Military Review

Folk art in the field of tank construction in the years of the Great Patriotic. Part I

Banal truth says - the war engine of progress. And if the world war and all the leading industrial powers of the world participate in it, then progress, especially goes forward by leaps and bounds. Compare, for example, the armored vehicles of the countries of the Second World War participants shortly before and immediately after this war. The difference is striking, even visually. And if you delve into the tactical and technical characteristics, design features, it turns out that we face technology from different eras.

Design bureaus worked day and night on all sides of the front. In the factory workshops and front-end repair shops, the inventors and rationalizers were not only designers or process engineers, but also simple workers and technicians. But in our country, their projects of new models of armored vehicles were offered not only by those who have tanks direct or indirect relation. Scientific and technical creativity involved and ordinary citizens. And not only those who had a technical education. The projects offered to your attention today can cause a smile. But is it worth laughing at those who tried to contribute to the Victory? In addition, we will focus on fantastic projects. And in the design of very real combat vehicles, inventors and innovators from among “mere mortals” have made thousands of useful improvements.

Sharotank Bevolensky

The idea of ​​a tank ball was popular during the First World War and in the interwar period. Tanks in the form of a sphere often appeared on the pages of popular technical journals both abroad and in our country. In fairness, it should be noted that there was a country in which, something similar to “sharotank” tried to do in the metal. This is Germany. There, in 1917, Bremen Hansa-Lloyd Works made a hybrid between a ball tank and a tank wheel. After sea trials, the miracle machine was scrapped. But the sharotank of the Second World War (better known under the German name Kugelpanzer) even reached the front line, where it became the trophy of our troops. What it is and why it is intended remains a mystery - no documentation was found after the war. Now it is a miracleweapon on display in the Moscow suburban tank museum in Kubinka. But the sharotank offered to your attention remained on paper.

Folk art in the field of tank construction in the years of the Great Patriotic. Part I

German Kugelpanzer in the exposition of the Museum of Armored armament and equipment in Kubinka

Soviet Sharotank project

A brief explanatory note to the project of the ball-tank system. S.A. Benevolensky.

Unlike the existing systems of tanks, the sharotank does not have a tracked course, but is a ball of thick armor.
Inside the ball there is a fixed platform, which is reinforced on roller bearings and on it is a powerful tractor motor. The motor drives a pneumatic tire.
The wheel rolls inside the ball along its shell and causes the latter to rotate, while the inner platform and the armored towers connected to it remain stationary. In the towers located on the sides of the ball, located machine guns and guns. The rotation of the beam is accomplished by turning the drive wheel through steering. Supervision of the terrain in front of a sharotank is carried out with the help of two periscopes fired through the armored turret of the tank and giving an image of the terrain lying ahead of the terrain on a special display located in front of the driver's eyes. Exhaust gases are emitted through a special duct, and fresh air is pumped into the shell of a sharotank.
To clean the shell of a sharotanka from dirt or snow, there is a shield behind it, which removes dirt and snow sticking during the movement. Sharotanka shell armor must be made of steel and be impenetrable with anti-tank shells.
Sharotanka sizes can be from 1,5 m in radius and more. Increasing the weight of the tank does not really matter, as it is distributed around the circumference of the shell. In order to avoid sliding of a sharotanka on its external cover thorns are located. It is also necessary to provide a special brake device.
Sharotank has special maneuverability and can develop tremendous speed. Due to the reliance on one point Sharotank has exceptional maneuverability. In the event of the defeat of one or two armor towers - the sharotank does not fail, its defeat is possible only after penetration of the shell, which must be particularly durable. Sharotank can overcome various anti-tank obstacles - anti-tank ditches, nail holes and so on. Under the condition of sealing holes - sharotank can overcome water obstacles.

S. Benevolensky (signature)
November 27.11.1942, XNUMX
G. Kanash

TsAMO RF, 38 Foundation. 11350 inventory, case # 208

Tank cruiser

Tank cruiser

From the moment of their appearance into the world, tanks were often called “land battleships”. The comparison, of course, is flattering, but one should not forget that the dimensions and displacement of a real battleship can be limited only by the width of some strategically important channel (Panama, for example) or the depth of the raid in the port of registry. If there are no such restrictions, then you can launch a giant ship - for example, the Japanese Yamato with a full displacement of thousands of tons in 72.

