Military Review

Fire and mobility: walking bunker N. Alekseenko

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Fire and mobility: walking bunker N. Alekseenko
Walking bunker in a combat position. The plate is lowered to the ground, the shoes are raised. Modern reconstruction by Type Proto / artstation.com


For several decades, the development of the idea of ​​a mobile firing point continued - a special armored vehicle suitable for quick delivery to a given position. Since a certain time, projects of self-propelled products of this kind have been proposed. One of the most interesting options for a mobile firing point was proposed in our country. It was developed by a team of designers headed by N. Alekseenko.

Initiative development


With the outbreak of World War II, many enthusiasts, engineers and representatives of other professions began to offer their projects of military equipment and fire weapons capable of increasing the combat capability of the Red Army. Employees of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works were no exception. In the first half of 1942, they began to develop their own project, designated as "Walking bunker".

Engineer N. Alekseenko was the initiator and chief designer. He was helped by several colleagues at the plant. As consultants, the enthusiast attracted specialists from the Leningrad armored courses for improving the command staff, who were then evacuated to Magnitogorsk. In addition, Alekseenko was able to enlist the support of the people's commissar of ferrous metallurgy I.F. Tevosyan. Upon receiving a positive conclusion from the relevant department, he was ready to organize the construction of an experimental pillbox.

In July, a package of documents on the "walking pillbox" was sent to the head of the Main Armored Directorate of the Red Army. GABTU specialists reviewed the project, pointed out its weak points - and did not recommend it for further development, not to mention the launch of production and implementation in the army. The documents naturally went to the archive.

Technical aspects


N. Alekseenko's project proposed the construction of a firing point with an original external and technical appearance. In fact, it was about an independent gun turret with an unusual propeller. Such a product could go into position, carry out a circular attack and, if necessary, move across the battlefield at low speed for short distances.


Project drawings. There are projections and sections, as well as a diagram of the method of movement. Graphics Worldoftanks.ru

The basis of the walking pillbox was an armored hull-tower with a rounded bow and stern parts and vertical sides. Low mobility requirements made it possible to use the most powerful armor, which gave a significant mass. The forehead and stern were supposed to have a thickness of 200 mm, the sides - 120 mm each, not counting the external propulsion units. In the roof hatches were provided for access inside.

On the frontal plate of the turret, it was proposed to place an installation under a 76-mm gun of an unspecified type. On the side, a ball mount was provided for the DT machine gun. It was proposed to carry out horizontal guidance by turning the entire bunker using a base plate under the bottom. For the vertical, it was probably planned to use separate mechanisms. In free volumes, it was possible to place up to 100 unitary rounds for a cannon and up to 5 thousand cartridges for a machine gun.

A gasoline engine GAZ-202 from tank T-60. Using a simple transmission, the engine was connected to an axle borrowed from a five-ton YAG-6 truck. The axles of the bridge were connected to an eccentric drive through which the side "shoes" were moved.

The bunker Alekseenko used the walking principle of movement with the help of the bottom of the hull and a pair of side shoes, known since the mid-twenties. With the engine running, the shoes had to make a circular motion, taking the weight of the machine, lifting and carrying the body forward. Each such step, according to calculations, moved the object by 1,3 m.


View from above. Modern reconstruction by Type Proto / artstation.com

The mass of the structure reached 45 tons, and the limited engine power made it possible to obtain a speed of no more than 2 km / h. Maneuverability was also extremely low. However, even such characteristics were considered sufficient for entering a position or for moving over short distances.

Obvious advantages


The Alekseenko's mobile firing point had a number of positive features and advantages over traditional pillboxes. First of all, it is mobility and the ability to move between positions, incl. during the battle. The presence of such pillboxes could seriously simplify and speed up the organization of defense in certain sectors.

The project proposed the use of an armored hull with protection up to 200 mm. In 1942, no German gun could penetrate such armor from real combat distances. Defeat with howitzer or mortar artillery or forces aviation not guaranteed due to their low accuracy. The base plate could be considered a weak point of the pillbox, but in the combat position it was reliably protected by the hull and the ground. Thus, "Walking bunker" in terms of survivability and stability would not be inferior to traditional firing points.

