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Great Britain's Light Tank Mk II, Mk IIA, MK IIB

Photos

Light Tank Mk II:
Great Britain's Light Tank Mk II
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum

Design

The turret was rectangular with sloping sides.6

Crew

The commander and driver were located on the left side of the vehicle.5

Turret

The turret housed the machine gun and in the rear bulge the radio equipment.5

The machine gun had a tube that took the spent shell casing outside the front of the turret into a bag.5

The commander had a door in the roof of the turret that had a sliding door.5

Engine

The engine, a Wilson pre-selector gearbox, and the transmission were on the right side of the Light Tank Mk II.5 The power went to a cross shaft at the front.5

India Service Modifications

The Light Tank Mk IIs that were intended for service in India had a Meadows engine and regular gearbox installed.5 The turret was replaced with a non rotating square cupola.5

Production

  • Light Tank Mk II: 36
    • Production: 1929 - ?1, 1929 - 1941
      • 1931: 164
    • Manufacturer: Vickers-Armstrong1

Variants

  • Light Tank Mk II: Had No. 1 Mark I turret.5
  • Light Tank Mk IIA: Had No.1 Mark II turret.5,9 Modified air louvers on the sides of the turret.5,6,9 Had an extra fuel tank installed.6,9
  • Light Tank Mk IIB: Had No. 1 Mark II turret.5 Modified air louvers on the sides of the turret.5,6 Had a single large fuel tank.6,9

Usage

Most vehicles used for training until 1942.

India

Used primarily for patrol in the British empire.1 In 1935 the 7th Light Tank Company in Quetta, India, was called out to patrol the streets after an earthquake to prevent looting.1 They also used their vehicles to pull down the damaged buildings.1

North Africa

Some Light Tank Mk IIAs and Light Tank Mk IIBs were in Western Desert Force in 1940. Light Tank MK IIAs were used by a South African battalion in the Abyssinian campaign (1941).1

Specifications

  Light Tank Mk II
Crew Commander, driver.2
21,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Radio No. 15
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 9,520 lb2
3.6 tons8, 4.25 tons4,5, 4.5 tons1,3,6,9
4,572 kg1,6,9
Length 11' 8"5, 11' 9"1,2,4,6,9
3.5 m1, 3.58 m6,9, 3.96 m8
Height 6' 7"1,6,9, 6' 7.5"2,4, 6' 9"5
1.68 m8, 1.9 m1, 2.01 m6,9
Width 6' 1"5, 6' 3"1,6,9, 6' 3.5"2,4
1.83 m8, 1.9 m1, 1.91 m6,9
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.26 m8
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 1: MG8
1: .303 (7.7 mm) Vickers MG1,2,6,9
1: .303 MG3
1: .303 Vickers MG4,5
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 4,0005,8
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 42, 102,6,9, 4 - 101,3,4,5, 8 - 138
Hull Front, Upper 15
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 10
Turret Front 10
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top 4
Engine (Make / Model) Rolls-Royce1,2,4,5,6,9
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 65,6,9
Capacity  
Net HP 665,6,9, 758
Power to weight ratio 15.5 hp/ton5
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2
Speed - Road 30 mph1,2,3,4,5,6,9
48 kph1, 48.3 kph6,9, 56 kph8
Speed - Cross Country 20 mph2
Range - Road 125 miles5, 130 miles1,2,6,9, 150 miles,
209.2 km1,6,9, 210 km8
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -11° to +37°2
Fording depth 2' 3"2
0.75 m8
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability 45°8
Suspension (Type) Horstmann coil spring.2,6,9
Horstmann horizontal springs.5 Wilson pre-selector gear box.5
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side 1
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 9.5"2
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5' 2.5"2
  Light Tank Mk IIA
Crew  
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight  
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 1: .303 Vickers MG5
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  Light Tank Mk IIB
Crew  
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight  
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 1: .303 Vickers MG5
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  3. World War Two Tanks, George Forty, 1995
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. AFV #5: Light Tanks Marks I-VI, Major-General N. W. Duncan
  6. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  8. Atlas of Tank Warfare From 1916 to the Present Day, Dr. Stephen Hart, 2012
  9. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site