Military Review

Unusual tanks of the USSR

With this article, we begin a new series of articles on unusual tanks and projects of Russia and the USSR.

We all know about serially produced tanks in the USSR: T-26, BT series tanks, the legendary T-34, EC-2 tanks, but few know that many tracked and wheeled armored vehicles were developed in the USSR for one reason or another did not go to the series. In this article we will look at some of them.

At the beginning of the 30 of the last century, tank building experienced rapid growth, the lessons of the First World War made us take a different look and appreciate the role of the tank on the battlefield, both as an independent combat unit and as part of a unit, forcing this type of terrible fighting vehicles to be reckoned with. The anti-bullet and further counter-shells, firepower and speed have influenced the military doctrines of all developed countries. The Soviet Union did not stand aside. Across the country in experimental design bureaus, under the guidance of talented engineers and designers, experimental samples were created, many of which remained on paper, in mock-ups and single copies, without being launched into mass production. But one way or another, they all influenced the design thought that went on. In each serial tank we will find a reflection of this thought.

Unusual tanks of the USSR

The beginning of tank building in Russia and the first Russian tank can be considered the brainchild of captain A. A. Porokhovshchikov. The drawings of this vehicle, named “All-Terrain Vehicle”, were approved by the highest military authorities and on January 13 1915, he was given permission to begin building a prototype. The design of the All-Terrain Vehicle was unusual; the welded body rested on one caterpillar made of rubberized fabric stretched across four drums. The streamlined body, multi-layered armor with a total thickness of 8 mm, made the machine invulnerable to machine-gun and rifle fire. The building, which began in February 1915 of the year, was completed in almost four months and on May 18 the car came to the test. Contrary to calculations, the combat and driving performance of the sample did not meet the expectations of A. A. Porokhovshchikov. The turning mechanism, the installation of weapons, the layout of the crew, required serious improvement. The only positive thing was speed, 40 versts per hour. As a result, Lieutenant General Kovalenko laid down a report with the following content: “... a built copy of the Rover did not show all those qualities that are due to report No. 8101, for example, could not walk on loose snow about 1 depth (30 cm), but no test of the water was done ... ”” It was decided to refuse further work.

After the Revolution in Soviet Russia, the young Red Army was in dire need of tanks and armored vehicles. Experience in creating domestic tanks was not yet, samples were bought abroad, six-ton ​​Vickers (Vickers Mk.E) - later T-26, tank Christie (Christie M1930) - the future BT - 2, "Carden-Lloyd" and Experimental machines were built at their base. On the basis of a light infantry tank T-26 were created samples SU-5-1 from 76,2 mm regimental cannon sample 1902 / 30 years, Su-5-2 from 122 mm howitzer sample 1910 / 30 years SU-5-3 from 152 mm mortars of the sample 1931. On the basis of the Cardin-Loyd wedge, the T-27 was created, and the T-23 was developed, but the project remained on paper. The same work was done on the manufacture of amphibious tanks.

A talented self-taught designer N. Dyrenkov developed a wheeled-tracked tank “tank D”, DRS or better known as D-4. The first prototype was released in the 1931 year. The tank could move both on a track and on a wheel course. But due to the complexity and low reliability of the chassis, further work was discontinued. A new project, the D-5, was developed, but the 1 of December 1932, the Dyrenkov design bureau, was disbanded. TG tests were performed, sometimes called T-22, which is not true. Prototypes of multi-turret tanks T-100 and QMS were built, but according to the results of tests in the Winter War with the White Finns, their designs were considered unsuccessful and they refused from mass production of these machines.

