In the 1930s, the only infantry support tank, which was had by Soviet army, was the T-26. Basic gun variant of the T-26, manufactured in 1933, the end of the decade could not answer the achieved level of tank development. The increased power of the anti-tank artillery, tank T-26, having a 15-mm armor, did not give a chance to «survive» on the battlefield. Contractions in Spain is shown graphically. «20 hex» just dealt with tanks rebels with weapons rather weak, but it all became easy prey for their anti-tank guns. General, while in this position were all Russian tanks (like most of the tanks of other countries) which do not protivosnaryadnogo had reservations. confrontation in the projectile and armor won a temporary concrete shell.
That is why the Committee of Defense of the USSR August 7, 1938 adopted a resolution «On the system tank weapons.» This document contained a requirement by July 1939 (least than year) To establish new standards of tanks that will meet the conditions of a future war on booking, armament and maneuverability. In a few KB in accordance with the data requirements have begun to develop new tanks.
At the Leningrad plant most experienced engineering number 185 Kirov design team, led by SA Ginsburg, led projecting light infantry support tank. This tank in the summer of 40-year — to 126 (in the literature often referred to as T-126SP) — made in metal. T-126SP on his own armor protection was equivalent to the T-34. The body of the tank welded from 45-mm armor plates, were the exception of 20-mm sheets of the roof and the bottom. Frontal, side and upper aft hull plates were placed at an angle of 40 to 57 °.
The driver’s hatch was located on the top front of the compartment. The cover flap installed a monitoring device. In the ball mount to the left of flap housed DS-39 machine gun 7.62 mm. Fire from a machine gun led gunner. His workplace is also equipped with a monitoring device. Another pair of devices has been installed in the frontal armor plate cheek.
In faceted tower of welded sheets, established a 45-millimeter cannon standard in 1934 and DT machine gun 7.62 mm, paired with her. In the roof of the tower was made rectangular flap serves to planting crew. Aft wall had a round hatch that is used when removing the gun. At the top of this flap is also in the walls of the tower there were openings for firing of personal weapons. The holes were locked with pear-shaped plugs. Along the perimeter of the roof of the tower were four monitoring devices. Commander’s view was mounted in the cover flap. So Makar, the object 126 to visibility significantly overshadowed tank T-34.
The object set 126 engine B-3, which is a 6-cylinder diesel engine version of the B-2 (sometimes referred to as his «half»). With the power of 250 horsepower, he allowed it to reach a car weighing 17 tons speed of 35 km per hour. Fuel tank capacity of 340 liters. provided in store travel up to 270 km on the highway.
The chassis of the tank (on one side) were: 6 neobrezinennye support dual rollers of small diameter, three neobrezinennye support rollers, located behind the driving wheel, the steering wheel neobrezinennye. Road wheels were equipped with internal shock absorbers. Track chain-Melkozvenchataya, open-joint lantern meshing. The peculiarity of the chassis was the torsion bar suspension.
In the body of the tank near the site of needle-radio operator station is located 71-TK-3, curb whip antenna. Ammunition of machine guns and cannons consisted of 4,250 rounds of ammunition and 150 rounds (DS and DT machine guns used rifle cartridges).
During the industrial and military trials held in 1940, the tank proved to be good. However, the State Commission has been asked to reduce the weight of the tank to 13 tons by reducing the thickness of the armor up to 37 mm (initially thickness was 45 mm). In addition, there was a tightness and jobs crew. On the second swatch combat vehicle tried to remove this defect by a withdrawal DS-39 machine guns, armor recess is closed lid screwed. Steps have been taken to reduce the wear and caterpillars, by the substitution of neobrezinennye rubberized rollers. The altered so makarom machine spec. literature often referred to as T-127.
In autumn of the 40th year to 126 was handed over to the Leningrad Machine-Building Plant named after Voroshilov number 174. There, at its base and a half months a group of designers under the LS Troyanova and IS Bushneva developed a new variant of the light tank, designated object 135 (not to be confused with the T-34-85). In the design of the active role of perceived GV Gudkov and S. Ginsburg. According to other sources, this car developed along with the object 126, but because it had the best tactical and technical characteristics, preference was given to her. In January, 41-year tank was made in metal. In February of that year, after the successful passage of the industry and state. tests, the tank was put into service under the T-50.
