- May 2011
- Navan, Ireland
Mussolini and the Fascist regime had a curios conception of "armored division". This picture has become proverbial in Italy.
The Tankette was a popular 'theory' in military circles in the 1920/30's and many countries used them especially Italy and Japan.
One of my favourites the British 'Bren gun Carrier'.
but its not a 'Tankette' and wasn't supposed to be since its proper name is the 'Universal Carrier' and that's what it was supposed to be. I have several times had to role my eyes in frustration as some one at a military museum points out the pathetic little tank the British equipped themselves with in 1940!
It was actually a very good and versatile bit of kit-- each regiment was supposed to have a platoon of them in 1940 and their jobs as simply a 'dogsbody' some recon but supply of ammunition to forward units on a 'hot' battlefield, move heavy weapon teams in the same environment etc-- later in the war flamethrower teams used them-- glad of even a little bit of armoured protection.
Christopher Furness used them as Tanks in 1940 (a rich aristocrat -- personnel friend of the Prince of Wales and very much a 'society' man) and was duly killed.
A stupid English aristocrat?--No he actually told a friend who talked about his 'little tank' that anyone who thought it such was a 'bloody fool' , he used it as a tank (successfully) as a last desperate attempt to cover the withdrawal of his regiment and was last seen next to the wreck of his carrier telling his men to get out of their and firing a bren from the hip--he was awarded the VC.