Vickers A1E1 Independent Tank

The Vickers A1E1 Independent was a British multi-turreted tank prototype built between the First and Second World Wars. This is the Vickers A1E1 Independent at the Tank Museum.

The A1E1 was armed with a 47mm gun in a central turret and four machine guns in four smaller turrets.

It was heavily armored, weighing 33 tons. The tank was designed to be a breakthrough tank, capable of breaking through enemy lines and supporting infantry.

However, the A1E1 was also very slow and difficult to maneuver. It was also expensive to produce.

As a result, it was never mass-produced. However, it did influence the design of many other tanks, including the Soviet T-35 and the German Neubaufahrzeug.

Here are some of the key features of the Vickers A1E1 Independent:

    • Multi-turreted design
    • Heavy armor
    • Large size
    • Slow speed
    • Difficult to maneuver
    • Expensive to produce

Despite its limitations, the Vickers A1E1 Independent was an important tank in the development of tank design. It influenced the design of many other tanks, and it helped to pave the way for the development of more powerful and maneuverable tanks in the Second World War.

The positioning and lighting of the Vickers A1E1 Independent in the tank museum made it difficult to photograph easily, so here is an official photograph of the Vickers A1E1 Independent outdoors.

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

The A1E1 was also the subject of industrial and political espionage. The plans for the tank were stolen by Soviet agents, who may have used them to design their own multi-turreted tanks. This event could inspire a number of skirmish games or role playing scenarios, such as:

    • A group of Soviet agents, aided by communist sympathizers, attempt to break into the Vickers factory to steal the plans for the A1E1. British police, the Security Services, and even troops attempt to stop them.
    • A group of British soldiers are tasked with defending the Vickers factory from a Soviet attack. They must use the A1E1 to fight off the Soviets and protect the plans.
    • A group of players take on the roles of the different factions involved in the theft of the A1E1 plans. They must use their skills and resources to achieve their goals.

These are just a few ideas for how the Vickers A1E1 Independent could be used in a skirmish game or role playing scenario. With its unique design and history, the A1E1 is a tank that is sure to inspire many different stories.

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 A1E1 Independent was a unique and innovative tank design. It had the potential to be a very effective tank in the right circumstances. If the Second World War had started earlier, or if there had been a British Civil War, the A1E1 might have entered production and played a significant role in the conflict.

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