Military Review

Teletokanki USSR Second World

From an economic point of view, war involves the consumption of various resources, the most important and irreplaceable of which are people. It is a trained professional tanker that is the most valuable part of a combat vehicle. It is much easier and faster to make a new tank than to train a new crew.

Developing effective ways to evacuate a crew from a damaged tank, the designers came to a paradoxical decision - the crew that is not in it can leave the wrecked tank the fastest. We are talking, of course, about remotely controlled combat vehicles.

In 30-s of the last century, such machines were called teletankov. Teletank is a radio controlled tank made on the basis of a serial light tank. The main teletankov in the Soviet Union were TT-18 and TT-26, based on T-18 and T-26, respectively.


Teletokanki USSR Second World


For example, the 217-th separate tank battalion of the 30-th chemical tank brigade consisted of a pair of combat groups of T-26 tanks. In each pair there was a control tank, it was designated by the TU index, and the teletank itself was TT. In the tank TU in the crew was an operator who controlled the second car by radio. She could go a mile and a half ahead of the control tank and had a kind of weaponry. Such a tank could put a smoke screen - for this it was a special tank. The designers assumed that this tank could deliver closer to the enemy and spray chemical weaponwithout endangering the crew. A flamethrower was placed on it, which was also included by the team on the radio. There was a DT machine gun. And, finally, there was a special modification of the teletanka, which did not have a turret, but it had enhanced armor and a specially manufactured undercarriage, which was much more reliable than the serial T-26. With the help of such a tank to the enemy's bunker it was possible to deliver a special box protected by armor in millimeters 30. And in it - 500 kilograms of explosives. The team on the radio activated the bomb drop mechanism. From hitting the ground, the fuse was turned on with a delay of 15 minutes — during this time, the tank had to be moved backwards to a safe distance. The explosion of such a charge destroyed the most terrible reinforced concrete pillboxes on four floors down.

In the photo: tanker who fought on the TT-26 Viktor Scherbitsky next to the T-26 tank, on the basis of which the USSR created the teletanki.

Traction and levers of the tank were driven by pneumatics: the compressor worked, pumping air into a special cylinder, and from there compressed air was applied to the manipulators' pistons. The process was controlled by electromechanical relays switched on by radio commands. Receiving equipment allowed to control sixteen parameters. The operator worked from the console, which had about 20 buttons on the front panel, four in a row. The first button "Tovs" - preparation for the execution of one of the combat commands, the second button "Fire" - flamethrowing (or contamination of the area), the fourth button - "Smoke", setting the smoke screen. Further, in the second, third and fourth rows, buttons are located that control the TT tank. The first button is the engine start, the second is a small gear, from the third to the sixth - gears from first to fourth, the seventh is in reverse, the eighth is tower to the left, the ninth is tower to the right, the tenth is tank turn to the left, the eleventh button is to the right. To the right of the buttons on the front panel of the console was a red lamp - the control of switching on the console. At the same level, on the left in the corner - the switch to transfer work from one radio channel to another. At the same time, the tank could also be controlled by a regular driver, inside all the standard T-26 controls were kept. Externally, the teletanki differed from the serial ones by the presence of two armored glasses on the roof of the turret, which protected from destruction the conclusions of the pin antennas and their isolation when hit by fire from small arms.

In an effort to provide for everything, the designers have built into the control system even protection against "machine revolt." It was possible to catch the tank, open a special box at the back and shut off the engine using the usual method of shorting to ground. In the event that the TT exits the reach zone of the TU tank, the device of the “stop” command was automatically activated in the TTN in 30 seconds. The tank stopped and waited with the working engine of the next command from the TU, which by that time should approach the TT at a distance of stable radio channel activity (two channels — HF and VHF — were used between which it was possible to switch).

In the Soviet Union there were only two teletank battalions. One of them was located near Rivne, and the Germans bombed it in the first months of the war. The second was based near Yaroslavl. For some time they took care of it - the equipment was secret.

But during the battle for Moscow, the equipment was removed, the crews were imprisoned, and the former telethon women went into battle.

