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Three were reactivated in for use in the Battle of Stalingrad. Initially, the tanks and armoured cars in Soviet hands were a mix of captured Renault FTs and a few British tanks and British-built Austins left behind in the civil war. The first conventional Soviet tank, the T sometimes called MS-1 , was a fairly close copy of the French Renault FT , but with improved suspension and a larger turret.

In , under a secret annex to the Treaty of Rapallo , the Soviet Union and Germany set up a joint tank school at Kazan in the west of the Urals , which was illegal under the Treaty of Versailles. Both countries learned much about tank design and tactics in this co-operative venture.

The Germans provided advice on mechanisation of Soviet heavy industry, and helped develop a sense of professionalism in the Red Army. Tanks became a part of the mechanized corps at this point. From , an experimental Mechanised Brigade was formed, training and developing combined-arms tactics with foreign tanks, armoured cars, tractors, and lorries.

The first tank project of the factory was the T or T This was a larger version of the T , with a more powerful engine. It seemed to have been done in parallel to the T light tank which was also based on the FT. The project was re-designated T, work was completed fixing problems with the transmission and fuel system, and a larger turret was designed.

Initial trials were conducted, during which performance was found satisfactory, although the prototype's engine caught fire, and the turret had to be transferred to a T prototype for further testing. Only a total of twenty-four were built during The T was found unreliable, and was used only for training and parades. Although the T tank was a failure, it gave the KhPZ its initial tank design and production experience, which was applied much more successfully in adopting production of modified U.

Christie tanks as the BT tank series, starting in Based on a mixed force of foreign tanks and imported prototypes, the Soviets developed a large domestic design and production capability. The T light tank was based on the Vickers E as were many other tanks of the period , chosen after it beat a Soviet FT derivative in trials.

In spring , the Soviet buying committee, under the direction of Semyon Ginzburg , had arrived in Great Britain to select tanks, tractors and cars to be used in the Red Army. The Vickers 6-ton was among four models of tanks selected by Soviet representatives during their visit to the Vickers-Armstrongs Company. E Type A, armed with two 7. The ability of the two turrets of the Type A to turn independently made it possible to fire to both the left and right at once, which was considered advantageous for breakthroughs of field entrenchments.

Three British tanks were successfully tested for cross-country ability at the small proving ground near Moscow on Poklonnaya Hill in January One tank hull was tested for gunfire resistance in August Ginzburg to define the tank type suitable for the Red Army. The T 8-ton light infantry tank, developed by S. Ginzburg under that programme at the Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad was a theoretical competitor to the British Vickers 6-Ton.

The first prototype of the complex and expensive T was not finished until August Because both tanks had advantages and disadvantages, S. Ginzburg suggested developing a more powerful, hybrid tank the so-called "improved" T with the hull, home-developed engine and armament from the native T, and the transmission and chassis from the British Vickers 6-ton. More than 50 different modifications and experimental vehicles based on the chassis of the T light infantry tank were developed in the USSR in the s, with 23 modifications going into series production.

The majority were armoured combat vehicles: flame tanks , artillery tractors , radio-controlled tanks teletanks , military engineering vehicles , self-propelled guns and armoured personnel carriers. The vehicles were intended for area chemical contamination, smoke screens and for flame-throwing. The Soviets purchased some U. Christie M tank prototypes, from which they developed the BT series of fast tanks.

They also developed the heavier multi-turreted T medium tank and the massive T also multi-turreted , which followed the design premise of the experimental Vickers A1E1 Independent produced by Vickers for the British but not adopted. The T was also greatly influenced by the A1E1 Independent. The Kirov Factory in Leningrad began manufacturing the T tank in The T tank was officially approved on August 11, The T had one large turret with a A total of T tanks were manufactured over a period of eight years from to The Soviets also built a variant of the Carden Loyd tankette , bought under license from the United Kingdom in , as a reconnaissance vehicle.

