Military Review

Multi-tower tanks of the USSR. Part of 2. Medium Tank T-28

The T-28 is a Soviet medium three-turret tank belonging to the interwar period, it was developed in 1930-1932 by engineers of the tank and tractor design bureau of VOAO, led the work on the project of S. A. Ginzburg. This car was the first medium a tank in the Soviet Union, which was able to launch into serial production. In the period from 1933 to 1940 in Leningrad at the Kirov plant 503 copies of the T-28 tank were made.

In 1930, the Soviet Union negotiated with Great Britain for the supply of heavier tanks to the country, and the possibility of buying three-tower Vickers Medium Mark III tanks, which were also known as Vickers 16 tons, was discussed. On the basis of machines purchased in England, it was planned to expand its production of breakthrough tanks. However, the negotiations ended in failure, the company Vickers-Armstrong did not support the idea to sell several samples of the tank, citing the secrecy of its design. At the same time, the USSR was offered tough conditions under which a deal could be concluded. In particular, the Soviet Union was asked to pay to get familiarized with the tank design, to purchase 10 tanks from Vickers Medium Mark III, and to guarantee the acquisition of light tanks from Vickers Mk. E and tanned shoes Carden Loyd Mk. Vi.

However, Moscow was not satisfied with such conditions of the deal, and all options were rejected. As a result, the USSR began work on creating its own counterpart of the Vickers Medium Mark III tank. The faculty of motorization and mechanization of the Military Technical Academy named after Dzerzhinsky, as well as the tank and tractor design bureau of the All-Union Artillery Union (All-Union Arsenal Association) took up the sketchy design of a new tank. For the new tank, the Soviet military formulated the following requirements: maintaining the overall layout of the British combat vehicle, weight not more than 16 tons, weapons - 45-mm cannon in the main turret and tank machine guns in small ones. The tank was planned to be equipped with a combination armor, which included sheets of 10 mm thickness on the roof, 17 mm on the vertical surfaces of the vehicle, in the frontal part - 20 mm.

Multi-tower tanks of the USSR. Part of 2. Medium Tank T-28
Vickers Medium Mark III

The first prototype of the new tank received the designation T-28-1, the car was made of non-armored steel, the tank was ready in May 1932, then he was able to complete his first test run. In contrast to the previously approved project, the tank was distinguished by the installation of a more powerful V-shaped 12-cylinder piston aircraft engine of the M-17 model, which is water-cooled. The tank also received an 37-mm PS-2 gun, since at that time the tank 45-mm gun was not ready yet. Later, this prototype tank was presented to the court of the Office of Motorization and Mechanization of the Red Army. The management appreciated the car positively, suggesting at the same time installing the PGE diesel engine on the tank, PS-3 guns of 76,2-mm caliber and carrying out a number of design improvements. As a result, all the wishes of the customers were fulfilled, with the exception of the installation of the PGE diesel engine, since its creation had not yet been completed.

Serially, the new tank really began to be produced only in 1934, when it was possible to manufacture 50 tanks, as well as spare parts for T-28 for a total of half a million rubles. By this time, it was possible to carry out a large amount of work on the reorganization of the production department, the rearrangement of the equipment needed to create a tank, the release of a large number of special measuring and cutting tools. There was also established reliable cooperation with all related companies for this project.

The hull of the serial T-28 tanks was assembled from sheets of armor steel 20-30 mm thick. In the tank there were 4 offices for various purposes: driver, combat, transmission and engine. At the same time, the tank hull itself was produced in two different versions: riveted-welded or all-welded. Later, the main gun turret began to put 76,2-mm guns KT-28 or L-10. It is worth noting that the 76,2-mm KT-28 gun (Kirov tank) of the 1927-1932 model with a barrel of just 16,5 calibers could send an armor-piercing projectile at a speed of just 381 m / s. The gun was installed in the main turret of the tank, to the right of it, as well as in the niche of the turret mounted 7,62-mm DT machine guns.

