Thursday 24 October 2013

Vickers 12 ton in the USSR

According to French intelligence, the Soviets ordered 60 British tanks in 1931.

"Our ambassador in Moscow informs us that the Soviet government just purchased 20 samples each of the 3 main types of tanks available to the British army: a light Vickers tank, 12 tons, a heavy Vickers tank, 35-45 tons, and a Carden-Loyd Mark VI, 1350 kg."

The intel wasn't particularly correct, as there was never a heavy Vickers tank (although the Soviets tried to get Vickers to design one). 12-ton Vickers tanks did exist, and the USSR bought a number of them (14-16, depending on the source). However, unlike the Vickers 6-ton, which birthed the successful Soviet T-26 tank, its fatter cousin was not met with much enthusiasm.

A plan existed to equip these tanks with Maxim machine guns and dig them in as bunkers. However, according to German photos, the Soviets never bothered. The tanks were left to rust out in the open until 1941.

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