Military Review

Republican and nationalist tanks in the civil war 1936 - 1938 (part of 1)

Last time we talked about participating tanks BT-5 in the battle of Fuentes de Ebro. Today we’ll talk about the tanks of Spain itself, история which began in the 1914 year (and the first BAs began to be tested in Spain as early as the 1909 year) when 24 Schneider Creuseau's armored vehicles were bought from France - a very impressive type of BA, which the resourceful French built their Paris buses on the chassis. On these machines was a gasoline engine in the 40 hp and there was a cardan (not even a chain!) rear-wheel drive. The latter were made for war, that is, they were steel tires with cast rubber tires, the front ones being single and the rear double. True, the armor in 5 mm was not a good defense, but the roof armor had an A-shaped slope so that hand grenades would roll off of it.

Republican and nationalist tanks in the civil war 1936 - 1938 (part of 1)

Tank "Trubia-Naval" 1936 year.

On a good road, these cars could drive at speeds up to 35 km / h, and the cruising range was equal to 75 km. Constant armament of this armored car was absent, but he had six embrasure hatches on each side (they could also be used for ventilation), through which machine guns on helicopters fired, or arrows from his personal weapons. The crew consisted of 10 people, and why so, of course. It is also clear that these cars were very primitive, but during the war in Spanish Morocco they showed themselves very well. Moreover, they were used even during the civil war!

One of the homemade Spanish BA.

The first tanks the Spaniards also put France. These were the Schneider CAI tanks, which entered Spain after the end of World War I, and then the Renault FT-17, both with machine guns and cannon armament, in cast and riveted turrets. The FT-17TSF tanks, the “control tanks” equipped with a radio station in a large wheelhouse on the hull, were also delivered to them.

Tank "Trubia" Mod. BUT.

It makes no sense to describe this technique in more detail, since it is well known. It is only important to emphasize that the Spaniards took care of their tanks, so before the start of the fateful clash of the nationalists with the Republicans even such outdated machines as Schneiders survived.

In 20, the Spanish military decided to purchase Saint-Chamon, an experienced wheeled-tracked tank in France, and in addition to it, Citroen-Kegres-Schneider wheeled-tracked armored cars of the P-16 mod. 1929, experienced Cardin-Lloyd wedges in England and Fiat-3000 light tanks in Italy. After that, with 1926, Trubia, under the leadership of Captain Ruiz de Toledo, began work on his own Spanish tank, officially called the “high-speed infantry tank,” or “Trubia Model”. Series A ".

The tank was planned to be produced on the Renault model in both machine-gun and cannon versions, and to put on it a gun of its own design of 40-mm caliber capable of firing at 2060 m with a speed of 294 projectile. But for some reason the version with the gun failed, and the tank was decided to equip the Hotchiss system with three 7-mm machine guns under the Mauser cartridges used in Spain.

Tank "Trubiya" in battle.

Externally, the tank came out a bit similar to the "Renault", but had a lot of rather incomprehensible and strange, purely "national" features. Here, for example, in a fairly close conical turret, you can install as many as three machine guns? But this is how to make it two-tier, and so that each tier rotates independently of one another, and each tier would have its own machine gun in a ball mount, which theoretically allows you to change the firing sector without turning each tier! Very "tricky" and complex scheme, is not it? Then on the roof of the tower also put a strobe. Yes, again it was convenient: after all, the reservation surrounding the observer seems to be “melting” as the device rotates, the review turns out to be 360 °, but a special drive is needed for it. And the Trubia tower was already very close. The stroboscope itself was connected to a tower fan, for which it was provided for an armored cap above it. Another machine gun was located in the front armor sheet, as on the T-34. In the case there were two more embrasures on the side armor plates. Another feature of the tank was protruding behind the nose track tracks. His Spanish designers have equipped a narrow rink to overcome vertical obstacles. The traditional "tail" was attached to the back. They decided to fully book the undercarriage, and even close the fender with bevels. The caterpillar design was too original: a part of the tracks slid along the runners that were inside its armored bypass, while a special projection on every second track covered it outside and also slid along it!

Trubia-Naval in a combat situation.

Trubia-Naval Republicans.

Such a device protected the undercarriage from dirt and stones, but due to the lack of suspension, the tank was very shaky. There were no grousers on the tracks, so Trubia’s passability was bad. In the battles in Spain, these machines were used during the defense of Oviedo and under Extremadura. It turned out that they have enough machine guns to fight in the city. But these tanks were so small that they did not play any significant role: one can say that the Spaniards just as well could not have them at all.

As for the total number of Spanish tanks, they were extremely small. Spanish historian Christian Abad Treter wrote that in July 1936 of FT-17 were 10 pieces - they were armed with a tank regiment in Madrid (Regimiento de Carros de Combate No. 1) and five more tanks were in Zaragoza (Regimiento de Carros de Combate No. 2 ). Four Schneider tanks remained in Madrid. Trubia tanks (three prototypes) were located in the Milan infantry regiment in Oviedo. Two tanks "Landes" were made at the plant "Trubia" in the city of Asturias. BA Bilbao had the most available 48 vehicles, of which the Republicans had an armored car 41, and only seven went to the nationalists.

