A4E19 (L2E1) Mk II IP No.1

A4E19 (L2E1), Light Tank Mk II Indian Pattern No. 1
The design resulting from the Vickers’ studies reminds of the Mk.II, but the chassis was left with two Hortsmann spring suspension (in “quad scissors”) front drive sprockets and no idlers. However, it was decided to abandon the guide wheels and supporting rollers. Such a move gave several advantages. It reduced the length of the tank, increased seat track mover and facilitated construction of the chassis as a whole. The only serious shortcoming observed later was somewhat poorer mobility, compared with earlier versions. Much of the suspension housing was redesigned to fit the future export Vickers Light M1933. The nose bow used a solid armor plate set at a large angle of inclination, instead of two joined plates. Aa 6-cylinder gasoline Meadows ETS (giving 88 hp) was placed on the right-hand side and the transmission unit behind. On the left was located the driver’s seat, with a small armored superstructure. The fighting compartment occupied the middle of the hull. The turret was placed above it, offset to the right. It was of hexagonal shape, relatively small, housing a single cal.303 (7.7 mm) liquid-cooled Vickers standard machine gun. Compared with the Mk. III, the hull was 6.1 in (15.4 cm) shorter and 7.8 in (20 cm) wider. The tank was designated A4E19, Light Tank Mk.II Indian Pattern No.1, or L2E1. However, it appeared that battlefield awareness in combat situations was severely limited. The driver saw the terrain through a thin bulletproof glass observation slit, awkwardly located in the hatch.  The tank commander could use only the optical machine-gun sight, set in the turret. On the march he used to stand out of the open hatch, leaning out of it on the belt. Trials began in 1931, the prototype performing well. At a fighting weight of 3400 kg, it could reach a maximum road speed of 58 km/h (36 mph) and had comparable crossing abilities to the Mk.III. At the same time, the military commission noted a number of shortcomings that prevented its adoption into service, even for colonial duty.

Vickers Light Experimental Tank India (Indian Pattern No.1). It has the general look of a MkIV light tank: the front hatch, armour, exhaust position and hull shape to the rear are similar. The idler wheel is different to those used on the production MkIV light tank. The major difference is a totally different turret design. In India the would have been used for Imperial Defence and police work.

 

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