Smoke devices for the T-35 tank

Smoke devices for the T-35 tank
T-35 on Red Square. Photo Military.wikireading.ru


In 1932, Soviet industry developed and launched a series of tank smoke device TDP-3. This device could be installed on various platforms and solved the problems of infection, degassing and setting smoke screens. Tanks of different models became the carriers of the devices, including heavy T-35. However, in his case, it was not possible to manage only with a serial product, which led to the start of a new interesting project.

Standard equipment


The TDP-3 smoke device appeared almost simultaneously with the start of serial production of T-35 tanks. As a result, all new machines received such equipment, which gave them new opportunities. With the help of the TDP-3 device, the tank could put a smoke screen, covering itself or friendly troops. At that time it was believed that the equipment of a chimney was necessary for most tanks of all classes.

For installation on the T-35, the smoke device had to be slightly modified in terms of the layout of the units. On the sides of the turret box of the tank there were two armored boxes, in which two tanks of the TDP-3 were placed - 40 l each. Next to them were means of creating pressure to eject the liquid.

Fluid from pressure tanks was supplied to pipelines laid under the fenders. The tube passed through the trailing edge of the shelf and ended with a nozzle. Aerosol emission was carried out in the rear hemisphere.


View of the stern. Small nozzles are visible on the edges of the fenders. Photo Military.wikireading.ru

To control the smoke in the fighting compartment provided hatches, giving access to the instruments. A simple remote control was placed inside the tank in the form of a sector with a lever, similar to that used in other projects with TDP-3 equipment. The crew could turn the device on and off, as well as control the intensity of the launch.

The installation of smoke screens was carried out using special S-IV fluid. 80 l of such a mixture provided a chimney for 5-12 minutes. Start was carried out both from a place and in motion, with one device or two. One tank could create a curtain hundreds of meters long and up to 25-30 m high. The use of toxic substances by T-35 tanks was not provided - unlike specialized chemical tanks with the same device.

Tank smoke device arr. 1932 quickly adapted to use on the T-35 and soon incorporated into its standard equipment. TDP-3 were mounted on all serial heavy tanks, giving them the required capabilities. Thanks to such devices, the tank unit could independently cover itself and protect against surveillance or shelling.

New requirements


The TDP-3 device met the original technical requirements, but was not without drawbacks. One of the main claims concerned the relatively small capacity of the tanks, which limited the duration of the chimney and the size of the resulting curtain. In addition, the tanks and pipelines did not have heating - this excluded the installation of the curtain in the cold season.


The TDP-3 device of an open installation on a BT series tank. Photo from the book Kolomyets M.V. "Light tanks BT." Flying tank "1930"

In 1936, all this led to the start of the development of a new tank smoke device specifically for the T-35. The new TDP-4 product was supposed to get rid of the drawbacks of its predecessor, and also more fully comply with the specific design of the heavy carrier tank. Due to the use of the TDP-4 device, the tank could turn into a full-fledged curtain designer, preserving all basic combat qualities.

The TDP-4 device was developed by the Kompressor plant, the main creator of chemical equipment for the army. Different army units were involved in the work. An experimental T-35 tank with new equipment was tested in the same 1936.

The main innovation of the project was enlarged tanks for special liquids. Cylinders of compressed gas were removed from the armored boxes near the turret box, which made it possible to free up space for tanks with a capacity of 90 liters. Cylinders for compressed air were transferred to the fighting compartment. They had a capacity of 5 l and kept the pressure of 150 kgf / sq.cm. Using pressure reducers, the pressure was reduced to 5 kgf / cmXNUMX, after which the compressed gas entered the liquid tanks.

Along the roof of the buildings, as before, there were pipelines for supplying fluid to the nozzles. However, this time they were laid next to the exhaust manifolds of the engine, which ensured the heating of both the pipe and the liquid in it. This allowed the use of smoke exhaust devices at any time of the year and in any weather conditions. The design of the nozzles as a whole has not changed.


