- Published on Friday, 23 March 2012 00:02 Robin Jenkins
Polish Tracks & Wheels No. 2
Vickers 6 Ton (Mark E Type A), Vickers 6 Ton (Mark E Type B), C6P & C6T / C7P - Polish Vickers Part 1
Published by Stratus
U.K. Price £13.99 direct from MMP Books
ISBN 978-83-89450-77-7 Softback 90 Pages Illustrated 29.7 x 21.2 x 0.9 cm
Last year, it was my pleasure to review the excellent "Invincible Black Brigade" from MMP, a book which covered the history and military experiences of a particular Polish Cavalry Brigade. My knowledge of the Polish forces involved in the fight against the German invaders in 1939 really only covered the Air Force aircraft and units, so I found the book a fascinating volume on the subject.
Now Stratus, who publish in Poland for MMP, have released the second in their series of books on specific AFVs in Polish service. Their first volume, which I did not get to see, covered various Hotchkiss and Renault tanks; this second book, on review here, is the first of 2 planned books on the various Vickers tanks that served with the Polish army.
My knowledge of the Vickers Mark E tank is based to the 1/35 models from Mirage Hobby and RPM, which I have studied but never built. The series of 6-ton vehicles were basically late 1920s AFVs that had had their heyday but which, having been purchased in some numbers by the Poles in the early 1930s, were still in active service in 1939, albeit with upgraded armament and with many of the twin-turreted Mark E Type A tanks upgraded to Type B standard by the fitting of a larger, single turret supplied by Vickers-Armstrong.
Once the tanks were in service, the Poles also designed their own series of heavy artillery tractors, using the Vickers running gear combined with a new Polish engine. After the C6P and C6T prototypes, production was standardised on the C7P variant; this was used, in many cases, as the transport vehicle for the Skoda 220mm mortars also in service.
Adam Jońca has taken the bare bones of the stories outlined above to produce an excellent treatise on these vehicles and their operational use in Polish service. As with the normal MMP style, the informative text is well-mixed with original photographs (most unpublished previously) and high quality colour profiles.
My choice of content this time was difficult, mainly because so much of it is striking and memorable. We have some of the early twin-turreted Mark E Type A tanks in service (below);
Various C7 prototypes on trial in various situations (above); C7P tractors during the German onslaught (below);
Mark E Type B tanks attending a military parade, along with colour profiles (above);
Similar vehicles on exercise in 1938, along with a colour profile (below);
and, finally, a selection of colour profiles of C7P artillery tractors with the 220mm mortar base plate trailer and the 'R' type ammunition and materials trailer (above).
The book covers each of the vehicle types in detail and the text is well-written, being both informative and involving. At the end of the book are some 1/72 and 1/35 scale plans of various vehicles which will be of use to the modeller.
The book also opens with a few pages on the upgrades applied to the Renault FT-17 tanks inj the 1920s along with the efforts to obtain various replacement AFVs before the Vickers was chosen.
So What Do We Think?
An excellent second book on Polish AFVs; I will definitely be seeking out the first volume. Everything about this volume says "quality". Excellent value for money, as well.
A high-quality reference source
Our thanks to MMP Books for the review copy. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
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