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"The Main Soviet Pre-War Tank" Topic

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684 hits since 25 Jun 2023
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0125 Jun 2023 8:53 p.m. PST

"There were many cases in tank building history where development programs were restarted almost from scratch. This happened with Soviet tank development at the end of the 1920s and start of the 1930s. By the end of the 20s, the USSR composed requirements for armoured vehicles and created their own tanks. The first such vehicle was the T-18 (MS-1) small support tank accepted into service on July 6th, 1927. This tank was a grand achievement for Soviet industry. It was a very modern tank for the mid-20s and, most importantly, it was mass produced. It was a challenge, but production was fully set up by 1930. The problem was that the tank was already obsolete by then. The Red Army fully understood this. The first solution was to modernise the T-18, but the idea of finding a suitable replacement abroad was also raised.

The leadership of the UMM (Directorate of Mechanisation and Motorization, formed in November of 1929) worked wisely. They initially only considered the idea of purchasing samples for study, and a commission headed by I.A. Khalepskiy was sent abroad in 1930 for this purpose. By the time the commission left, the idea of organizing production of one of these vehicles was already raised. That is what the USSR ended up doing, since the new generation of infantry support tanks was not coming together. The Vickers Mk.E was among the samples purchased abroad. These two-turreted tanks were not entirely aligned with Soviet requirements, but they were improved by the time of purchase. The tanks were envisioned to have both cannons and machine guns: a cannon in the right turret and a machine gun in the left. The tank was accepted into service with the Red Army as the T-26 on February 13th, 1931. Only 17 units were delivered in the first year of production, but 1032 in 1932. This was more than the total production run of the T-18…"



Full Article here



4th Cuirassier26 Jun 2023 2:37 a.m. PST


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