The sighting system of the CT-28 gun included a telescopic sight of the model 1930 of the year and a periscope of the model 1932 of the year. The mechanism of rotation of the turret of the tank had both electric and manual control. In the gun turret used sector-type lifting mechanism - manual. In two more small towers, one DT machine gun was mounted. At the same time, the main turret of the tank had a circular sector of fire, while small machine-gun turrets had a sector of fire in 165 degrees.

From 1938, the T-28 tanks began to install a new more powerful tank gun L-10, having a barrel length in 26 caliber. The speed of a projectile fired from such a cannon already reached 555 m / s. The gun was much more powerful than the old KT-28 tank gun. In the new tanks, the original layout of the ammunition was also used - the shells were located in rotating ammo packs located under the gunner’s and commander’s tank seats. In each such combat pack, 12 shells were placed. In addition, to the left and right of the driver's seat were rotating drums - on 40 shops for DT machine guns each.

The crew of the T-28 included 6 tank crews: a driver’s mechanic, a tank commander who was also a gun loader and a gunner, a radio operator who also served as the second loader, a gunner, and two gunners stationed in machine-gun turrets.

During the serial production of the T-28 tank, up to 1940, the designers managed to make the 600 order various fixes, including the installation of the P-40 anti-aircraft turret, replacing the general landing hatch with two. In addition, it was possible to increase the voltage of the main turret of the tank in 2 times - from 12 to 24 B. Also, the Safar internal communication devices, which were mounted on tanks of the first series, were replaced with the TPU-6 domestic tank intercom, designed for all crew members. 28-TK-71 or 1-TK-71 radio stations were mounted on all medium T-3 three-tower tanks.

At the same time, in the first years of serial production (from 1933 to 1935), the tank suffered from chronic diseases, the car had a lot of flaws, which in some cases were very serious. For this reason, some tanks that had already been released were delayed for a long time by military acceptance, and in the military vehicles already handed in, they had to work to eliminate defects. The work was carried out directly in the army with the involvement of special factory brigades. All this time, Soviet engineers did not abandon attempts to modernize the T-28 tank.

In the autumn of 1935, SKB-2 embarked on a project to create a “high-speed” version of the T-28 tank. The maneuverability and speed of a three-turreted tank was proposed to be enhanced by the work on the redesign of the gearbox and final drives. His first test of the new version of the tank, which received the designation T-28, passed 11 September 1935 of the year. The tank was able to easily show the speed in 55,8 km / h. After carrying out the necessary modifications to the project in May 1936, the commission carried out regular tests of the tank - the high-speed machine T-28 "Stalin".

In conclusion, according to the test results, the representatives of the commission noted that the T-28А high-speed tank, in terms of its performance characteristics and design features, is a full-fledged combat model and is suitable for use in military units. The T-28A tanks began to be mass-produced since June 1936. Until the end of the year they were collected 52 pieces. In November, the 1936 of the year, on an average three-turreted T-28A tank with the 1551 serial number, was a modified design transmission. During the tests of this sample, the tank was able to show a record speed - 65 km / h.

The use of T-28 medium tanks in the Winter War with Finland revealed the insufficiency of booking cars. Given this, an additional shielding scheme was created for the tank. Combat vehicles were equipped with screen armor in factory conditions. The shielding was carried out by welding additional sheets of armor steel 20-30 mm thick to the tank hull and its towers. Due to the shielding, the thickness of the hull armor was brought to 50-60-mm, and the upper part of the sides of the vehicle and towers - to 40-mm. Such a move made it possible to seriously increase the security of the T-28, but at the same time it had the most negative effect on the dynamic characteristics of the tank, since its mass after shielding grew to 32 tons.

The screening of the T-28 was carried out directly at the Kirov plant in Leningrad in 1940. Tanks that have undergone this procedure, received the designation T-28E (shielded). It was planned to increase the armor on all available tanks (more than 400 units), but, according to the available documentary information, all 111 tanks were shielded. Of these, 103 machines were completely shielded, and 8 partially. Most of the shielded medium tanks T-28 went to parts of the Leningrad Military District (approximately 80%), another 15% of tanks settled in the Kiev Special Military District, the entire 2 of such tanks managed to get parts of the Western Special Military District.

