О tanks with love. Today we will begin another series of articles in which the "pictorial" part, let us say so, will prevail over the textual. Let it be a kind of our tank Murzilka and Young Technician in one package. And the stories about various interesting tank moments will come from illustrations. And then I recently read an article “about armor” on “VO”, but I didn’t see any interesting illustrations in it ... At least there will be an interesting “video sequence”, and maybe something interesting will be found in the text ... In addition, today in Russia we have a fashion for everything “remote”, and here we are “remotely” today we will visit a rather unusual museum of armored vehicles and look at its exhibits.
Judging by the first illustration, the desire to mislead one's neighbor and not get anything in return may have been manifested by people for a very long time, but in the mechanical flesh it really only began to clothe itself in the era of steam. So the steam armored car, Cowen, proposed in 1855, was one of the first such developments, but they didn’t give the project a go, because the then British Prime Minister Disraeli considered him uncivilized! And it’s interesting that this shows the extremely low cost of human life. Groshovy, you could say. One has only to recall the attack of the light cavalry brigade near Balaclava ... She was admired, but it was a massacre, not a war, for this it was necessary to judge those responsible. People did not understand that it was necessary to fight so that your opponent was already connected in advance and lay face down in the dust, and you ... could do anything with him ... However, it was obvious that the five wheels on Cowen’s car made it difficult to control, that the roads it needs high quality, and most importantly, a lot of such machines will be needed to protect Britain. The fact is that there was a ring road project around the coast. And so that BA Cowen would patrol her and, if there was a threat of landing, would come to a dangerous place! Of course, then no one would dare to build a road in various difficult places.
At the same time, the design idea of the past was often very modern. For example, look at this "barn on wheels." This is the armored car of the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. It had a searchlight and loopholes for the installation of four machine guns "Hotchkiss." But the most interesting thing in it is the two-layer armor, between which the “sea grass” was laid. Interestingly, both sheets were pierced by a Mauser bullet at close range. But if grass was laid between them, then they could not do it!
During the First World War and the Civil War, Russian engineers failed to create their own, Russian tank. But on the other hand, they created a mass of unique wheeled and tracked vehicles based on foreign equipment, which clearly indicates their ingenuity and dexterity. They were made by both red and white, and sometimes very “solid” and well-armed cars were produced. Here, for example, is how this armored car, armed with a pair of machine guns in the turret and a 76,2 mm gun in the aft casemate!
However, this was what they did in many countries in those years. For example, in Estonia such an armored car “Vana Pagan” was made, also with a casemate arrangement of weapons.
In the 20s of the last century, all countries were content with armored vehicles during the First World War, only a few began R&D in this area. In particular, Czechoslovakia was one of such countries, creating a whole series of very original armored vehicles, the so-called steel turtles. They differed from earlier armored cars in their symmetrical shape and the presence of two control posts, which gave them the opportunity to move back and forth without turning around. In addition, the armored corners of the hull on them were located at different, sometimes very fancifully located angles, which, as the creators of these BA hoped, would provide a rebound to the bullets that hit them. But the armor itself was thin: 3-5,5 mm nickel-chromium steel.
A tank developed by the engineers of the Aberdeen Proving Ground to the peak of the U. Christie tank
As you can see, it turned out “something”: a tower with a 12,7 mm machine gun and 7,62 mm anti-aircraft gun, two pairs of driving wheels at the rear and a pair of steering wheels in front. Christie didn’t allow the car engine to develop high speeds, the armor was thin, and the bulwark from the drive wheels of the car drive constantly came off, hitting obstacles.
But after 1929 and the advent of the Christie wheeled-tracked tank, especially the 1931 model, a fashion for high-speed tanks appeared. And it’s funny that the American military, who tested his tank, didn’t want to buy it, but ordered their engineers to construct something similar, but better and cheaper. Better and cheaper!
Another attempt to get around W. Christie: the T7 cavalry tank with a hull from the M2 tank and wheeled-tracked chassis. There were two options: on wheels with molded “rubber band” and wheels such as automobiles, with cameras filled with sponge rubber. Neither one nor the other joined the army, although the M1931 tank almost caught up with the speed
Interestingly, the Germans began experimenting with new tanks at the same time as the British. One of their first tanks 1928-1929. Grossstrakttor is a two-turret tank similar to the French 2C. Six vehicles were delivered unassembled to the USSR, after which they were used to train German and Soviet tankmen at the Kama training ground.