The original project proposed the use of a 76 mm cannon. With further development of the project, the design could be adapted for larger caliber guns. At the cost of an increase in mass and size, a mobile armored vehicle would increase its firepower - with obvious consequences for overall combat effectiveness.


Start of movement: the shoes are lowered to the ground, the body begins to rise. Modern reconstruction by Type Proto / artstation.com

Both in the original and in the modified form, Alekseenko's walking firing points were capable of becoming formidable weapons and a serious problem for the enemy. In 1942-43. a line of defense with artillery, tanks and mobile pillboxes could successfully disrupt the advance of German troops in its sector, and it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to break through it under specific conditions.

Congenital defects


However, there were congenital shortcomings, the correction of which was impossible or impractical. First of all, the GABTU noted the low mobility of the proposed armored vehicle. Even considering that he had to fight from the spot, the speed of 2 km / h was not enough. One should also be wary of the low reliability of real bunker aggregates facing high loads.

Difficulties with general mobility were also to be expected. Due to its low own speed, the Alekseenko pillbox would have to be transported to the place of application using heavy trucks. Own equipment of this class was absent at that time, and the volume of supplies of foreign cars under Lend-Lease could not cover all the existing needs.

In terms of ammunition, the Walking Pillbox with the 76-mm cannon was generally similar to the T-34 and KV-1 tanks. They also carried up to 100 shells, but had less machine gun ammunition. The possible duration of the battle of such a pillbox was short. To improve such characteristics, it was required to find volumes to increase the ammunition load or create them by increasing the hull.


The movement continues: the body is dragged forward. Modern reconstruction by Type Proto / artstation.com

It is curious that the project of N. Alekseenko had not only technical limitations and problems. Russian historian of armored vehicles Yu.I. Pasholok, who first published materials on the project, believes that there was also an organizational factor. Firing points, incl. mobile were included in the scope of the engineering department of the Red Army, and not the GABTU. Accordingly, filing documents with the wrong department negatively affected the development prospects.

In case of receiving a positive conclusion and recommendations for construction and testing, the project could also face organizational and technical problems. "Walking bunker" in its design was seriously different from other products of the armored industry, and the development of its production would not have been easy. However, during the war years, our industry successfully solved many extremely complex problems, and N. Alekseenko's project would hardly be an exception.

Initiative and practice


During the Great Patriotic War, all the main directorates of the People's Commissariat of Defense regularly received various proposals to improve existing models and create fundamentally new ones. A significant part of such proposals was deliberately unrealizable, but among the strange "projects" there were also reasonable ideas. It is to this category that the “walking bunker” designed by N. Alekseenko can be attributed.

However, the curious and worthwhile project was not ideal, and they did not even bring it to full development. Because of this, the original "hybrid" of the bunker and the tank went to the archive, and the Red Army continued to use firing points and armored vehicles of the traditional appearance until the end of the war.
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  1. Proton
    Proton 26 December 2020 04: 06
    +12
    The idea is dead end - a lot of weight, low mobility negate all the small advantages. It is difficult to imagine how this bunker will overcome the battlefield strewn with craters from explosions, scarps and hedgehogs. The tank at the production price will not be much more expensive, but it will be devoid of the disadvantages of this device ( laughing ).
    Although correctly noted - the design idea did not stand still.
    Thanks to the author for interesting material.
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 26 December 2020 04: 50
      -1
      Quote: Proton
      The idea is dead-end - heavy weight, low mobility negate all small advantages
      But this did not stop the German engineers! Oh sorry, Soviet .... Although who's there "Mouse" already in two copies piled? laughing
      1. Proton
        Proton 26 December 2020 04: 55
        +6
        I agree.
        It is good that this copy was not sculpted in metal. All the same, 1942 was practically the most difficult year in the Second World War. People and resources were needed for other, more viable projects.
        But all the same, the project is interesting, the engineer found time and energy to be engaged in "creativity". You look, from a dozen of such ideas, a real innovation will come out.
        1. 210ox
          210ox 26 December 2020 20: 05
          +2
          Walking excavators of the Novokramatorsk plant grew out of these ideas. Quite powerful, energy-intensive machines. Requiring appropriate maintenance, mobile overhead lines, etc.
    2. Profiler
      Profiler 26 December 2020 05: 05
      +18
      Quote: Proton
      the design idea did not stand still.

