powerplant 40hp AEC
Armament 2 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 16 mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank Model A5E1, Vickers 3 Man Tank
Vickers Light Tank Model A5E1, Vickers 3 Man Tank

One unit built in 1930 for testing. Noted for it's large 2 man turret.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 4.5 tons
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor 4 - 9mm
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 85hp
Armament 1 x .303 MG, 1 x .5 Vickers MG
Performance 30 mph
Range ?

Light Tank Model VII, A4E1
Light Tank Mark VII, A4E1

An outgrowth of the Carden Loyd tankette series. Only one unit was built.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 2.5 tons
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor ?
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 59hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 35 mph
Range ?

Light Tank Mark VIII, Mark I, A4E4
Light Tank Mark I, Mark VIII, A4E2, A4E4, A4E5

The follow on design to the Mark VII Light Tank. Until it was accepted and manufactured, the tank was known as Light Tank Mark VIII or A4xx. Considered a good design, a small amount (unknown quanity) were actually produced in 1930 under the designation of Light Tank Mark I. This tank also has the honor of being the first light tank accepted into the British army. The A4xx designators were basically test vehicles that mounted different armaments and suspensions.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.8 tons
Length 13' 2"
Width 6' 1"
Height 5' 7"
Armor 4 - 14mm
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 58hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 30 mph
Range ?

Light Tank A4E6---Light Tank A4E8---Light Tank A4E10
Light Tank Mark 1A, A4E6 - A4E10

Considered a real improvement over the earlier Mark 1, the RTC began using this vehicle in October, 1930. Test models for this series were numbered A4E6 to A4E10. India investigated this series and later placed an order for a light tank of their own specifications (see the Indian section of TANKS!).

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.8 tons
Length 13' 2"
Width 6' 1"
Height 5' 7"
Armor 4 - 14mm
Powerplant Meadows 6cyl 58hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 30 mph
Range ?

Light Tank Mark II---Light Tank Mark II - fitted with flotation devices.

Light Tank Mark II - using flotation devices.---Light Tank Mark II - with experimental Horstman suspension.
Light Tank Mark II, A4E13 - A4E15

A total of 16 of these vehicles were produced in 1931. These units had the same hull as the Mark 1A, but used the Horstman suspension. They also had a larger turret and a Rolls Royce engine. The experimental models of the series were numbered A4E13 to A4E15. Two of the produced units had the rivets closely spaced to prevent water leakage. They were then fitted with flotation devices and used for water tests. Propulsion was provided by an outboard motor attached to a special plate on the rear of the tank. One of these amphibious tanks was later fitted with a modified Horstman suspension that was adopted for Light Tank Mark III.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.25 tons
Length 11' 9"
Width 6' 3.5"
Height 6' 7.5"
Armor 4 - 10mm
Powerplant Rolls Royce 66hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 MG
Performance 30 mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank Mark IIA
Vickers Light Tank Mark IIA, A4E16, A4E18

In 1931 a new model was needed to replace the aging Mark I. Orders were placed in June and July of that year to the Royal Ordnance Factory (29) and Vickers (21).


Vickers Light Tank Mark IIB (India Pattern)
Vickers Light Tank Mark IIB (India Pattern)

Especially designed for India. Powered by a Meadows EPT engine. These tanks had a non-rotating bevel sided turret.


Vickers Light Tank Mark IIB
Vickers Light Tank Mark IIB, A4E17

The main difference between the Mark IIA and Mark IIB was the placement of the fuel tanks. The Mark IIA was equipped with 2 saddle tanks. The Mark IIB was equipped with one large tank mounted toward the rear.


Vickers Light Tank Mark III---Mark 3 Light Tanks advancing on Tobruk.---Mark 3 Light Tanks advancing on Tobruk.
Vickers Light Tank Mark III

Fitted with a specially modified Horstman suspension, this tank entered service in early 1933.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.5 tons
Length 12'
Width 6' 3.5"
Height 6' 11"
Armor 4 - 12mm
Powerplant Rolls Royce 66hp
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 or .5 MG
Performance 30 mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank 1933 India Pattern No. 1
Vickers Light Tank 1933 India Pattern No. 1, A4E19, L2E1

