Military Review

Strangest Tanks: "Goliath"

What are the designers capable of having received carte blanche? Flying war machines Tanks with four tracks, military robots are just the tip of the iceberg of engineering. We present the project "The strangest combat vehicles in the world" from the creators of the legendary game World of Tanks. The rubric tells about the amazing, courageous and disastrous decisions of tank engineers. The protagonist of this issue is the German "Goliath".

During the First World War, one of the first land torpedoes was created in France. The vehicle was a small cart filled with explosives and controlled by wires, and its main task was to destroy enemy fortifications.

After the war, work on "explosive" tankettes continued, and in 1940 the French prototype was under the threat of detection. To prevent German troops from getting to the development, the French drowned it in the Seine. However, the technique was quickly found. German engineers disassembled the car, studied and based on it created their own teletanket, which was put on the conveyor. She received the name "Goliath" and became a "pioneer" in the field of military television machines.

Meanwhile, the novelty was very expensive. The first modifications cost about 3000 Reichsmarks. For comparison: the Pak 40 anti-tank gun was estimated at 12, but it could serve for many years.

The Goliaths came in several varieties. They could differ in the type of control (cable or radio), as well as engines (internal combustion engines or a quieter electric motor). Depending on the modification, the teletanket transported from 50 to 100 kg of explosives. They could well have leveled a concrete fortification and even a brick building. The equipment that fell into the affected area was no longer subject to restoration.

For all the advantages, the effectiveness of teletankets turned out to be low. On the way to the target, it was easy enough to stop them by hitting the hull or caterpillar. The most obvious flaw in the Goliath was the wires. Noticing a land torpedo, enemy soldiers could run up to it and easily cut the control wire. Often, the teletankets themselves turned over in difficult terrain.

There are many examples of how the "Goliaths" destroyed enemy fortifications in the Italian city of Anzio. Also, these machines distinguished themselves during urban battles during the uprising in Warsaw. However, few people know that out of 7200 Goliaths produced, only 1200 were used. By the end of World War II, a whole dump of these machines stood idle. A large number of them went to the Allied troops in excellent condition.

For more details on the German teletanket, see the video from Wargaming.


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  1. Crowe
    Crowe 20 November 2021 06: 44
    During the First World War, one of the first land torpedoes was created in France. The car was a small cart filled with explosives and controlled by wires.
    French experimental unmanned teletanket Torpille Terrestre (1915)
    The Americans also had similar designs. In 1918, engineer Elmer Vickersham developed an electric teletanket.
    Elmer Vickersham's electric teletanket (USA, 1918) you!
    In Japan, in 1929, an experienced teletank "Nagayama" was built, and in 1937 - "teletanket-demolition" (Type 98).
    1. Crowe
      Crowe 20 November 2021 06: 49
      We had a whole line of experimental unmanned tanks: type M (1929), TT-18 (1929), TT-27 (1932), HTT-26 (1932), TT-26 (1933) .), TT-20, TU-20, TT-38 (1935). And this is not a complete list of Soviet teletanks. Some of them had a chance to participate in real battles. Externally, the teletanks differed from the serial ones by the presence of two armored glasses on the roof of the tower, protecting the terminals of the whip antennas and their isolation from destruction when they came under fire from small arms.
      Here the article was interesting to anyone
      1. mat-vey
        mat-vey 20 November 2021 07: 06
        So it seems that the Germans made prototypes of their "Goliaths" even before the war with France?
        1. Crowe
          Crowe 20 November 2021 07: 24
          That's right - the Goliath was based on the French Engin K Kegress prototype.
          The prototype Engin K in the spring of 1940 had already passed all the tests, almost ready for mass production, was sunk by the French in the River Seine during the invasion of France by the German army. The Germans raised the prototype from the bottom of the river and sent it for study to the German plant, which since the late 1930s. conducted research in the field of remotely controlled mechanisms for the needs of the army. The Borgward specialists disassembled the French car and examined it carefully. On the basis of French developments, their own teletanket was created, which the Germans managed to put on the conveyor and set up mass production. It is worth noting that no one in the world did this until 1942. Thus, "Goliath" became a pioneer in this field - the first serial TV machine.
          1. mat-vey
            mat-vey 20 November 2021 07: 26
            But what about the B1 and BII of Borgward? Back in 1939, several were made ..
    2. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 20 November 2021 07: 38
      It is not clear why the engineering vehicle was called a tank.
      1. mat-vey
        mat-vey 20 November 2021 07: 39
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        It is not clear why the engineering vehicle was called a tank.