According to the information on 1 in January 1941 of the year, the Red Army was also equipped with 411 medium tanks T-28 of various modifications. Initially, these machines were used to recruit individual heavy tank regiments of the RGC (Reserve of the Main Command), which, in December 1935, it was decided to rename to separate heavy tank brigades. Each such brigade was in service with the 54 tank. Two of these brigades, 20 and 10, which were armed with T-28 tanks, managed to take part in hostilities on the Karelian Isthmus. At the same time, the tank was not “younger”; by 1941, the T-28 was morally obsolete, although it surpassed all German tanks of those years in terms of its weapons, and it was only inferior to the German PzKpfw IV in terms of security.

T-28 tanks took an active part in the fighting in the first stage of the Great Patriotic War. Virtually all of these cars were lost in the 1941 summer fights of the year. The surviving tanks were limitedly used in battles up to the 1944 year. The latest documented evidence of the use of T-28 tanks in battle dates back to July 1944. Combat vehicles were used during the offensive of the Red Army in Karelia. Trophy tanks T-28 also used by the armed forces of Finland. At the same time in service with Finland, these Soviet tanks remained until the 1951 year.

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  1. Sergey-8848
    Sergey-8848 26 September 2014 09: 39
    Very interesting tank! Still drawings in the article (or in the next one, about the T-35).
    1. igordok
      igordok 26 September 2014 14: 04
      T-28 Manual of the armored forces of the Red Army M CH.pdf -
  2. avt
    avt 26 September 2014 10: 02
    Quote: Sergey-8848
    Still drawings in the article

    Better photo with 85mm gun.
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 26 September 2014 10: 41
    In service with Finland, these Soviet tanks remained until 1951.
    despite its flaws, the car was not bad ...
  4. Crang
    Crang 26 September 2014 10: 48
    It turns out that the T-28M was the best medium tank in the world before the T-34.
    1. avt
      avt 26 September 2014 11: 19
      Quote: Krang
      It turns out that the T-28M was the best medium tank in the world before the T-34.

      For Ginzburg, his beloved offspring, but for the sake of justice - it was possible to upgrade it by armor and weapons in particular, which Ginzburg offered, but all one after the 41st is not a tenant in large numbers. Not a bad model of the tank was for YOUR time.
      1. Crang
        Crang 26 September 2014 16: 08
        Imagine it with an 85mm gun. And in the small turrets - 12,7mm DShK machine guns. It would be nice for the end of 2MB.
        1. avt
          avt 26 September 2014 16: 19
          Quote: Krang
          Imagine it with an 85mm gun.

          They put in the order of experiment F-30 and even 95mm F-39
          Quote: Krang
          . And in the small turrets - 12,7mm DShK machine guns.
          and it was but in the EP. It's a shame different - on the KV-1 the installation of the 85mm F-30 was almost finalized and even recommended for installation! BUT they scored and decided to put 107mm F-42! As a result, neither one nor the other and all the questions to Kulik and Pavlov. sad But REALLY could be KV-1 in 41m already with 85mm in the series!
        2. Maki Avellevich
          Maki Avellevich 28 September 2014 21: 52
          Quote: Krang
          And in the small turrets - 12,7mm DShK machine guns. It would be nice for the end of 2MB.

          not bad but not good, multi-tower tanks as a branch of development were abandoned by Soviet engineers / army.

          Isn’t it better to have the KV-1, T-34, IS 1/2/3 BT 7, T-40 in service?

          they were formidable weapons of war as well as handsome ...
          1. Alex
            Alex 6 October 2014 17: 17
            Quote: Maki Avellievich
            they were formidable weapons of war as well as handsome ...