Especially designed for India. This hull was some 2 feet shorter and 8 inches wider than previous light tanks made by Great Britain. The shape of the tank was simplified and the number of bulletproof plates was reduced to save on manufacturing cost. Improvements were a strengthened hull and turret design. Note the lack of a rear idler.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 3.4 tons
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor 7mm
Powerplant 90hp Meadows EST 6cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303
Performance 38 mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank 1933 India Pattern No. 2, A4E20, L2E2
Vickers Light Tank 1933 India Pattern No. 2, A4E20, L2E2

Designed for India, but with a few important differences. The turret was replace with a new one designed as a standard by the War Office. Additional standardized bullet proof plates were added as well as extra thickness added to the armor. The A4E20 and A4E19 became the prototypes for the Mark IV Light Tank for the regular British Army.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 3.9 tons
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor 9 - 11mm
Powerplant 90hp Meadows EST 6cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303
Performance 38 mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank - MarkIV - 1934
Vickers Light Tank Mark IV

The General Staff decided not to continue enhancements on the existing Mark III Light Tank once seeing the improvements contained in the experimental models A4E19 and 20. To these were added a few extra improvements and from that came the Mark IV Light Tank.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.6 tons
Length 11' 2"
Width 6' 8.5"
Height 6' 11.5"
Armor 5 - 12mm
Powerplant 88hp Meadows ESTE 6cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303 or .5
Performance 36 mph
Range ?

Dutchmen were used at the Military School of Engineering and are seen here in this photo from 1943.---Note the distinctive hexagonal turret on this Dutchman.
Vickers "Dutchmen"

Mechanically similar to the Mark IV, though armament and other features were like the Mark II, the "Dutchmen" were a 1936 commercial version. 40 vehicles were sold to the Netherlands. All 40 were taken over by the War Office in 1939 before export. All vehicles were used for training only by the British Army. The term "Dutchmen" or "Dutchman" was an unofficial moniker.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.25 tons
Length 11' 9"
Width 6' 3.5"
Height 6' 7.5"
Armor 4 - 10mm
Powerplant 88hp Meadows ESTE 6cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303
Performance 36 mph

GB-Vickers3ManLightTank-L3E1.jpg (28442 bytes)
Vickers 3 Man Light Tank, L3E1, L3E2

These were two experimental tanks built in 1933 as a basis to develop a 3 man light tank. The turret was designed to contain 2 of the occupants. Note the "Bishops Mitre"... the large commanders cupola simular to those installed on medium tanks. Both vehicles were built of mild steel and became the basis for the Mark V.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 4.4 tons
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor ?
Powerplant 90hp Meadows EST 6cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303, 1 x Vickers .5
Performance ?
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank MarkV - 1935---15mm Besa AA---Quad Boulton & Paul AA
Vickers Light Tank Mark V

Built in 1935, these were the first light tanks to enter British service with a 2 man turret. This tank was a real improvement over earlier designs and featured a larger, better organized fighting compartment. A total of 22 vehicles were made in this series.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 4.15 tons
Length 12' 1"
Width 6' 9"
Height 7' 3"
Armor 12mm
Powerplant 88hp Meadows ESTL 6cyl
Armament 1 x Vickers .303, 1 x Vickers .5
Performance 32mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank Mark VI - 1936---Vickers Light Tank Mark VIA---Vickers Light Tank Mark VIB

Vickers Light Tank Mark VIB India Pattern---Vickers Light Tank Mark VIC---Vickers Light Tank Mark VIB
Vickers Light Tank Mark VI, VIA, VIB, VIC, India Pattern

Built in 1936, this design was the final word in this series of lightly armed and armored Vickers Carden Loyd light tanks. This model was basically the same as the Mark V but with a redesigned turret and a wireless radio addition. Mark VIA incorporated a modified Horstman with a track return roller attached to the hull instead of the top of the front bogie. A new 8 sided commander's cupola was designed and added and fitted with 2 glass block lookouts. The engine horse power was improved but I have not been able to locate that specific rating... do you know? VIB was the most widely used and manufactured version. It was also the principle light tank used by the BEF when deployed to France. The commander's cupola in this version was again round as in the first version. This cupola had glass blocks for vision and a single armored cooling louvre (instead of the normal two in the earler models). 6 units were experimented with by adding a rear idler wheel in an attempt to increase cross country performance. VIC had a wider suspension and a broader track. The cupola was removed and the commander given hinged flaps in the turret for observation. A fan was fitted in the turret to remove fumes emitted by the Machine Gun when fired. It may be noted that the Germans made little or no use out of captured examples when the war ended in France in 1940. Production of the tank(s) is as follows:

Mark IV: 80 - July 1935 to September 1936.
Mark IVA: 85 November 1935 to January 1936.
Mark IVB: 850 April 1937 to January 1940.
Mark IVC: 130 December 1939 to June 1940.