In early 1937, the Soviet engineer S.A. Ginzburg on the basis of the T-46 tank, created at the factory No. 174, developed the design of the T-111 tank, which was given the T-46-5 index at the factory. The hull of the tank was planned to be assembled from sheets of cemented armor, and when they were docked, electric welding was to be used. He survived in the crucible of repression literally by a miracle and still managed to finish his tank with armor 60 mm thick. Interestingly, the development of the T-46-5 tank was also attended by M.I. Koshkin, one of the future creators of the T-34. Before he got to the Kharkov Locomotive Plant, he worked in Leningrad at plant No. 185 as Deputy S. A. Ginzburg and for participating in the development of the T-46-5 tank was awarded the Order of the Red Star. The tank, however, “did not go.” Weak gun, weak motor - all this put an end to it. But this is how useful experience accumulated!
Tank destroyer on the chassis of the Pz 38d with a 75-mm cannon RAK-43. There are practically no alterations to the chassis. A gun and an armored shield - that's the whole car!
What are the benefits of visiting our virtual museum? We can see in it machines that really did not exist, but were developed and were known not only by drawings, but also in layouts. On them you can trace all the “bends” of design thought in search of effective solutions. Well, for example, in the same Czechoslovakia, German tank specialists who worked side by side with Czechs, seeing that the caliber of the guns and the thickness of the armor are growing, but the chassis of the mass tank ChKD 38t no longer allows you to create a full tank equal to the T-34, tried Nevertheless, use it to the maximum.
Experiments have shown that if the number of wheels is increased and the chassis is lengthened, then even a 128-mm gun and 150-mm howitzer can be put on it. But late, they thought of it!
It was quite simple to turn up nothing at all in the chassis of the Pz 38d, but only to increase the distance between the wheels. So there was a "light chassis", and on its basis, projects of new self-propelled guns with 88-mm guns were also developed. But the top, so to speak, of German-Czechoslovak creativity (in the sense of originality!) Was the self-propelled guns on the "middle chassis with a rising tower and a 105-mm howitzer. Raised it, shot it, lowered it ... Convenient for action due to ambushes and hocks!
Well, the Germans also tried to use ordinary, not improved chassis, for a wide variety of new products. For example, as a carrier of a killer 240-mm recoilless weapon, capable of destroying any tank from the first shot with a direct hit by a shell.
They even tried to turn an ordinary Ost tractor, even that one, into a platform for a 75-mm anti-tank gun. No armor, no seats. Boards threw back and sit yourself, fight. The armor was only on the driver’s cab and on the gun’s armor shield
In our panopticon there will be many American cars. You can insert pre-war and military, but today we will limit ourselves to a number of post-war samples. Who, for example, says that the era of multi-tower tanks took place at the beginning of World War II?
American heavy tank N-3. The disease, which our designers finished getting sick in August 41st, and the Germans in 45th, lasted among American engineers until 1950 ...
American nuclear tank TV-1. Instead of an engine, it had a nuclear reactor and frontal armor 305 mm thick. But two crews were needed due to increased radiation and a high salary. Here is the tank and "did not go"
Now we look at the tanks "for the poor." Egypt received military aid M-113 from the USA in military aid. But he didn’t receive Zul “Zolotoy Vulkan”. And from the USSR - ZU-23 and MANPADS "Strela". They crossed everything and got this: M113 “Sinai” - two 23-mm anti-aircraft guns and four “Arrows”. The funniest thing in this car is the boxes with shells carried outside the tower. But how to recharge? Do you see hatches on the roof left and right? The tower turned back and forth and reloading was carried out through the hatches. But your own anti-aircraft missile and artillery complex!
But when the United States-supplied Colombian BA M8 became obsolete at once, the Colombians turned them into such police armored cars ...
Those Egyptians turned the Soviet tank T-34-85 into self-propelled guns with a 122-mm howitzer D-30. And they managed to place it in a rotating tower! Here is truly a find of supplies cheaply in Zimbabwe and Namibia. “At the request of the customer, it can be delivered with a fully automatic system for destroying flying ammunition!”
In preparation for repelling the Allied strike on Iraq, the Iraqi military created an impressive ground defense system that included tanks buried in the ground. Well, in order to further increase their security, first of all, the security of the Soviet T-55s, which worked well in the desert, they upgraded them by installing mounted armor on the tanks. It was a container filled with sheets of duralumin and rubber 5 mm thick. The total weight of such armor exceeded 5 tons, but it did not demonstrate much efficiency. But outwardly such tanks looked very impressive! And then 39 days aviation the coalition launched air strikes against the Iraqi army and it was air strikes that destroyed most of its tanks, including those that received such protection. One of the captured tanks, by the way, got into the British Museum in Bovington.
PS The author and site administration express their gratitude to the artist A. Sheps for the provided illustrations.