Teletank based experiments were carried out on the basis of BT-7.

Refueling a BT-7 tank.

In the Soviet-Finnish war 1939-40gg. for the first time in stories Soviet troops used radio-controlled tanks XTT-26 (chemical teletank) - 26, in some sources it is called OTT-26 (flame-thrower))

The second and, apparently, the last case of the use of teletank occurred in the 1942 year near Sevastopol. February 27 our troops used remote-controlled wedges. These were old T-27 type vehicles, withdrawn from the combat units by that time and remaining only in training units.

Armament from tankettes was removed, and instead they placed a powerful charge of TNT. Managed tanketki by wire. Remote control equipment was created in Moscow at the plant No. 627 of the People's Commissariat of the Electrical Industry under the guidance of military engineer 3, rank A. P. Kazantsev. Later Kazantsev became a famous science fiction writer. 6 of such tankettes was delivered to the Crimea. In the morning of February 27 wedges released on the German position. 2 wedges exploded in enemy positions, another 2 exploded before approaching the target, and 2 destroyed by German artillery fire.

More remote-controlled tanks were not used in World War II. After the war, the GBTU experimented with the T-34-85 remote-controlled tank, but they ended in complete failure. These experiments, as well as the use of radio-controlled tankettes by the Wehrmacht in 1942 – 1945, showed that the creation of a cyborg-tank was realistic, but at the same time the teletank lost orders of magnitude to the standard tank by the criterion of efficiency / cost. So, the use of cyborg tanks is possible only in special cases: for sabotage, demining, radiation reconnaissance in highly contaminated areas, etc.
Teletanki and on the basis of other machines were created - at the same time, perhaps the most impressive was the project of a telemechanical breakthrough tank based on a heavy five-towed T-35.

T-35 - failed teletank.

Similar developments were carried out in other countries. In Germany, as a "land torpedo" acted wedge with the loud name "Goliath", it is also a "special machine 303". The use of wire control made the machine unreliable. As a result, instead of using the “Goliath” for its intended purpose during the battles for Berlin, it was artworked and turned into a wedge heel.

Tank (self-propelled mine) in the Museum of armored vehicles in Kubinka.

In 1942 in England, they began to test their version of the "land torpedo". The machine, called the "Scorpion", had a remote control. She moved through eight wheels and, interestingly, was floating. However, further experiments then the British did not get it.

The concept of guided tanks was a product of positional warfare. However, the Second World War showed that modern military operations were rather maneuverable in nature, for which the reaction speed and capabilities of the teletank were insufficient. Up until the end of the 20th century, the Soviet lunar rovers were the only, although the most prominent representatives of the teletanks.


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  1. Vodrak
    Vodrak 31 January 2013 08: 04
    I think that with the current development of electronics, teletanks are a normal thing for a war. There are UAVs, why not be BEST?
    Get out of WoT players, adapt controls, and how many ready tankers are also free.
    1. Poppy
      Poppy 31 January 2013 11: 22
      no, teletank is initially ideologically damaged
    2. Kibb
      Kibb 1 February 2013 14: 05
      Alas, the idea of ​​a telehandler is vicious in principle, as well as a full-fledged UAV-destroyer or support aircraft. Unfortunately, in the foreseeable future, both in the tank, in the fighter, and in the attack aircraft, people will have to sit for someone to prove. The success of the electronics is impressive, of course, but the question of making a decision remained with the person
      1. mkpda
        mkpda 5 February 2013 13: 45
        And what's the difference where the crew sits if the combat qualities are maintained?
  2. Vanek
    Vanek 31 January 2013 08: 10
    T-35 - failed teletank.