Specifications
- Mark VI Mark VIB Mark VIC
Crew 3 3 3
Weight 4.8 tons 5.2 tons 5.2 tons
Length 13' 2" 13' 2" 13' 2"
Width 6' 10" 6' 10" 6' 10"
Height 7' 5" 7' 5" 7' 5"
Armor 4 - 15mm 4 - 15mm 4 - 15mm
Powerplant 88hp Meadows ESTL 6cyl 88hp Meadows ESTB/A or ESTB/B  6cyl ?
Armament 1 x Vickers .303, 1 x Vickers .5 1 x Vickers .303, 1 x Vickers .5 1 x Besa 7.92mm, 1 x Besa 15mm
Performance 35mph ? ?
Range ? ? ?

Vickers AA Tank Mark I
Vickers AA Tank Mark I

no details known


A17E1 - the Mark VII prototype.---Vickers Light Tank Mark VII---Tetrarch DD

Tetrarch 1CS---Tetrarch I with the Littljohn squeeze bore adapter. This was an attempt to extend the life of the 40mm gun.---Tetrarch

Vickers Light Tank Mark VII---Tetrarch and the Hamilcar Glider - Photo provided by Ionica Fonosch.---Tetrarch DD
Vickers Light Tank Mark VII, A17E1, Tetrarch, 1CS

The Mark VII was a radical and new light tank design by Vickers intended for private sales in 1938. An interesting innovation was Christie road wheel concept and suspension. The British army was quick to see the important improvements in this model and procured the plans. Delays occured in production due to the poor showing of light tanks in the Spanish Civil War. The tank went into production (July 1940) too late to affect the Battle of France but at a time when any tank was considered a plus considering the huge material loss by the British. A large order was initially placed with Vickers, but, the events that occured in 1940 during the Battle of France that showed that light tank was a concept that needed to be rethought and that order was recinded. Light tanks in general, and all tanks armed only with machine guns fared so poorly in France that this model was very nearly scrapped out of hand. The Mark VII was a simply a case of a good design that appeared at the wrong time. If this model, and not the Mark VIB had been available in France, and in numbers, some different results from encounters would have occured when the Germans met the British. The Battle of France (1940) convinced nations to move away or redesign the light tank concept. Indeed, many light tank designs that survived the first years of WW2, and continued production until 1945, would actually become more powerful and better protected than most pre war heavy tanks! This tank saw limited action during the Madagascar campaign. Around this time, the tank was (again) almost religated to the scrap pile when a new need arrose. Airborne forces were being developed during the war years and consideration was given to providing armor support. The Mark VII now had a new role and a new name - "Tetrarch". The tank was used on a limited basis with airborne troops during the D Day invasion (1944) and the Rhine crossings (1945). Some of the tanks were refitted as a close support version (Tetrach 1CS) by mounting a 3" howitzer in place of the 40mm gun. An experiment was tried in 1941 (pre Valentine DD) to use the Straussler system to make the tank a DD (duplex drive) for river crossings. One squadron of these tanks remained in service until 1950 - by then gliders had been dropped from military use. The USSR employed this vehicle through "lend lease".

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 7.5 tons
Length 14.12'
Width 7.58'
Height 6.96'
Armor 4 - 16mm
Powerplant 165hp
Armament 1 x 40mm or 1 x 3" howitzer, 1 x MG
Performance 39.74mph
Range ?

Vickers Light Tank Mark VIII, Harry Hopkins---Vickers Light Tank Mark VIII, Harry Hopkins---Harry Hopkins Cut Away
Vickers Light Tank Mark VIII, Harry Hopkins

The Harry Hopkins was designed in 1941. Designed by Vickers and built by Metropolitan-Cammell. Orginally known as the "Tank, Light Mark VII vevised". The 3 prototypes were built utilizing chassis and mechanical components of the Mark VII but incorporating a revised faceted hull and turret to give better shot deflection. 100* tanks were built by 1944 but they were never issued to combat troops. Some were fitted with the Littlejohn adapter. The tank was inferior to needs of the late war and, upon historical reflection, was an unneeded waste of material. The Harry Hopkins chassis was used as a basis for the Alecto self-propelled 95mm howitzer (see the Self Propelled Gun section or the entry below).