The T-35 performs a flue. Photo from the book Solyankin A. G., Pavlov M. V., Pavlov I. V., Zheltov I. G. "Domestic armored vehicles. XX century", Vol. 1

The increased capacity of the tanks gave obvious advantages. T-35 with TDP-4 could carry out the installation of the curtain for more time or with greater intensity. The maximum S-IV fluid flow rate reached 15 l / min. The tank could install a dense and invisible curtain with a height of up to 25-30 m and a length of 1600 m.

Return to original


In 1936, one of the T-35 production tanks lost the standard TDP-3 device, instead of which a new TDP-4 was installed. In this configuration, he was tested at the training ground and identified the strengths and weaknesses of the new development. The test results were unequivocal, but did not lead to a massive re-equipment of the equipment.

TDP-4 favorably with its predecessor, and the re-equipped T-35 had clear advantages over the serial. However, the new tank smoke device was not developed. The already built T-35 tanks retained the standard equipment of the previous model, and they were also installed on new-made vehicles. The reasons for this development are not clear, but some assumptions can be made.

In just a few years, the Compressor plant produced about 1500 TDP-3 devices. Such products were enough to equip new tanks of several types, including heavy T-35. The loss of a serial device according to its characteristics could be considered insignificant. Despite the limited time of the smoke and a smaller curtain, the TDP-3 coped with the tasks and provided proper camouflage.


Museum T-35 in Kubinka. Smoke appliances are removed, only the windows under the nozzles remind of them. Wikimedia Commons Photos

With all its advantages, TDP-4 had a characteristic drawback in the form of large dimensions and mass. In this regard, he lost to the previous TDP-3 - and therefore was not compatible with all existing tanks. Without prejudice to mobility, only medium and heavy armored vehicles could carry it, which was supposed to lead to unification.

The specific ratio of the strengths and weaknesses of the device, as well as the features of the use of such devices, led to a logical ending. TDP-4 did not take into service and put in series. The troops remained the existing device of the previous model. However, not all tanks had such equipment. Some of the machines did not receive TDP-3 at all, while others removed such equipment during operation.

After failure with the new device, the TDP-3 retained the place of the main model of its class in the Red Army. It was actively used on various types of armored vehicles until the beginning of the forties. Later, with the outbreak of World War II, tanks with such equipment provided cover for troops and confirmed their capabilities. In practice, it was shown that even a limited amount of special fluid may be enough to solve the task and hide the troops from the enemy.
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  1. mark1 23 May 2020 06: 57 New
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    Later, with the outbreak of World War II, tanks with such equipment provided cover for troops and confirmed their capabilities.

    I would like examples of the mass application of these devices (to my shame I do not know those, just the smoke of the checkers at the stern))
    1. Saxahorse 23 May 2020 20: 06 New
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      Quote: mark1
      I would like examples of the mass application of these devices (to my shame I do not know those, just the smoke of the checkers at the stern))

      Are you kidding? The mass use of T-35 tanks is also not known to history. But in the fleet, almost every watchman knew how to install a smoke curtain, and for this there were enough available fuel supplies, without any special liquids there.

      In short, the solution is bullshit. Subsequently, standard diesel fuel was used to set the smoke curtain on the equipment.
      1. mark1 24 May 2020 05: 26 New
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        Let it be that I'm kidding - but in general I’m trying to smoothly bring to the understanding that mass production of these described smoke devices was the simplest occupation, as they would say today, cutting the budget.
      2. Dr. Frankenstucker 24 May 2020 09: 45 New
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        Quote: Saxahorse
        almost every guard was able to set

        the main active "smokers" in the fleet were, nevertheless, TC)
        The first attack under the smoke, emnip, already in July 41st took place in the Baltic.

        Quote: Saxahorse
        without any special liquids there.


