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Mk.VII Tetrarch

Written by Евгений Болдырев
Published on Saturday, 24 September 2005 23:29
Last Updated on
Read 9531 times

Mk.VII «Tetrarch» Light Tank was one of the first tank that came from the United Kingdom to the Russia. From 1940 to 1942 total 177 of these vehicles were manufactured.

It was light and fast tank, it was proposed for airborne troops. It's 165 h.p. «Meadows» engine and original chassis provided it with high speed up to 64 km/h. It had a 40 mm gun and a machine-gun: quite good armament for such class of a vehicle.

In the beginning 1942, 20 tanks were delivered to the Soviet Union as a part of the Lend-Lease agreement. In USSR Tetrarchs were tested thoroughly and some important advantages were revealed. The good controllability, maneuverability fast speed, and good passability are among them. Besides, the Tetrarch could consume a low-quality fuel while Soviet domestically produced light tanks could not.

Unfortunately, the Tetrarch had some disadvantages concernig its weak armor protection. All attempts to increase its protection by fitting additional armor plated failed. Such uparmored tank getting slow, losing its maneuverability and passability. Also, its engine getting overheat if an uparmored tank is moved off road.

Fortunately, without additional armor Tetrarch's firepower and mobility was comparable with the best Soviet analogs like BTs and T-70s. Moreover, the Tetrarch was lighter.

In summer 1942, some Tetrarchs were sent to the tank training school in Sumgait and here they were, probably, engaged with the Germans. Somehow or other, all known photos were taken during the Battle for Caucasus.

On September 19, 1943, the 5th Guards Tank Brigade has got a replacement: remains of the 132nd Independent Tank Battalion. There were total 15 tanks, two Tetrarchs among them. Unfortunately, these Tetrarchs were lost soon. One of them were knocked out in battle (September 30). On October 2, the second tank was completely destroyed by the German heavy artillery.

Parameter Value
Crew, 3
Combat weight, kg 7 620
Length, m 4,3
Width, m 2,3
Height, m 2,1
Armor, mm 4-16
Armament 1×2 pdr,
1×7,92 mm «Besa» MG
Ammo 2 pdr: 50 rounds
7,92 mm: 2025 rounds
Engine «Meadows» MAT, 12-öcylinder gasoline, 165 h.p.
Range, km 224
Max speed, km/h 64

Sources: «Tankomaster» #4, 1999


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