*Another source states that 99 were built.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 8.5 tons
Length 14' 3"
Width 8' 10.5"
Height 6' 11"
Armor 6 - 38mm
Powerplant 149hp Meadows
Armament 1 x 40mm, 1 x MG
Performance 30mph
Range ?

Alecto Dozer
Vickers Alecto Dozer

A small number of Alecto SPGs were converted to a dozers in 1945. For information on the SPG see that section.


Light Tank L4EI
Light Tank L4E1

An experiment by the Supervisor of Design who, working within the limits of the General Staff,  was attempting to achieve a working tank that was under 5 tons. Work started toward the end of 1935 and lasted until June 1938. Though successful in some ways, the tank was never produced.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 5.3 tons
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor 6 - 38mm
Powerplant 88hp Meadows EST 6cyl
Armament

1 x Vickers .303, 1 x Vickers .5
~ or ~
1 x Besa 7.92mm, 1 x Besa 15mm

Performance 28 - 30mph
Range ?

Vickers Amphibious Light Tank L1E3---Vickers Amphibious Light Tank L1E3
Vickers Amphibious Light Tank L1E3

Designed and produced by Vickers, this tank was submitted for trials in June of 1939. Noteworthy is the roadwheels were airtight and hollow to increase buoyancy. The tank was never produced in series.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 4.4 tons
Length 15' 0.75"
Width 7' 8"
Height 7' 7"
Armor ?
Powerplant 88hp Meadows ESTB 6cyl
Armament

1 x Vickers .303 MG

Performance 4 mph (water)
Range ?

Alvis-Straussler Light Tank---Alvis-Straussler Light Tank
Alvis-Straussler Light Tank

Offered to the War Office in 1937. The vehicle never was equipped with a turret. The design, though novel, was not accepted. Straussler is also noted for the Duplex Drive design that was fitted particularly to the US M4 Sherman tank. This tank was equipped with 2 engines - each drove a track independently.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 8 - 9 tons
Length 15' 2"
Width 8' 3.5"
Height 6' 9.75"
Armor ?
Powerplant 2 x Alvis SA
Armament

1 x Vickers .303 MG

Performance 42 mph
Range ?

Loyd Light Tank
Loyd Light Tank

Designed by Vivian Loyd in 1942 for the purpose of providing a light tank for airborne operations. The design did not proceed beyond the experimental level.


M2A4 seen here with US troops in the Pacific. Do you have a photo showing this tank in British service?
US M2A4

The M2A4 was one of the earliest type of fighting vehicle supplied to Breat Britain in 1941. Suspension consisted of two two-wheeled bogie units on each side, each unit sprung on vertical volute springs. The idler wheel was on the rear, off the ground, and the drive sprocket at the front. A total of 365 M2A4s were built, and a few of those fought with US forces in the Pacific theatre in 1942 against the Japanese. About 40 were sent to England and were used there for home defense. They finally were used in a role of training to familiarize troops with the similar M3 Light Tank. It is unknown if the British ever gave this tank a "pet" name as they did all others.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 19,100 lbs
Length 13' 6"
Width 8' 3"
Height 7' 7.75"
Armor 12 - 19mm
Powerplant Continental Radial 250hp
Armament

1 x 37mm, 1 x .5" MG, 4 x .3" MG

Performance 37 mph
Range 80 miles

Locust---Locust
US M22, Locust, T9, T9E1

In February 1941 the US Army issued orders for a air-portable tank. Design studies were submitted by GMC, Marmon-Herrington, and J.Walter Christie. Marmon-Herrington won the contract. Marmon-Herrington designed the tank using the Lycoming 6 cyl. air cooled engine and their own suspension design and tracks. The first model was delivered in the Fall of 1941. The vehicles was satisfactory, but it was decided that there was room for improvement. An improved vehicle was delivered in February 1942. The improviments involvedd reshaping the front hull, eliminating the bow machine gun, and removing the turret traverse and gyostabilizer to decrease weight. For air transport, in the US (because a proper transport was never made during WW2) the turret and turret basket was removed - a real combat handicap. The first production models rolled off the line in March 1943 and some 830 were built between then and February 1944. By this point, the tank was nearly worthless to US forces as it was deemed underarmed, underpowered, underprotected, lacking proper US air transportation, and considered to be "junk". At this point, it was decided not to issue it to any forces of the US military. The British saw a possible use with their Hamilcar glider. Calling the tank the Locust, it was used by the 6th British Airborne Division during the Rhine crossing in March 1945. An unknown number were supplied to Egypt after WW2.

