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Tankettes

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One common definition of tankette is: being a small tracked armoured vehicle with a one or two man crew, armed with a machine gun or light cannon in a mount not capable of 360 degree traverse, intended as a fighting machine rather than a carrier (as was the Ford 3 ton). A number of countries produced such machines after WW1:

  • Czech: Skoda S1, T-33
  • GB: Carden LLoyd Mk 1,1*, II and II. Carden Lloyd 2 man tankette
  • Italy: CV29, CV 3, CV33, Fiat Ansaldo L35
  • Poland: TK1, TK3, TKS
  • USA: Light Tank T3, Light Tank T6, CTL 1,2 and 3 and CTLV (built for Mexico)
  • USSR: T17, T27

Many of these were widely exported to countries without their own tank industry.

Such vehicles were the soldiers' nightmare and the politicians' dream. They were cheap, much cheaper than a properly armoured and armed tank and enough could be quickly acquired for a government to say to its public - look we are defending you - see how many tanks our army has now. They were fine unless you actually had to fight a war when they almost all proved to be capable of being riddled by even small arms fire and tended to burst into flame when hit (at which point their crews found out how difficult it was to get out of most of them). Their limited transverse light armament made them of limited use either in attack or defence.

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