      Truly so. Moreover, in search of a concept, different countries, in different historical periods, proceeded from different ideas about the role of a movable firing point on the battlefield.
      There were projects of individual OTs designed for one infantryman with small arms, but there were also OTs with calculations of several people with more powerful weapons.
      The purpose of their presence in battle formations was also different, some were called upon to serve as protection for the infantry in the offensive, others to play the role of stationary points reinforcing the defense, but, if necessary, quickly transferred from one sector to another.

      French custom billboard (Bouclier roulant) from the First World War.



      Type 93 "clamshell" mobile firing point (Kyu san-shiki tendo botate) (Japan)





      Mobile OT, created in besieged Leningrad at the Izhora plant, approximately in 1942. Tower from the T-38 wedge



      Mobile firing point PD-76 (USSR 1942)

      1. Proton
        Proton 26 December 2020 05: 21
        +2
        Good selection!
        I am interested in the last model in your PD-76 list. I will read it.
      2. Avior
        Avior 26 December 2020 14: 05
        +1
        Mobile firing point PD-76 (USSR 1942)

        and it will not roll back when fired, lifting the barrel?
        Something you can't see any stops.
        1. Torquemada
          Torquemada 26 December 2020 14: 31
          +1
          Yes, here are the outriggers in the photo (to the left and right of the wheel). They bent back, lowered the front ones on hinges, then hung them out with the rear ones.
          1. Avior
            Avior 26 December 2020 14: 39
            +2
            this is to unload the wheels, otherwise the bearings will break
            but the return back? no stops are visible from backward movement.
            The base is short of the stops, it might just stick out on loose soils, that's what I mean.
            in addition

            they are not everywhere

            it is unfolded
        2. Profiler
          Profiler 27 December 2020 08: 17
          +1
          Quote: Avior
          and it will not roll back when fired, lifting the barrel?
          Something you can't see any stops.

          PD-76 is shown in the transport position, and if you were alone in advance asked about the subject of discussion before asking inappropriate questions, then surely they would find the following photo:
          1. Avior
            Avior 27 December 2020 10: 43
            -2
            the problem is that I found this a long time ago, which you may well have noticed in the previous post.
            And if you look even closer, you may even find that the design is different in different photos.
            hi
            1. Profiler
              Profiler 27 December 2020 11: 23
              +1
              Quote: Avior
              the problem is that I found it long ago

              The problem is that at the beginning (14.05 time) you asked a question without delving into the subject of discussion, that is, without actually understanding what it was all about, and then you just started looking for something.
              1. Avior
                Avior 27 December 2020 11: 35
                -2
                why today you brought a photo that I brought yesterday, indicating that I should have found it first? Yes, you are just like the Sharp-Sighted Falcon from the famous anecdote! smile
                Didn't you notice that too, as I understand it?
                And if you look even closer, you may even find that the design is different in different photos.

