The first of the Light Tank Mark VI anti-aircraft tanks, mounting twin 15mm Besa guns, which was produced experimentally at the Lulworth Gunnery School. This picture has often been printed the wrong way around and is invariably identifed as a Light Tank Mark V.

Light Tank Mk VIB with twin 15mm Besa guns for AA role.

Light Mk VI fitted with quad Boulton & Paul aircraft-type turret

The effect og German air power in France and the Low Countries during May 1940 led to the hasty development of AA tanks to counter this threat. A number of Mk. VIA and VIB light tanks of the day were soon modified to mount a small power-operated turret fitted with four 7,92 mm Besa machine guns in tandem. Soon four of these AA tanks were integrated into the regimental HQ squadron of each British armored regiment. The early model was designated Tank, Light, AA Mk. I on the VIA chassis. This was superceded by Tank, Light, Mk. II built on the VIB Chassis. It had minor improvements to the turret, an improved sighting arrangement, and extra stowage space in the rear. They were first used operationally in North Africa.

Light Tank, AA Mk I

Light Tank, AA Mk II

Good as it was mechanically, and available in vast numbers, the Light Tank Mark VI had one serious failing. It was not provided with an armament powerful enough to disable, let alone destroy an enemy tank – not even an enemy light tank, its own contemporary. Thus when it appeared in prototype form in 1935 the special version of the Light Mark VI, ftted with a 2-pdr (40mm) antitank gun in an open top turret, was seen as a very useful piece of equipment. It went to MWEE in about 1938 and was extensively feld tested by the 9th Royal Lancers, but no production orders