            Yes, and this Serpent-Gorynych also looks good. It’s just that the time of multi-tower tanks was already running out. Although, as IMHO, with a good diesel engine and a reliable track, it would be possible to increase armor and strengthen weapons. But as they say, on clothes and stretch legs. It's a pity...
  5. Vladimirets
    Vladimirets 26 September 2014 11: 12
    One cannot but recall the feat of the T-28 crew (generally the combined one) in July 1941 in Minsk.
    1. samoletil18
      samoletil18 26 September 2014 11: 27
      The participants in that breakthrough noted that enemy shells bounced off armor several times!
  6. igorspb
    igorspb 26 September 2014 11: 27
    Quote: parusnik
    In service with Finland, these Soviet tanks remained until 1951.
    despite its flaws, the car was not bad ...

    I climbed one of these in Parola in the tank museum - the tank gives the impression of imperfections - cracks, fit badly, armor in machine-gun turrets is thin, in appearance even the chassis is flimsy, but compared to its "one-year-olds" - this was a very serious unit.
  7. svp67
    svp67 26 September 2014 11: 33
    According to the recollections of tank industry veterans, the chief designer of the T28 Ginzburg was part of the Soviet delegation during the purchase of a license for the "6 ton" and showed a lot of "agility and impudence" in familiarizing himself with the "16 ton", clinging to it "with a ruler and a notebook." But talent is talent and Semyon Aleksandrovich created a really good car, so much so that some of his decisions "purebred Aryans" did not hesitate to copy to their Panther, without suffering at all that they copy the ideas of a Jew ...
    And Semyon Alexandrovich is a pity. They say that some "personalities", in order to clear the road in front of Voroshilov's son-in-law, Kotin, wrote where it was necessary and what was needed, and as a result, Gizburg ended up in the "millstones", but was "forgiven" and was appointed deputy commander of the 32nd tank brigade for the technical part. And a native of the city of Lugansk, died in the battle on the Kursk Bulge, during an air raid on August 3, 1943, village Malaya Tomarovka, Kursk region
    1. avt
      avt 26 September 2014 15: 42
      Quote: svp67
      I'm sorry for Emen Alexandrovich. They say that some "personalities", in order to clear the road in front of Voroshilov's son-in-law, Kotin, wrote where it was necessary and what was needed, and as a result, Gizburg ended up in the "millstones", but was "forgiven" and was appointed to the post of deputy commander of the 32nd tank brigade for the technical part.

      The first time in general, he ended up in the millstones at the suggestion of Tukhachevsky - his beloved two-turret tank, an English 6-ton, actually buried the work of Ginzburg - T-19. Also, the artilleryman Syachintov got under the batch. Well, about the second batch, which led to his sending to the front, it is more likely Saltsman squabbles in relation to Malyshevab, well, when he sat up with him, promising Stalin that he would definitely increase the production of tanks. Well, and then blamed the failure to fulfill the promise on Ginzburg. So, at least according to the memoirs of Gorlitsky, an eyewitness and participant Well, his correctness is confirmed by the reaction of Stalin, who removed Zaltsman exactly after the death of Ginzburg.
    2. mkpda
      mkpda 16 October 2014 15: 56
      In this case, it was Salzman, who, as NK, sent Ginzburg to the front as the only culprit of the low reliability of the first SU-76 series.
  8. pensioner
    pensioner 26 September 2014 14: 49
    But among other things, the possibility of installing 28 mm on the T-85 was studied. guns (anti-aircraft). If my memory serves me right, then just a few days before June 22, 2 T-28 with 85mm. guns passed sea trials. And yet, GD-0to have long read tanker's memories from the T-28. So he said that the T-28 could not prove itself as it could in general. A worthy tank was (in his words).
    1. Alex
      Alex 6 October 2014 17: 22
      Quote: retired
      But among other things, the possibility of installing on the T-28 85 mm was studied. guns (anti-aircraft).

