Tetrarch Mk I

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Tank, Light Mk VII, Tetrarch I (A17)
General characteristics
3 peopleCrew
72 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
10 / 14 / 10Hull
16 / 14 / 10Turret
7.6 tWeight
315 hp165 hpEngine power
41 hp/t22 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
74 km/h forward
6 km/h back
66 km/h forward
6 km/h back
40 mm QF 2-pounder cannonMain weapon
50 roundsAmmunition
2.8 / 3.6 sReload
-15° / 25°Vertical guidance
7.92 mm BESA machine gunCoaxial weapon
2 025 roundsAmmunition
8.0 / 10.4 sReload
225 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
10 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
10 % Sl icon.png10 % Sl icon.png10 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage TetrarchMkI.jpg

The Tank, Light Mk VII, Tetrarch I (A17) (or just Tetrarch) is a rank I British light tank with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour" along with the initial British ground tree. A light tank with a 2-pounder, it fits the British light line of a fast tank with a powerful gun but weak armour.

The Tetrarch plays like any other Rank I vehicle in the game. Zip around with high speed to the destination and get a first shot off on the enemy tank (preferably the gunner). The 2-pounder can penetrate most enemy tanks at close range and the 40 mm shells can cause a decent amount of shrapnel that can damage most of the internals at the area of the penetration. The mobility is great with the adequate horsepower to propel the 7 ton tank around. The armour is barely adequate for Rank I, with its flat surfaces encouraging penetration with the cramped interiors making one-hit destruction a worrying situation for the Tetrarch.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 16 mm (15°) Driver's port
16 mm (2°) Front plate
10 mm (72°) Front glacis
16 mm (19-43°) Lower glacis
14 mm (0-1°) 10 mm (22-51°) 7 mm (79-88°)
Turret 14 mm (18°) Turret front
16 mm (10-80°) Gun mantlet
14 mm (13-15°) 10 mm (2°) 4 mm


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.
  • A little glimpse of the 4mm roof can be see from the front. A well placed HE round will penetrate and result in a knock-out.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 74 6 7.6 256 315 33.68 41.45
Realistic 66 6 146 165 19.21 21.71


Main armament

Main article: QF 2-pounder (40 mm)
40 mm QF 2-pounder Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 50 -15°/+25° ±180° Vertical 6.66 9.22 11.20 12.39 13.18 3.64 3.22 2.97 2.80
Realistic 4.17 4.90 5.95 6.58 7.00


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Shot Mk.1 AP/T AP 72 68 52 37 27 19
Shot Mk.IXB APCBC/T APCBC 89 86 77 66 57 50
Shot Mk.1 APHV/T AP 80 75 58 41 30 21
Shell Mk.1 AP/T APHE 66 62 49 36 26 20
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.1 AP/T AP 792 1.08 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
Shot Mk.IXB APCBC/T APCBC 792 1.24 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°
Shot Mk.1 APHV/T AP 853 1.08 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
Shell Mk.1 AP/T APHE 792 1.08 1.2 9 20.9 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Tetrarch Mk I
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
50 38 (+12) 25 (+25) 13 (+27) (+49) Yes


Tetrarch Mk I Optics
Default magnification Maximum magnification
Main Gun optics x1.8 x3.5
Comparable optics AMR.35 ZT3

Machine guns

Main article: BESA (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm BESA
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 2,025 (225) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

This tank is all about mobility: it can nearly go anywhere fast, surprising the enemy. Being one of the smallest vehicles in game, the Tetrarch will be able to roll through the thinnest passages at high speed. Its short hull enables it to cross hilly woods and rocky ground without ditching. On gear 1, it can climb any hill, as long as it sticks to the ground, thus reaching advantageous spots from where it can snipe using its good gun depression, showing only its tiny turret. Although, it is recommended to change position often since anyone knowing where the Tetrarch is can pin it down easily (remember that the Tetrarch only have 3 crew members and thin armour). Consider flanking with this vehicle since it has such a good speed but beware the Tetrarch's slow turret slewing rate, so pre-aim the cannon in the expected direction of the enemy.

Target isolated enemies since the 2-pounder gun does not have significant post-penetration damage. Shoot the gunner first to disable it from returning fire, then, stop it from moving by shooting the driver, engine or transmission. Et voilà ! then, disable every crewmen one by one. Make sure to shoot at the gunner's and driver's position every 3-4 shots since it takes roughly 15 seconds to replace them.

Use the Tetrarch's awesome off-road mobility and climbing to get into an unusual position behind enemy lines, fire a few shot and disappear in the shadows. If the Tetrarch gets spotted before finishing an enemy, flee: staying alive is more important than destroying someone, finish the enemy off later, when they have forgotten about the Tetrarch's presence.

