British Tanks of the Red Army

Peter Samsonov


Mortons Media

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Colour photographs and Colour Profiles


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The first encounter between British armour and the Red Army was not on friendly terms – with the British sending surplus tanks to reinforce the pro-monarchy White Army in the Russian Civil War. When the Reds won, war trophy Mark V heavy tanks as well as medium Mk.A Whippets and Mk.B Hornets entered service with the RKKA. As the political landscape changed during the 1920s, the Red Army assessed British designs available for export and a licensed copy of the Vickers Mk.E entered production in 1931 as the T-26.
During the early days of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, armour losses were huge and the Red Army once again looked abroad to acquire new fighting vehicles. A large-scale programme of military aid to the USSR began in August 1941, with the US and Britain offering help under separate terms – though not for free. A deal was struck and Convoy PQ-1 with the first 20 British tanks for the Red Army left for Arkhangelsk on September 29, 1941. These tanks arrived in time to take place in the Battle of Moscow and as shipments continued, British armoured vehicles would remain in service with the Red Army until the conclusion of the Second World War nearly four years later.
A wide range of British vehicles served under the Red flag during the war – ranging from Matildas and Valentines to Churchills and even Tetrarch light tanks.
In British Tanks of the Red Army, tank expert Peter Samsonov presents a history of British tanks in the Soviet Union and provides a detailed account of their use on the battlefield, including what the Red Army tankers thought of them.

Additional information

Weight 0.40 kg
Country Of Origin

United Kingdom