In appearance and design of the T-50 was very similar to 126, but with all this had a number of significant differences, because in the process of creation took into account the introduction of armored combat experience during the Finnish War and the test results of German Pz.lll in the Soviet Union, held in the summer 40-year. Hull plates of the T-50 had a weld and huge angles. The highest thickness of the frontal and side armor hull, turret armor also reduced from 45 to 37 mm. Aft hull had a thickness of 25 mm and the thickness of the bottom and the roof was reduced to 15 mm. At the top front of the compartment is almost in the center (with a small offset to the left of the longitudinal axis of the machine) was carried out of the driver’s hatch, fitted out an inspection device, there was no exchange machine gun. Another couple of surveillance devices, as in «126th», mounted in head cheekbones.
Welded tower, which has a streamlined shape, reminiscent of the tower T-34, but was designed for three crew members. In the back of the roof of the tower (under the influence of Pz.lll) established commander’s cupola and eight observation slits, closing armor flaps. The turret had a small hatch which, may have served to signal. Landing crew performed through two rectangular flap done in the roof. To remove the gun served as a door, made in the feed list. At the sides of the tower located vision devices loader and gunner, who were locked round armor covers.
The arms of the T-50 was not usual for Russian tank production. With a 45-millimeter cannon were paired two machine guns DT 7.62. The radio station was set 9P about the commander in the turret of a tank.
By reducing the thickness of the armor plates, implementation of the principles of differentiated reservations that have allowed the tank to reduce the weight of 13.8 tons, and the installation of V-4 engine, which has power of 300 horsepower (forced diesel variant B-3) significantly increased the speed — up to 52 km / h (the maximum speed of the object 126 — 35 km / h). With 2 fuel tanks with a total capacity of 350 liters. ensured in store-load to 344 km on the highway.
In the chassis used road wheels with internal shock absorbers and torsion bar suspension personally.
Batch creation of the T-50 was planned to make the factory number 174, and therefore the 1 January of the 41st year it completed the creation of the T-26. But the restructuring of production by more technologically challenging the T-50 was carried out slowly, because in the first half of the 41st, the plant produced only 116 flame-throwing tank OT-133. Significant difficulties emerged with the development of diesel V-4 at the factory number 75 (Kharkov). But according to the plans of the T-50 was due to change in the Army T-26. According to the initial plan of re-Tank-Automotive troops, this tank was to be the most massive (it is worth noting that the first order for T-34 tanks amounted to only 600 units.) In the 40-41 years of the plan been adjusted since it was decided to the formation of the mechanized corps. But for them it was necessary not less than 14 million data tanks. The fact that the T-50 be treated as a component of the Russian tank fleet can be judged by a joint decision of the SNK of the USSR and the CPSU (b) «Increasing the production of tanks KB, T-34 and T-50, artillery tractors and diesel tank at the III and IV quarters of 1941, «which was adopted June 25, 1941 after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
In 1941, the price of utter effort managed to produce 50 tanks. The factory number 174 was evacuated in August — a main part in Omsk, where the production of tanks resumed in December, also in Barnaul and Nizhny Tagil. An attempt to expand the creation of the T-50 in Moscow at the factory number 37 was not crowned with success — there is hardly managed to create 5-ton T-40, and a 14-ton T-50 plant was apparently «too tough.» But the main limiting factor of production T-50 engines were. scheduled tasks in priority was the creation of the diesel V-2. Namely, in an evacuated to Chelyabinsk plant number 75 exported C-4 disassembled for parts for engines to B-2. Due to these T-bills 13 October 1941 decided to build two plants in Barnaul, one for the production of T-50, the second for the production of engines for the C-4. However, in accordance with the order of T-Bills February 6, 1942 the creation of the T-50 engines also generally done to them. In Omsk plant Number 174 in 1942, releasing 15 tanks (may have been collected from the evacuated backlog), began the construction of the tank T-34.