Otherwise, anyone playing the Tetrarch should get back behind friendly lines if two or more enemies are approaching since it's canon can only take down enemies one by one, patiently shooting down each crewman.

As with any tank equipped with the QF 2-pounder, little post-penetration damage makes large and crowded tanks a nightmare, thus, LVT(A)(1), T-28 and the less common T-35 should be avoided.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive Shot Mk.1 APHV/T
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Shell Mk.1 AP/T
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism Smoke grenade
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support Shot Mk.IXB APCBC/T

Pros and cons


  • Powerful gun
  • High top speed
  • Vertical stabilizer available for the 2-pounder
  • Small profile
  • Awesome acceleration (kicks when it starts)
  • Good climbing ability
  • Short hull - has difficulty crossing ditches
  • Fast reloads
  • Coaxial MG


  • Rather slow turret traverse
  • High speed often makes the vehicle hard to control
  • Incredibly thin armour
  • Low crew count of 3
  • Very light and thus ramming can deal major internal damage and knockout crew
  • Vulnerable to artillery
  • Only reaches max speed when going down a slope



Development for this tank started in 1937 by Vickers-Armstrongs privately as the Light Tank Mk VII and nicknamed the Purdah.[1]. The intention was for the tank to be sold to either the British Army or foreign countries as the latest light tank of the company. It's predecessor, the Mk VIB Light Tank, was considered insufficient in firepower, armed with only machine guns. The new design would use the new 2-pounder gun along with a coaxial machine gun. The Mk VII design was finished around 1938, and the British War Office (government administrating the British Army) took up the design for trials in May 1938 that lasted until June. The trials tested the Mk VII's ability to act as a "light cruiser", but this failed as the A13 cruiser was much better at the task. Thus, it was suggested that the Mk VII be tested as a light tank instead and production to be started for the trials. During the trials, the War Office gave the Mk VII the specification number A17 for identification and was put into limited production in November 1938 with a few design changes. It was initially known as the "Purdah" from its standardization date, but in September 22, 1941, the Mk VII Light Tank also received the name 'Tetrarch' as part of an order to distinguish tanks by chosen names.

Demand for the tank fluctuated depending on the War Office demand for the tank. In July 1938, the first order came for 70 tanks, then 100, then 120 in November, then back to 70 in July 1940. This order then jumped back to 100, then finally settled on 220 after Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon, a part of Vickers-Armstrong, had enough armour plating to create that many tanks. Production was suppose to start in July 1940, but was delayed due to many factors, especially with World War II now on full swing against Germany. Light tank also soon fell out of War Office use after the poor performance they showed in the Battle of France, so military production was focused on the infantry and cruiser tanks rather than light tanks. Bombing raids by the Luftwaffe in the Blitz also disrupted the production of the tanks when the factories intended for their production were targeted. These delays due to waning military interest, the pressure of war, and enemy attacks caused only a small number of Tetrarch light tanks to be produced, with 177 units produced from 1938 to 1942.[1]


The Tetrarch featured armour only about 16 mm thick and the whole design weighed about 7.6 tonnes. The vehicle moved on a eight road wheel (four on each side) suspension system and there were no other driver or idler wheel present. The engine powering the vehicle was a 165 hp Meadows Type 30 engine that can propel the vehicle up to a speed of 64 km/h. The vehicle functions on a steering mechanism and mechanical system taken from earlier Vickers tanks, the unique steering mechanism allowed for turning by bending the tracks on each side of the tank rather than by braking a set of track, but the latter was still involved when making sharper turns and low speed turns.[1]

However, the Tetrarch presented many faults in its design during its time with the British military. The small size of the tank only allowed a crew of three for the tank to operate, making it a very cramped and the crew overworked. Also, the Tetrarch's cooling system was faulty, enough so that the Tetrarch was an unsuitable tank for the North Africa campaign due to the hot climate at the area.

Combat usage

The Tetrarch was first issued in November 1940 to the 1st and 6th Armoured Division, the 1st had lost most of their equipment in the Battle of France and the 6th was a newly formed unit. While these units were sent to North Africa, the defects in the engine cooling system forced the Tetrarchs to stay behind, until they were taken out of armoured divisions due to the "light tank" concept becoming obsolete, though they were still used as training vehicles.

