Military Review

Artillery tanks Country of the Soviets

Arttanki somehow slipped past the attention of many lovers stories BTT, we want from the time of its appearance for a decade riveted to itself the most attention in many countries and at all levels.

This was natural, since in 20-30-ies the main weapons tank in his fight against infantry was considered a machine gun. To fight with their own kind, a small-caliber anti-tank gun was used, the power of which was clearly not enough to crush the concealed firing points and engineering structures. And all tank theorists really wanted the tank units to be self-sufficient in their actions for all possible applications. Therefore, it was in the early thirties in all countries that all kinds of tanks began to be born, designed to solve the widest class of tasks, including artillery reinforcement tasks.

Actually the emergence of artillery tanks in 1928-1935. was not a surprise. Even during the First World War, the ideologists of French tank design came to the conclusion that the armament of Renault tanks was too weak to fight with concealed firing points and decided to release some tanks as self-propelled guns of support with 47- or 57-mm caliber. However, these plans were not implemented. And after the end of the war, in the classification of BTT, a cell appeared specifically for such machines, which were called “artillery tanks”. The definition of "artanks", widespread in the USSR, stated: "... Modern artillery tanks are tanks fully or partially reserved, the main weapon of which is an increased caliber gun mounted in a rotating turret, or without it ... intend for artillery escort tanks , and firing at detected targets, mainly from the scene, from closed or open police behind the line of attack. ”

One of the first necessity of such a tank was understood by the Soviet commanders who analyzed the events during the conflict on the CER (autumn, 1929). So deputy. beginning Lapin headquarters, drawing up his devastating letter about the shortcomings of tanks on the CER. wrote: "... Among the main shortcomings of these expensive and useless toys, it should be added that the power of the cannon installed in these tanks is no good not only for firing on fortifications, but also making unsuitable for shooting the fleet masses of enemy soldiers ... If we it’s like to find a place for installing at least an anti-assault cannon, or another three-inch one ... ”

His opinion on weapons was not original. This was indicated in their letters and reports by S.Vastresor. V. Blucher. D.Antonov and many others. Therefore, already at the beginning of 1930, the DNII received a decree on "bringing the robot in haste to create a fire support tank for mechanized connections." At the same time, it was prescribed to take the “76-mm regimental cannon of a new type” (meaning Sample 1927 by MS) as a weapon, and as a chassis “to make the maximum use of the well-developed small T-18 tank.” I guess that to realize this wish was not so simple. However, at the end of May, the designer of the DNII designer KM Ivanov proposed a project that most customers liked and 11 June 1930 his project was signed for manufacturing. Soon, work on the ACS was stopped in favor of creating the same machine, but on the T-19 chassis.

The history of ordeals over T-19 has not yet been properly described, but today we are only interested in the fact that they (these ordeals) have ended in nothing. Already 13 February 1931 of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR, having heard the report of I. Khalepsky on the progress of work on new tanks, decided to accept the “VIKkers type B-6 X-VUMX tank” into service with the armored forces of the Red Army as “... a tank of combined arms and units and also as a tank for the Bronesil SC ”. This tank received an index T-26.

Very interesting for the Soviet side was the fact that the tank purchased from Vickers was one of the triplex, which also included a “fire support tank” armed with an 47-mm cannon. However, the 47-MM caliber was deemed insufficient by our specialists and the 19 March 1931 of the Bolshevik design bureau, together with the DNIH and the VAMM Academy, were promptly proposed to develop and submit the XTNUMX project in the no later than 7 November. B-1931 with or without 26-mm gun in a rotating turret. ” At the same time, the task of creating an "artillery escort with a rotating turret" was assigned to the KhPZ tank department, which was engaged in the development of serial production of BT-76 tanks.

A variant of the T-26 not an undercarriage with a cannon in the hull (SU-1) was presented on time, but it revealed a large number of flaws and, in the opinion of the military, a small angle of horizontal guidance. Even without seeing the version with a rotating tower, many preferred it to him, however, none of the design teams working on it, did not fit the project in time, although everything was sick with turret artillery tanks at that time.

The first in this race was the team of the UMM RKKA design and test bureau under the direction of N. Dyrenkov, who already at the beginning of 1932 proposed the design of the D-38 tank, which was the BT-2 hull, with some nodes from the original Christy tank (such the tank was in the bureau) with a wooden mock-up of the turret mounted on it, in which the 76-mm Garford anti-assault cannon was mounted (the “anti-assault cannon of the Sample 1910 g”).

