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Light Tank, Mk VI


The Light Tank, Mk VI used the hull of the Light Tank, Mk V, but had an improved turret, equipped with a radio. Like its predecessors, it was built by Vickers, and was designed primarily for reconnaissance. It was in production from 1936 to 1940, with a total of 1 682 tanks built.

Similar to the German Pz Kpfw I, the Light Tank, Mk VI made up a significant portion of the British armoured forces in the early years of the war. With 208 tanks in France at the time of the German invasion, and an additional 134 arriving on 17 May, the Light Tank, Mk VI accounted for more than half of the tanks of the British Expeditionary Force.

In North Africa, the Light Tank, Mk VI continued to account for more than half the British armoured force, being used mainly for circumventing Italian forces during armoured attacks, leaving the main battle to the heavier cruiser tanks and Matilda II infantry tank. By the end of 1942, the Light Tank, Mk VI had disappeared from frontline service, the remaining vehicles being used for training.

The most notable variant of the Light Tank, Mk VI was the Light Tank, AA anti-aircraft tank, equipped with a quad Besa 7.92 mm machine gun mount in a power-traversed turret.

Technical Details

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 5.325 t
Length 3.95 m
Width 2.06 m
Height 2.22 m
Armour (range) 4-14 mm
Speed (max) 56 km/h
Primary weapon .50 cal. Vickers Machine Gun (1) Besa 15 mm machine gun (1)
Secondary weapon .303 cal. Vickers Machine Gun (1) Besa 7.92 mm machine gun (1)


Left side of a Light Tank, Mk VIA.

Further Reading


  1. CHAMBERLAIN, Peter & ELLIS, Chris. British and American Tanks of World War II : The Complete Illustrated History of British, American and Commonwealth Tanks, 1939-45. Weidenfield : Cassell, 2000. 224p. ISBN: 03-0435-529-1.