When talking about the status of tank building in various nations at the start of WW2, many tend to point to the Americans as the worst ones off. This is entirely incorrect. First of all, the American infantry and cavalry had a decent number of tanks, although not many medium ones. Second, these tanks were adapted for the American theatre of war and had exceptional mobility. Third, the Americans started the war with a well formed concept of what a tank should look like, which allowed them to quickly begin production of next generation tanks. In comparison, the British were doing very poorly, to the point where only their status as an island nation saved them from a catastrophe. This was the result of a crisis that began in the 1920s.
Reset of past successes
|Medium Tanks Mk.I and Mk.II, the backbone of British tank forces in the 1920s. They were supposed to be merely a stepping stone in tank development, but remained in service for a decade and a half.
|British experiments with tankettes spread to other countries.
|Light, medium, and heavy tanks of the late 1920s. None of them went into mass production.
|The British military didn't notice how they turned Vickers into a means of spreading their military technologies across the entire world. The same technologies were later used against them in battle.
|Light Tank Mk.I. Similar light tanks in the 5 ton class were the most numerous British tanks by the mid-1930s.
|The British had no luck with medium tanks for a long time. A descendant of the Medium Tank Mk.II proved difficult to produce.
|Percy "Hobo" Hobart, the commander of the newly formed Tank Brigade (in the beret). "Hobo" was responsible for bringing British tank development back to a reasonable direction.
|Infantry Tank A11E1, which later turned into the Infantry Tank Mk.I. Infantry support tanks armed only with machine guns were a common sight in the mid-1930s, so it should not be considered out of place.
|Infantry Tank A12E1 prototype, better known as the Infantry Tank Mk.II or Matilda.
|A9E1, otherwise known as Cruiser Tank A9 or Cruiser Tank Mk.I. It was designed as a medium tank, but was reclassified as a cruiser.
|Cruiser Tank A13E2, the first "true" cruiser tank. It evolved into the Cruiser Tank Mk.III.
|A10E1, a prototype of the "heavy cruiser" Cruiser Tank Mk.II. This tank was closed to infantry tanks in speed.
|Cruiser Tank A14, a heavy cruiser tank that was very similar to the T-28. Like the A16, this tank was a dead end.
|Light Tank Mk.VI, the most common British tank as of the start of WW2.
|Long obsolete tanks had to be used for training.
|The British entered WW2 with tanks that were a year to a year and a half behind their German opponents thanks to the conservatives that "defeated" the Armoured Force back in 1929.