Spanish Trubia-Landes armored tractor.

During the war, the tractor Landesa was converted into a tank with a similar suspension to the Trubia. Republicans tried to make a tank "Trubia" mod. 1936. Or, as it was called “Trubia-Naval”, by the name of the plant, however, the Republicans also called it “Euskadi machine”. Well, the tank came out just very small and very light, although its crew consisted of three people. Armament - two Lewis machine guns of 7,7-mm caliber, one in the turret and the other in the hull, both in ball units. According to the project, an 47-mm caliber gun was supposed to stand in the turret, but they could not deliver it. This tank was used in battles, and even quite widely, but it was not possible to organize its mass production.

In turn, the nationalists also constantly dreamed of tanks, and their own, Spanish ones, so in 1937 they decided to create an infantry tank that surpasses both the Soviet and the vehicles of their allies, the Germans and Italians. The armor was supposed to protect it from 7,92-mm caliber armor-piercing bullets, and the armament was to "work" well, both on infantry and on enemy tanks. Marked it as CCI "Type 1937" - "battle tank infantry", and ordered a series of 30 machines.

Tank CCI "Type 1937".

The designers went according to the “child constructor” principle and took the undercarriage from the Italian tanketki CV G / 35, a pair of Hochkiss 7,92-mm machine guns installed, as on this machine, but only to the right of the driver, and on top - a tower armed with an 20-mm automatic Breda cannon mod. 35-20 / 65, which has already been put on the converted German Pz.IA tanks, instead of two machine guns. The tank showed a speed of 36 km / h, and as a vehicle to support the infantry was quite convenient. In addition, he even had a diesel engine, which in some way reduced his fire hazard.

Tank "Verdeha" on trial.

After him, the “Verdeha Infantry Tank” was made, named after its creator, artillery captain of the nationalist army, Felix Verdech. The work on it began in October 1938, and in the spring of 1939, it was already sent for testing. a part was copied from the T-26 tank, but the engine-transmission compartment was put in front, and the driver was seated behind him, like on a Merkava tank.

Tank "Verdeha" overcomes a steep slope.

The ACS with an 75-mm gun on the chassis of the Verdeha tank. Back view.

The ACS with an 75-mm gun on the chassis of the Verdeha tank. Front view.

The gun was on it was Soviet, 45-mm, and on the sides of the gun - two machine guns - German Dreyse MG-13. The tank had a turret similar to the turret from the German tank Pz.I, but with an increased size armor in which the cannon pins were installed. There is a photograph in which on this tank you can see the tower with its double doors on its sides. The tank was a quarter lower than the Soviet T-26. The armor of the turret was 16 mm, and the hull frontal armor was 30 mm. It was planned to release an ACS with an 75-mm gun on the chassis of this car. But the economic situation in Spain was such that neither the tanks nor the ACS on their base could produce it and was content with the Soviet captured T-26 and BT-5.

Tank "Verdeha" and T-26.

Tanks "Vikkers-6" also fought in Spain. At 1937, they entered Spain from ... Paraguay, because its president sold many Republican armies and tanks of this type, which became Paraguay's trophies in the war with Bolivia. Three tanks belonged to type "A" - that is, they were machine guns, one tank to type "B" - cannon. Interestingly, among the Soviet T-26, delivered to Spain, judging by the photos, several cars belonged to the double-turret type.

Trubia-Naval Nationalists.

(Fig. A. Sheps)
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  1. bionik
    bionik 27 May 2016 06: 46
    Light tank PzKpfw IA with a gun Breda mod. 85.
    1. bionik
      bionik 27 May 2016 06: 50
      Modified tanks Pz.I. Armament replaced by the Italian 20-mm gun Breda Mod. 85
  2. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 27 May 2016 06: 55
    Great topic. A good start to the cycle - the theme is not unkempt and very interesting. Thank you ..... I was always interested in that war and our participation in it - it is a pity until recently there was very little information on technology ..
    1. gla172
      gla172 27 May 2016 07: 29
      I agree, the article is plus. As it turned out about the participation of armored vehicles of this period did not read ..... interesting.
    2. kalibr
      27 May 2016 07: 31
      My first article on this topic was published in the journal "Technics and Armaments" back in 1998. Then the book "Tanks ... in Spain" was published by the Polygon publishing house. An article about the uniforms of the Francoists and nationalists was in the first issue of the TANKOMASTER magazine in 1996, for the anniversary. In the book "Tanks of Total Wars" 2002, this topic was also examined in detail. So they started writing a long time ago. But it is clear that you cannot look through all the magazines, and you cannot buy all the books.
      1. Mavrikiy
        Mavrikiy 28 May 2016 21: 41
        Quote: kalibr
        "Equipment and weapons"

        Yes, yes. "Equipment and armament", 1998. Number 3. Particularly impressed by the passages: "The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) in our country has long been classified as a" national liberation war of the Spanish people ", which in the light of what we have learned in recent years does not correspond to reality. the forces of democracy and totalitarianism, the system of market and anti-market economic relations, and all this happened in a backward, peasant from the edge with patriarchal, in fact, feudal psychology of the masses. "
        I wonder how the forces of democracy and totalitarianism were distributed in Spain and how among the assistants?
  3. Nikita Gromov
    Nikita Gromov 27 May 2016 10: 34
    Despite the fact that during the war, Soviet tanks were better fighting vehicles than Italian and German, the main result is the victory of the Spanish national patriots in the Civil War over the united liberal-communist-anarchist alliance.

