Light Tank Mk III, A4

The Light Tank Mark III was a slightly modified version of the Mark IIA, produced by the Royal Ordnance Factory at Woolwich. It was very similar to the Mark II, but with modified suspension and an extended rear superstructure. Like the Mark II it was a two-man tank, armed with a single .303in machine gun mounted in a rectangular turret with sloped sides. The Mark II had used a two spring Horstmann suspension, in which each of the two-wheel bogies was attached to a single spring. This produced a smooth ride at medium speeds, but could lead to excessive bouncing. On the Mark III a double spring system was used, with one spring to absorb shock and the other to stop the bouncing. This four spring system was also fitted to some Mark II tanks.

The Mark III was built with a mix of the No.2 Mark I and No.2 Mark II turrets. Both had the protected air vents at the top of the sides, while the Mark II had a higher top plate which gave room for a header tank used to provide better cooling for the machine gun, (first used on the Light Tank Mark IV).

The Light Tank Mark III was used to equip the 6th Battalion, Royal Tank Corps, in Egypt, and a few surviving examples saw some service in the Western Desert in 1940, where their limited armour and firepower made them effectively useless.

Names
A4
Light Tank Mark III

Stats
Production: 42 (1932-33)
Hull Length: 11ft 10in or 11ft 2in
Hull Width: 6ft 1in or 6ft 11.5in
Height: 7ft 0in or 6ft 8.5in
Crew: 2
Weight: 4.5 tons
Engine: Rolls Royce, 66bhp
Max Speed: 30mph
Max Range: 150 miles operational radius
Armament: One .303in Vickers machine gun
Armour 10-4mm

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 September 2009), Light Tank Mk III, A4 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_light_tank_mkIII.html

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