Vickers A1E1 Independent Tank

This is the Vickers A1E1 Independent a the Tank Museum which alas wasn’t very well lit, but I have added a further official photograph below.

Vickers A1E1 Independent Tank

The Independent A1E1 is a multi-turreted tank that was designed by the British armaments manufacturer Vickers between the First and Second World Wars. Although it only ever reached the prototype stage and only a single example was built, it influenced many other tank designs.

The A1E1 design can be seen as a possible influence on the Soviet T-100 and T-28 tanks, the German Neubaufahrzeug tanks, and the British Medium Mk III and Cruiser Mk I (triple turret) tank designs. The Soviet T-35 tank was heavily influenced by its design.

Vickers A1E1 Independent
Photograph KID 109 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 6000-02)

Though never developed beyond the prototype stage, you can imagine that it might have entered production if the Second World War had started earlier, or we had the potential scenario of A Very British Civil War.

The tank was the subject of industrial and political espionage, the plans ending up in the Soviet Union, where they may have influenced the design of the T-28 and T-35 tanks.

There are lots of skirmish games or role playing scenarios that could be inspired by this. Soviet agents, aided by communist sympathisers, attempt to break into the Vickers factory to steal the plans (or even the prototype) and British police, the Security Services and even troops attempt to stop them.

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