Vickers A1E1 Independent

British heavy tank Vickers A1E1 Independent inside the factory, 1926.

Independent heavy tank, was assembled in a single copy and has been used for a variety of pilot programs until 1935, after which it was transferred to the museum in Bovington.

There is a serious controversy regarding the A1E1 Independent, especially with its design, which is allegedly the basis of the Soviet T-35 heavy tank.


Western historians argue that it was inspired by it, but this is quickly rejected by many Russian specialists. It’s impossible to know the truth, but there’s strong evidence to support Western claims, not least the failed Soviet attempts to purchase the A1E1. At the same time, the influence of German engineers, who in the late 1920s were developing similar designs at their Kama base in the Soviet Union, cannot be discounted. Also, a British officer Norman Baillie-Stewart, sympathized with Nazism, gave the Independent blueprint to the Germans unauthorized. What is clear is that borrowing military technology and ideas from other nations was common to the majority of the armed forces in the inter-war years.