    In view of the size and number of guns?
    1. Vodrak
      Vodrak 31 January 2013 08: 28
      I think that it was simply inconvenient for them to manage one person.
    2. Dikremnij
      Dikremnij 31 January 2013 11: 57
      The T-35 was generally an unsuccessful tank, not that a "teletank"
  3. borisst64
    borisst64 31 January 2013 11: 34
    Teletank has no use in the modern army, let alone the 30s of the last century.
    1. Poppy
      Poppy 31 January 2013 11: 52
      and will never have
      1. Suvorov000
        Suvorov000 31 January 2013 11: 54
        It's a pity, I would love to manage such a tank while sitting in a chair while drinking another cup of coffee)
        1. cth; fyn
          cth; fyn 31 January 2013 12: 33
          Well, if you couldn’t deal with the whole tank feel
      2. Vodrak
        Vodrak 31 January 2013 11: 58
        You are so vain.
        In aviation, UAVs are now actively gaining ground.
        The main thing is not to be like in the movie "Terminator".
        So that the technique does not rebel
        1. Poppy
          Poppy 31 January 2013 15: 30
          tasks are completely different for tanks and UAVs
  4. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 31 January 2013 12: 30
    The idea is a good one, it’s interesting to see what will happen in a modern version, take the T-72 so it will be refitted, especially since now uninhabited modules are widely used, the control of which is much like a game.
    1. Poppy
      Poppy 31 January 2013 15: 25
      But here is the opinion about the “robotic tanks” of the famous tank designer Yu. P. Kostenko: “Consider a hypothetical tankless tank. The armament of this tank in terms of fire capabilities should correspond to the crew tank, but the loading process should be fully automated, and firing must be ensured by radio commands coming from outside ...

      The armor protection of a tankless tank should be equivalent to that of the crew, and the chassis should correspond to the serial tank in all indicators of maneuverability and cross-country ability, provided that all these indicators will be provided when controlling movement from the outside by radio. Experience shows that in order to make marches in a crewless tank, the driver’s workplace must be preserved, since when driving in a convoy to conceal the movement of troops, radio communications are not allowed, that is, the driver in the vehicle must drive the car.

      Thus, the chassis of a non-crewed tank should almost completely retain the design of the crew tank and additionally be equipped with the following new elements:

      automatic motion control system; receiving and transmitting television system for transmitting the image of the terrain to the command post to the operator when remotely controlling the movement of the tank (with optical characteristics of the image no worse than those that are provided to the driver in the crew tank);

      automatic sensors for taking parameters of the power plant and its systems with the transmission of data by radio to the command post.

      The installation of these mechanisms and systems may require an increase in the internal volume of the case and will lead to a sharp complication of the conditions for maintenance and repair of the chassis.

      Reducing the volume inside the fighting compartment of a tankless tank is hardly feasible. It is known that in a serial crew tank with automatic loading guns in the fighting compartment to the left and to the right of it there are very limited volumes in which in winter uniforms it can be very difficult to accommodate only one person each (commander and gunner). These volumes cannot be occupied for equipment placement, since they are necessary for technological and operational reasons. ”[13] (That is, there should be a place for fitters and maintenance).

      “The time required for the maintenance of one tank after a battle will be at least nine to ten hours of intense physical labor.

      Thus, in order to maintain combat readiness, each robotic tank should be assigned a certain crew of at least three people who possess the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for maintenance and repair of the tank and its automatic systems. These three people should almost always be with the tank, with the exception of the time spent in battle or use in exercises. To this end, each robotic tank must be given a special caterpillar vehicle with at least ballistic protection and anti-personnel weapons. At the same time, the crew of the repairmen should have constant automatic radio communication with the robotic tank in order to receive information about the current coordinates of the position of the tank and its technical condition.
      1. Poppy
        Poppy 31 January 2013 15: 27
        Another, more complex, side of the issue is the control of the tank in battle. Two problems are interconnected here: one is technical (automation of tank control), the other is ergonomic (human-tank system interaction), each of which has its own characteristics. So, for example, control automation can be implemented in two ways:

        1. The control system of the robotic tank is autonomous, fully automated, with artificial intelligence. It independently collects information on the state of the battlefield (on the terrain for developing a route, on the nature and location of enemy weapons for their destruction or shelter from their influence), determines the most tank-dangerous targets and coordinates the distribution and order of destruction of these targets between tanks at least platoon scale. The latter is explained by the fact that a tank platoon, as a rule, is assigned a single combat mission, and if all robotic tanks have the same automatic control systems with the same artificial intelligence, then each platoon tank from ten different targets on the battlefield will choose the same one for priority destruction target instead of platoon destroying three different targets simultaneously.

