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Great Britain's Vickers Medium Mk II, Mk IIA, Mk II*, Mk II**

Photos

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

Design

Vickers Armstrongs designed and built this tank during the 1920s-30s. This was the first post-World War I tank to go into service with the Royal Tank Corps. Was considered the first "fast tank" in service.

The Mark II used many of the same components as the Mark I Medium.

First tank to have the main armament in a revolving turret.

Crew

The driver had a visor that was split into two parts. The top half could be folded back. The hatches were rather small and could be used for quick exits.

Suspension

The suspension on the Medium Mk II had skirting plates. Since the Medium Mk II used multi-rollers it couldn't be maneuvered at high speed.

Production

  • Medium Mk II: 160
  • Medium Mk IIA: 20
    • Manufacturer: Vickers , Vickers-Armstrong
    • Production: 1930
  • Medium Mk II Bridgecarrier:
    • Production: 1927 - 1928
  • Medium Mk II Female: 2
    • Production: 1927
  • Medium Mk II Command Tank; Medium Mk II Box Tank:
    • Production: 1928
  • Medium Mk II*: 44
    • Conversion: 1932
  • Medium Mk II* Special: 4
    • Production: 1929
  • Medium Mk II* Command:
    • Production: 1931
  • Medium Mk II**: 44
    • Conversion: 1932

Variants

  • Medium Mk II:
  • Medium Mk II (Tropical): Five Medium Mk IIs were modified by fitting a screen of asbestos onto the outer surfaces with a gap of 1.5" between the surface of the tank and the asbestos.
  • Medium Mk II (Bridgecarrier): Fitted with brackets on its side to carry girders for building an 18' bridge by the crew.
  • Medium Mk II Command Tank; Medium Mk II Box Tank: Had dummy gun in turret and had two wireless sets.
  • Medium Mk II Female: Constructed for Indian government. Only machine guns in the turret.
  • Medium Mk IIA: Had commander's cupola. The bevel at the rear of the turret was removed. Ventilator fan was installed forward of the side door.
  • Medium Mk IIA*: Had containers added for radios on the back of the turret.
  • Medium Mk IIA CS: Had 3.7" howitzer/mortar installed for close support role. Could fire a 15 lb shell. Could fire a smoke shell out to 1,000 yards. Usually two were added to each company headquarters.
  • Medium Mk II*: Added commander's cupola. Hotchkiss machine guns in turret were replaced by a single Vickers machine gun. A lead counter weight was added as the commander's cupola was positioned more to the rear.
  • Medium Mk II* Special: Four ordered by Australia. Coaxial Vickers machine gun was on the left and the 3 pdr on the right.
  • Medium Mk II* Command: A wooden dummy gun replaced the 3 pdr. The turret was fixed and contained two radios.
  • Medium Mk II**: Twin mountings for the 3 pdr and Vickers machine guns along with a commander's cupola. Containers added to back of turret to house radio equipment.

Usage

Entered service with the British Army in 1925/1926 and was used until 1941. Primarily used for training. Some were used in North Africa and Greece.

Egypt

In 1928 five Medium Mk II (Tropical), that had been modified for conditions in North Africa, were sent to Egypt.

At Mersa Matruh a few Mark II Mediums were buried up to their turrets to be used as pillboxes.

Australia

Australia purchased four Medium Mk II* Specials in 1928.

Specifications

  Medium Mk II
Crew Commander, driver, wireless operator, gunners(2).
5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 30,240 lb
14,224 kg
13.2 tons, 13.4 tons, 13.45 tons, 14 tons
Length 17' 6"
5.31 m, 5.33 m
Height 8' 10", 9' 10.5"
2.69 m, 3 m
Width 9' 1.5", 9' 2"
2.74 m, 2.78 m, 2.79 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.45 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 3 pdr QFSA
1: 3 pdr (47 mm)
1: 3 pdr QF
1: 3 pdr
1: 47 mm
Secondary  
MG 6: MG
3: .303 cal Vickers MG
4: Hotchkiss MG
2: .303 VickersMG
3: .303 Hotchkiss MG
3: 7.7 mm / 0.303" Vickers MG
MG - coaxial 1: Vickers 7.7 mm (.303 cal)
MG - hull 2: Vickers 7.7 mm (.303 cal)
MG - side 2: .303 Vickers MG
MG - antiaircraft 1: .303 Hotchkiss MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 95
Secondary  
MG 5,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.25 - 8, 8, 8 - 15, 8.25, 12
Hull Front, Upper 8
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 8
Turret Front 12
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Armstrong Siddeley
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders 8, V 8
Capacity  
Net HP 90
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering Epicyclic
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 13 mph, 15 mph, 18 mph
24 kph, 24.6 kph, 26 kph
Speed - Cross Country 10 mph
Range - Road 120 miles
192 km, 193 km , 220 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 1.2 m
Trench crossing 6' 6"
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability 45°
Suspension (Type) Box Bogie
Vertical springs
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 13"
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8' 6"
  Medium Mk II*
Crew 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 13.2 tons, 13.5 tons
Length 17' 6"
Height 10'
Width 9' 1.5"
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 3 pdr QF
1: 3 pdr
Secondary  
MG 3: .303 Vickers MG
MG - coaxial 1: Vickers MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.25 - 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) Armstrong Siddeley
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders V 8
Capacity  
Net HP 90
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 15 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 120 miles
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  
  Medium Mk IIA
Crew 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 16 tons
Length 16.5'
Height 8.9'
Width 8.7'
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 19.5"
Ground contact length 10' 10"
Ground pressure 9.5 lbs/(in)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 2 pdr. QF Mk IV L/52
1: 3 pdr
Secondary  
MG 3: .303 MGs
MG - coaxial 1: Vickers MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 111
Secondary  
MG 2,250
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 0.5"
Side: 0.38"
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 0.38"
Turret Sides 0.38"
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Liquid
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 150 @ 2,400 RPM
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity 87 gallons
Road consumption 1.4 mpgs
Cross country consumption 0.9 mpgs
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 23 mph
Speed - Cross Country 80 miles
Range - Road 118 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 27.6"
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) 3 road wheels per spring
Wheels each side 6
Return rollers each side 4
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 1' 1"
Diameter  
Number of links 65
Pitch 6.75"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 7.6'
  Medium Mk IIA CS
Crew 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14 tons
Length 17' 6"
Height 10'
Width 9' 1.5"
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 3.7" Howitzer
1: 3.7" Mortar
Secondary  
MG 3: .303 Vickers MG
3: Vickers MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.26 - 8, 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) Armstrong Siddeley
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders V 8
Capacity  
Net HP 90
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 15 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 120 miles
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. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  6. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  7. AFV #12 Medium Marks I - III, Major-General N. W. Duncan
  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
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