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T-40 Amphibious Tank

The small amphibious tank T-40 was the pinnacle of the development of its class cars in the Soviet Union. The T-40 was a very remarkable tank, although not many of these cars were released. As part of the existing tactics of the use of the T-40 was very good. He fully met all the requirements for the application. Intelligence, communications, combat convoy columns on the march - no problem, the machine coped, unlike its predecessors. Moreover, besides itself with the crew, the T-40 could easily move several (up to four) infantrymen with full equipment on land and a couple on water, which on the T-38, for example, was unrealistic.

Maneuverable, fast and floating - the T-40 could seriously help in the capture and retention of bridgeheads on the other side of the water barrier. But mostly Soviet soldiers forced the rivers in improvised boats without any support, suffering heavy losses from enemy fire.

Generally, initially, in 1937, the Main Armored Directorate (GABTU) of the Red Army ordered a completely different car. This was a project of a wheeled-tracked tank weighing 5-6 tons with a 150-180 l diesel engine. with. The design of the car received an index T-39. Astrov spent a lot of time to prove the groundlessness of the project, and proved. First of all, we did not produce such a diesel engine. Further, Astrov simply offered his project of a new and completely different from the English base "Cardin-Loyd" tank. According to the T-40 project, even two options were developed - one of the Astrov, the second of Shitikov. After preliminary design, both options were discussed. Accepted version of the machine Astrov.

The design of the tank was completed at the end of 1938, and the drawings were immediately transferred to production. By the spring of 1939, the first samples of the car were collected and went to the test. The new tank was significantly different from its predecessors T-37A and T-38. The machine has received an increased body height, welded from 6-13 mm armor plates. To increase the stability afloat, the hull had a trapezoidal (in cross section) shape with an expanded upper part.

Armament of the tank compared to its predecessors was strengthened. The armament was changed, and a pair of machine guns of various calibers allowed them to maintain their infantry in battle and even fight the enemys lightly armored vehicles. The DShK with a 12.7 mm caliber was able to break into both an armored personnel carrier and a light tank.

The most significant disadvantage of the T-40 was the congestion of the tank commander inherited from the T-37A. This was probably the most miserable person in the tank forces of the Red Army, since the commander of the T-40 would be nice to be born an octopus. The tank commander served as a gunner, loader, radio operator (if the tank was radioed), coordinated with other tanks and supervised the driver-mechanic. But whatever the small crew, no matter how overloaded the commander, not the main problems of the tank.

During the war, they began to massively produce "land" versions of the T-40S and T-30, unable to swim, but with enhanced armor and cannon armament. In the design of the T-40 was laid a significant reserve, which allowed to quickly develop on the basis of a light tank more secure and more powerfully armed, compared with the original version, light tank T-60.

It is clear that at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, in view of the huge losses of tanks (both combat and non-combat), the T-40 began to be used as a tank of direct support for infantry. Using a floating reconnaissance tank as a light tank for infantry support was not a good idea.

Since not a lot of T-40s were released, there is not much information about their use in combat. It is known that on June 1, 1941, there were 131 T-40s in the Red Army, of which 115 were in the western military districts. The tanks were poorly mastered by the crews, and even in their floating modification in battle, they were still used as ordinary tanks, so that in the first days of the war most of the vehicles were lost.

The most intense T-40s in their non-floating modifications were used during the Battle of Moscow. In mid-1942, the T-40 was practically left at the front. The longest they were used in the North-West direction - it is known that in January 1944 one vehicle was in the 124th tank regiment of the Volkhov front.

The T-40s were mainly designed for auxiliary tasks, but due to the lack of tanks they were also used to support the infantry, despite the very weak armor and armament the T-40 was inferior to almost all German tanks. But these cars were praised for maneuverability and reliability inherent in not many tanks of that period.

It should also be noted that the defensive phase of the Great Patriotic War did not at all abolish the need for troops in such niche models of equipment as the T-40. Suffice it to say that during the transition to the offensive, Soviet commanders repeatedly recalled the need for amphibious tanks, sometimes using even the surviving T-38s for this purpose. Amphibious vehicles DUKW-353, supplied under Lend-Lease, solved the problem only partially - they did not have reservations and weapons, and they were not enough. River flotilla armored boats also could not always help. Therefore, more than once, Soviet soldiers forced water barriers on improvised watercraft without any support, suffering heavy losses from enemy rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire. Maneuverable, the fast and floating T-40 could more than seriously help the Soviet troops in capturing and holding bridgeheads on the other side of a forced water barrier. Moreover, lightly armored machine-guns floating machines are widely represented in modern armies, only there was a change of propeller - large wheels with adjustable pressure were more profitable caterpillars. An example is the Soviet BRDM.

Among the samples of the modern for that time foreign technology, the light tank T-40 practically has no analogues. Among land vehicles in its weight and size category it is almost equivalent to booking a German light tank PzKpfw I, an Italian L6 / 40 and a Japanese Ha-Go or Ka-Mi. Surpassing the German machine in terms of armament (machine guns of 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm caliber against two 7.92 mm), the T-40 is inferior in arms to the Italian L6 / 40 and Japanese "Ha-Go" or "Ka-Mi" ( 20 mm automatic and 37 mm non-automatic guns, respectively). However, the gun modification of the T-40 makes it almost equivalent to the Italian tank and somewhat smoothes the advantage of the Japanese. However, L6 / 40 and "Ha-Go" could not swim, and "Ka-Mi" required special external floats to maintain buoyancy, which must be set in advance and dropped after going to land. The T-40, unlike the Ka-Mi, was ready to force the water barrier on the move without any preliminary preparation.

The American amphibious transport vehicle LVT Amtank, with equivalent or stronger booking and armament (depending on the modification), had a mass of 16.5 tons and was incomparable with the 5.5-tonne T-40. Considering the high reliability and manufacturability of the design, the T-40 can be regarded as a successful car and the success of N. A. Astrov and his staff, but the tragic circumstances of the beginning of World War II for the USSR did not give the "forty" to fully show all its positive qualities in that role, on which it was calculated. The American amphibious transport vehicle LVT Amtank, with equivalent or stronger booking and armament (depending on the modification), had a mass of 16.5 tons and was incomparable with the 5.5-tonne T-40.

Considering the high reliability and manufacturability of the design, the T-40 can be regarded as a successful car and the success of N. A. Astrov and his staff, but the tragic circumstances of the beginning of World War II for the USSR did not give the "forty" to fully show all its positive qualities in that role, on which it was calculated. The American amphibious transport vehicle LVT Amtank, with equivalent or stronger booking and armament (depending on the modification), had a mass of 16.5 tons and was incomparable with the 5.5-tonne T-40. Considering the high reliability and manufacturability of the design, the T-40 can be regarded as a successful car and the success of N. A. Astrov and his staff, but the tragic circumstances of the beginning of World War II for the USSR did not give the "forty" to fully show all its positive qualities in that role, on which it was calculated.

T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank T-40 Amphibious Tank


T-40 Amphibious Tank

T-40 Amphibious Tank



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Page last modified: 10-04-2019 10:17:03 ZULU