Military Review

The strangest tanks: "Wallpaper"

What are the designers capable of having received carte blanche? Flying equipment, 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 epicycloid "Wallpaper".

Many battles of the First World War were positional. On the Eastern Front, the confrontation between the parties without a significant superiority of forces could last for months. Sooner or later, one of the armies grew and with the help of a breakthrough forced the enemy to retreat, but another potential way to influence the situation could be the invention of a siege machine.

For the Russian army, the time of the First World War was not easy. The western border of the Russian Empire was guarded by several fortresses. The troops fought both for their own and for the enemy fortifications, and at the turn of 1914-1915 were able to take the fortress of Przemysl. At the end of March 1915, she fell, and already at the beginning of May, the Germans launched a breakthrough in Gorlitsa. The main formations of the Russian army at that moment were in the Carpathians - the situation was critical. At the same time, a letter from Lvov came to the office of Nicholas II with the note “personally for the emperor”.

The letter, signed by Ivan Fedorovich Semchishin, presented a work entitled "Project for a car before breaking trenches and enemy fortresses or epicycloid" Oboi ". “Whenever we had some kind of large armored barrel or roller that can be turned in the directions we have indicated, inside a motor driven by a motor, we could drive it over the enemies,” the author described his idea in this way. The letter, written with errors, but with enthusiasm, was not ignored. The original project was transferred to the Main Military-Technical Directorate of the Russian Empire.

Semchishin's idea was unlike hundreds of others. The vehicle was 930 meters long and 650 meters high. In theory, she could just drive forward, crushing buildings, manpower and everything that gets in the way under her. The engines located inside were supposed to raise the flywheel, thanks to which "Oboi" would roll on the ground at speeds up to 321 km / h. It was also proposed to install heavy artillery at the tops of the ellipsoid.

Inside Semchishin divided the car into 2 levels. The lower one was the engine compartment, and the upper one looked like a real city with branched sewers, gas pipelines, ventilation, electricity, and even living quarters and warehouses. The armored ark was designed for several hundred people.

The GVTU rejected the project, and there were several reasons for that. First, the difficulties with disguising and protecting such an invention during construction, since it is almost impossible not to notice it from the air, and for defense it would be necessary to organize an entire air defense area. The second problem would be the giant's unpredictable behavior. Heading for the enemy, he could easily crush both settlements with civilians and military buildings. Neither the "Wallpaper" routes, nor the ways to distract the enemy's attention were worked out. In the end, according to Semchishin's version, the thickness of the vehicle's armor was supposed to reach 100 mm, but taking into account the declared dimensions, it would simply crumple under its own weight. Meanwhile, historians are sure that the movers that could set this giant in motion simply do not exist. Even casting huge metal flywheels and connecting rods without defects would be extremely difficult.

After Ivan Semchishin's idea was rejected, the connection with the inventor was interrupted. However, this did not prevent him from entering history military engineering of Russia. The Oboi project has no analogues and, most likely, remains the largest designed combat vehicle that was not built in metal. According to experts, if the ellipsoid had been brought to mind by professionals, it would have made no less impression on the battlefield than the appearance of the first tanks, and it certainly would have become one of the loudest sensations for a whole century to come.

For more details about the "Wallpaper" epicycloid, see the video from Wargaming.


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  1. 28st region
    28st region 4 January 2022 06: 24
    There is a clear lack of topics. It's a pity.
    1. Hagalaz
      Hagalaz 4 January 2022 08: 01
      Why don't you correct this omission? And joke about an interesting, informative article, so that everyone would have a bang! Or "the string broke, but the pen is blunt?" ©
      I was curious, did not know about such a project, albeit unrealizable.
      1. Mikhail3
        Mikhail3 4 January 2022 10: 32
        The volunteer movement is great. You plow freehand, and those who have to do this work receive fat rewards) Everyone is happy. The only bad thing is that the volunteer is unstable. First, enthusiasm, and then it somehow ... somehow stops gushing. Against the background of fat happy faces of those "who are supposed to." Strange, isn't it?
        1. Hagalaz
          Hagalaz 4 January 2022 11: 33
          And the one who should, who is fat and happy, who is this? And what fatty reward is it, war, al piecework?
          1. Mikhail3
            Mikhail3 4 January 2022 18: 09
            Site employees receive a salary. This is how everything is arranged here) You cannot professionally cooperate with the site without being on the staff. Articles here are written by professionals) Well, whoever receives a salary must work it out.
        2. Hagalaz
          Hagalaz 4 January 2022 20: 13
          The idea is clear. Then it's really weird. It’s strange, where does these fat and happy people have to do with it, and what does it have to do with volunteers and volunteers at all? The method and source of determining the fat content and contentment of those "who are supposed to" are not clear. Probably I have not been on the site for a long time and I do not see what you see.
          A volunteer, is he a volunteer? As a volunteer, he is an ideological person, knowingly acts against the background and in spite of the fat and contented.
          I also liked the definition of "gush". Capacious. I once saw a sewer breakthrough, well, it's a pure fountain. And of course there is a fountain as an architectural structure. It looks like, but what is the content!
          I believe that when criticizing, you need to either offer something different, of better quality, or justify your criticism. In this way, you can, if not get hold of, then gain the respect of the audience, hone the pen and show the bold and contented what they are. And then you look (depending on the goal) and be among those who are supposed to.
          1. Mikhail3
            Mikhail3 4 January 2022 20: 21
            Blah blah blah ... not very funny. Weak delusional generator, it is necessary to clean the piston and kingpin. Overall bullshit)
            1. Hagalaz
              Hagalaz 4 January 2022 20: 24
              Yes Yes. "I am an eagle, all the rest are deer." This is as usual laughing ..,.
  2. lelik613
    lelik613 4 January 2022 06: 24
    And what did Bekhterev say to this?
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 4 January 2022 20: 43
      He would say - Go for it! laughing

  3. alex neym_2
    alex neym_2 4 January 2022 07: 03
    "And what did Bekhterev say to that?"
    Everything is at the level of fiction according to H.G. Wells.
  4. Luminman
    Luminman 4 January 2022 07: 03
    Quote: 28st region
    There is a clear lack of topics. It's a pity.

    And why is this not a topic for you?
  5. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 4 January 2022 10: 37
    Steampunk (and this is exactly the idea of ​​steampunk) is efficient if two conditions are met. Firstly, in the presence of fundamentally indestructible, albeit heavy, material. And of course, in the presence of an inexhaustible source of energy. Spheres with steam at a pressure of hundreds of thousands of atmospheres, "sympathetic coal" for steam engines, etc.
    It's a pity that there is nothing like that, I love steampunk ideas ...
  6. Evil troll
    Evil troll 4 January 2022 13: 10
    In principle, this crap would probably float. Especially spinning at a speed of 321 km / h.
  7. aries2200
    aries2200 4 January 2022 18: 36
    Ukrainians will build, to take DONBASS, they dug the sea in due time ...........
  8. Mylenef
    Mylenef 5 January 2022 08: 44
    How to translate the word "Wallpaper" in this case?
    I also saw in the documentary called the tank "Thunder-wallpaper"