Disk imaging on the fate of the military T-50 strongly enough. But, despite this, it is clear that in the First Armored Division, which was stationed in the Leningrad military encirclement and took part in the fighting in the area Kingissepp, August 41th, there were 10 T-50. In autumn 1941, a few T-50 was part of the troops of the Seventh Army, which took part in the defense at Petrozavodsk direction. During these battles took one car Finns and exploited her straight to the end of the 54th year. What’s all the same for the Russian army, for example, one T-50 in 1943 was considered as part of the Fifth Guards Tank Brigade.
Reliable information on how the «fifties» showed itself in combat, no. But no vibrations and that of the 3 Russian tanks, which were taken into service before the second world war, the T-50 was more spent constructively and equilibrium, good for totality of operational and combat capabilities. According mobility, booking and arms, he surpassed or not inferior to the German medium tank Pz.lll, but for all that was still the smallest size and weight of the combat. in the tower of the T-50, which such was the same as the T-34, the diameter of the ring in the world, there were three people that provided the separation of functions. But in this case, the defects were the continuation of advantages. Notwithstanding the fact that the tower was located 45-mm cannon, three members of the crew were closely. therefore cupola has been shifted to the right side, and the captain himself had to sit to the axis of the tank in a half-turn. Perhaps it made sense to use a twin tower, which has a huge amount of surveillance devices, it was produced in the object 126. For light tanks is acceptable. Virtually all zabugornye analogues second world war — «Valentine», «Stuart» and «Chaffee», made in the 44th year, equipped with double towers.
Fully sufficient for the 41 th and even 42-year was adopted and the T-50 45-millimeter cannon 20K in the 500 meters, which is struggling with all types of German tanks. This gun was perfectly familiar to the tanks, and the warehouses there was a significant amount of ammunition for it. For 1943 20K gun was already weak, but particularly at this time in the bureau number 172 was created, tested and recommended for adoption by the armament 45-mm tank gun VT-42. Length of the barrel of a new instrument was 68.6 caliber, armor-piercing projectile initial velocity of 950 meters per second. From Gun BT-42 differed from 20K solid build, it allows you to have even a single tower T-70. With the installation of the guns on the T-50 did not have to appear problems. The projectile BT-42 at a distance of 500 meters past the frontal armor of virtually all German tanks only pz.iv Ausf.H and J, «Tiger» and «Panther».
There was a reserve for the modernization of the tank, including the strengthening of body armor, also the highest power density was equal to — 21.4 hp / t! For comparison: the tank T-34 the rate was 18.65 hp / t, y «Valentine» — 10, with «Stewart» — 19,6; Pz.lll-15. Trehsotsilny diesel engine could «drag» 45-mm armor.
Summarizing, we have only to regret that the mass production of the T-50 has not been established yet.
It is worth noting that in the 41 th year of the factory number 174 on the T-50 was the most experienced set the standard flamethrower, which was used in the construction of the gate Degtyareva. Then he got a brand ATO-41 and was installed on the KV-8 and RT-34. At the same time, a tank installed on a trial basis tower design Savina, curb 37-millimeter anti-aircraft gun.
The story of the T-50 would be complete without mentioning the 1st standard. In 1941, the Leningrad Kirov Plant within those. requirements for the T-50 developed under the control of the designer Alexander Yermolayeva and made to 211. Welded body of the car had a narrowed nose, curb «trade» for the Kirov factory hatch-stopper for the driver. The tank has been installed, welded tower, has a sleek elongated shape. The power plant and armament was similar to the T-50 factory number 174. This option was easier «Voroshilov» T-50, but did not have significant advantages. Besides, body shape, «Kirov» tank was the least successful. With the start of the war at the Kirov plant operation on the object 211 have been discontinued, and the only reference in the tank was the defense of Leningrad.
At the current time there are three light tank T-50 in Kubinka at the Museum of armored vehicles can behold tank T-50 and the object 126, the next tank, filled with additional armor shields, located in Finland, in a town in Parola Tank Museum.
Based on materials from the website http://3v-soft.clan.su/