        In this example, we see that starting from a platoon, each unit must have a robotic tank that, in addition to the artificial intelligence of the crew of the linear tank, also has artificial intelligence at the level of the platoon commander or, accordingly, the company or battalion. ”[14]

        At present, “it is fundamentally impossible to create artificial intelligence, equivalent to the intelligence of a tank crew, in order to control even a single tank in battle.

        2. The control system of the robotic tank is remote, by radio and television, by operators located at the command post (CP). Moreover, the characteristics of the VHF radio station and television are such that reliable communication is provided only within the line of sight, i.e., the control gear can be located from a controlled tank, depending on terrain conditions, at a distance of two to five kilometers. Consequently, the following requirements may be imposed on the KP: the KP must be self-propelled (SKP) (tank combat operations in depth, as a rule, significantly exceed 5 km); UPC must have armor and mine protection, as well as protection against weapons of mass destruction no lower than that of the tank. During offensive battles, the UPC, escorting the tanks, will have to overcome partially suppressed enemy defense points with separate active centers of resistance, so the UPC must have at least a complex of anti-personnel weapons. Due to the fact that the structure of the UPC units must fully comply with the structure of the tank units, during operation and combat use, each remotely controlled tank must have one UPC.
        1. Poppy
          Poppy 31 January 2013 15: 28
          Based on the foregoing, it is possible to determine the total number of UPC crew. Directly on it, as shown by an analysis conducted earlier, there can not be less than three people (driver, gunner and commander of the car). The same number of tank control operators should be. Thus, the number of jobs in the UPC should be at least six: three crew jobs for managing the UPC and three for managing a crewless tank ...

          Thus, the concept of “crewless tank” is implemented in the form of two vehicles with a crew of 6 people. Moreover, each of these machines individually is much more complicated and more expensive than a conventional crew tank. The technical personnel for servicing these machines are required, respectively, 2 times more, fuel consumption and the need for spare parts also increases by 2 times, but the combat effectiveness of such a complex will be significantly lower than the efficiency of a conventional tank with a crew of three, since it will satisfactorily solve ergonomic issues in the CPSU, as they are solved in an ordinary crew tank, it is impossible. Moreover (according to foreign data), the perception of the outside world through television systems leads to spatial disorientation, especially in a real combat situation, and this problem is still unsolvable.

          It should be noted that using available means to hit UPC actively emitting radio signals (with a crew of 6 people) within five to eight kilometers from the front line is not difficult, and this will be easier than hitting a much smaller conventional crew tank on the battlefield.

          Let us pay attention to the following technical problem in the “crewless” version of the tank. In the T-64B tank at the crew’s workplaces there are 267 controls and information display facilities and about 50 more devices for automatic protection of electrical circuits. All this turns on, off, and functions under the influence of operators. In a “crewless” tank, human exposure should be replaced by automatic devices operating on radio commands from the outside with reliability corresponding to human capabilities. Given the specifics of the production, operation and combat use of tanks, it will not be possible to implement such a technical solution in the foreseeable future. In accordance with the foregoing, it should further consider the possibility of using robotic machines of only limited purpose to perform special tasks. "[15]

          I deliberately quoted such a long quote. This is a death sentence to the television toys. [16] Yu. P. Kostenko makes it clearly and competently. But let's see if at least one of his conclusions was the result of lengthy trials or complex mathematical calculations? This is just the logic of a healthy person. Kostenko’s writings analyze important problems of tank building, but here it can be compared to a boy who shouted: “And the king is naked!”
          1. Edgar
            Edgar 31 January 2013 18: 34
            Soviet technical thought of the 30s of the 20th century makes a very strange impression.
            after all, there have been successes in the creation of many samples, and very bold and original ones, but without useful ones. and nobody seemed to think about how to apply this technique real. here, apparently, the low educational level of the command of the Red Army, which did not allow to dismiss the meaningless proposals of the designers, and to support really promising work, apparently affected. after all, the Kurchevsky’s guns were created, which turned out to be useful, but no one thought about grenade launchers. created television tanks, developed projects of remotely controlled submarines (and from an airplane! what ), nobody was thinking about guided bombs. the use of even tele-tanks as demining machines did not occur to anyone.
          2. cth; fyn
            cth; fyn 1 February 2013 11: 47
            The installation of these mechanisms and systems may require an increase in the internal volume of the case and will lead to a sharp complication of the conditions for maintenance and repair of the chassis.