Specifications
Crew 3
Weight 16,452 lbs
Length 12' 11"
Width 7' 4.5"
Height 6' .5"
Armor 19.05 - 25.4mm
Powerplant Lycoming 6cyl 162hp
Armament

1 x 37mm, 1 x .3" MG

Performance 40 mph
Range 140 miles

Stuart 1 and Grants arrive in the western desert---A knocked out Stuart 1. Note the direct hit into the driver's compartment.---Photographed by a German, this vehicle was captured out of fuel and sent to Germany for evaluation.
M3, M3E1, M3E2, M3E3, M3E4, Stuart 1, Stuart 2

Standardized July 1940, this was the replacement for the outdated M2 series. This tank series would achieve lasting fame known as the "Stuart". The British who bought many prior to and after the United States entering the war gave this name to the tank. Further sub designators by the British were Stuart Mk 1 and Stuart Mk 2. The Mk 1 was gasoline powered and the Mk 2 was diesel powered. Soldiers of the United States had no special affectionate name for this vehicle (though they probably had a few un-affectionate names). This tank was built a bit on the heavy side of light tanks of the period as it came complete with a 37mm main gun and five .30cal machine guns (what other "light" tank can claim that). It was also noted for having stronger and heavier armor than it's foreign sisters (10 - 44mm). Fast and reliable, the only downside of this vehicle was that the crew compartment was designed a bit on the clumsy side. Test variations were numbered M3E1, M3E2, M3E3 and mostly centered around diesel versus gasoline engines. No diesel tanks were adopted for US Army use. The M3E2 was a twin Cadillac V8 engine combination driven through twin automatic transmissions. The Ordance Department expressed doubt in the design and so GM had the tank driven from Detroit all the way to Aberdeen under it's own power, achieving 50mph, and with no problems. The M3E2 went on to become the M5. The M3E1 involved a Cummins Diesel and was rated as "satisfactory" but was "not adopted due to diesel policy". That was a reference to a priority the Navy had on all diesel fuel. M3E3 seems to have involved tests with a cast homogenous turret, a sloping front plate, storage box, and an attempt to reduce bullet "splash". All M3 tanks were built by American Car & Foundry. M3E4 was an American test converting a Stuart into a DD tank.

The US M3 Stuart series was the first American tank to see active service in WWII, and did so in North Africa. Classified a light tank by western forces, and often outgunned on western battlefields, the tank actually enjoyed a superiority on eastern battlefields. The USMC often commented on how much they enjoyed using the 37mm gun, with canister shot, to mow down vegetation and the Japanese soldiers hidden within. The 37mm gun was more than enough to deal with Japanese armor as well. The British soon unofficially called the little tank "Honey" because of it's reliability and comfort (if a tank could ever be called comfortable).

The M3 Light Tank first entered production in March 1941 and was a direct development of the M2A4 light tank. A unique feature was the suspension. The crew of four consisted of a loader, a gunner, a driver and the co-driver who operated the hull machine gun. The rear idler wheel, unlike most tracked AFVs, was mounted on a trailing arm designed to increase the length of track in contact with the ground. The turret had no basket, which caused the gunner and loader to "walk" with the turret as it turned. Because of a less than convenient drive shaft that bisected the compartment, it became a preferment to actually aim the tank rather than rotate the turret.

The M3 first saw active service with the British in North Africa. The type largely supplied were the Mark 2 (diesel). Despite concern about the vehicle's size and the internal layout the British were very enthusiastic with the performance of this tank, especially with regard to its reliability which was a particular weakness of the early war British tanks.

The British desert 'Honey' tanks were fitted with a considerable number of modifications including sand-skirts, external stowage boxes, and extra external fuel tanks. To increase internal stowage, the British removed the sponson machine guns. The "skin" of the tank was much tougher than expected with armor thickness approaching that of a medium tank early in the war.

Production of the M3 ran from March 1941 until January 1943 with 5811 vehicles being produced, 1784 of which were supplied to Britain. Of the 5811 vehicles produced, 1285 were fitted with the Guiberson Diesel.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 27,000 lbs
Length 14' 7"
Width 8' 4"
Height 8' 2 3/8"
Armor 3/8" - 1.5"
Armament 1 x 37mm, 4 x .30cal
Powerplant See engine chart
Performance 35 mph
Engines
Continental A 7 cylinder radial air cooled gasoline engine Model W670-9A, 250hp.
Guiberson A 9 cylinder radial air cooled diesel engine model T1020 Series 4, 250hp.
(M3E1) Cummins Model HBS 600 Diesel, 6 cylinder. The vehicle weighted 27,300 lbs.
(M3E2) Cadillac Twin V8 Cadillac engines supplied power @ 150hp each through twin automatic transmissions. The M3E2 weighed 28,165 lbs.