    This is so far the only victory of the national-patriotic forces in modern history. After the Second World War, the world fell into the hands of the liberals and communists, and after the 1991 year, it was single-handedly held by the liberalists, the open proteges of the world Zion Kagal. These are the realities.
  4. Nikita Orlov
    Nikita Orlov 27 May 2016 11: 25
    The Spaniards were ahead of time and created a prototype (Verdeha) of modern MPs and guessed the tank trend * in the late 30s, well done. To the author, thank you for spreading bread winked

    * one tower-main humming-bird-diesel-low silhouette-maximum frontal protection
    1. tasha
      tasha 27 May 2016 17: 42
      There was an article about the Verdeh tank.


      About ahead of too pathos, I guess. At the same time, S-35 and Matilda were created, for comparison.
  5. Monarchist
    Monarchist 27 May 2016 15: 51
    Indeed, "Verdekha" is an advanced tank for that time. Our BTshki are wheeled caterpillar, gasoline. German Pz-gasoline, and now diesel
    1. tasha
      tasha 27 May 2016 18: 03
      Verdeh most likely did not have a diesel engine. Petrol Ford V-8 48 model with 85 hp or Lincoln in 120 hp
    2. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 28 May 2016 20: 59
      Quote: Monarchist
      Indeed, "Verdekha" is an advanced tank for that time. Our BTshki are wheeled caterpillar, gasoline. German Pz-gasoline, and now diesel

      It is not worth writing about the "Verdekh" tank - an advanced tank for that time. Wedge heel with a turret. The cannon is at the BT-5 level, yes. Here BT-5 is really a miracle in comparison, and there is no one to compare it with, Lilliputians. And what was not very successful was the tank to do with it.
  6. Type 63
    Type 63 27 May 2016 16: 30
    Thank you for the article. The self-propelled guns based on "Verdekhi" are amusing. For some reason, associations with Saraksh arose.
  7. tasha
    tasha 27 May 2016 17: 16
    It is interesting that among the Soviet T-26 delivered to Spain, judging by the photographs, several cars belonged to the two-tower type.

    Interesting. Will you publish photos? Because data on the supply of double-turret tanks to Spain are not available in open sources. Moreover, some authors separately note that only single-tower T-26 were supplied. Which is logical, it seems.
    1. kalibr
      27 May 2016 19: 13
      No, I won't, but in the book by Patrick Turbull and Jeffrey Bourne "The Spanish Civil War" by Osprey Publishing House (Man-at-Arms Series 74) there was a photo with just such a tank. And the question is the same that you asked and you already arose in 1998 when these materials were first published. You can download this book now and find the photo.
      1. tasha
        tasha 27 May 2016 21: 16
        Unfortunately, the references to books by Osprey publishing house known to me do not contain such photographs.
      2. hohol95
        hohol95 27 May 2016 22: 22
        But could they not confuse the T-26 of the 1931 model with the Vickers of model A?
        1. kalibr
          28 May 2016 07: 07
          You can’t say this without a book at hand. It is necessary to look at a book and a photo in a magnifying glass.
  8. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 27 May 2016 18: 11
    For some reason, when looking at the CCI tank "Type 1937", I immediately remembered the Japanese Ha-Go. smile
  9. Mikhail Matyugin
    Mikhail Matyugin 27 May 2016 22: 29
    Cool article about a rare "beast"! fellow
    But seeing all this, you perfectly understand the commanders of the "Christian traditionalists" who considered the Soviet BTs the best trophies.
  10. hohol95
    hohol95 27 May 2016 22: 36
    Dear author! All domestic books indicate the number of armored vehicles delivered to Spain from the USSR: T-26 -297 units of the 1933 model; BT-5 - 50 pieces; BA-3 - 3 pieces; BA-6 - 37 pieces; FAI - 20 pieces! Is it known whether the quantity of equipment delivered by Portugal; The Third Reich and Royal Italy (after all, Italians were 60 thousand people) ???
    1. kalibr
      28 May 2016 07: 10
      This is only the first article on this topic. There will be 2, everything will be there that interests you. Only on tanks. On aviation, if I didn’t look, not a specialist.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 28 May 2016 10: 42
        Thank! I was interested in armored vehicles! Yes, even a little information on the PORTUGALS! And then by their actions in Spain very little is known!
  11. Mikhail Matyugin
    Mikhail Matyugin 29 May 2016 15: 04
    Quote: hohol95
    Yes, even a little information on the PORTUGALS! And then by their actions in Spain very little is known!

    And there were, oddly enough, quite a bit. The Italians were the main force, because Mussolini had a plan in general "under the guise of" the Civil War and against the background of the slogans of "fighting the communists" to seize Spain, including it in the Italian Empire.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 29 May 2016 22: 33
      Not much - a streamlined term!