Monday 6 June 2016

Soviet Intel on British Tanks

  1. The tanks MkI (infantry), MkI (cruiser) and light MkVII are made in negligible amounts. The first two appear to have been removed from production entirely.
  2. The main types of tanks are the MkIV and MkIVa cruiser tanks (the tanks vary in only small details). The precursor to the MkIV, the MkIII cruiser tank (built in small numbers) differs only in the shape of the turret and potentially has thinner armour.
  3. The latest tanks are the MkIII infantry tank (built on the basis of the MkII cruiser tank) and the light tank MkVII.
  4. In British media, the infantry tank MkIIa is called "Matilda" and the infantry tank MkIII is called "Valentine".
  5. Cruiser tanks MkI and MkII and the infantry tank MkIII are from the same family of tanks.
  6. Cruiser tanks are from the medium tank weight class, infantry tanks can be medium or heavy depending on their weight."

Commenters from a previous article may note that while the Infantry Tank MkII bears the name "Matilda", the Infantry Tank MkI does not. 


  1. Not like the British media had any reason to ever mention the infantry tank MkI in '41... .-.

    1. The media also made no mention of the Churchill, as it was top secret and discussion was forbidden. And yet, the name Churchill also surfaces in Soviet documents in 1941.

    2. I don't really see the relevance as the article *explicitly* refers to the names used in the British media.

      Moreover, Soviet spooks would have had obvious interest in new types under developement (as opposed to obsolete PoSes that were long out of service) and, as pointed out already in the discussion under the aforementioned previous article, nicknames were by that point certainly already well established for the infantry tanks. (Cruisers apparently didn't start getting them before the Crusader, but eh - kinda different branches.)