(no photo)
M3A1, Stuart Hybrid, Stuart Flattop

The new style turret being developed for the M3A1, and hull for the M3A3, had features that were desired and as a result a hybrid turret was introduced into the already running M3 production line sans the turret basket. These late productions of the M3 Stuart became known as "Hybrids" or "Flattops" and were the most awful version of this tank produced. When assembled, not all components seem to have been available and many of the early hybrids did not have either gunner's or loader's periscopes. The apertures for which were plated over. Combined with removal of the cupola, this meant that the turret crew now had no vision devices except the telescopic sight and the pistol ports that had been moved higher up the turret wall to suit the seated crew of the M3A1. Still without a hydraulic traverse, a hand wheel was installed on the loaders side just like the standard M3. Some early and late hybrids were supplied to New Zealand (see the NZ Section of TANKS!). The late hybrids seem to have been influenced by the M3A3 that had a welded hull.

Production of the M3A1 was from May 1942 to January 1943 with 4621 vehicles being produced, 1594 were supplied to Britain.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 27,000 lbs
Length 14' 7"
Width 8' 4"
Height 8' 2 3/8"
Armor 3/8" - 1.5"
Armament 1 x 37mm, 4 x .30cal
Powerplant See engine chart
Performance 35 mph

(no photo)
M3A3, Stuart V

The M3A3 was produced almost exclusively for Lend-Lease and saw service with the British and Commonwealth Armies in Italy and NW Europe as well as with the Chinese. The M3A3 had a redesigned hull, all welded, one piece hull front. Production was halted in 1943 in favor of the new M5 Light Tank. The M3A3 was also known as the Stuart V.

M3A1 hull was redesigned with a sloping glacis with roof hatches for the driver and co-driver as well as increased internal space for the previously cramped driver and co-driver. Escape hatches, fire protection, and ventilation were improved. When in travel, the driver and co-driver could raise their seats so that they could look out of the hatches. Newly designed extendable steering levers were used in this raised position along with a removable windshield and canvas cover that was attached to mounting brackets on the glacis plate. A bustle was added to the turret rear for radio gear. Pistol ports were done away with.

By the time the M3A3 was produced between September 1942 and September 1943 with 3427 vehicles being produced of which 2045 were supplied to Britain. By this date, the design was "tired" for western use, being under-armed and under-protected by the standards of warfare there.

Production was halted in 1943 in favor of the new M5 Light Tank.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 27,000 lbs
Length 14' 7"
Width 8' 4"
Height 8' 2 3/8"
Armor 3/8" - 1.5"
Armament 1 x 37mm, 4 x .30cal
Powerplant See engine chart
Performance 35 mph

(no photo)
M3E2, M5

Logically, the M3's replacement should have been the M4, however there was already an M4 in production - the M4 "Sherman". A decision was made to name this new model the M5 in an attempt to hold down on confusion. The reasons for making the M5 were many, but the main two were for improvement in design and to address an engine shortage caused by war needs for aircraft engines. The M5 was powered by twin Cadillac V8 engines.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 33,000 lbs
Length 14' 2 3/4"
Width 7' 4 1/4"
Height 7' 6 1/2"
Armor 1/2" - 2.5"
Armament 1 x 37mm, 3 x .30cal
Powerplant Twin Cadillac V8
Performance 40 mph
Range 100 miles

(no photo)
M5A1

The final design of the M3/5 series. Sand shields were often fitted to this design. Out of date by 1943, the tank's production was halted in favor of newer designs. Some 7000 of these sturdy tanks were built and served until the end of the war. The picture on the right shows a unit with flotation devices. Both M5 and M5A1 had a 6 forward and 1 reverse speed transmission.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 33,907 lbs
Length 15' 10 1/2"
Width 7' 6"
Height 7' 10 1/2"
Armor 1/2" - 2.5"
Armament 1 x 37mm, 3 x .30cal
Powerplant Twin Cadillac V8
Performance 40 mph
Range 100 miles

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Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003