The Day of the Tankman as a professional holiday of the branch of service was established by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from July 11 of 1946. Thus, the Soviet leadership wanted to note the particularly prominent role of armored and mechanized troops in defeating Nazi Germany and its allies. Until 1980, the Day of the tanker was celebrated on September 11 - in memory of the tremendous success of the Soviet tank forces during the East Carpathian operation. Then the Day of the tanker began to celebrate every second Sunday of September. This year, it fell on September 9. The leadership of post-Soviet Russia did not change the date of the holiday.
History Russian tank forces are inextricably linked with the Soviet period in the life of the country. It was at that time that not only the first tanks appeared in the country, but all the foundations were laid for the creation and full-fledged functioning of the tank forces as a separate branch of troops. Of course, the first armor forces appeared somewhat earlier - in the Russian Empire, before the start of the First World War. They consisted of armored vehicles, armed with machine guns, then there were also armored trains. By the time of the October Revolution, there were about 300 armored vehicles in the old Russian army. The tsarist government placed an order for the production of tanks in France, but because of the revolutionary events that had begun, the order was canceled.
But it was during the Civil War that the command of the Red Army was preoccupied with the rapid growth in the number of armored trains and armored vehicles and the release of the first own armored cars. In January, 1918 created the Central Council of Armored Units ("Centrobron"), whose competence included the management of all armored units of the RSFSR. 30 August 1918 of the year on the basis of "Centrobroni" was formed "Central Armored Administration" (CBU). At that time, “Centrobron” and the CBU were subordinated to the Main Military Engineering Directorate of the Red Army. Already in May, 1918 in Moscow began to train commanders for the armored units of the Red Army in Moscow in a special school - so, despite the political chaos in the country, the new government took care of increasing the combat capability of its armed forces.
A landmark event in the history of the armored forces of the Soviet state occurred in March 1919. In the battle with the French invaders, units of the 2 of the Ukrainian Soviet division captured several French Renault FT-17 tanks. Of these, the first tank unit in Russia was created - the armored division attached to the Council of People’s Commissars of Soviet Ukraine. In April, the captured tank 1919 even arrived in Moscow to participate in the parade, and the initiator of his arrival was made personally by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who took the prospects for the development of a new kind of military force very seriously.
Then, on the basis of this unit, the Red Army Tank Squadron, consisting of the captured British Mark V tanks, was created in 1922. These episodes, by the way, also testify to the high morale and victories of the Red Army, which were able to capture modern military equipment from better armed invaders . It is noteworthy that at that time tank units were called squadrons.
In the years 1920-1921. at the famous Sormovsky plant in Nizhny Novgorod, the first Soviet KS-1 tank was put into serial production. In total, 15 cars were produced in the aforementioned years. All of them were an almost complete copy of the French Renault FT-17 tanks (Renault FT-17) captured in Ukraine. What can you do, your experience in developing tanks was not there then, and the time was difficult. The fact of the start of mass production of tanks in a country devastated by the Civil War is amazing in itself. Each tank released in the KS-1 series had its own name - like ships fleet. So, there were tanks with revolutionary names - “Karl Marx”, “Freedom Fighter Comrade Lenin”, “Leo Trotsky”, “Karl Liebknecht”, etc., were with historical Russian ones - “Ilya Muromets”. It was with KS-1 that the history of tank construction began in our country, and the tanks assembled in Russia entered the arsenal of the Red Army.
In 1928, the mass production of the first unique Soviet tank MC-1 (T-18) began. In total, 959 tanks of this design were produced, and in 1929, they were first used in a real battle during events on the CER. At the same time, in the 1929 year, the Central Directorate of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army was created, which took command of the mechanized troops. In the 1930, the 1 th mechanized brigade included a tank regiment of 110 tanks, and already in the 1932 year two mechanized corps were formed - the 11 and 45. For a fairly short time, the growth of mechanized troops was simply impressive. So, only in the 45 case there were 1932 tanks in the 500 year. In 1937, the Central Directorate for the Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army was given a new name - the Armored Directorate Directorate (and later in the Main Armored Directorate Directorate) of the Red Army. Thus, for the first time, a branch of the army appeared, called the armored troops. By the end of 1937, the Red Army already consisted of entire 4 tank corps, 24 separate light and 4 heavy tank brigades. By this time the armored troops commander-in-chief Dmitry Pavlov was in command.
At the end of the 1930-s, the first serious combat experience of the Soviet tank crews also falls. Tank units took part in the battles at Lake Hassan in 1938, on the Khalkhin Gol River in 1939, in the Soviet-Finnish War in 1939-1940, and also in the Spanish Civil War, to which volunteers from the Soviet military were deployed. . The leadership of the country at that time paid great attention to the development of tank forces, which were considered as a strike force in the offensive operations of the Red Army. It was 1930-s that became the first truly productive decade in the history of the national tank building and tank forces.