            On the contrary, the volume can even be reduced, since it will not be necessary to create a habitable volume for the crew and its controls from the inside, have you ever seen radio-controlled cars? there is a lot of free space when all panels and manometers, speedometers, panels and casing are removed.
            To complicate it, it will lead, but it’s better to delve into the equipment for 2-3 hours than to scrape off the remains of the crew.
            each platoon tank from a dozen different targets on the battlefield will choose the same target for priority destruction

            But this is nonsense, because they will interact with each other and distribute goals among themselves as a separation from people, tea scientists are also not fools and they will cut this chip, but so far there is no AI, it is impossible to judge about this.
            Moreover, the characteristics of the VHF radio station and television are such that reliable communication is provided only within the line of sight

            You yourself are not funny? these are the arguments of the 50s along the way when they couldn’t do normal electronics, science has already gone a long way and there is no need for direct line of sight, now the satellites from the earth are being controlled and receiving different commands they are perfectly executed.
            During offensive battles, the UPC, escorting the tanks, will have to overcome partially suppressed enemy defense points with separate active centers of resistance, so the UPC must have at least a complex of anti-personnel weapons.

            And you do not take into account that the UPC will follow the second wave of tanks or in it? and can these tanks be inhabited already?
            Thus, the number of jobs in the UPC should be at least six: three crew jobs for managing the UPC and three for managing a crewless tank ...
            again, a miscalculation can be done no more than 5, because UPC is essentially not a fighting vehicle, but an armored personnel carrier, therefore, a driver-mechanic and a gunner-commander + 3 tankmen.
            harder and more expensive than a conventional crew tank.
            here, too, I bet how much it costs to learn a tankman ??? and while already having combat experience, from battle to battle its price doubles!
            the combat effectiveness of such a complex will be significantly lower
            Are you laughing? People are gold! And we will still cut the techniques! Burn such a TT-72 Abrams and 4 Amers as unprecedented! And Abrams will burn such a TT-72 and what? tomorrow we will expose 10 TT-72s and this abrams thrown "Mango" from all sides will go nuts and again 4: 0!
            The T-64B tank has 267 bodies at crew workstations
            ABOUT! T-64 ??? Yes, I guessed (almost) that this is all the dregs that you turned 50s.
            In general, all your attempts can be reduced to a quote:
            The main thing is guns, and women will give birth to soldiers.

    2. ICT
      ICT 31 January 2013 15: 43
      Well, let’s say the principle of control is Israel has bulldozers, but such things also run somewhere in the same place, that is, it’s not a problem to make a tank on the remote control now
  5. trenkkvaz
    trenkkvaz 31 January 2013 12: 52
    Teletubbies. smile
  6. knn54
    knn54 31 January 2013 15: 31
    The first foreign countries were Japanese-http: //
    At that time, the real telecontrol distance did not exceed 500-1000 meters, and in clear weather. But targeted shooting from a machine gun was impossible, and firing at an area was ineffective.
    During the Battle of Kursk, Germans used a B-IV machine, weighing 4 tons and carrying a high explosive charge of 1 kg, to make wide passages in minefields. The driver had to drive to the edge of the minefield, turn on the remote control device, and run away. A high-explosive charge undermined all mines within a radius of 000 m. In total, the Germans used 50 such “mechanical sappers”, and quite successfully, a large minefield ceased to exist.
    Of the eight drivers, four were not enough frisky, so it has been difficult to find volunteers since then.
    PS In the 60s, a border guard (WWII participant) told me that the Germans used a captured flamethrower tank against a bunker, which, before that, had successfully repelled all attacks ...
    1. valiant
      valiant 31 January 2013 21: 38
      Sd.Kfz. 301 Borgward

