Stories about weapons. Tank T-44 outside and inside
What events of World War II showed in relation to tank T-34? At the initial stage - a wonderful machine, far ahead of contemporaries. On the final, for example, T-34-85, it became clear that there was nowhere to upgrade the car.
World tank building paced ten-kilometer steps, and the T-34 clearly did not keep up with "classmates." Yes, some change in the turret and the installation of a more powerful 85-mm cannon did their job, but then it turned out to be a dead end.
And at the end of 1943, the Soviet designers came to the conclusion that something had to be done.
Initially, the layout of the T-34 was designed so that the B-2-34 engine occupied almost half of the entire internal space of the tank.
The tower had to be moved as far as possible, and the crew was shoved over the remaining space. As a result, as we have already noted, inside T-34 was very closely, but this is not the worst. It was unpleasant that the further build-up of frontal armor and the installation of a more powerful gun became impossible. This was caused by a serious overload of the chassis in the front of the tank.
Therefore, already in 1943, a worthy shift was prepared for the T-34 developed by the design office (department No. 520, chief designer A. A. Morozov) of the Ural tank factory No. 183 named after Stalin, which received the working index T-44, or the object 136.
The main task for the designers was the complete reconfiguration of the engine compartment of the tank. Succeeded. The T-44 engine was not installed along, but across the hull and connected to the gearbox with a boost gearbox. We also managed to reduce the height of the engine by moving the air cleaner to the board, moving the radiator across the hull behind the gearbox and moving the fan to the stern of the tank.
The layout was not just more successful: compared to the T-34 on the T-44, the cooling of the transmission units improved significantly.
The fighting compartment is not just increased. If you transfer from T-34 to T-44, you feel that you have fallen into a modern apartment after the Stalin line, the internal free volume increases. The tower could be moved to the center of the hull, closer to the center of gravity of the tank. This increased balancing and had a positive effect on the accuracy of the fire on the go. The modernization potential has increased, there is now enough space even to install an 122-mm gun from the EC-2.
The load on the front rollers has decreased, so it has become possible to increase the frontal armor of the hull to 90 mm, and the frontal armor of the tower to 120 mm.
The angle of inclination of the frontal sheet was increased to 60 °, and it became monolithic. If in T-34 the driver's hatch, located in the front armor plate, was the weak point, then on the T-44, the driver's hatch was generally removed on the hull.
The crew of the tank was reduced to the gunner-radio operator, as the tank commander coped with the maintenance of the radio station. In addition, the receipt of orders by the tank commander directly from the superiors, and not through a crew member, increased efficiency.
Course machine gun left, but now he was firmly fixed in the frontal armor, firing from him led the driver. In the free space of the arrow-radio operator placed the fuel tank.
Well, the crew has become much more comfortable.
Combat weight, t 31,0
Crew, people. 4
Years of production 1944 — 1947
Years of operation 1945 - end of 1970's
Number issued, pcs. Xnumx
Body length, mm 6070
Length with a gun forward, mm 7650
Case width mm 3180
Height, mm 2410
Base, mm 3800
Track, mm 2630
Clearance, mm 425
The forehead of the body (top), mm / deg. 90 / 60 ° 
The forehead of the body (bottom), mm / deg. 90 / 45 ° 
Board of the case, mm / hail. 75 / 0 ° 
Bottom, mm 15 
Enclosure roof, mm 15 — 20 
Front of the tower, mm / deg. Xnumx
Board turret, mm / deg. 90 / 20 ° 
Caliber and brand of gun 85-mm ZIS-S-53 rev.1944 of the year
Ammunition 58 guns
HV angles, deg. −5 ... + 25 °
2 × 7,62 mm DTM machine guns
Engine power, l. with. Xnumx
Highway speed, km / h 60
Speed over rough terrain, km / h 25..30
Cruising on the highway, km 200..250
Cruising over rough terrain, km 180..200
Overcoming rise, hail. Xnumx
Breaking wall, m 0,73
Overcoming ditch, m 2,5
Overcoming ford, m 1,3
Having a significant external similarity with the T-34-85, the T-44 was fundamentally different from it in size, layout, and device.
Replacing the old, heavy and bulky spring suspension of Christie on the torsion bar suspended a lot of space. This is what made it possible to completely revise the layout of the tank.
The nadgusenichnye niches disappeared, and the vacated space allowed the new B-44 engine to be positioned not along but across the hull of the tank. Due to the engine turn, the combat compartment was increased and the working conditions of the crew were improved.
After making a number of minor constructive improvements 23 November 1944, the T-44A was adopted.
The first five production machines left the HTZ workshops in November 1944 of the year. In total, over the production period from 1944 to 1947, the X-NUMX of the T-1823 tank was produced.
True, they did not go to the front and did not participate in the hostilities of the Second World War.
Moreover, almost immediately after the launch into production at the end of 1944, it became clear that the T-44 could not be considered as the main combat vehicle. 85-mm gun almost exhausted its capabilities and to fight with modern tanks was not suitable.
It was decided to start work on the following modification of the tank - T-44B, equipped with a 100-mm cannon D-10. Work began in October 1944, the design was completed in December 1944, and the prototype was made by February 1945.
The tank was successfully tested and was recommended for adoption. From the "basic" model T-44, it was already different in many things: the new gun, the tower of a different configuration, the engine, a different booking scheme.
In fact, it was already a completely different tank, so instead of the letter “B” the car received an independent name, under which it was soon put into production - T-54.
But it is already completely different. story.
In 1961, all T-44 tanks that were released were upgraded to unify the undercarriage with the main Soviet T-54 tank. In addition, the machines that received the designation T-44M received night-observation devices and increased ammunition, and on the commander's T-44MK, by reducing the ammunition load, they installed a second radio station.
In 1965, part of the T-44 was converted into armored tractors BTS-4, and in 1966, the remaining tanks were equipped with a two-plane weapon stabilizer, which improves the accuracy of firing on the move. These machines received the designation T-44C. At the end of the 1970-ies, the T-44 was decommissioned from the Soviet Army.
The only armed conflict in which T-44 was involved was Operation Whirlwind. In addition, at the end of their service, the vehicles still had the opportunity to "participate" in the Great Patriotic War: as the German tanks Pz VI "Tiger" in the films "Liberation" and "They Fought for the Motherland".
After the corresponding alteration, the tanks became indistinguishable from the German cars (except for the undercarriage).
In 2004, this tank depicted the Pz VI "Tiger" already in the film "Bunker". Also, this tank can be seen in the films “Father of a Soldier”, “Officers”, “On the Road to Berlin”, “On the Roads of War”, “Native Blood”, where he “plays” the role of T-34-85.
- Roman Skomorokhov
- Roman Skomorokhov, Roman Krivov
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