The Soviets were not fully satisfied with the Carden Loyd design and made a number of changes before putting it into mass production under the designation of T Compared with the British original, the hull was larger, the running gear was improved and the weapon mount was modified to take a Soviet-built 7. The tankette was accepted into service on February 13, and the principal use of the T during its service life was as a reconnaissance vehicle and was used in the Soviet republics of Central Asia during the s, where the tankettes were used in campaigns against basmachis.

However, they fairly quickly became obsolete due to the introduction of more advanced tanks. The tankette was also intended to be air-mobile. In , the Soviets experimented with transporting Ts by air, by suspending them under the fuselages of Tupolev TB-3 bombers. In April , Vickers-Armstrongs conducted several successful tests of light, floating tanks in the presence of the press.

Those early models were developed into prototypes by Carden-Loyd Tractors, Ltd. The T, was built in March and showed good buoyancy during testing. However, the T did not perform satisfactorily in other tests. They continue the development for a more suitable amphibious tank, and they designated their latest model as the T Even before the end of , the high command of the Red Army was planning to order 30 TAs as they were now designated, but problems plagued production, and only TAs had been produced by 1 January The tank was mass-produced starting in up until , when it was replaced with the more modern T Overall, after four years of production, TAs were produced, including the original prototypes.

In the Red Army, they were used to perform tasks in communication, reconnaissance , and as defence units on the march, as well as active infantry support on the battlefield. Also the T amphibious tank was also produced, with the chassis , in part, borrowed from the T, and the caterpillar tracks entirely from the T tank. In the course of these operations it was found that the armour was inadequate and programs were initiated to upgrade it. According to Russian historian M.

Kolomietz's book T With this up-armoured version, the Red Army broke through the main Finnish defensive fortification, the vaunted Mannerheim Line. The Soviets thus began to upgrade their T tanks for the coming war with Germany, but many were still lost during the first two months of the invasion, when the Germans invaded in June The multi-turreted T heavy tank also showed flaws; Soviet tank designers started drawing up replacements. The T conformed to the s notion of a 'breakthrough tank' with very heavy firepower and armour protection, but poor mobility.

The Spanish Civil War demonstrated the need for much heavier armour on tanks, and was the main influence on Soviet tank design just prior to World War II. Significantly, the major improvement the Soviet designers made to these foreign designs was an increase in firepower. By , the Red Army " Approximately 54, officers were repressed. Military knowledge completely stagnated and armoured vehicle production dropped drastically though still remaining the world's largest.

Training and readiness dropped to very low levels. This repression continued until the eve of the war. The Soviet—Japanese border conflicts over the border in Manchuria gave the Soviets a chance to employ tactics with their armoured forces which were to prove useful in the coming war, when General Georgy Zhukov deployed approximately 50, Soviet and Mongolian troops of the 57th Special Corps to hold the center of the line on the east bank of the Battle of Khalkhyn Gol , then crossed the river on with BT-7 tanks and armoured units, massed artillery, and air cover.

Once the Japanese were pinned down by the advance of the Soviet center units, the tanks and armoured units swept around the flanks and attacked the Japanese in the rear, [8] achieving a classic double envelopment , allowing the two wings of Zhukov's armoured units to link up, surrounding and trapping the Japanese 23rd division. However, during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, BT tanks proved vulnerable to Japanese close quarter teams [12] tank killer squads [13] which were armed with " Molotov cocktails " [14] fire bottles.

The Soviet BT-5 and BT-7 light tanks, which had been operating in degree-plus heat on the Mongolian plains, easily caught fire when a Molotov cocktail ignited their gasoline engines. BT tanks were a bit fireprone One of the main competing designs of the T tank was the SMK , which lowered the number of turrets from the T's five to two, mounting the same combination of When two prototypes were ordered though, it was decided to create one with only a single turret, but more armour.

This new single-turret tank was the KV. The smaller hull and single turret enabled the designer to install heavy frontal and turret armour while keeping the weight within manageable limits. The heavy armour of the KV proved highly resistant to Finnish anti-tank weapons, making it more effective than the other designs. The Soviets also committed the T amphibious scout tank, which was a Soviet light amphibious tank and a development of the earlier T , based in turn on the French AMR 33 light reconnaissance tank.