The Tetrarchs still saw use overseas as part of the Lend-Lease program, and 20 were supplied to the Soviet Union in 1942 to fight back the invading German Army. In the cold Russian weather, it was noted that the cooling problem was still present and the cold also caused damages to the tank's suspension and tracks. The vehicle was well-liked for its handling, manoeuvrability, and speed, plus was compatible with low-octane fuel the Soviets used in their diesel-powered tanks. The Soviets compared the Tetrarch's capabilities to their T-70 light tank and employed the Tetrarch in the same roles. Some were used for training, other as propaganda purposes, and combat, with a notable event where two were assigned to the 132nd Separated Tank Battalion in September 1943. Both Tetrarchs were destroyed in combat.

Back to the British, in mid-1941, the Tetrarch was still integrated in the Royal Armoured Corps as part of tank squadrons that would be sent to overseas operations. The three Special Service Squadrons exist as "A", "B", and "C"; "A" and "B" were armed with the older Mk VI light tank and the Valentine tank, but the "C" squadron was equipped with 12 Tetrarchs in its ranks. These squadrons were first used in Freetown, West Africa in order to ensure Spain does not enter the conflict on Germany's side, then the squadrons were withdrawn to Operation Ironclad, the invasion of Madagascar. Six Tetrarchs were deployed alongside Valentines in "B" Special Service Squadron, which took elements of "B" and "C" squadron. The invasion commenced on May 5, 1942 and "B" Squadron encountered difficulty after a Tetrarch became stuck in the beach after coming loose from a landing craft. The Tetrarch and Valentine were still able to assist the infantry after that delay, but the rocky terrain in the region made tank manoeuvring difficult. After two days of combat, the forces on the island formally surrendered, the losses experienced by the squadron were 8 tanks knocked out, with only four tanks (1 Valentine and 3 Tetrarchs) left functional.

After Operation Ironclad, the Tetrarchs were shifted in their roles to become part of the airborne forces after War Office and the Army decided that the light tanks of the day were not capable of competing against other tanks. It was in mid-1941 when the Airborne forces decided to use gliders as part of their landing equipment and the General Aircraft Hamilcar glider can carry one Tetrarch tank and its crew in the storage compartment. By 1942, the War Office had redesignated the Tetrarch as an "airborne" tank and the essential unit with the Tetrarch on hand was the "C" Squadron, converted into an independent tank unit and brought to the airborne forces in June 1942. Though intentionally in 1st Airborne Division and primed for the invasion of Sicily, not enough gliders for the Tetrarchs were available so they were left behind, the "C" squadron was transferred to 6th Airborne Division in April 1943. The squadron was expanded into a regiment by bringing in more light tanks and other reconnaissance vehicles, the regiment has at least 21 Tetrarchs on hand in its three squadrons in May 1944, some modified with a 76.2 mm howitzer for close support (CS) and others retaining the 2-pounder that has littlejohn adaptors that increased its penetration capabilities. A consistent problem for the airborne forces was the low number of tanks available to them; with only 50 available Tetrarchs reported in December 1942, the demand could not be met, thus a new airborne tank design must be made to fill this demand, which the specifications was sent to the United States for manufacturing.

The next British operation using the Tetrarch was Operation Tonga, which was an airborne operation that took place alongside D-Day with the objective to capture two bridges over the Caen Canal and Orne River. This began in June 5, 1944 with only parachute brigades landing first to clear anti-glider obstacles on the landing zones, which then allowed the gliders to land on the next day, carrying the tanks with them. As they landed, the tank force of about twenty tanks became depleted by four tanks from glider incidents, the remaining Tetrarchs still operational were ordered to link-up with 8th Parachute Battalion to preform reconnaissance. The general notion with the Tetrarch was for it to avoid any contact with German armour as even the most typical German unit like the Panzer III can destroy the Tetrarch, so the tank was relegated to infantry support. By August 1944, the majority of the Tetrarchs in the squadron were replaced with Cromwells and only three Tetrarchs remained with the Headquarters troop of the Regiment.

Operation Tonga was the last World War II conflict involving the Tetrarch, and it was replaced by the M22 Locust in October 1944. Though declared obsolete in January 1946, the Tetrarchs stayed with a few units like the 3rd Hassar until 1949.[1] The Tetrarch in every military branch, even in training exercises, were formally removed from service by 1950.



See also

Vehicles equipped with the same gun
Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Pat Ware. Images Of War: British Tank: The Second World War Great Britain: Pen & Sword Military, 2011

Britain light tanks
Armoured cars  Daimler Mk II · AEC Mk II
A13  A13 Mk I · A13 Mk I (3rd R.T.R.) · A13 Mk II · A13 Mk II 1939
A15  Crusader II · Crusader "The Saint" · Crusader III
A17  Tetrarch Mk I
Post war  Warrior
Foreign  Stuart I (USA) · Stuart III (USA) · Rooikat Mk.1D (South Africa)