In the harsh years of the Great Patriotic War, work on the improvement of the adopted and the invention of new tanks did not stop for a minute. On the basis of the GAZ-70 tank, adopted as the T-70, a prototype T-80 was built, armed with an 45 mm 20K automatic cannon, penetrating the 240 mm armor-piercing projectile BR-35 from a distance of 1000 meters and a DT machine gun. In the summer of 1942, a prototype of the flying tank A-40 or LT “flying tank” was released on the basis of the serial T-60. The tank was attached with a biplane box of wings with two-tail tail, which had a span of 18 meters and a total area of ​​the wing 85.5 square. According to calculations, the tank was supposed to take off, towed by a heavy bomber TB-3PH. When landing, the tank was easily freed from the wings and could go into battle with the move. The first flight took place on September 2 1942, but the TB engines suddenly began to warm up and the tank had to be unhooked. A-40, planning, landed at the nearest airfield, which caused a considerable stir, was declared alarm alert. So actually ended история this unusual tank. The need for this kind of machines by the end of 1942, at the front was already low. In 1942, the engineers of Plant No. 100 developed and created a sample of the KV-12 flamethrower tank, the flamethrower was located in the front armor plate on the site of the dismantled machine gun. In general, the car on test showed good results, but the front needed serial KV-2 and KV-85. From the issue had to be abandoned.

The war ended and died away with a victory salute, the Soviet tank passed all its tests with honor, cracked the enemy's defenses with a steel ram, or was a means of cementing its defensive positions. The parade march passed through the cities of liberated Europe and entered Berlin. But the development of tank building in the USSR went further. In 1959, a prototype was released on the 279 “four-track tank” four-track propulsor or better known as the “four-track tank”. The tank had a cast curvilinear hull and was covered with anti-cumulative screens. Successfully passed all the tests, but by order of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, N. S. Khrushchev, the project was closed.

Many of them exist only in one or two copies. And although they were never accepted for service, many of the developments were later used in mass-produced vehicles.


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  1. speaker73
    speaker73 25 June 2010 16: 59
    I don’t understand why these projects were not implemented.
    1. prunx
      prunx 7 October 2011 10: 43
      I join the person whose comment has been deleted.
      1. Smirnov Vadim
        7 October 2011 10: 47
        And what was the comment you know? :)
        And who deleted you know?
        1. prunx
          prunx 7 October 2011 13: 27
          No, of course I don’t know. But with a high degree of probability I suppose that in the comment an opinion was expressed that was different from the opinion of speaker73, which was not presented in printed form, but in tune with my opinion. Not if there was an ad for Viagra or something like that, sorry. I think, in any case, any discerning person would understand what I wanted to say) Who deleted it? Let’s think about it ... Probably, you’ve got a bully drummer on your site ... Sorry again, I can not help myself)))
          1. Smirnov Vadim
            7 October 2011 17: 45
            You know better, but you support and join, most likely ...;)

            In general, there the girl offered sex services, go to a certain site and order it ...
            1. prunx
              prunx 8 October 2011 00: 29
              What is your evidence? After the comment is deleted, you can say anything. Fu, what "dirty" methods you have)))
    2. Vadivak
      Vadivak 7 October 2011 11: 36
      There are allegations of the creation of the atomic underground boat "Battle Mole" in the USSR in 1962-1964. Worked on the principle of cars tunneling in the subway. The boat was powered by an onboard nuclear reactor. It had a titanium case with a pointed bow and stern, 3,8 meters in diameter and 35 meters long. The crew is 16 people. The speed of movement underground - up to 15 km / h. The combat mission is the destruction of underground command posts and enemy missile silos.