The tank served with the Red Army in the Winter War with Finland in , but was unsuccessful due to its light armament and thin armour, which was easily penetrated by rifle and light machine gun fire. In the confined terrain of Finland, the tank was a death trap. As a scout tank, the T had the advantages of very low silhouette and good mobility, due to its ability to swim. However, the thin armour and single machine gun armament made the tank of only limited use in combat while the lack of radios in most Ts was a serious limitation in a recon vehicle. The T's limitations were recognized, and it would have been replaced by the T , but the outbreak of the Second World War meant that only a few Ts were produced.


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The T was rarely seen in direct combat after Germany attacked in and was mostly relegated to other roles such as artillery tractor , and the main amphibious scout vehicle of the Red Army became the Ford GPA amphibious jeep , an open unarmoured vehicle provided through Lend-Lease. Soviet tanks dominated their foreign rivals in Spain due to their firepower, but their thin armour, in common with most tanks of the period, made them vulnerable to the new towed antitank guns being supplied to infantry units. This finding led directly to a new generation of Soviet tanks.

In the most numerous Soviet tank models were the T light tank, and the BT series of fast tanks. The T was a slow-moving infantry tank , originally designed to keep pace with soldiers on the ground.

Captured Tanks Under the German Flag: Russian Battle Tanks

The BT tanks were cavalry tanks , fast-moving light tanks designed to fight other tanks but not infantry. In prewar planning, the T was intended to become the most numerous Soviet tank, operating alongside the BT fast tank. But because of technical problems, only a total of 69 T tanks were built only 48 of them armed , and the much simpler T light tanks replaced it.

In the meantime, a replacement for the BT fast tanks was being designed which would develop into the very capable and economical T medium tank. The prototype tank, designated A, was specified with 20 millimetres 0. The A incorporated previous research BT-IS and BT-SW-2 projects into sloped armour : its all-round sloped armour plates were more likely to deflect anti-armour rounds than perpendicular armour.

The second prototype Koshkin named A, after its 32 millimetres 1. It also had a Both were tested in field trials at Kubinka in , and the heavier A proved to be as mobile as the A A still heavier version of the A with 45 millimetres 1. Resistance from the military command and concerns about high production cost were finally overridden by anxieties about the poor performance of Soviet tanks in Finland and the effectiveness of Germany's Blitzkrieg in France , and the first production tanks were completed in September , completely replacing the production of the T, BT, and the multi-turreted T medium tank at the KhPZ.

By the eve of World War II, the Soviet Union had some of the world's best tanks including the T and KV-1, which were basically a generation ahead, coming as a shock to the Wehrmacht. However, it still had many older tanks in its front-line armoured forces, with the T forming the backbone of the Red Army's armoured forces during the first months of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in In overall tanks, however, the Soviet numerical advantage was considerable as the Red Army had a large quantitative superiority.

It possessed 23, tanks, [19] of which about 12, were in the five Western Military Districts three of which directly faced the German invasion front. However, maintenance and readiness standards were very poor; ammunition and radios were in short supply, and many units lacked the trucks needed for resupply beyond their basic fuel and ammunition loads.

Also, from , the Soviets had partly dispersed their tanks to infantry divisions for infantry support, but after their experiences in the Winter War and their observation of the German campaign against France, had begun to emulate the Germans and organize most of their armoured assets into large armour divisions and corps.

This reorganization was only partially implemented at the dawn of Barbarossa, [20] as not enough tanks were available to bring the mechanized corps up to organic strength. Tank units were rarely well-equipped, and also lacked training and logistical support. Maintenance standards were very poor. Units were sent into combat with no arrangements for refuelling, ammunition resupply, or personnel replacement.

