Vickers Medium Mark II

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Vickers Medium Mark II
Vickers Medium Mk IIA 1.jpg
Vickers Medium Mk.IIA* at U.S. Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen
Type Medium tank
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1925–1939
Production history
Manufacturer Vickers
Specifications
Weight 12 long tons (12 tonnes)
Length 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)
Width 9 ft 1.5 in (2.78 m)
Height 8 ft 10 in (2.68 m)
Crew 5

Armour 6.25 to 8 mm
Main
armament
QF 3-pounder (47 mm)
Secondary
armament

four 0.303 (7.7 mm) Hotchkiss M1909 Benét–Mercié machine gun

two 0.303 Vickers machine gun
Engine Armstrong Siddeley V-8
90 hp (67 kW)
Power/weight 8 hp/tonne
Suspension helical springs
Operational
range
193 km
Speed 15 mph (21 km/h)

The Vickers Medium Mark II was a British tank built by Vickers in the Inter-war period.

The Medium Mark II, derived from the Vickers Medium Mark I, was developed to replace the last of the Medium Mark Cs still in use. Production and rebuilding ran from 1925 until 1934. The tank was phased out of service from 1939, replaced by the Cruiser Mk I. It featured several improvements over the Vickers Mark I: a higher superstructure with the driver's visor on top of it instead of in front of it; an improved suspension protected by armour skirts; and Rackham clutches, providing a primitive form of mechanical servo-control. Due to a slightly higher weight its rated speed was somewhat slower than that of the Medium Mark I, at 13 mph compared to 15 mph.

Design[edit]

The Mark II used the same chassis, suspension and transmission as the Medium Mark I but had a new superstructure. The Mark II was equipped with a 47 mm 3 pdr gun and four machine guns in the turret. The back of the turret had a slope so that the machine gun there could be used against aircraft. There were two Vickers machine guns, one in each side of the hull to the rear.

Operational history[edit]

The Vickers Medium Mark II and its predecessor the Vickers Medium Mark I replaced some of the Mark V heavy tanks. Both tanks equipped the Royal Tank Regiments until they were phased out starting in 1938. In November 1939, some Medium Mark IIs were sent to Egypt for experiments being conducted by Major-General Sir Percy Hobart and his Mobile Division (Egypt), but the Vickers Mediums in Egypt were also phased out before Italy declared war in June 1940. The Mediums were used for initial instruction in driver training.

During the threat of German invasion of the summer of 1940, some of these outmoded vehicles were reactivated for a short time. No "mobile" Vickers Mediums faced the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940, but at least one was dug in as an armoured pillbox in the British defenses at Mersa Matruh at the time of the invasion.[1] However, according to the documentary "Wavell's 30,000", several tanks that look like Medium Mark IIs precede British infantry fighting Graziani's Italians in the Western Desert. These tanks show up from 35:28-35:37 of the documentary. [2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Macksey, Beda Fomm: The Classic Victory, pg. 45
  2. ^ "Wavell's 30,000

References[edit]

  • Macksey, Major Kenneth (1971). Beda Fomm: Classic Victory. Ballentine's Illustrated History of the Violent Century, Battle Book Number 22. Ballantine Books. 
  • Duncan, Major-General N W, Mediums Marks I – III, AFV Profile (12), Profile Publications 

External links[edit]