Vickers 6-ton tank

The Ethiopians were the beneficiaries of taking into service a small number of the highly successful export tank design by Vickers, the Mark E light tank, commonly referred to as the ‘6-tonner’.

vickers 6 tonner sm

Vickers 6-tonner in Abyssinian colors

This three man light tank was developed as a private venture, ultimately being rejected by the British due to concerns about the arrangement of the unique leaf spring bogie suspension system. It was well received however by many foreign buyers proving a popular seller due to its simple, mechanically sound design and quite affordable price tag. It inherently embodied the elements of a good tank, remaining in production for a decade, seeing service right up to the Second World War and beyond.

In The Abyssinian Crisis the Type A Vickers 6-tonner finds its way into service with the Abyssinian Armoured Field Force. These vehicles were shipped from England along with their trained Ethiopian crews, being equipped with dual Vickers machine guns, which were to prove quite effective as only Italian artillery was capable of taking it on.

The 6-tonner is an excellent vehicle to bolster the Ethiopian Regular Army or Imperial Guard Forces, with which it was most associated.


Here’s a short video giving a nice run through of the vehicle.


3 thoughts on “Vickers 6-ton tank

  1. Did the Ethiopians ever actually get any of these? If so, how many? The often inaccurate Wikipedia entry does not mention any of these.


  2. Hi banzaibeagle,

    “Did the Ethiopians ever actually get any of these”

    No. They are included in the ‘hypothetical’ Abyssinian Armoured Field Force. The British did export large numbers of the Vickers and therefore they are suitable candidates for the AAFF.

    Liked by 1 person

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