Often, after a single engagement, units were destroyed or rendered ineffective. The poor training and readiness status of most Red Army units led to a catastrophic defeat of the enormous Soviet Mechanised Corps during the opening phases of Operation Barbarossa , Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. Despite their generally good equipment, the Red Army's operational capabilities and motorised logistic support were very inferior. The Soviet numerical advantage in heavy equipment was also more than offset by the greatly superior training and readiness of German forces.

The Soviet officer corps and high command had been decimated by Stalin's Great Purge — The German Wehrmacht had about 5, tanks overall, of which 3, were committed to the invasion.

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This yields a balance of immediately available tanks of about in the Red Army's favour. The best Soviet tank, the T, was the most modern in the world, and the KV series the best armoured. The most advanced Soviet tank models, however, the T and KV-1, were not available in large numbers early in the war, and only accounted for 7. But while these 1, modern tanks were technically superior to the 1, German medium Panzer III and IV tanks, the Soviets in still lacked the communications, training and experience to employ such weapons effectively.

The Soviet Union had also built some of the best amphibious tanks as amphibious capability was important to the Red Army, as evidenced by the production of over 1, amphibious tanks in the s. It built the T and T tank light amphibians and then the T which was intended to replace them. The T was a superior design, armed with a But due to the pressures of war, the Soviets favoured the production of simpler tank designs, and only a small number of Ts were built.

The T entered production just prior to the outbreak of war, and was intended to equip reconnaissance units. As the need for large numbers of tanks became critical, a secondary non-amphibious variant was designed on the T chassis. This design became the T The T was simpler, cheaper, and better armed, and could fulfil most of the same roles. Under the stress of war, production of the T was halted in favour of the T Thus only Ts were issued, compared to over 6, Ts.

Although at first intended to carry a By , light tanks such as the T were considered inadequate by the Red Army, unable to keep up with the T medium tank and unable to penetrate the armour of most German tanks, but they could be produced by small factories which were unable to handle the large components of medium and heavy tanks.

The T was then replaced with the T light tank, a more robust version of the T with a two-man turret. But there was enough lend-lease equipment available to fulfil the reconnaissance role of the light tanks, and armoured cars were better suited for light scouting and liaison. All light tank production was cancelled in October , after only about Ts were built. No further light tanks would be built during the war.

In November Red Army tank units were reorganized: light tanks were replaced by the T and new T, which started production the following month. During the winter of —42, the T dominated German tanks through its ability to move over deep mud or snow without bogging down, where German tanks could not. The Panzer IV used an inferior leaf-spring suspension and narrow track, and tended to sink in deep mud or snow. To the Soviet advantage there were far fewer Panthers than Ts, and the T was good enough to allow skilled crew and tactical situations to tip the balance.

In November , the chief designer, A. Morozov, presented the overall design of the vehicle and a model of the tank, which received the designation T Ob'yekt It had a significant decrease in the length of the engine compartment allowed the turret to be moved rearwards, which in turn moved its rotation axis and the center of mass [24] to the center of the hull, increased the accuracy of the main gun and decreased a chance that the turret could get stuck after getting hit in the turret ring with a projectile that ricocheted.

The thickness of the frontal armor protection more than doubled without disturbing the center of mass or drastically increasing the weight of the tank.

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However, only 25 were built by the end of In , were built, making a total of [25] tanks built in and were completed by the end of the war. The prototype was ready in February and the trials conducted between March and April gave positive results and the vehicle entered service with the Red Army as the T The tank had almost the same hull and drive train as the TA. The tank was powered by a new V cylinder The fuel capacity was increased litres in the internal fuel tank and litres in the external fuel tank.

The weight was increased to Further development of the T was cancelled and all the attention was directed towards the development of the new T main battle tank. It carried 40 Hawker Hurricanes along with mechanics and pilots of No. The convoy was the first of many convoys to Murmansk and Archangelsk in what became known as the Arctic convoys , the returning ships carried the gold that the USSR was using to pay the US.