        And there is a lot of incomprehensible things ... Although it looks more like a vulgar hack ..
        1. Crowe
          Crowe 20 November 2021 11: 30
          Yes, the whole thing was just a boom! In addition to cyborg tanks, Bekauri and the staff of the Institute of Telemechanics and Communications proposed to create remote-controlled ... pillboxes. When the enemy approaches, the Maxim machine guns, in the casings of which running water enters for cooling, literally begin to pour lead on the given sector in front of the pillbox. The stationary flamethrower "Horn", equipped with a huge container for the fire mixture - 1300 liters, should have acted in a similar way! Thus, flamethrowers could burn out the approaches to the bunker several times. Inside the concrete casemate, there should be no people at all, only at the commands of the operator the flamethrower and machine gun were turned on and fired according to a given program. Such pillboxes were tested in the mid-30s.
          The design of remote-controlled ... trains was also started. Radio-controlled steam locomotives were created, although the author did not manage to establish what they were for. But the motorized armored car "Hurricane" was supposed to break into the location of enemy troops and release several hundred kilograms of a strong poisonous substance. The Smerch remote-controlled armored railcar was supposed to be equipped with flamethrowers and OV spraying devices. Ostekhbyuro achieved the greatest success in the design of radio bombs. On March 11, 1927, a special commission signed an act on the completion of tests of radio explosives, which were given the designation BEMI (Bekauri, Mitkevich). In connection with the aggravation of the situation in the Far East, on January 23, 1934, 50 BEMI radio bombs as part of a separate company were sent to the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Army.
          After the defeat of Ostekhbyuro, a number of organizations, including the Laboratory of the Military Academy of Communications and the Central Laboratory of Wired Means, took up radio bombs, which also developed other devices for controlling explosions by radio. By 1941, tactical (FTD) and strategic (F-10) radio bombs were adopted by the Red Army.
          The first combat use of the F-10 strategic radio bombs took place on July 12, 1941, when three buildings took off in the village of Strugi Krasnye, where, according to intelligence, the headquarters of the German 56th Mechanized Corps was located. Three landmines of the F-10 type, each containing 250 kg of TNT, were laid in the basements during the withdrawal of our troops. Encrypted radio signals to detonate radio bombs were sent over a distance of 150 km from a special radio station located in a remote corner of the Gatchina forest park.
          On September 24, 1941, at 4 o'clock in the morning, in the newly occupied by the Germans Kiev on Khreshchatyk, the Detsky Mir store flew into the air, where the city commandant's office was located. After him, the Schanzer cinema, the buildings of the circus, the Continental hotel, and the conservatory flew into the air.
          1. Crowe
            Crowe 20 November 2021 11: 31
            And the first case of the combat use of Soviet teletanks occurred in February 1940 in the Vyborg region during the war with Finland. TT-26 teletanks were launched in front of the advancing line tanks. However, they all got stuck in shell craters and were shot by Finnish 37-mm Bofors anti-tank guns. The Red Army had 2 battalions of flamethrower teletanks. During the fighting, 42 vehicles were lost. Of these, only 6 drones were attributed to irrecoverable losses.
            The second and, apparently, the last case of the use of teletanks occurred in 1942 near Sevastopol. On February 27, our troops used remote-controlled tankettes. These were old machines of the T-27 type, which had by that time been removed from the combat units and remained only in training units. The armament was removed from the tankettes, and a powerful charge of TNT was placed in its place. The wedges were controlled by wire. Remote control equipment was created in Moscow at plant No. 627 of the People's Commissariat of the Electrical Industry under the leadership of a military engineer of the 3rd rank A.P. Kazantsev. Later Kazantsev became a famous science fiction writer. 6 such tankettes were delivered to Crimea. On the morning of February 27, the tankettes were launched into German positions. 2 tankettes exploded in enemy positions, 2 more were blown up before approaching the target, and 2 were destroyed by German artillery fire.
            1. Crowe
              Crowe 20 November 2021 11: 33
              By the way, the Germans also, but more successfully used their radio-controlled tankettes. During the war in Germany, several types of teletanks were created, controlled by wires and by radio. It was a light tank "Goliath" (B1) weighing 370 kg (2600 copies were produced, according to other sources up to 8000), a medium tank "Springer" ("Ghost") Sd. Kfz.304 weighing 2,4 tons (produced 50 copies), as well as B-IV (Sd. Kfz.301) Weighing 3,5-4,9 tons (produced 570, according to other sources 1000 copies).
              The B-IV was equipped with an FKL-8 radio control system from Blaupunkt-Verne. The weight of the receiver and transmitter is 20 kg each, plus the power supply unit is 18 kg. The operator could transmit 10 commands to the teletank in VHF mode at a distance of up to 4 km. A B-IV teletank equipped with a Tonie-R television camera was tested, but they failed to launch it into series production. In general, the use of teletanks by the Germans was not very successful. They, like the exploding boats "Linze", were used only in isolated cases - they were saboteurs' weapons. By the end of the war, the Germans finally realized this, and they began to throw out telecontrol equipment from the B-IV teletanks, and instead plant a couple of fellows with 10,5 cm recoilless gun. In this capacity, the B-IV could indeed pose a real threat to medium and heavy tanks. According to the Japanese, it did not find any combat use, although there were also a lot of plans there.
              1. mat-vey
                mat-vey 20 November 2021 12: 01
                Big merci ... but I already met and got acquainted with this, but about three years ago ... so I revived-refreshed wink ... But the video still gives away with hack ...
                PySy ... Belyaev slightly hooked on this topic in his "Master of the World" ...
  2. riwas
    riwas 20 November 2021 07: 06
    Self-propelled mine "Goliath" - German self-propelled tracked land mine. It was controlled by wire for a distance of up to 12 km (off-road up to 8 km) and carried 100 kg of explosives with a total weight of 430 kg of the mine. Armor - 10 mm. 12 h.p. the gasoline engine allowed a maximum speed of 11,5 km / h. Combat use showed low efficiency of the Goliath self-propelled mine. Plus, the Goliath wasn't cheap.

