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Light Tanks of the UK include the Light Tanks Mk II to Mk V.

Between the First and Second World Wars, the British produced a series of similar light tanks. They saw use in training, and in limited engagements with British Empire units such as the South African Army during the East African Campaign of 1941. All were around 5 long tons in weight and capable of 30 mph (50 km/h) on roads and around 20 mph (30 km/h) cross-country. Armament was machine gun only—Vickers machine guns firing either a .303 inch or .50 inch calibre round - in a rotating cupola. Suspension was Horstmann coil spring on bogies. The engine was a Meadows 6 cylinder petrol. Up until the Mk V, they had a crew of two: a driver/commander and gunner. The Mk V had a crew of three: a driver, a gunner, and the commander helping on the gun.

Tank, Light, Mk II

  • MK II: Built by Vickers Armstrong from 1929;
  • Mk IIA: 29 were constructed at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich;
  • Mk IIB: 21 built by Vickers-Armstrong.

Tank, Light, Mk III

  • Produced from 1934.

Tank, Light, Mk IV

  • A Vickers design of 1933, built from 1934.

Tank, Light, Mk V

  • Produced during 1936. A slightly bigger vehicle with two machine guns, one .303 and the other .50

Service history

The light tanks were kept in use for training until around 1942. Some saw active use in the Western desert or Abyssinia

They were followed by the Light Tank Mk VI from 1936.



  • Bishop, Chris (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,500 Weapons Systems, Including Tanks, Small Arms, Warplanes, Artillery, Ships and Submarines. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 1586637622. 
  • Chamberlain, Peter; Ellis, Chris (2001). British and American Tanks of World War Two: The complete illustrated history of British, American, and Commonwealth tanks 1933-1945. Cassell & Company. ISBN 0711028982. 
  • Fletcher, David (1989). The Great Tank Scandal: British Armour in the Second World War Part 1. Her Majesty's Stationary Office. ISBN 0112904602. 
  • Flint, Keith (2006). Airborne Armour: Tetrarch, Locust, Hamilcar and the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment 1938-1950. Helion & Company Ltd. ISBN 1-874622-37-x. 
  • Harris, J.P. (1995). Men, Ideas, and Tanks: British Military Thought and Armoured Forces, 1903-1939. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719048142. 
  • Tucker, Spencer (2004). Tanks: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1576079953. 


External links

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