                Are you so anxious to write something? well, well, I will not interfere
                hi
    3. smart ass
      smart ass 26 December 2020 11: 56
      0
      Suppose such a bunker was unloaded from a railway platform closer to the front line. What's next? Will this unit go to the front line on its own? Or towed kv 1?
    4. Michael HORNET
      Michael HORNET 27 December 2020 10: 41
      0
      An interesting concept, and it could have been implemented in a couple of copies and tested in battle. The main problem, of course, is its logistics. Well, he is for defense, not attack. Its combination with an anti-gravity platform would be optimal))
  2. ximkim
    ximkim 26 December 2020 04: 29
    +3
    In miracles)) The first time I hear about this))
    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 26 December 2020 06: 08
      +7
      Let me join your words. And, at the same time, and thank the author for the interesting material.
  3. Revolver
    Revolver 26 December 2020 06: 09
    +1
    At the first stage of the war, when the Red Army was mainly conducting defensive battles, such a monster could come in handy, provided that it was delivered to the position in advance and protected from the flanks by infantry. And in offensive battles he has nothing to do.
  4. evgen1221
    evgen1221 26 December 2020 07: 53
    0
    Absolute trash crawl to the first funnel.
  5. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 26 December 2020 08: 01
    +5
    A mobile firing point is a tank.
    In defense, you can bury it and build a defense of any level on the tower.
    In the offensive, mobility is a priority, you will have to sacrifice security, but win in speed and maneuver.
    And such crafts were out of poverty.
  6. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 26 December 2020 08: 03
    +3
    Interestingly the girls are dancing ....! Not so long ago I looked through "Vidiki" on this topic, as "on purpose"! Maybe this will be interesting to the people?

    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 26 December 2020 08: 25
      +3
      By the way, I almost forgot the "creativity" of Donbass!

      Or a mobile checkpoint of the Armed Forces of Ukraine "Nikolaevets"!
  7. garri-lin
    garri-lin 26 December 2020 08: 10
    +4
    On the contrary. This sample is an extreme manifestation of an assault weapon. There, not 76 mm, but a log launcher from Kv 2. And all sorts of defense lines to break open. To build up the armor around, so that he could hold everything that shoots at the enemy. There will be one threat left. Aviation. And with the correct shoe sizes, funnels are no problem.
    1. Jacket in stock
      Jacket in stock 26 December 2020 11: 45
      +1
      Quote: garri-lin
      There, not 76 mm, but a log launcher from Kv 2. And to break all sorts of defense lines. To build up the armor around, so that he would hold everything that the potivnik shoots.

      And you got the IS-2
      1. garri-lin
        garri-lin 26 December 2020 19: 38
        0
        Since when did the Is 2 have a 152 mm gun and a heavy shell. And the armor is 300 mm round.
    2. matross
      matross 26 December 2020 13: 59
      +2
      Quote: garri-lin
      There will be one threat left. Aviation.

      Not alone. Mines would be very effective against such targets. And all kinds of anti-tank engineering obstacles. In addition, at any level of armor protection, guns and machine guns remain vulnerable. So this type of weapon "will not play" in the offensive. A pillbox advancing at a speed of 1-2 km / h is even difficult to support with infantry. For too long she would have to crawl after him under fire - they would kill him.
      And in defense, a buried tank will not yield to him, as the comrades noted above.
      1. garri-lin
        garri-lin 26 December 2020 19: 41
        0
        If you go on the attack in the field, then yes. And if the line of defense of several lanes is to break open, that is great. And the vulnerability from mines and engineering barriers is conditional. The main thing is to reach the distance of a direct shot. And methodically plow the fortifications.
        1. matross
          matross 26 December 2020 20: 11
          0
          To plow the gun is rather weak. And the breakthrough of the echeloned defense presupposes strong artillery resistance from the enemy - everything has been targeted. If the pillbox does not penetrate the ATT, it will be covered with howitzer fire. Very quickly with its "mobility".
          1. garri-lin
            garri-lin 26 December 2020 22: 06
            0
            Is 152 mm too weak to plow? Optimal. And howitzer fire does not pose a greater danger when booking 300 mm.
            1. matross
              matross 26 December 2020 23: 04
              0
              152mm is your suggestion. The project was 76mm. And 300 armor too. I think the engineer calculated the design. And 300 would not budge in a circle. BK 152-mm would be 10-12 rounds of separate loading?
              And from above, too, 300mm of armor?) From howitzer fire ... And remote control, because the crew is knocked out at the first hit of a land mine in the roof ...
              1. garri-lin
                garri-lin 27 December 2020 00: 51
                0
                Have you seen walking excavators? Great structures. A hemisphere with a walking propeller with a diameter of 7-8 meters and with 300 mm of armor around it is almost invulnerable. And from the high-explosive impact. Maybe large calibers and take a long time to shoot. And this is unmasking the positions of the batteries. And hence the counter-battery fire from our side. Also a good result.
                1. Jacket in stock
                  Jacket in stock 27 December 2020 06: 26
                  +1
                  Quote: garri-lin
                  Have you seen walking excavators? Grandiose structures

