Mark II Medium Tank

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:52 pm

Britain’s  Mark II medium tank was two tons heavier than the Mark I medium tank, with a higher superstructure and thicker armor.  The driver’s hood on the Mark II was moved from the front to the top of the hull.

In the Mark II, the driver’s glacis (front plate) was steeper than on the Mark I.  The Mark II had bigger headlights than the Mark I.

The Mark II used Rackham steering.

Many of the Mark I’s features were retained in the Mark II. Both tanks used the same basic chassis and the same engine.  Both had sprung suspension. However, in the Mark II, the suspension was protected by armored skirts.
Mark II Medium Tank
Like the Mark I, the Mark II had a 3 pounder gun as its main armament.  As secondary armament, the Mark II had three Hotchkiss machine guns surrounding the turret, as well as two Vickers machine guns in the sides of the hull.

Despite its better engine and good suspension, the Mark II’s extra weight meant that it could only travel at a maximum speed of about 15 miles per hour (24 kph).

Modified versions of the Medium Mark II – the Mark II* and the Mark II** – were developed in 1932.

The commander’s cupola was placed further back in the turret roof of the Mark II*. This tank also had one coaxial Vickers machine gun in the turret, instead of three Hotchkiss machine guns. The back of the turret had a lead counterweight.

In the Mark II**,   the radio was placed in an armored container that was attached to the rear of the turret.

Although over 160 Mark II medium tanks were built, none of them ever saw action. They were used in training. Some Mark IIs at Mersa Matruh in Egypt were buried up to their turrets and then used as pillboxes.

Great Britain

Mark II Medium

Active: 1925
Crew: 5
Weight: 14 tons (14,224kg)
Length: 17ft 6in (5.33m)
Height: 8ft 10in (2.69m)
Width: 9ft 2in (2.79m)
Weapons: Main – 3 pounder 1.85in (47mm) gun, Secondary – 3 x 0.303in (7.7mm) Vickers machine guns 1 x coaxial replacing 3 x Hotchkiss
Armor Maximum – 0.47 in (12mm)
Engine: Armstorong-Siddley 8-cylinder gasoline, developing 90hp
Speed: 15 mph (24 kph)
Range: 120 miles (193 km)