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"02SS Aerosan: A Tank in the Snow " Topic

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330 hits since 15 Mar 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 2:27 p.m. PST

"The history of the aerosan in Russia and then the USSR is old and varied. The first mass produced aerosans were built in 1912, were actively used in WWI and then the Russian Civil War. Development of aerosans received great attention due to the geographical features of our country. It was not surprising that the Red Army had the largest aerosan fleet in the world during the Great Patriotic War. Meanwhile, the widely used NKL-26 reconnaissance aerosan was a pale shadow of what was initially planned for production. The wishes of the Soviet military materialized as the 02SS battle aerosan which had no equivalent in any country in the world.
Sled with Armour and Armament

Several groups worked on aerosans in the interbellum period. Since there was no urgent need for military aerosans, most designs were meant for civilian work. Of course there was some research into military applications, but none of it moved past experimental works.

Military aerosans were suddenly in demand in late 1939. The Winter War between Finland and the USSR became a proving grounds of sorts. Soviet heavy tanks were first used in battle here, as well as various novel military engineering solutions. It quickly became obvious that a vehicle that could quickly and surely move across snow was needed to perform a number of tasks. Tracked vehicles could not do this in that theater, so the aerosan found work.

Initially, there was no military aerosan in the Red Army, and civilian models were pressed into service. Typically, this was A.N. Tupolev's ANT-IV or N.M. Andreev's OSGA-6 (NKL-6) and NKL-16…"


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