        TC type Komsomolets equipped with fodder acid smoke equipment DA-7. The principle is the same as in the TDP - the s-4 mixture was supplied with compressed air to the nozzles.
  2. Interesting article. I had never read about these devices on serial tanks. Thanks to the author.
  3. Catfish 23 May 2020 07: 44 New
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    As I understand it, the tank could not cover itself with this curtain, so what's the use of it?
    1. Mavrikiy 23 May 2020 07: 54 New
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      Quote: Sea Cat
      As I understand it, the tank could not cover itself with this curtain, so what's the use of it?

      Infantry escort tank. Well, those who follow you.
      1. Dr. Frankenstucker 23 May 2020 10: 09 New
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        Quote: Mavrikiy
        Infantry escort tank

        T-35 - heavy breakthrough tank.
    2. svp67 23 May 2020 09: 04 New
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      Quote: Sea Cat
      As I understand it, the tank could not cover itself with this curtain, so what's the use of it?

      So he must have the quality that will give a chance for survival. what are the qualities of the tank?
      It:
      - armor protection
      - speed
      - small geometric dimensions
      What of these qualities did the T-35 possess? The answer is no ... For me, among the tank fleet of the USSR of the 30s, there are only a couple of candidates for the role of such a director of a smoke screen, these are the T-27 wedge and the BT series tanks. Of this pair, BT is better of course.
      1. Catfish 23 May 2020 09: 49 New
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        In all respects, you are right, I, in general, had in mind the protection of the tank itself, because this slow-moving and slow-moving coffin could not really protect itself, and even infantry.
        By the way, I somewhere came across information about the losses in tanks of this type during the "peaceful liberation" of the former Polish territories from the Poles in the 1940th year. You do not have such information?
        1. Dr. Frankenstucker 23 May 2020 13: 01 New
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          why in the 40th? In 1940, the 14th TTB “liberated” not Poland, but Bessarabia)
          1. Catfish 23 May 2020 13: 04 New
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            And what happened to Western Ukraine, don’t you remember?
            1. Dr. Frankenstucker 23 May 2020 13: 14 New
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              Well, the Liberation Campaign took place in Saint-October 1939. And after its completion, 14 TTB was immediately brought back to Zhitomir to the MTD. Therefore, it is not entirely clear why you tied Z. Ukrainians. by the year 1940.
              1. Catfish 23 May 2020 15: 56 New
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                You are right, of course, in 1939, something jumped me. And you don’t know about our wrecked tanks, by any chance?
                1. Dr. Frankenstucker 23 May 2020 16: 13 New
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                  Of the losses, only t-26, bt-7 and t-37, as far as I know. Honestly, I’m not at all sure that the T-35s participated in the OP - they would not have stupidly withstood the long march, as they are known for their indirect (to put it mildly) reliability. T-28 - yes, they did it, but they didn’t let them fight in Poland.
  4. svp67 23 May 2020 09: 00 New
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    I do not consider installing smoke equipment on such a slow and slow-moving tank the right solution, although it was possible to put larger tanks on it. The best candidate is of course the BT series tanks ...
    1. Catfish 23 May 2020 09: 49 New
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      Yes, BTeshka with its speed was quite suitable for this work.
    2. knn54 23 May 2020 09: 58 New
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      Initially, the installation was designed for chemical armored vehicles - to carry out contamination and degassing of the area. Later, to install smoke screens. The HBT-5 tanks at the beginning of the Second World War were used as "carriers" of cannon-machine gun weapons. And chemical equipment was not used.
      1. Dr. Frankenstucker 23 May 2020 14: 20 New
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        yeah, TDP-3, even before 1934, was called THP-3.
  5. Observer2014 23 May 2020 13: 33 New
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    Theme is cool. And really interesting! By the way, it’s very interesting to compare with the modern solution of this issue in different countries of the world. How we have this issue happening, we know yes And here is how this issue is being resolved in other armies of the world. Really interesting. Separately, there is no comme il faut to study. It is very willing to read this in one article.