Tankettes were developed in between the Great War and the Second World War. They are small armoured vehicles used to carry small numbers of troops or specific weapons, such as the Vickers MG. Their role was to provide highly mobile infantry support to the Tank Brigades. Their role was superceded by the Carriers developed in the later 1930s.
In some cases, the Vickers MG was also fitted to Gun Tractors to provide local defence for artillery and command posts.
Whilst some were unarmed, the following Tankettes and Tractors were armed with the Vickers MG.
This was an experimental version of a Dragon gun tractor that was then fitted with a pair of Vickers MGs on pedestal mounts for use against ground or air targets. It was developed in 1924.
The Machine Gun Carrier, and the eventual Universal Carrier, can be traced back to the developments of Carden-Loyd Machine Gun Carriers. Initially for a single man, they had some difficultly in commercial developing a product. However, once they began to develop an armed two-man variant, they had some success.
This was the second version of the two-man tankette, developed in 1926/27. It was designed to be fitted with a .5-inch Vickers MG, presumably a Mk. II based on the date of use.
By the time the Mk. VI was developed, Cardon-Loyd had been absorbed by Vickers-Armstrongs.
This was a version of the Mk. VI with special adjustments for tropical climates. The most obvious item was the canvas canopy to provide protection agains the sun over the open crew compartment.
These were an improved version of the Mk. VI and were fitted with an air-cooled engine. They were delivered in 1930. They were heavier than the Mk. VI as they had heightened armour to provide better protection for the crew. As such, there was small door built into the front of the armour plate.
The Mk. VIB, as with the Mk. VIA, had an air-cooled engine. It was built in 1932. The were an improved version of the Mk. VIA and had an improved exhaust system and better protection for the crew, with a flexible mounting for the machine gun. The tripod was mounted at the rear. Ten of these were built initially, with five being sent for trials to Egypt.
Not an armed vehicle itself, this was used for towing the rear portion of the G.S. Limbered Wagon. The photo shows a range of fittings on the tractor itself that could be used for the front-line stores of the machine gun section. It is unclear from the limited information available whether this was for a single gun or for the two in the MG section. It is also unclear whether the tractor carried any of the troops within the section.