      I also read about it, I even saw the image, but only EMNIP, not a photo, but a drawing, in a projection from behind with a tower turned to the left. It looks solid, I think the power would be strong.
  9. fa2998
    fa2998 26 September 2014 16: 52
    an excellent tank for the end of the 30s. They screened, brought thickness at the level of heavy tanks, 85 mm heavy for him to put on it a long-barrel 57 mm just right. In especially solemn occasions I carry the T-28 on my chest.
  10. kotev19
    kotev19 26 September 2014 16: 53
    Yes, the article is very interesting. And from me 1 photo - the region of North Karelia, July 1941
    1. tokens2
      tokens2 28 September 2014 22: 08
      Yes .. and 2 turrets are apparently an element of "multilayer armor".
      A tank ahead of its time.
  11. abc_alex
    abc_alex 26 September 2014 16: 56
    According to the same contemporaries, the tank suffered from insufficient reliability of the suspension. Because of this, projects of self-propelled guns at its base and an increase in the main caliber did not end in success. In addition, the tank is really too high. For comparison, it is half a meter higher than modern tanks and 20 cm higher than the T-34. Moreover, mind you, because of the two small towers the line of installation of the gun is very high, when firing from a cannon with powerful recoil, the tank swung.

    And although in 1941 he could crush the armor with success, but with an increase in the thickness of the armor of the Germans, he would not be able to cope.
  12. Alf
    Alf 26 September 2014 17: 54
    In the metal there was also a very interesting version of the T-28-go-T-29. Created in 1937, the tank was armed with a 76,2 mm L-10 cannon (in the latest version) and 4-5 DT machine guns. Moreover, the M-17T engine and the same reservation due to the new suspension and the use of large-diameter rollers, the tank developed a maximum speed of 52 km / h on tracks and 82 km / h on wheels. Mover-wheel-tracked gip.
    An interesting design feature of the T-29 was the synchronization of the propulsors, i.e., the tank could move simultaneously on the track from one side and the wheels of the other.
    At the same speed as the BT-5,7, the tank could be used together with the BT in deep raids behind enemy lines as an amplification tank.
    Tanks T-29 was built 3 instance-T-29 etalon, T-29-4, T-29-5.
    The fate of the etalon - during the Winter War, he was transferred to "the disposal of the 13th ABTV 13th Army". The further fate is unknown.
    T-29-4 after testing in Kubinka was transferred in the fall of 1941 to the 22nd tank brigade. Further fate is unknown.
    T-29-5 was disassembled in 1938.
    1. mkpda
      mkpda 16 October 2014 15: 50
      It was by design a new tank. In the modification of the T-29-5, he had three pairs of driving wheels for wheels. The fee for the ability to keep moving when the track is lost is a reduced volume of the fighting compartment with a reduced shoulder strap of the main tower (the commander again became charging in the tower from the T-26A).
      The presence of the T-28A and the high cost of the T-29 closed the project.
  13. Alf
    Alf 26 September 2014 18: 07
    All famous photos of the T-29.
  14. Alf
    Alf 26 September 2014 18: 10
    T-29 on wheels.
  15. Alf
    Alf 26 September 2014 18: 11
    T-29 on tracks.
  16. Cap.nemo58rus
    Cap.nemo58rus 26 September 2014 19: 19
    Quote: Sergey-8848
    Very interesting tank! Still drawings in the article (or in the next one, about the T-35).

    Yes, about the T-35. It would be interesting to read about this battleship.
  17. La-5
    La-5 27 September 2014 06: 19
    The T-28 performed well in the Soviet-Finnish war, the main drawback was the weak armor.
  18. xomaNN
    xomaNN 27 September 2014 18: 44
    Trophy tanks T-28 were also used by the armed forces of Finland. At the same time, these Soviet tanks remained in service with Finland until 1951.