In general, the layout made a good impression, and the tower installation was ordered to Izhora plant in two versions - welded from flat armor plates and partially stamped "streamlined" for further tests on T-26 and BT-2 tanks.

The stamped turret was made earlier and, being mounted on the BT-2 tank, already in March 1932 was subjected to tests by hacking and firing. But because of the large recoil and overreaction to the epaulet, the tests had to be stopped "until the readiness of the new 76-mm tank gun of the shortened recoil." Instead of the shots planned for testing 200, only 50 was made.

The first tests of the “improved welded turret”, which received the A-43 index, were held at the NIAP from November 26 to December 5 1932. The tower was installed on the redesigned hull of the T-26 sneaker. The large size of the service circle (shoulder strap) of the tower made it necessary to increase the length of the T-26 turret box back, which led to the installation of the stern sheet obliquely.

Artillery tanks Country of the Soviets
Tank T-26 with A-43 tower N. Dyrenkova during a demonstration to UMM representatives.

Tank T-26 with a tower N. Dyrenkova A-43 on the side of the Leningrad Arsenal. The photo clearly shows the slope of the stern leaf of the turret box.

Tests have revealed a large number of shortcomings, both to the design of the tower, and in the design of the gun. The unsuccessful design of the shoulder strap made it necessary to apply excessive efforts on the flywheel of the turning mechanism, especially when moving the tower from its place. It was not possible to install the regimental cannon into the turret because of the excessive length of the rollback (up to 900 mm). Reducing the rollback by applying the muzzle brake was not allowed by the ALIA. Therefore, the L-43 turret with a cannon arr came to these tests. 1910

At the beginning of 1933, in the same tower a new 76-mm KT gun, mod. 1927 / 32, which was a “shelf” with a reduced rollback length to 500 mm. The design of the tower was slightly modified, but no major improvements followed. Especially oppressed narrowness in the fighting compartment. So, when making a shot, the loader (he is a machine gunner) literally had to press into the right wall of the tower and, “interrupting any possibility of firing from a machine gun, press his left hand to him ...” (so as not to hit the rolling breech). Mechanized descent gave frequent failures, and it was impossible to make a shot from a cord in such a cramped position. The angle of fire from a turret machine gun was useless. Review - extremely limited. The lack of ventilation could lead to the crew couch when firing with the tower’s doors closed. At the end of these tests, the tower was finally rejected by UMM.

Tank T-26 with the tower N. Dyrenkova A-43 on the territory of the Leningrad Arsenal, rear view

The fighting compartment of the tower A-43. Well visible cramped tower

Product realization D-38 with a stamped turret on the chassis BT-2

But the idea of ​​installing in a light tank 76-mm gun still did not refuse. Even during the tests of the Dyrenkov tower, when its main drawbacks became clear, the design of a turret under the 76-mm KT gun. 1927 / 32 commissioned the plant to them. Voroshilov. The new tower was shown to the representatives of ANII and UMM in November-December 1932 and was generally approved. Installation of 76-mm guns KT in the new increased turret of the T-26 tank received the index KT-26. The 1933 year was followed by an order for the 5 T-26-KT tanks (that is, equipped with a new turret), better known as the T-26-4, three of which were to be armed with a KT gun, and two - with a new 76-mm gun PS-3.

The PS-3 gun was also tested in T-26-4 in October 1933. In the design of the gun set-up, P. Syachintov proposed technical innovations for the domestic tank construction: foot descent, mount for traveling, “double optics”, original turning mechanism, etc. .. and also proposed to develop for the T-26-4 a paired installation of a machine gun and a new wide-angle optical sight. But UMM refused to use Sparky for guns of a caliber higher than 45-mm (by the way, this refusal actually existed until the appearance of SMK tanks, T-100 and KB), and the rest of the proposals were ignored. Tests of the PS-3 in the sneaker T-26-4 led to numerous failures of the tank: deformation of the shoulder strap, landing springs, deflection of the tank roof. The tank was disabled and it needed factory repair. After examining the damage caused by the installation of the PS-3 in the T-26-4 tower, they decided to refuse in favor of the “regiment” arr. 1927 / 32

Despite the decision to produce a trial series of T-26-4 tanks, this order was not fulfilled for a long time, because UMM in 1933 did not deliver running gear to the manufactured turrets with guns, and the only tank tested at the NIBT test site with a tower of substandard armor stood broken until 1934.

