Vickers tanks and the Belgians

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daveh
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Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by daveh » 18 Aug 2009 13:51

Vickers tanks and the Belgians

I have come across references to the following tanks designed by Vickers for the Belgians:

1) A re engined version of the Vickers 6 tonner known as the Model F. A prototype was built and tested in Belgium c. 1934 but no more were purchased.
(see http://derela.republika.pl/vae.htm )

2) A 1938 Vickers Belgian Light Command Tank. A private venture designed for the Belgians
(see http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/ details given in last pic of the Vickers Light Tank Model 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938 section).

Does anyone have any more information concerning either of these vehicles?

Model F
e.g. who built the Model F,
the background to the Belgian desire to test such a machine,
what vehicle , if any, was purchased instead.

Command tank
Why did Vickers design the 1938 Belgian Light Command Tank?
Why was it called a command tank?
Had the Belgians contacted the company?
Did the Belgians ever see or test this vehicle?
Was it a response by Vickers to the problems the Belgians had with obtaining the Renault AMC 34 or AMC 35?

Any information gratefully received

thanks
daveh

nuyt
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by nuyt » 18 Aug 2009 19:31

The Command tank wasnt built for the Belgians but for the Dutch East Indies Army
http://www.overvalwagen.com/vickerstanks.html

daveh
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by daveh » 19 Aug 2009 14:25

Very interesting nuyt.

The http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/ site states that the Vickers Command tank was
specifically designed for the Belgians
but gives no other information apart from some technical data.

The intended production start date of April 1940 (given in ttp://www.overvalwagen.com/vickerstanks.html) would suggest that there should be some record of a Belgian firm receiving orders for the vehicle and for a production line being set up.

I wonder if anyone knows anything more concerning
a) The order for this tank
b) The Belgian firm that was to produce the tank for the K.N.I.L.
c) How close to producing a finished vehicle this Belgian firm got.

As the Belgians did not produce the British 2 pounder gun are there any records of such guns being ordered from Vickers?
Last edited by daveh on 22 Aug 2009 10:23, edited 1 time in total.

David Reasoner
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by David Reasoner » 19 Aug 2009 17:02

The Latvians also took delivery of 6 Vickers light tanks armed with 40mm/2-pounder guns:

Image

http://www.network54.com/Forum/330333/t ... me+Baltics

David

nuyt
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by nuyt » 19 Aug 2009 20:07

The Command tanks were bigger than the lights, it was a different design.
I cant find my notes atm, but the Dutch national archives hold some info afai can remember.
Delivery was to start from april, not production, so by May 1940 there must have been some (half)ready tanks.
The company of course was Familleureux.
Its possible you might get some more info from Mr Georges Mazy of the Brussels Tank Museum.
Do you have his contact?

nuyt
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by nuyt » 19 Aug 2009 20:14

This is where I got some info from:
http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindie ... _loyd.html

David Reasoner
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by David Reasoner » 19 Aug 2009 21:37

nuyt wrote:The Command tanks were bigger than the lights, it was a different design.
Right you are, Nuyt. I was just thinking of the 40mm gun-armed versions, and had forgotten the other differences. Tanks of the World 1915-1945 by Chamberlain and Ellis has this brief entry on the Command Tank:

Image

David

daveh
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by daveh » 22 Aug 2009 11:01

Just to add a note of confusion to the discussion :D

In the C.L.H.A.M. Bulletin D'Information Oct - Dec 2006 Tome IX Fascicule 12
there is and article by Eric Simon entitled
Les Blindes Belges en Mai 1940
In the final section of this very interesting article Simon quotes from Jaques Champagne's work
Les vehicule blindes a l'armee belge 1914-1974
This discusses the final order by the Belgians for tanks from Vickers. This was to be of a light tank built under licence and to be equipped with a British 40mm or the FRC 47mm and a MG. It is said that this vehicle at first sight looked like a slight development of the T 15. He identifies this tank as the Vickers Carden Loyd Light Tank Model 1937 and goes on to say that the order might have been for 83 vehicles though none were delivered. The Model 1937 was indeed a development of the vehicle on which the T-15 was based (the light tank model 1934).