But on land the battleship cannot be built. Not fantastic, but the most common serial heavy tanks during the Second World War brought troubles not only to the enemy, but also to their own crews and rear services - that is not in the right place of the bridge, able to withstand such a load, there were no railway platforms of the required capacity, and supply lines and technicians commemorated these voracious and capricious machines with unkind words from the soldier’s vocabulary. And these are serial cars. In the case of "battleships" all the difficulties increase by a couple of orders of magnitude. But Colonel-Engineer Osokin proposed a more realistic project — not a fantastic battleship, but a quite ordinary “tank cruiser”. In general, it turned out a self-propelled artillery battery weighing in tons of 270. The project, by the way, was quite technically sound. But, the only country that during the war years tried to embody a super-heavy tank in the metal ... yes, you are right, this is Germany again. And we had the prudence to refrain from expensive experiments.

Tank cruiser

Chief of the Main Armored Directorate of the Red Army

Copy: To the head of the military department of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) (Moscow)

Desiring to help the beloved Motherland in its struggle against the fascist hordes and deed to respond to the orders of the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR SSR No. 55 and 130. Stalin, I developed and bring to your attention a draft of a powerful new type of armament of the Red Army - the tank cruiser.

On 11.6.1942, this project was reported to me by the Chief of the Ural Military District Armored Forces Division, Colonel Evdokimov, the engineers of the department entrusted to him and the Deputy Commander of the District Air Force, Major General aviation comrade Sokolov. They recognized my proposal as valuable and interesting in the defense sense, and some technical instructions were made to finalize the project.
Colonel Evdokimov, going to Moscow the next day, promised to personally report to you about my proposal and ask you to call me to Moscow for a personal report.

More than a month has passed since then and all the instructions made to me in the project have been fulfilled. About this, I 2.7.1942 of the year was telegraphically reported to Colonel Evdokimov (UralVO), with a request to speed up my trip to Moscow.

Having no answer to the telegram, 18.7.42 of the year, I turned to my chief of the unit, the divinger, comrade. Andreev, reported to him on his project and proposals, and received permission to apply in this case to the relevant, higher authorities.

Convinced of the expediency and great military significance of the tank cruiser I propose, I consider any further delay in advancing the project highly undesirable. for this reason, I ask you to call me to Moscow as soon as possible in order to personally report this project to you, or the authoritative commission of specialists and engineers of tactical armies appointed by your order.

Considering my proposal serious, I, having already experience in design work, give myself at the same time a full account of the possible difficulties in the practical implementation of the project, but I firmly believe that these difficulties will fully pay off the fighting qualities of the new machines.

I spent on the development of the "tank cruiser" project, mainly during off-duty hours, over 500 hours, and this fact also requires bringing the matter to its logical end.

In the case of a favorable decision on the implementation of the project, my practical suggestions related to this, I ask permission to report in person.
Currently, I am a representative of the Leningrad Aviation and Technical Courses for Improving the Air Force named after K.E. Voroshilov (address: Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk region, 2-I dam, mailbox 529). If necessary, on the question of my business trip to Moscow, I ask you to write off with Major General Aviation Comrade. Ivanov - Head of the University of the Main Directorate of the Air Force of the Red Army or with his deputies.
When I call, I ask for your instructions about issuing me travel documents for transportation on the Magnitogorsk-Sverdlovsk-Moscow airlines, as this will shorten the trip time by 5-7 and will facilitate the speedy resolution of the issue.

I would like to telegraphically inform me about the decision you made at the above service address for courses.

Colonel Engineer Osokin
27 July 1942 year
TsAMO RF, 38 Foundation, 11350 inventory, case # 1356, page 4-6.

Winter tank with a screw propeller

Winter tank with a screw propeller

In winter, tracked vehicles can get stuck in our country in deep snow. This problem and tried to solve the process engineer B. Beketov. True, at one glance at this project a natural question arises - what to do with this miracle of technology in the summer? And what will it turn into a few good roads in our country?

People's Commissariat of USSR Ammunition

experimental production bureau

29 August 1942 g. No. 224 / 14

At the same time I am forwarding a brief explanatory note to the design of the tank with a screw propulsion.