In September 1934, the order for the T-26-4 was finally completed and five cars, all armed with CT instruments, arrived at the troops, where during the September 19 exercises, gas broke through the gate into the fighting compartment due to the destruction of the sleeve. This defect of the gun and the liner was in no way connected with the new turret, but the latter’s reputation was somewhat stained. Order for the production of 50 pcs. The T-26-4 on the 1935 was canceled and the tank began to give way to the AT-1 turretless “artillery tank” with a more powerful PS-3.

However, the "artillery" version of the BT tank lived its own life. The unsuccessful tests of the D-38 type and the keen desire of the military to have artillery escorts in the mechanic units led to the fact that in 1933 of the UMM of the Red Army agreed with the arguments of T-2-O KhPZ on modifying the hull structure so that the tower can be installed like an 45 mm, so with the 76-mm gun. 1 May 1934, the first model of the BT-7, armed with an 76-mm gun in an elliptical turret, was put to the test. However, in the series it was not made for a number of reasons, among which not the last place was occupied by the narrowness in the tower. In April, 1934, one standard tower from the T-26-4, arrived at KhPZ, which had already “studied its documentation for six months in order to be able to be installed on BT. Such a decision could suit everyone, because unification was one of the pillars of the Soviet military economy. Changes were made to the design of the tower epaulet to strengthen the design of the epaulet and unify it with epaulets BT-5 and BT-7, the roof was reinforced, installation of the stern machine gun was provided.

In October, 1935 was a new tank, which received the index BT-7A entered the test at the KhPZ factory site. Despite the favorable conclusion on the test results, the production of the tank was postponed until the 19 September 1934 PP case proceedings. But already at the beginning of 1936 g, the proceedings were over, and the leading series of BT-7 type artillery tanks left the factory gates 31 August 1937

Total for the time of mass production of BT-7A - until January 10! 938, 155 units were made of them, but customer representatives accepted only 123 units, and no artillery pieces arrived for the remaining 32 tanks. Within a year, the plant received another 10 KT guns, “apparently from repair,” as military engineer Sorkin wrote, and the total shipment of “artillery tanks” was 133 units.

With 1938, the interest in “artillery tanks” has waned somewhat. However, from the experience of the war in Finland, they returned to this issue again in the development of a “universal tank for the T-50. But that's another story.

"Help T-35 / 1
19 April 1934

1. The status of the installation of 76-mm tank gun arr. 1927 / 32 in the T-26 / T-E6-CT /
In 1933, the gun arr. 1927 / 32 according to the drawings of Comrade. Zabarovsky was tested in a T-26 tank in a tower designed by comrade. Dyrenkov. The tower was rejected by UMM on the basis of a set of characteristics, and the design of the new tower was entrusted to the head. Voroshilov im ... New improved tower was tested on the T-26 tank in September 1932 G. and was approved. 5 tanks ordered installation series 3 pcs. with gun arr. 27 / 32 and 2 pcs. with a gun PS-3. Tanks should be manufactured and handed over in May. of the year...

Work on the final design of the towers was completed, but it is impossible to fully test these systems, since the towers are ready, but the UMM did not order tanks for them in due time, and one sample tested from Moscow is still up to now in a completely faulty condition ...

In addition to the T-26, improved art. CT scan systems Tov. Zabarovsky is also ordered today for heavy tanks T-28 and T-35 - total 120 units. on “Cr. Putilovce "..

Thus, the Commission believes that, despite the fact that the CT system arr. 1927 / 32 is a transition and not adopted for service. UMM does not make the mistake of ordering it to arm modern tanks ...

Vrid chairman Filatov.

Tank T-26-4 with the tower of the plant. Voroshilov, armed with a gun arr. 1927 / 32 CT

HEAD OF MANAGEMENT MDTCHDSTI ARTILLERY GAU a copy of the director of the plant "MASHINOSTROY" them VOROSHILOVA Leningrad, xnumx pv No. 12

I inform you that five T-26-4 machines under the 76-mm tank gun are manufactured at the Voroshilov plant according to updated drawings. The deadline for submission of towers from Izhora w-yes - 10 / IX ...

Installation will finish in September. I ask your instructions to the Red Putilovets plant to provide art installations in the form in which they serve them for T-28 tanks ...

Early 3 control UMM Red Army Sviridov

b] DISPOSAL [/ b]

Despite the fact that the BT-7A tank is a special machine that is capable of firing direct and indirect fire, many commanders of tank divisions still do not want to take this into account, turning the artillery tank from a vehicle of artillery gain mainly to a vehicle for themselves .. .