No mention is made of any of these vehicles being produced for the K.N.I.L.

There is a photograph in the article which shows a model 1937 light tank outside the Vickers works at Newcastle.

The Light tank Model 1937 (see below) and the Command tank (as seen in David Reasoner's post) are quite different vehicles.

there is a colour photo of a surviving ex Latvian Model 1937 at Kubinka Tank Museum on
http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Br ... _Tanks.pdf

nuyt: I do not have the contact for Georges Mazy of the Brussels Tank Museum. If you think he wouldn't mind being pestered by my questions I would like to have his contact. Thanks.

to be continued...

Here is the Vickers Light tank Model 1937
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daveh
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by daveh » 22 Aug 2009 11:18

In response to a question I posted on
http://abl1914to1940.aceboard.fr./i-213798.htm

I have been told that the Vickers 6 tonner Model F type F was presented to the Belgians by the designer Captain Loyd on October 9-10 1934. It was to be tested with a view to fulfilling the Belgian requirement for a "heavy" (gun armed) tank. Its rival to fulfil this requirement was the Renault YR (AMC 34) and it was this latter vehicle that was ordered.

The need for a gun armed tank was part of the Belgian plans to mechanise its cavalry units. As part of this project the MG armed T-15 (modified Vickers Model 1934 Light tanks) were also ordered.
Last edited by daveh on 23 Aug 2009 13:47, edited 1 time in total.

daveh
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by daveh » 22 Aug 2009 12:01

The Vickers Command tank: details and photo from
Mechanised Force: British tanks between the wars by David Fletcher

Vickers were not allowed to sell their Light Tank Mark VI as it was in use by the British Army. The company therefore developed a new design for the export market. This was called the Command Tank as it was to have a third crew member who could undertake command duties. The idea seemed to be that existing Vickers customers with their 2 man light tanks would purchase this vehicle for their section, company or battalion commanders to give them a larger vehicle so they could function more effectively.

The vehicle was designed and built by late 1937. The new tank was longer and wider than the Mark VI with its engine and transmission moved to the front. The larger size allowed a bigger turret to be fitted which could mount a 40mm gun (though a twin MG mount was also offered). It had armour of 11mm standard and its suspension was the Vickers double spring type, similar to the Mark VI, but with extra shock absorbers to help cope with the increased weight.

The tank was undergoing tests in Belgium by February 1938 when the War Office placed the vehicle on the Secrets List as it used many Mark VI elements in its design. After discussions the War Office allowed the Belgian trials to continue from July 1938. There were talks about the Belgians building the vehicle under licence for their army.

In the summer of 1939 there were talks about the possibility of the Belgians producing the vehicle under licence for sale to foreign customers. However nothing came of any of these discussions and the test vehicle was returned to the U.K.
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daveh
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Re: Vickers tanks and the Belgians

Post by daveh » 22 Aug 2009 12:15

The Vickers 6 tonner Model F details from
Mechanised Force: British tanks between the wars by David Fletcher

The Belgians expressed an interest in the Vickers 6 tonner design in 1934. They however wanted a Rolls Royce engine fitted and Vickers produced a prototype with a Rolls Royce 6 cylinder engine of 20/25 hp. This engine was much bigger than the original flat 4 cylinder Armstrong Siddeley engine and was also water cooled requiring a radiator to be fitted.
Hence some redesign work had to be undertaken resulting in the engine being placed in centre section of the tank, offset to the left and tilted forwards slightly to align it with the transmission. This meant the turret had to be moved to the right side of the hull with part of its turret ring protruding through the hull side. An air intake was fitted on the front of the hull and the radiator on the rear.
Armour was to a 13mm standard.
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