The proposed design of the "winter tank" compares favorably with modern tanks and should be of interest to the relevant organizations. If the relevant organizations are interested in the proposed tank design, the technical and work projects will be presented in the shortest possible time, with the aim of creating the first experienced tank, in actual conditions, revealing the advantages indicated in the explanatory note.

For our industry, the manufacture of this tank design will not present difficulties. I am deeply convinced of the superiority of the proposed tank design, and therefore I ask to give the opportunity to create the first experienced tank.

Please communicate your thoughts on the subject matter.

Technological Engineer of the Production Group of SKB SEBB NCB (signature) (B. Beketov)

Rotary tank

Elegant and original idea. But as you imagine what a nightmare such a machine would have become for the crew and repairmen, it becomes uncomfortable. Yes, and the cost of such a machine can not even calculate the approximate. But, I do not think that pleasure would be from cheap.

Rotary tank

Commissariat of Defense of the USSR

I, as a design engineer who practically worked for quite a long time at the engineering plants of the union, as an inventor who gave the Motherland many real machines (in particular, a mining combine for cutting coal, won the II prize at the All-Union competition in 1937). for an employee (an extramural postgraduate student) who has a supply of healthy Russian ingenuity, a critical approach, theoretical knowledge and practical experience, it is clear that to offer a fundamentally new machine is not all - you need to have Moznosti for its implementation, materialization.
In this case, suggesting a very schematically developed project of a rotary tank (due to the author’s current work loading), I, having thought up the future design, do not see any obstacles for its implementation.
From the proposed principal project, it is still clearly possible to see the new one, which distinguishes the rotary tank from the existing tanks and convey a definite opinion about the need for rotary-type tanks for the Red Army and the possibility of their manufacture.
Additionally (using the proximity of Electrostal to Moscow), I can, if necessary, personally supplement the attached brief description (in particular on the lining of the armor cap, overcoming obstacles with a tank with a gyroscope, if necessary, deflecting the vertical axis of the tank, shooting from a tank-gyro, etc.)
In the case of a decision on the need to develop a sufficiently detailed outline or technical design of a rotary tank, please give me, as a design engineer (although not a specialist in education in the field of tracked vehicles), the opportunity to take part in these works
The initiative of the inventors in the service of the Red Army!
We will finish the fascist reptile!

Elektrostal, 14 July 1942
Alekseev V.V.
Address: Electrostal, NKMZ named after Stalin, design and engineering department.

A brief description of the rotary tank at the suggestion of Alekseev.

As the name shows, an armored and armed combat vehicle is called a rotary tank, the main feature of which, compared to existing combat vehicles, is that the armor protection of the vehicle, made in the form of a tank cap, revolves around the vertical axis of the vehicle with significant speeds.

I. Construction.

The armor protection of the machine is carried out by a round (in plan) 1 steel cap (see the attached sketch "Axenov's principle design of a rotary tank") rotating around a vertical axis with significant angular speeds (circumferential speeds at the maximum rotation radius can reach about 20-50 m /with).
The optimal values ​​of rotational speeds can be clarified in the order of conducting rather simple experiments.
Due to the rotation of the cap and form, an exceptionally high durability of armor protection is achieved, which can reduce the weight of armor compared to existing tanks (with equal reliability) of three to four times.
visibility from the tank is achieved on the strobe principle due to the presence of 2 windows in the cap.
Despite the small chance of shells falling into rapidly rotating windows, the latter are protected from the inside by a fixed 3 ring, which has slotted slots in the necessary places.
fire from machine-gun systems of the tank also through the windows 2, for which they are blocked with the mechanism of rotation of armor protection (on the principle of firing "through the screw", as on fighter aircraft).
The armor protection (rotor) of the tank is equipped at the bottom with a circular saw 4, which allows (at different speeds) to cause heavy damage to enemy tanks that have come in contact, cut off the cannons and large trees, and destroy enemy enemy manpower.
Less fundamental issues for the design of a rotary tank are not considered in the brief description.