      As part of the preparations for the invasion of the British Isles, German designers put on the water almost all their equipment. They paid rather serious attention to radio-controlled cars. In particular, Borgward IVB underwent amphibization. True, this was not a simple pontoon; to get a decent size, it was necessary to make the pontoons folding up. The result was a machine that theoretically was able to swim to the coast of England and bring a box of half-ton explosives to the fortifications, which should have been enough for any fortification. But, the landing did not take place and the car was left in a single test copy
    2. Alex
      Alex 20 October 2013 12: 23
      Quote: knn54
      In the 60's, a border guard (a WWII participant) told me that the Germans used a captured flamethrower tank against a bunker, which, before that, successfully repelled all attacks ...

      And what does the TV tank have to do with it? The effectiveness of flamethrowers against bunkers and bunkers is well known - for this they were done.
  7. dixicon
    dixicon 31 January 2013 17: 08
    So in fact, in the 90th on the 1st channel in the news they advertised our tank, a crewless
  8. valiant
    valiant 31 January 2013 21: 47
    it was possible to sign the 2nd photo:
    Lost in the region of height 65,5 teletank TT-26 from the 217th separate chemical tank battalion, February 1940. Two-color camouflage of the machine is clearly visible, as well as two antenna inputs on the roof of the tower - a part characteristic only for the TT-26
  9. EDW
    EDW 31 January 2013 21: 47
    Interesting information, thanks.
    As for the fact that such a technique is useless disagree.
    Such developments can save a lot of lives, however, as well as take away ... The labor costs and cumbersomeness of the control system is also a temporary phenomenon, the first computers also served dozens of people.

    Shl. I don't remember exactly, but it seems that a remotely controlled tank with a bulldozer hinge was used to eliminate the Chernobyl accident. And decades later, the Japanese, with all their robotics, did not find anything like this from their developments, only "Pokemon". laughing
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn 1 February 2013 11: 51
      Yes, but only he was Japanese and could not work in conditions of strong radiation pollution since radiation distorted the signal and people manually raked the roof of the engine room.
  10. Chebyran
    Chebyran 31 January 2013 23: 04
    I have experience in developing controlled robots. If you make a support robot, then a platform with a video camera and installed weapons is enough. The main problem is the speed of data transmission and processing. So now the main thing is to create software.
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn 1 February 2013 11: 52
      Oh are you into robot battles? pretty entertaining sight.
  11. dobr sosed
    dobr sosed 12 February 2013 23: 46
    development based on the T-80. The project was closed in the late 90s. In the pictures - a controlled tank, control panel, gunner’s place.
  12. Alex
    Alex 20 October 2013 12: 31
    For the 30s, the activity is as interesting as it is useless. And it did not give any developments for the future, except for negative results. And it could not give at that level of development of radio engineering (I generally keep quiet about electronics). Even with the current level of development of microelectronics, software, automation and robotization, there are no such full-fledged combat vehicles, there are only timid attempts to develop experimental samples, which are in a hurry to issue "to the mountain" for advertising purposes.

    Thanks to the author for the article. "+"
  13. Snoop
    Snoop 28 December 2013 22: 23
    I bought the book by Aleksey Isaev "Dubno 1941. The Greatest Tank Battle", there is a photo of the Germans in front of the T-26 teletank. And the author cites data that one battalion from the mechanized corps that took part in the counterattack was equipped, among other things, with teletanks.
  14. Snoop
    Snoop 4 January 2014 10: 22
    Here are the damaged Teletanks from the 22nd Mechanized Corps near Voynitsa.
  15. andrey_8
    andrey_8 April 22 2022 07: 45
    Critics forget the main thing, it's just a piece of iron, and people die from it. With large losses in such drones, you can significantly reduce your own human, only now it’s up to the command, what then, what now it doesn’t reach