      Nuclear submarines “Battle mole” were allegedly produced at a specially constructed plant in Gromovka (Ukraine) and tested in the Urals, in the Rostov Region, in Nakhabino, Moscow Region. A total of more than 30 kilometers have been covered underground. The tests were terminated due to the explosion of one of the devices. After the change of leadership of the USSR in 1964, the project was closed.
      1. prunx
        prunx 7 October 2011 14: 40
        Yes, maybe that's it. I remember that these devices had to secretly dig into the rear of the enemy and taking advantage of the fact that the adversary is puzzled by the surreal appearance of iron monsters literally from under his feet, inflicts a crushing blow on him, traumatic, apparently, primarily his psyche.)))
    3. His
      His 8 October 2011 14: 34
      Classic wins
  2. 5 July 2010 13: 38
    The USSR did not succeed in anything, as in the construction of means of exterminating people :(
  3. Serge
    Serge 21 December 2010 23: 32
    Strongly smile
  4. Nicholas
    Nicholas 26 December 2010 23: 58
    winked fine
  5. Kudeyar
    Kudeyar 13 March 2011 07: 30
    Then there were many bold projects brought to prototypes, the economy allowed and the government supported. In a market economy, this is unlikely to be.
    1. Superduck
      Superduck 7 October 2011 10: 01
      It is in the 30s that the economy allowed, do not tell.
      1. mishok
        mishok 8 October 2011 00: 22
        do not forget that the economy was planned
  6. lersu73
    lersu73 31 May 2011 12: 17
    The accuracy of processing in factories did not allow for mass production. The leadership of the country, after Stalin, was carried away mainly by feuds. The development of industries and science went by inertia, and where narrow-minded maize allowed it. Unfortunately, young people who grew up on hirbicides here, unfortunately, do not understand what they want to judge.
    1. prunx
      prunx 7 October 2011 10: 49
      Nice to meet a sane person, respect. I remember watching the dock. a film where the cornman came up with the idea of ​​making an underground tank. On the collage to the article, it seems he is depicted.
  7. almost demobil
    almost demobil 7 October 2011 07: 16
    Particularly impressed with the jet tank.
  8. sirToad
    sirToad 7 October 2011 07: 39
    but the front needed serial KV-2 and KV-85
    but is KV-2 in 1942 still released? maybe still KV-1 or even 1s?
  9. Ion coaelung
    Ion coaelung 7 October 2011 10: 18
    Boxes-sliders are generally lovely! Add speed to them, prices wouldn’t be!
  10. sirToad
    sirToad 7 October 2011 16: 30
    yes, the miner’s fighting vehicle impressed. sorry, in the video about her cut. only one thing confuses: where did this aggregate dump the rock? and what a heap should be formed behind it!
  11. raf
    raf 7 October 2011 18: 36
    A little off topic, but I think it will be interesting. In Soviet times, I subscribed to the journal "Tekhnika Molodyozhi", and so in this magazine (unfortunately I do not remember which issue and for what year) I read an article about testing an underground rocket !!! No bulldozer, honestly !!! There were even photos! The issue was not April! The rocket is something like an oxygen tank, at the bottom is a cone with many small nozzles. The rocket runs on liquid fuel, the combustion products escaping from the nozzles turn the soil into dust, paving the way for the rocket. And the speed is not small, something like 14 meters in 10 seconds! I will try to find information on the network, if I find I will reset the link.
    1. wladnik
      wladnik 8 October 2011 11: 00
      And how does it determine where to explode?
      1. Superduck
        Superduck 9 October 2011 08: 27
        And it wasn’t like fighting, but for quick drilling. Someone was telling me during perestroika that with such missiles it was planned to prepare mines for laying nuclear mines. Such a fast drilling.
        1. raf
          raf 10 October 2011 06: 40
          Like SuperDak, she’s not fighting, I just forgot to write about it!
  12. wladnik
    wladnik 8 October 2011 10: 59
    And Porokhovshchikov is very similar to an artist with this name.
    1. Cadet
      Cadet 18 October 2011 05: 04
      Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Porokhovshchikov is the grandfather of the famous Russian actor Aleksandr Shalvovich Porokhovshchikov.
  13. sirToad
    sirToad 8 October 2011 11: 08
    so go relatives - the artist himself admitted that de - a nobleman and warriors in the family.
  14. does it
    does it 9 October 2011 07: 49
    and the most viable samples won and also cheaper.
  15. Cadet
    Cadet 18 October 2011 05: 02
    Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Porokhovshchikov is the grandfather of the famous Russian actor Aleksandr Shalvovich Porokhovshchikov.
  16. Jucalis
    Jucalis 1 December 2011 16: 48
    There was a time, it’s a pity that there were practically no working samples left for us. View live hunter. No.