Ii. Advantages of the rotary tank

1. exceptionally high resistance armor with minimal weight.
2. Absolute protection from the action of incendiary agents (bottles with flammable liquid, etc.) and abandoned grenades, which will be discarded by a rotating cap.
3. Excellent visibility from the tank.
4. exceptional lateral stability of the tank (the principle of the gyroscope), which protects against damage from the ram of any heavy tank of the enemy and allows, in turn, to ram the heavier tanks of the enemy.
5. Large "dynamic" mass of the tank, allowing you to go to the ram of any enemy tank.
6. The presence of a circular saw with all the ensuing consequences.
7. High speed of movement with equal engine power and armor durability compared to existing tanks due to lower total weight, since the additional power going to the rotation of armor protection will be relatively small.

Iii. disadvantages

1. Some complication of the design.
2. Some complication of the installation of fire weapons (9guns and guns): shooting through the windows and transfer of the support (hinge) to the output part of the barrel.

Iv. Application area

Due to these advantages of the design, eliminating the need to use heavy rotary tanks, this tank can be used as a light two-seat tank (weighing 10-15 tons).
To destination tanks of this type can be used in all possible options.
The rotor tank should give the greatest effect as a fighter tank on moderately rugged terrain.

TsAMO RF, 38 Foundation, 11350 inventory, 17 case

And to complete this selection of technical folk art from the time of the Great Patriotic War, I would like this project to comment on which is difficult.


The desire to find effective methods of fighting the fascist tanks prompted me to write this letter.
If I am mistaken in my thoughts, then I ask you to take this letter condescendingly and not to give me big reproaches. If my thoughts deserve attention, then please give this letter the proper course. It seems to me a very effective means of destroying the crew of fascist tanks during their attacks on our defensive positions is an electrical voltage 380-500 volts. The current of such voltage, according to Ohm's law - I = U / R (where I is the current strength, U is the voltage and R is the conductor resistance) at the moment of passage through the tank body, due to the small resistance (R) it acquires a large force (I), which will cause instant death of people in the tank.

The validity of this is beyond doubt. As for the constructive solution of the problem of transferring the required voltage to a distance 100-200 over meters, it is also easily solvable by the principle of throwing a harpoon from a gun.
In our case, instead of a harpoon, there must be a land mine-shaped projectile made of magnetized metal and having contacts on the surface in the form of protruding buttons.
A projectile is thrown from a trench using a Russian three-line rifle based on the principle of throwing hand grenades from a rifle. An insulated wire is attached to the projectile (for example, a two-core PRTO), which also serves as a current conductor to the projectile and a means of returning it to the trench after use.
The wire is wound on a special coil and the ends attached to the contacts located with two concentric rings on the outer surface of one of the coil disks. Before throwing, the coil is placed in a machine that has brushes for applying current to the contacts of the coil.
The design of the machine must be very simple, since it only has three requirements that it must meet: it is to keep the coil during the shot and the projectile's flight so that the wire can be unwound, rotate the coil in a horizontal plane and be transportable.
The machine joins the distribution panel located here at the battery in the trench and connected to the current source with a cable.
The current source must be a mobile power station mounted on a car and equipped with transformers to obtain high voltage current.
The power plant is located at some distance from the trench in the shelter and is well camouflaged, since it is the most responsible and vulnerable element of this entire system.
As I see it, such an electric battery should consist of one switchboard, two or three machines attached to the shield at the same time, and six to nine coils with shells, as well as a certain amount of shells in case of a break.
This battery should be serviced by three people: one charges a rifle, makes aim and shot; the second lays the coil into the machine, turns on the current during the shot, observes the hit and turns off the current after the hit; the third coils the wire after using the projectile.
In the detailed design of the elements of the electric battery there is a wide possibility of automating all the processes in order to increase its rate of fire.
An electric battery can operate without additional devices, both at long and short distances. For example, the enemy tank for some reason broke through to the trenches and was above them, then the current was applied to it by contacting the shell of the projectile embedded in the rifle, as for throwing.
If each existing rifle squad is equipped with an electric battery to the existing means of fighting tanks, then it will be a rather formidable force for enemy tanks, especially during the first use of electric batteries, that is, until their existence is detected.
The use of electric batteries in addition to the physical impact on the enemy tank crews will have a great moral impact on the enemy infantry following the tanks. In addition, electric batteries do not require the consumption of explosives and allow their tanks to be used against the enemy without cost, money and time to pre-repair them.
It is obvious that effective use of electric batteries will be temporary, since after the enemy discovers their existence, they will take fairly simple and effective measures either in the form of insulation of tank parts to which the crew touches, or in the form of insulating clothing for the crew.
However, the following points should be kept in mind. With good conspiracy, the effective period of the electric batteries will last for quite a long time.
Germany’s very limited capacity in terms of insulation measures due to its lack of rubber.
And, finally, the need for a rather long period of time for carrying out insulation measures for all tanks.
One way or another, the enemy will be forced to reduce the scale of tank operations if he does not want to have a massive loss of his tank crews, and this is extremely necessary in order to stop his advancement and carefully prepare a counterattack along the entire front.
If the foregoing deserves attention, then please inform me at the address: Ufa, Gafuri str. No. 71 q.6, A.D.RUSSIN

