Size: 18 mm Long
The Light Tank Mk VII (A17), also known as the Tetrarch, was a British light tank produced by Vickers-Armstrongs in the late 1930s and used during the Second World War. The Tetrarch was the latest in the line of light tanks built by the company for the British Army. It improved upon its predecessor, the Light Tank Mk VIC, by introducing the extra firepower of a 2-pounder gun. The War Office ordered 70 tanks, an order that eventually increased to 220. Production was delayed by several factors and only 100 to 177 of the tanks were produced.
The design flaws of the tank, combined with the decision by the War Office not to use light tanks in British armoured divisions, ruled out the use of Tetrarchs in the North African Campaign. The majority of the tanks remained in Britain, although twenty were sent to the USSR as part of Lend-Lease. In early 1941, the Royal Armoured Corps formed three squadrons for use in overseas amphibious operations, one of which was equipped with Tetrarchs. In May 1942, a small number of Tetrarchs formed part of the British force which participated in Operation Ironclad, the invasion of Madagascar and in June 1942, Tetrarchs were attached to the 1st Airborne Division after it was decided that the design allowed its use as an air-portable light tank to support British airborne forces. The Tetrarchs were transported and landed in specially-designed General Aircraft Hamilcar gliders. A lack of gliders prevented their participation in the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943 instead they were attached to the new 6th Airborne Division and became part of the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment.