Tank Light Amphibious, No 3 (E1951.33)

Tank Light Amphibious, No 3
Tank Light Amphibious, No 3
Tank Light Amphibious, No 3
Tank Light Amphibious, No 3
vehicle info
Precise Name
Tank Light Amphibious, No 3
Other Name
L1E3
Main Utility Type
Light
Country of Use
U.K.
production
Manufactured
1939, Vickers Armstrongs Ltd., United Kingdom
Era
World War 2
location in the museum
Tanks, in theory, can go anywhere, which is why they are fitted with tracks. However they can be defeated by deep water unless landing craft or rafts are available. The idea of an amphibious tank, especially one that will float without the aid of temporary flotation devices, has attracted designers for many years. Vickers-Armstrongs built an amphibious light tank between the wars which enjoyed some modest export success, notably in Russia where it was copied, and this was even tested by the British Army.

The light tank L1E3, which appeared in 1939, was produced specifically to British War Office requirements. Most of its mechanical features are identical to contemporary Vickers light tanks but the hull is surrounded by aluminium floats, filled with kapok, to provide buoyancy. Two marine propellers, shrouded in steering cowls, are fitted at the back but driven by shafts from the front sprockets. The tank was even equipped with a small boat anchor at one time.

The truly amphibious tank is a contradiction in terms to some extent. If it is light enough to float it must have dangerously thin armour. If it is adequately protected it will probably be to heavy to float. Such tanks normally perform well on land, due to their light weight, and if properly designed can swim well in the water. Their greatest problem is getting out of the water, especially on muddy river banks. This design was never adopted. The tank was tested briefly at the start of the war, spent the next four or five years in reserve and was then subjected to more tests after the war, by which time it was completely out of date.
VEHICLES Features
Full Tracked
Tracks/Wheels
Machine Gun - .303 Vickers Machine Gun
Armament - Main Weapon Type
Amphibious
Additional Features
Meadows 6 cylinder, model EST, water cooled, petrol
Engine
Vickers 5 speed and 1 reverse
Transmission
Horstman coil spring
Suspension
Vehicle Statistics
2
Number (Crew)
4.3tons
Weight (Overall)
35mph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
5mph
Maximum (Speed - Water)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
11.00mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness)
.303in
Calibre (Main Gun)
89bhp
Power (Engine Output)
25gall
Volume (Fuel)
120ml
Radius (Range)
Number (Projectile)
4.5m
Length (Overall)
2.3m
Width (Overall)
2.1
Height (Overall)