Hi everyone, today I would like to suggest the final Vickers-Armstrong Light tank made for the British Army, The Light Tank Mk VIII, also known as the Harry Hopkins. The tank was intended to rectify issues that presented themselves in the Mk VII Tetrarch, and took the form of numberous changes with the most notable being an increase in its width, length and weight and and overall thickness of the armour. The design was submitted to the war office in 1941, with an initial order of 1,000 tanks being made by the tank board of the war office, which within a month increased to 2,410.Production proper began in June 1942, but problems with the design quickly manifested and a number of modifications had to be made by the War Office and the Fighting Vehicle Proving Establishment. These delays ment that only 6 had been produced by mid-1943, and a total of only 100 being produced by the end of february 1945, way below the initially planned production lot. Regardless of these issues i feel that it would be a fine addition to the game, and add another interesting light tank to the british arsenal .png “:)”)
The Harry Hopkins design started as an improvement of the Tetrarch light tank, but by mid-1941, officials in the War Office and the British Army had taken the decision that light tanks were no longer to be used by the British Army due to their deemed inferiority in regards to both weapons and armour. This initial poor perofrmance during the conflict resulted in the Mk VIII being deemed obsolete by the time any significant number of the tanks had been manufactured and it never saw front line service. Because of the sizable investment in resources the project needed, the War Office made a number of plans to attempt to use the vehicle, including equipping reconnaissance units with them, or the unsuccessful idea of attaching wings to them so that aircraft could tow them as gliders into position to support airborne forces. Unfortunately these ideas where deemed unsuitble and the manufactured tanks where handed over to the RAF for use in airfield defence. One additional variant was designed called the Alecto t he Alecto self-propelled gun, which was to have mounted a howitzer or anti tank gun to be used as a close-support vehicle by airborne forces; however only a few were ever produced and they just like the Hopkins were never used in actual combat.
At the end of the day, the role this tank was intended to fill was instead taken by lend-lease Stuart tanks, resulting in there being no real need for this intersting tank, relegating it to secondary roles. Hopefully in War Thunder this unique vehicle whill finally have a chance to shine.
It is worth noting the tank also has a smoke grenade launcher like alot of british tanks from the era, which is the odd looking tube mounted on the front of the turret.
- Bishop, Chris (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,500 Weapons Systems, Including Tanks, Small Arms, Warplanes, Artillery, Ships and Submarines. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 1-58663-762-2.
- Fletcher, David (1993). The Universal Tank: British Armour in the Second World War Part 2. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-290534-X.
- Flint, Keith (2006). Airborne Armour: Tetrarch, Locust, Hamilcar and the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment 1938–1950. Helion & Company Ltd. ISBN 1-874622-37-X.
- Tank, Light Mk.VIII A25, Harry Hopkins (1941)