November 20 1941 city

TsAMO RF, 38 Foundation, 11355 inventory, 75 case, page 34-36

The resolution is as follows:
T. Ivanov: give the answer that the high-voltage current does not affect the crew of the tank

In the future, we will continue to acquaint you with interesting projects of military equipment proposed by ordinary citizens.
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  1. Eugene
    Eugene 22 March 2012 09: 32
    Hmm ... why not come up with ...
  2. 755962
    755962 22 March 2012 09: 51
    Kulibin is resting ... nervously smoking aside.
  3. grizzlir
    grizzlir 22 March 2012 10: 16
    There is no limit to science fiction. But sometimes something interesting was taken from such projects, even if not for military purposes at all.
  4. mrAnderson
    mrAnderson 22 March 2012 11: 03
    in Stalin’s times, you’ll come up with 100%, and from there went a mad jump
  5. Strategia
    Strategia 22 March 2012 12: 38
    It seems that in the future, the tank will cease to be a ground combat vehicle, but will acquire the ability to operate in all physical environments. He already knows how to swim and go under water, and attack helicopters (and the Il-2 too) are called "flying tanks". It will be equipped with the development of weapons based on new physical principles, and will also be integrated into the information environment based on new technologies.
  6. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 22 March 2012 13: 06
    There is no limit to human thought ... However, not all of what has been conceived can be put into practice. Yes, and perhaps, sometimes it’s not worth exercising ...

    The material is interesting without any doubt and deserves a positive assessment. smile
  7. aleksej
    aleksej 22 March 2012 15: 59
    Damn yes, such tanks back in the years of World War II on the battlefield would have gone to the corny for meat. They would be effective only in the years of World War I when there were no anti-tank guns, and if the long-range artillery vryat could stop them.
    1. Strategia
      Strategia 22 March 2012 19: 11
      The main thing is idea, creativity, flight of thought! The design of the tank is such a lure !!! By the way, it’s right to write ARTILLERY, UNLIKELY ...
      1. alex86
        alex86 22 March 2012 20: 27
        Sorry to interfere, but I support the idea of ​​literacy, otherwise this "Albanian" ... It is clear that for a joke, but I want to ask - and poorly for a joke to write correctly? - and often you understand - poorly ...
  8. Prickly Hedgehog
    Prickly Hedgehog 22 March 2012 22: 54
    Yeah, a circular saw to destroy the enemy manpower O.o.
    warhammer smokes nervously on the sidelines
  9. AlexMH
    AlexMH 23 March 2012 00: 38
    I liked the rotary tank. Especially a circular saw around the perimeter - just a horror movie :))) I suppose the idea should be embodied in some RTS :)
    But I wonder why the inventor decided that rotating the hull would increase its projectile resistance? If from the point of view of rebounding, then the linear speed of the armor on the surface of the hull should in theory be comparable to the velocity of the projectile (600 ... 1000 m / s), which is clearly unattainable (the author has 20-50 m / s) :))) Or didn’t I notice something? Connect, engineers :) It is also interesting whether this tank will be able to turn - the gyroscopic effect, however, and whether it will spin in place in the opposite direction.
  10. mind1954
    mind1954 23 March 2012 06: 23
    This only says one thing!
  11. vostok-47
    vostok-47 23 March 2012 16: 42
    Then everyone wanted to help the common cause, but as for now - "Every man for himself"
  12. Turanchops
    Turanchops April 5 2012 12: 34
  13. Pessimist
    Pessimist April 7 2012 19: 34
    In! What are people's fantasies !!! Especially the tank rotor! Well done, I didn’t even expect such a thing!