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Great Britain's Light Tanks Mk V

Photos

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

Design

First light British tank with a 3 man crew.1,5,6,8

Driver

The size of the driver's hatch was reduced.

Turret

Had a larger, rounder, turret with sloping sides than the Light Tank Mk IV.5,7

At the bottom of the turret was a pedestal that contained the radio batteries, ammunition, and the gunner's seat.5

The gunner also operated the radio.5 The way that the rear of the turret sloped made it difficult for a radio to fit.5 The gunner could use his shoulder to elevate the guns.5 There was a sighting scope with two scales, one for each gun.5

The commander had a round cupola in the top of the turret.5,8

There were 213 ball bearings in the ball race.5 Six clips held the turret on.5

One turn of the traverse wheel moved it 3°.5

Suspension

To allow for larger fuel tanks the rear was lengthened, and a rear idler added, which added to the weight in the back and improved handling.1 Return roller was added.1

Prototype

In 1934 twelve prototypes of the Light Tank Mk V were sent to the 1st Light Battalion Royal Tank Corps for testing.5 A first for development of tanks, a team of mechanics from Vickers- Armstrong lived with the Battalion during the trials allowing manufacturer and end user to directly communicate.5 However, this wasn't often repeated in the future.5

Production

  • Prototypes: 125
  • Light Tank Mk V: 22
    • Production: : 1935 - ?
    • Manufacturer: Vickers-Armstrong5

Usage

Entered into service in 1935.6,8

Some were with front line units at beginning of war. Most were used for training.8

Australia's Purchases

Ten were purchased by Australia in 1936.4

Specifications

  Light Tank Mk V
Crew Commander, gunner, driver.2
31,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 10,740 lb2
4.15 tons1,4,6,8, 4.75 tons3, 4.8 tons5
4,165 kg1, 4,217 kg6,8
Length 12' 1"1,4,6,8, 12' 10"2, 13'5
3.68 m1,6,8
Height 7' 3"1,2,4,6,8, 7' 4"5
2.21 m1,6,8
Width 6' 9"1,2,4,6,8, 6' 10"5
2.06 m1,6,8
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 1: 12.7 mm MG7
1: 12.7 mm / 0.5" Vickers MG8
1: Vickers .50 cal (12.7 mm) MG1,2,6
.303 and .50 MG3
.303 MG4,5 AND .5 Vickers MG4,5
Secondary - coaxial 1: 7.7 mm MG7
1: Vickers .303 cal (7.7 mm) MG1,2,6,8
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main .303: 2,5005
.5: 4005
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 4 - 121,5, 42, 122,3,4,6,8
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) Meadows1,2,5,6,8
Meadows ESTL4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 65,6,8
Capacity  
Net HP 886,8, 88@2,800 rpm5
Power to weight ratio 18.3 hp/ton5
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline6,8
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2
Speed - Road 32 mph1,3,4,5,6,8, 32.5 mph2
51 kph1,6,8
Speed - Cross Country 25 mph2
Range - Road 125 miles1,5,6,8, 130 miles2
200 km1,6,8
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +37°2
Fording depth 2'2
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Horstmann coil-spring.2
Horstmann inclined springs parallel in bogies.5
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side 11
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 9.5"2
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5' 8.5"2

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. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site