It is clear that the tower of this tank gives more space to the commander, but it is impossible to turn an expensive special combat vehicle into a commander's vehicle, not capable of suppressing enemy firing points, nickname to crushing the lines of his defense ...


18.XI. 1938

TTX CT guns arr. 1927 / 32

Barrel length full mm / klb ...


...... 1076

24 ........

Angle vert. guidance, hail .....

-5 / + 24,5

Barrel weight with bolt, kg ......

230 ........

540 .......

Weight of sliding parts, kg ........

275 ........

Normal recoil length, mm. .

500 .......

525 .......

Early RP speed of the projectile, m / s

390 .......

Early speed b / b of the projectile, m / s.

371 .......

Direct shot range, m

400 .......

Firing range, m ........

...... 7600

The tank BT-7 A is armed with a KT gun, arr. 1927 / 32 on trial

The first version of the 5T-7 tank with an oval turret equipped with a 76-mm QD gun, 1927 / 32. and machine guns do
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  1. Denis
    Denis 5 June 2013 08: 34
    What did not remember about KV-2?
    The one that has the most artillery tank
    1. Skavron
      Skavron 5 June 2013 09: 31
      it is a masterpiece for its time
      it’s not even a tank, it’s a self-propelled howitzer with anti-shell armor.
      this is what happened after all the experiments of the 30s
      I think that the article did not set a goal to cover the entire spectrum of such armored vehicles, namely, it shows how it all began
    2. kotdavin4i
      kotdavin4i 5 June 2013 09: 52
      Good morning everyone. Probably the author introduced us to the first developments, so to speak, with attempts to quickly and cheaply create equipment to combat the enemy fortifications and personnel. KV-2 is a later model - when there were already quite a lot of developments and, most importantly, there was EXPERIENCE in the construction of heavy tanks.
  2. avt
    avt 5 June 2013 09: 25
    This is the answer to some comments that it was necessary to point heavy guns to the old chassis and ... Well, they set it, tried it. Soon the fairy tale affects, but not soon the thing is done, especially when you encounter specific design flaws and difficulties in the manufacturing process with a lack of equipment and qualified personnel.
    1. Kars
      Kars 5 June 2013 11: 01
      Quote: avt
      from, set, tried.

      There was no need to bother with the tower.
  3. teceitap
    teceitap 5 June 2013 11: 37
    and the Germans initially had the T-4 to support the infantry as an artillery tank
    1. Valentinv
      Valentinv 5 June 2013 18: 51
      This is StuH 42 with a 105mm cannon based on the T3 tank
  4. igordok
    igordok 5 June 2013 13: 10
    What only with the T-26 did not! soldier
    It is a pity that the year 1941 was already weak, and the resource for modernization is rather weak.
  5. Yemelya
    Yemelya 5 June 2013 22: 01
    It is clear that the tower of this tank gives greater scope to the commander

    What prevented the installation of towers of increased (or rather, not too narrow) size on all tanks, changing only weapons, with normal, round, hatches? Moreover, the T-46 was supposed to do so.
  6. shurup
    shurup 5 June 2013 23: 05
    Tolley will still be shoving Russian weapons into the Mistral.
  7. Andrey77
    Andrey77 6 June 2013 15: 10
    The article is good, but there is no comparison with competitors. The Germans did not immediately come up with Stg-III?
    The author writes: "Since 1938, interest in 'artillery tanks' has somewhat faded." And why? As far as I know, the field regulations have not changed. Why faded away? The reasons for the start of work you indicated in the article, but the termination of work? And what does "a little faded away" mean? Was the work stop order signed?
  8. svp67
    svp67 18 June 2013 12: 25
    Author Mikhail Svirin
    Well done. Personally from me "+". I am waiting for many more interesting works ...
  9. Alex
    Alex 17 September 2013 12: 54
    As always, excellent work by Mikhail Svirin. Buzuslovny "+" and expectation of new publications.
    And on the tanks. If, as can be seen from the site, the main problems arose due to the construction of the tower (and all the ensuing consequences), then why not give it up? Moreover, according to them
    intended for artillery escort of tanks, and firing at detected targets, mainly from a place, from closed or open police behind the line of attack.

    These are classic SPGs!
    Of course, the desire of the military to have an armored universal vehicle with powerful weapons is understandable. But if you can’t get it all at once, maybe you should sacrifice something? Or did the military consider the self-propelled guns with the cabin instead of the turret not independent combat units, but simply bad tanks? It is a pity, if so, then the Second World War would be met with a large number of self-propelled guns, which in the general assortment of BTT would perfectly complement the KV-2.