Polish Vickers E – Single Vehicle No. 07
This is the seventh book in the MMP Books Single Vehicle Series (as it is a Polish company, it isn’t surprising that three books are dedicated to Polish vehicles, 7TP single and twin-turret and Vickers E), two vehicles operated by Polish forces (SU-76M and T-72M1), and Type 5 Ha- Gō). The Single Vehicle series are short books, between 24 and 28 pages, and focus on that vehicle. This is not a book for someone wanting to read about the operational history, employment, etc. as the writing is limited to well detailed captions.
Poland was one country that purchased the Vickers 6-ton tank, also known as the Vickers Mark E, British light tank. While the tank was not adopted by the British army, it found use in a handful of countries in the interwar and early WWII period. In the Polish army, it was called the Vickers E, where it became the direct predecessor of the 7TP tank; the Soviet Union called it the T-26. The Vickers E was available in both twin (Type A) and single (Type B) turret variants. These tanks were comparable regarding size, armament, and performance, with other light tanks of the time period.
As mentioned above, there is no text besides the captions, all in English. While there is no introduction nor table of contents, this really isn’t an issue as this book excels in black and white photographs, technical drawings, a large format board used for training, and the scale drawings for early configurations and final modifications for both Twin and Single Turret Polish Vickers E. The latter would prove very helpful for modelers wishing to build either variant of this little covered and relatively non-mainstream World War II tank. Especially with the Polish Army modifications, particularly the grated openings to increase air flow in the engine compartment.
Perhaps my only niggle, and it is small, in this otherwise great book, is the lack of additional color profiles (there is one of a “Light Tank Vickers Mark E, Commander’s Tank II, platoon of the 121st light tank company” in the late 1930s final camouflage scheme) highlighting other camouflage schemes worn by these tanks; however, the captions do a good job of explaining the camouflage and can be a starting point for further research. I respect the author as a caption on page 21 states, “These signs probably applied during the Volhynian manoeuvres. We have no knowledge about them and can only speculate.” When authors are honest, it lends more creditability to their body of work.
In summary, if a modeler wants to build a Vickers Mark E in Polish service, this is an outstanding book. The Polish Vickers E is broken down into early and final modifications, the armament used in both types of turrets and its evolution, its markings, and a plethora of era black and white photographs. There is a lot of inspiration in this book for producing a detailed scale model, vignette, or diorama. Very well recommended.
Profuse thanks to Casemate and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.