words and pictures Jedrzej Korbal
Although beset with numerous manufacturing issues, the 6-ton Vickers tank still made a remarkable contribution to the 1939 defence of Poland. Jedrzej Korbal investigates
When the Polish-Bolshevik War ended in 1921, Poland had one of the largest tanks force in Europe. In the mid-1920s, Warsaw had around 174 Renault FT tanks, which had been purchased from France and partially produced in Poland. It soon became apparent that the French design was outdated and needed to be replaced. Thus, in 1926, a competition was announced. Polish engineers and factories were asked to submit a new tank design and prototype. The final result was the WB-10 tank prototype, which turned out to be a total failure. It was clear that obtaining a modern Renault FT replacement could only be achieved through foreign purchases.