In those years, being a tanker was no less prestigious than a pilot or military sailor. Hundreds of thousands of Soviet boys dreamed of serving in the new branch of the army, which seemed so interesting and impressive compared to the "traditional" infantry. As the number of armored troops grew, so did the capabilities of the Soviet recruits to get into the tank crews. Although, given the design of the then tanks, their technical features, the service of the tanker was very complicated and dangerous. For the training of commanders of the tank forces, the Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army (VAMM RKKA) named after I. Stalin was created on the basis of the Faculty of Mechanization and Motorization of the Military Technical Academy named after F. Dzerzhinsky and the Moscow Automobile and Tractor Institute named after MV Lomonosov, as well as the Leningrad armored training courses for the commanders of the Red Army named after Comrade. Bubnov - on the basis of the former Military Avtobronevaya School with advanced training courses for the commanders of the Red Army, Kazan armored advanced training courses for the technical staff of KBTKUTS and a whole number of military schools - in Ulyanovsk, Orel, Kharkov, Minsk, Kazan, Kuibyshev, Saratov (two schools - 1-e Saratov Red Banner Armored School and 2-e Saratov Armored School), Borisov, Syzran, Chkalov, tank technical school in Kiev. In addition, command personnel for the armored troops at that time were trained in a number of automobile schools, two military tractor schools in Poltava and Bobruisk and in a special military school of communications for the armored troops in Ulyanovsk.
Thus, by the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, armored armies became one of the mass families of the ground forces, which received great attention from the command of the Red Army and the country's top leadership. At the same time, tank building developed at a rapid pace - by the time the war broke out, the Red Army was superior to Hitler Germany in the total number of tanks. However, tank units suffered huge losses, both in technology and in personnel. Therefore, during the war years, the domestic tank building worked at such a pace as never before.
The contribution of tankers in World War II is huge and invaluable. A lot of books have been written about the exploits of the Soviet tankers, wonderful films have been made. Dmitry Lavrinenko, the guard lieutenant of the Red Army, was a real tanker ace. Over the month of 2,5, he destroyed the enemy's 52 tank. Unfortunately, Dmitry Lavrinenko died at the very beginning of the war - in December 1941. The greatest tank battle of the twentieth century was the battle of Kursk, in which thousands of tanks from the Red Army and the Wehrmacht took part. During the war, many Soviet tankers were awarded orders and medals, received the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Soviet tank crews participated in the Victory Parade on Red Square. Immediately after the war, a large number of tank units and subunits were deployed in Eastern Europe, since the Soviet command then considered tank troops as the main force in offensive operations and continued to increase the power of tank armies.
In 1953, the armored troops troops were renamed as armored troops and had this name for seven years - until the 1960 year. Under this name, Soviet tank crews participated in a pacification operation in Budapest. In 1960, the armored forces were renamed tank forces. By the beginning of the 1960's. in the western direction, 8 tank armies were concentrated, including 4 of them on the territory of the GDR, as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. The number of tanks in the SA to the middle 1980's. was 53, 3 thousand tanks. At the same time, the tank-building industry continued to work at an accelerated pace, releasing more and more tanks. The main CA tanks at that time were T-64, T-72, T-80.
In July, 1980, a large-scale reform of the tank forces was carried out. Since that time, the post of the head of the tank forces was abolished, which in fact meant the cessation of the existence of tank forces as an independent branch of the land forces. The main armored vehicle control department deals only with the supply of military equipment to the troops, the supervision of its operation, and the organization of repairs. As for tank formations, they are directly subordinate to the command of military districts.
In the 1990-s, in connection with the collapse of the USSR and the implementation of agreements on arms reduction, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe, the number of tanks and tank units and formations was reduced at a very rapid pace. Tank troops were one of those types of troops, which are most noticeably reduced in number. Many officers - tankers were forced to go to other branches of the army, to the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, or to leave military service "to a citizen." Significantly reduced the number of educational institutions, graduating officers for tank forces. By 2005, the number of tanks in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was reduced to 23 thousand, and in 2009, it was announced the need to reduce the number of tanks to 2 thousand units.
At the same time, today tank forces continue to be the main striking force of the country's land forces, although the number of tanks and the number of tank units and formations have declined very seriously. As of 2017, in Russia there were 3030 tanks in service and more than 10 thousand in storage, which is more than the number of tanks in the American army.
As for tankers, many of today's top-level commanders and top-level leaders of the RF Armed Forces left them. The tanker was, for example, Colonel-General Gennady Nikolaevich Troshev. 4 from the 7 chiefs of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation after 1992 came from among the tankers - Army General Viktor Petrovich Dubynin, Army General Mikhail Petrovich Kolesnikov, Army General Valery Vasilievich Gerasimov, Army General Anatoly Vasilievich Kvashnin. The tankman was Army General Nikolai Rogozhkin, who had been in command of the Interior Forces of the Russian Interior Ministry for almost 10 for years.
The importance of tank forces is indisputable today, and service in them is a serious test for both soldiers and officers. There are a lot of men in Russia who have served in tank units and formations of the Soviet and Armed Forces. "Military Review" congratulates all current and former tank crews, service veterans, as well as workers of the tank-building industry on the Day of Tankman.