                  Yes, exactly that grandiose.
                  And tell me, how long does it take to move such an excavator a distance more than one step?
                  Weeks.
                  How would you like to deliver this hypothetical "mobile" armored DOT to your position? In parts? And build on site? It's easier to build a real bunker.
                  Here in the article it is not for nothing that the lack of suitable transport is mentioned. Even with a small cannon and thin armor. And the monster that you described looks more like a coastal artillery armored tower.
                  1. garri-lin
                    garri-lin 27 December 2020 13: 57
                    0
                    A real pillbox cannot go on the attack. Because I say that in defense they are meaningless. MaaaMaximum on the offensive.
                2. matross
                  matross 27 December 2020 12: 12
                  0
                  I wonder what is the mass of a hemisphere with a diameter of 7-8 meters and 300-mm armor around? With a filling inside of a gun, ammo, engine, fuel and other things. Plus the propulsion and transmission.
                  In the war of armor and projectile, the projectile is always ahead)
                  1. garri-lin
                    garri-lin 27 December 2020 13: 55
                    0
                    The mass there will be over a hundred tons. But in fact, the Japanese suffered with their Oh Ni and other analogs about such a garbage. Mobile guns of coastal defense. You can look at their results and understand what and how.
                    1. matross
                      matross 27 December 2020 15: 34
                      0
                      That's for sure! Suffering bullshit wink
                  2. Motorist
                    Motorist 27 December 2020 21: 30
                    +1
                    Quote: matRoss
                    what is the mass of a hemisphere with a diameter of ... 8 meters and 300-mm armor around?

                    I get 218 tons without bottom and filling.
  8. Xlor
    Xlor 26 December 2020 08: 20
    +1
    Quote: Proton
    The idea is dead end

    For World War I, this would be the perfect solution
  9. Undecim
    Undecim 26 December 2020 14: 27
    +2
    To one degree or another, this idea suffered not only in the USSR.
    German mobile machine gun bunker. 1940 year.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 26 December 2020 14: 32
      +5
      German mobile armored machine gun point. 1944 year.

      And its transportation.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 26 December 2020 14: 39
        +4

        This is also the First World War - Schumann's armored carriage.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 26 December 2020 14: 42
          +5

          And this is an American project during the Korean War.
        2. Alf
          Alf 26 December 2020 19: 07
          +2
          Quote: Undecim
          This is also the First World War - Schumann's armored carriage.

          Reminiscent of the armed R2D2. laughing
        3. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 28 December 2020 11: 22
          +1
          Quote: Undecim
          This is also the First World War - Schumann's armored carriage.

          Earlier - Schumann's armored carriage appeared in fortresses in the 90s of the XIX century.
  10. Olegi1
    Olegi1 26 December 2020 15: 22
    +1
    I didn't even know about such a miracle. Photos in the article and subsequent comments - I see for the first time. Pros for both the author and the commentators.
  11. zenion
    zenion 26 December 2020 17: 38
    -1
    A real tank bunker. Wood Processing Tank. He has one advantage, he can pull out any tree with a trunk and beat enemy tanks with it, and if necessary, he will cut the boards and chop wood.
    1. Kostya Lavinyukov
      Kostya Lavinyukov 26 December 2020 18: 14
      0
      Few people know, but it was with the help of such machines that the Germans bypassed the Maginot Line through the forests.
  12. aleks neym_2
    aleks neym_2 27 December 2020 12: 29
    0
    I keep the book "Tank" 1954 and. (Inventory number 138 military unit 40355) On page 29 - Vasily D. Mendeleev and a description of his project for a heavy tank weighing 170 tons. And this is 1915! What confuses me: the article mentions a heavy self-propelled gun model 1942 on pneumo with landing on the ground - I can't find it ...