By the end of , early shipments of Matilda , Valentine and Tetrarch tanks represented only 6. The total number of Sherman tanks sent to the U. The first 76mm-armed M4A2 diesel-fuel Shermans started to arrive in Soviet Union in the late summer of The Sherman was largely held in good regard and viewed positively by many Soviet tank-crews which operated it before, with compliments mainly given to its reliability, ease of maintenance, generally good firepower referring especially to the 76mm-gun version and decent armour protection, [38] as well as an auxiliary-power unit APU to keep the tank's batteries charged without having to run the main engine for the same purpose as the Soviets' own T tank required.

With massive quantities of weapons and tanks from World War II, and the factories to produce them, the Russians exported them and built up client states which spread their influence and became involved in the continuing state of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition existing afterwards known as the Cold War. The Cold War featured periods of relative calm and of international high tension — the Berlin Blockade — , the Korean War — , the Berlin Crisis of , the Vietnam War — , the Cuban Missile Crisis , the Soviet—Afghan War — , and various smaller conflicts in which Soviet weapons had significant impact in many wars.

The North Korean invasion of South Korea in June was spearheaded by a full brigade equipped with about Ts. Additional T tanks later joined the first assault force after it had penetrated into South Korea. The T tanks of the North Korean army rolled across the border and headed south where they brushed aside opposition with ease, such as when they came into contact with elements of the 24th Infantry Division in the Battle of Osan on July 5, during the first battle between American and North Korean forces.

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Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Germany used many types of Russian battle tanks captured during WWII, and this book gives an accurate account in both photographs and text. Help Centre.


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My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Sometime in the Autumn , a German soldier hangs a Nazi flag from a building in downtown Stalingrad. While Russian forces drive around behind them, threatening encirclement, the Germans continue their attempt to take Stalingrad. A Stuka raid on the factory district of Stalingrad is seen in this photo, taken on November 24, A scene of devastation as an abandoned horse stands among the ruins of Stalingrad in December of A tank cemetery which the Germans are stated to have established at Rzhev on December 21, Some 2, tanks were said to be in this cemetery in various stages of disrepair.

German troops pass through a wrecked generating station in the factory district of Stalingrad, on December 28, Ruins of part of the city of Stalingrad, on November 5, , following huge battles, with wrecked shells of buildings on either side. Standing in the backyard of an abandoned house in the outskirts of the besieged city of Leningrad, a rifleman of the Red Army aims and fires his machine gun at German positions on December 16, Soviet soldiers in camouflage winter uniforms line up along the roof of a house in Stalingrad, in January of Soviet soldiers find cover in piles of rubble from blasted buildings while engaging German forces in street fighting on the outskirts of Stalingrad in early German troops involved in street fighting in the destroyed streets of Stalingrad in early Red Army soldiers in camouflage gear on a snow-covered battlefield, somewhere along the German-Russian war front, as they advance against German positions on March 3, Soviet infantrymen move across snow-covered hills around Stalingrad, on their advance to lift the German siege of the city in early In February of , a Soviet soldier stands guard behind a captured German soldier.

Months after being encircled by the Soviets in Stalingrad, the remnants of the German Sixth Army surrendered, after fierce fighting and starvation had already claimed the lives of some , Paulus was the first German Field Marshal taken prisoner in the war, defying Hitler's expectations that he fight until death or take his own life in defeat.

Paulus eventually became a vocal critic of the Nazi regime while in Soviet captivity, and later acted as a witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials. Red Army soldiers in a trench as a Russian T tank passes over them in , during the Battle of Kursk. Bodies of dead German soldiers lie sprawled across a roadside southwest of Stalingrad, on April 14, Soviet soldiers, on their backs, launch a volley of bullets at enemy aircraft in June of From July until August of , the region around Kursk would see the largest series of armored battles in history, as Germans brought some 3, of their tanks to engage more than 5, Soviet tanks.

Huge numbers of German tanks concentrate for a new attack on Soviet fortifications on July 28, , during the Battle of Kursk. After taking months to prepare for the offensive, German forces fell far short of their objectives - the Soviets, having been aware of their plans, had built massive defenses. After the German defeat at Kursk, the Red Army would effectively have the upper hand for the rest of the war.