The Tank Museum | E1949.333

Tank Light, Mark VII CS A17, Tetrarch (E1949.333)

Tank Light, Mark VII CS A17, Tetrarch
Tank Light, Mark VII CS A17, Tetrarch
Tank Light, Mark VII CS A17, Tetrarch
vehicle info
Precise Name
Tank Light, Mark VII CS A17, Tetrarch
Other Name
Tetrarch
Main Utility Type
Light
Country of Use
U.K.
production
Manufactured
1940, Metropolitan-Cammell Ltd., United Kingdom
Era
World War 2
Nationality
British
location in the museum
D-Day
The Tetrarch was originally designed as a commercial venture by Vickers-Armstrongs and offered as a Light Cruiser tank. In the event it was adopted by the British Army as a light tank and became, by default, the first British airborne tank. Tetrarch.s most unusual feature is the steering system that works by turning the road wheels and actually bending the tracks so that, on large-radius turns it can be driven more or less like a wheeled vehicle.

The turret is similar to that fitted to the Daimler armoured car and normally mounted a 2-pounder (40mm) gun. Our exhibit is the close-support version which carries a three-inch howitzer. Some Tetrarchs were supplied to the Soviet Union while others, in British service, took part in the landings on Madagascar. One was converted to become the prototype of Nicholas Straussler's ingenious DD amphibious tank.

However Tetrarch's great claim to fame dates from 6 June 1944 (D-Day) when a handful of these tanks, carried in General Aircraft Hamilcar gliders were towed across the channel and landed in support of Sixth Airborne Division on the western flank of the invasion forces. Looked at with hindsight it was a courageous but risky exercise. Not just the difficulty of transporting a seven ton tank in an unpowered aircraft but the fact that, on the ground, they might have to deal with enemy weapons that did not exist when they were designed. Indeed of those that landed the few sent into action soon came to grief.

Originally a Vickers Armstrongs design but production was transferred to Metropolitan-Cammell, contract T6423, dated 25th January 1939 to leave Vickers to concentrate on other war work. Vickers Armstrongs is just visible on the plaque but has been erased. Vehicle Audit 2019 Sighting Equipment: Glass from driver’s vision block is missing
Commanders periscope and turret periscope are both intact
No gunner’s sight
Internal Stowage: driver’s seat with cushion
Commanders and gunner’s seat
Driver’s brow pads are all present and intact
Turret brow pads are lying on turret floor
Turret stowage bins are empty
Gunner’s brow pad is in excellent condition
Driver’s instrument panel appears to be complete
External Stowage Headlights and horn on front
Spotlight on turret
Fitting for wing mirror on front but no wing mirror present
Ground sheet and camo net on left rear hull
Shovel and pickaxe head on rear
1 rear light
Fire extinguisher on left front of hull
Left stowage bin contains chain and a rag
Right stowage bin is empty and missing one clasp
VEHICLES Features
Full Tracked
Tracks/Wheels
Gun - QF 3 inch Howitzer mk. I made in 1940
Armament - Main Weapon Type
Glider Drop
Additional Features
Besa 7.92 mm Machine Gun serial: C35945 2 * smoke grenade dischargers left serial no: 18869 right serial no: 1622
Armament - Secondary Weapon Type
Meadows Type M.A.T., 12 cylinder
Engine
5 Forward, 1 Reverse
Transmission
Hydro-pneumatic
Suspension
Vehicle Statistics
3
Number (Crew)
10tons
Weight (Overall)
40mph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
16.00mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness)
2pdr
Calibre (Main Gun)
165bhp
Power (Engine Output)
45gall
Volume (Fuel)
140ml
Radius (Range)
50rounds
Number (Projectile)
4.3m
Length (Overall)
2.4m
Width (Overall)
2.31m
Height (Overall)