    In addition, there were other developments in Germany.
    So, the radio-controlled mine transporter Sd.Kfz.301 was intended to deliver charges with a set timer to enemy pillboxes and minefields for their subsequent detonation.

    Self-propelled engineering British ammunition Great Panjandrum ("Big Shot"). It was created as a means to destroy German strongholds and destroy barriers and concrete walls 3 meters high and more than 2 meters thick during the Allied landing in Normandy with a launch from a ship.
    Externally, the structure looked like a large empty coil from under the cable - a central cylinder 1 m in diameter and 2 m high and two wheels at the edges of the cylinder 3 m in diameter.
    A warhead weighing 1 ton was located in the central cylinder, and the total weight of the "coil" was 1,8 tons. The warhead had an inertial fuse that was triggered when it stopped abruptly. The ammunition was set in motion by 72 powder jet engines mounted on the rims of the wheels.
    The ammunition was not accepted for service due to unresolved shortcomings: disruption from the attachment of jet engines and a large deviation of the "coil" from the specified trajectory.

    In the USSR, in 1934, under the code "Titan", a remote-controlled tank TT-26 was developed. On the eve of the war, 56 units were manufactured. One of the modifications, based on the TT-27 tankette, was capable of carrying a TNT charge of up to 500 kilograms with a fuse delay of up to 15 minutes. TT-27 brought the device to enemy targets and retreated to a safe distance. An experimental batch of TT-27s, controlled by wire, were released, which were successfully used in the breakthrough of the Mannerheim line.
    1. Crowe
      Crowe 20 November 2021 11: 23
      Self-propelled engineering British ammunition Great Panjandrum ("Big Shot")
      Eh, why did you not present photographs for everyone to see - this is a must see !!
      The ammunition was not accepted for service due to unresolved deficiencies
      Let's face it - "this is a fiasco, bro!" By the way, here is an article about this miracle of engineering on "VO"
    2. mat-vey
      mat-vey 20 November 2021 12: 05
      Do you have any information about the use of such a technique in breaking the blockade of Leningrad?
  3. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 20 November 2021 11: 19
    Curious and very rare, for obvious reasons, device. About three years ago, I already talked a little about it in my article "Museum of American Armored Vehicles. Long Island". There is also a small video there.