    Very economical Finns in the sense and armaments of their army
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 28 September 2014 12: 33
      The Finns gave these tanks the nickname "mail tank"
      because the first T-28, which they captured serviceable, was carrying mail
      soldiers on the front line. But in fact, these captured tanks loved,
      reinforced with mounted armor and actively used.
      At the beginning of the "winter war" the Finns had only a dozen light Vickers (the same T-26),
      but in the end, despite the general defeat, they already owned several dozen
      serviceable tanks of the Red Army of various types.
  19. viacheslav77
    viacheslav77 29 September 2014 05: 26
    take the T-28, modify the suspension a bit, get the t-29. We put the gun a little longer

    We finalize a little more, remove unnecessary towers, reduce the silhouette.
    We upgrade the engine, put the diesel and get
  20. mkpda
    mkpda 16 October 2014 13: 54
    Another concise retelling of existing work on the T-28. More importantly, what is not written about in these works and, as a result, is missing from the article.
    Firstly, at the time of its creation, the T-28 falls under the definition of a main battle tank. In terms of armament and armor, it corresponds to the heavy T-35, and in terms of real mobility in rough terrain, it is at the level of BT-5.
    Secondly, in terms of crew comfort, the T-28 is at the level of the 60s of the last century. The hanging tower of the main tower, comfortable seating, relatively good visibility.
    Thirdly, this is the only fully radio-serial production tank.
    Fourth, the version of the shielding of the tank, developed back in 1936, provided high survivability of the tank when fired by massive anti-tank missiles and was not inferior in armor protection to the T-34. In fact, before the mass production of the 57-75-76mm anti-tank missile on the battlefield, the T-28 multi-tower scheme was slightly inferior to the T-34. And the presence of small turrets increased the self-defense of the tank from infantry and light anti-tank missiles (short distances of real fire and weak protection of calculation from small arms).
    Fifth, the T-28 had the smallest number of claims related to the design of the tank. The experience of the "Winter War" showed that with the availability of technical support, it is possible to provide a high percentage of recovery of damaged tanks and high survivability of the T-28.
    Sixth, the placement of fuel tanks in the aft part of the T-28 behind the armored partitions ensured high crew survival.
    Seventh, the small-scale T-28 was cheaper than the mass T-34 before switching to semi-automatic welding, casting and mass simplification of the T-34 after 1942.
    Eighth, the main tower of the T-28 made it possible to install tank guns in it up to and including the caliber of 100 mm without losing the crew’s working space, it was only necessary to strengthen the epaulet. It was on the serial T-28 that they tested the F-30/39 cart.
    Ninth, the T-28A was the fastest production medium tank until the T-64.
    Tenth, the complex and maintenance-intensive suspension provided the T-28 with a ride that was unique for that time - the T-28 performed a "track" on plowing at speeds up to 20 km / h versus 12 km / h for the T-34. That is why the staffing table of the T-28 consisted of 8 military personnel.
    Conclusion. With the implementation of production plans of 100 units per year (single-shift work), ensuring serial production of PS-3 and the release of the necessary number of components for repair, the Red Army could get the necessary number of the strongest tanks in the world. A large reserve of construction for modernization made it possible to keep it in service until the end of the Second World War, and with a radical modernization, for a long time after it.
  21. Prager
    Prager 31 October 2014 18: 27
    T-28 - the most successful version of a multi-tower tank in the USSR, proved to be quite good in the Finnish war and at the beginning of the Second World War.
  22. Maksimov
    Maksimov 22 February 2017 10: 49
    Quote: avt
    It's a shame another - on the KV-1 they practically finalized the installation of the 85mm F-30 and even recommended it for installation! BUT they scored and decided to put 107mm F-42! As a result, neither one nor the other and all the questions to Kulik and Pavlov. sad But REALLY could be KV-1 in 41m already with 85mm in the series!

    Why was he needed in the series in the 41st year? So that Kolobanov could penetrate with one shell 3 German tanks in the convoy, which made their way with an 76mm cannon? :) Another thing is that it was not necessary to give up work in this direction, at the end of 42 years the tried and tested design of such tanks would allow them to be put into series quickly. But not only change the gun, but also shield the armor. HF with a gun 85mm, and preferably 107mm, and with shielded frontal armor up to 120mm made equal rivals to the Panthers and Tigers before the creation of the IS. And they began to produce KV-85 at the end of the summer of the 43rd year, and on the basis of the KV-1C without reinforcing the reservation. The tank turned out neither this nor that. Protection is insufficient, weak maneuverability, firepower, as in the average T-34-85.