WW2-Tanks

T-26 Soviet Light Tank

T-26 Light soviet Tank

T-26 Light Tank History

T-26 Light Tank- Side View

T-26 Light Tank- Side View

T-26 is a Soviet light tank, based on the British Vickers Mk E tank, adopted by the USSR in 1931. The most numerous tank of the Red Army and the Finnish army at the beginning of World War II, as well as the army of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, the second largest after the T-34 Soviet tank of the 1930s – 1940s.  (also known as the “Vickers 6-ton”) purchased in 1930.

By the early 1930s, the USSR’s tank fleet consisted primarily of the T-18 mass-produced light tank for direct infantry support, as well as various types of British tanks from the First World War. The T-18 fulfilled the task of saturating the Red Army with combat-ready and relatively modern tanks, as well as their development by industry. However, the characteristics of the T-18, which was a deep modernization of the French FT-17, by 1929 did not meet the requirements of the General Staff of the Red Army. At the end of 1929, at a meeting of the board of the main directorate of the military industry it was concluded that due to the lack of experience among Soviet tank designers and the underdevelopment of the industrial base, the development time of Soviet tanks and their specified characteristics are not met, and the created projects are not suitable for mass production. In this regard, on December 5, 1929, a commission chaired by the People’s Commissar of heavy industry G. Ordzhonikidze decided to turn to foreign experience.

After getting acquainted with experienced German tanks in the course of Soviet-German cooperation, as well as with tanks from other countries during a study tour of the head of the Motorization and Mechanization Department of the Red Army, I. A. Khalepsky, to the USA and European countries, which began on December 30, 1929, it was concluded that lagging behind the level of Soviet tanks.

In 1930, a procurement commission was created under the leadership of Khalepsky and the head of the engineering design bureau for tanks S. A. Ginzburg, whose task was to select and purchase samples of tanks, tractors and vehicles suitable for adoption by the Red Army. First of all, the commission in the spring of 1930 went to Great Britain, which in those years was considered the world leader in the production of armored vehicles. The commission’s attention was drawn to the light tank Vickers Mk E or “Vickers 6-ton” (eng. 6-ton), created by Vickers-Armstrong in 1928-1929 and actively offered for export. The commission planned to purchase only one copy of the necessary equipment, but the company refused to sell single samples, and even more so with documentation, as a result, an agreement was reached on the purchase of small batches of tanks, including 15 Mk.E at a price of 42 thousand rubles in 1931 prices years, with a full set of technical documentation and a license for production in the USSR. Tank deliveries were to be made from September 1930 to January 1931. Vickers-Armstrong offered several variants of the tank, in particular, the “Model A” with two single-man turrets with 7.7-mm Vickers machine guns and the “Model B” with a two-man turret with a 47-mm short-barreled gun and a 7.7 mm machine gun, but the Soviet side purchased only two-tower vehicles. In the USSR, the Mk.E received the designation B-26 (Vickers-26).

The assembly of tanks was carried out at the Vickers-Armstrong factories, Soviet specialists also took part in it to familiarize themselves with the technology. The first V-26 was sent to the USSR on October 22, 1930, and before the end of the year three more tanks arrived in the USSR.

 

T-26In the USSR, the first tanks that arrived were placed at the disposal of the “special commission for new tanks of the Red Army” under the leadership of S. Ginzburg, whose task was to select a tank for adoption by the army. From December 24, 1930 to January 5, 1931, three B-26s were tested in the area of ​​Poklonnaya Gora, on the basis of which the commission made “rather restrained” conclusions. But on January 8 – January 11, a demonstration of two tanks in front of representatives of the high command of the Red Army and the Moscow Military District, the V-26 evoked their stormy approval, and already on January 9, K. Voroshilov’s order followed : “… to finally decide the question of the advisability of organizing the production of V-26 in the USSR”, and Ginzburg was ordered to submit to the Narkomvoenmor a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the B-26 compared to the T-19 noted during the tests.

The report, presented on January 11, 1931, concluded that the B-26 transmission and chassis were reliable and simple and that these systems met the requirements of the Red Army, but also said that the engine was not suitable for installation on a tank, and its design did not allow for an increase power by traditional forcing methods. Among the advantages of the tank, there were also good optical sights for machine guns and an easy-to-manufacture hull shape, among the shortcomings were difficult access to the engine and transmission and the impossibility of carrying out routine repairs of the engine in battle from inside the tank. In general, it was noted that“… B-26, despite the shortcomings considered, is capable of developing high speed and maneuverability and is without a doubt the best example of all currently known models of foreign tanks. ” In comparison with the T-19, it was noted that in terms of completion time and cost, the development of the T-19 in production is the most profitable, less – a combined tank that combined the T-19 and B-26 units, and the least – the organization of the production of the B-26 unchanged. The general conclusion of the report was that it was necessary to start designing a new tank based on the T-19 and V-26 designs, with the engine, hull and armament from the first and the transmission and running gear of the latter, as well as organizing joint tests of the T-19 and V-26 for obtaining more complete results.

VAMM also proposed its own project, which, after reading the documentation for the B-26, proposed to start designing a tank using the design of the British car hull, but with reinforced armor and a 100 hp Hercules or Franklin engine. s., as more suitable for the conditions of production in the USSR. According to the results of the commission meetings on January 16-17, 1931, two technical assignments were issued: to the design group of S. Ginzburg for the creation of a hybrid tank, called “Improved T-19” and VAMM for the creation of a “Low Power Tank” (TMM). Work on both projects was progressing, in particular, the preliminary design of the “Improved T-19” was already adopted on January 26 of the same year, but the international situation made adjustments to the plans. So, on January 26, I. Khalepsky sent a letter to Ginzburg, stating that, according to intelligence data, Poland is also purchasing samples of the Vickers Mk.E and, according to the estimates of the Red Army leadership, by the end of this year with the British -French help to produce more than 300 tanks of this type, which would give the Polish tank forces an advantage. In this regard, the RVS of the Red Army considered it appropriate to consider the issue of the immediate adoption of the B-26 in its current form. As a result, on February 13, 1931, the RVS, after hearing Khalepsky’s report on the progress of work on new tanks, decided to accept the B-26 into service with the Red Army as “the main tank for escorting combined arms units and formations, as well as tank and mechanized units of the RGK” with assignment of the T-26 index to it.

Series launch and further development

Start of production

For the production of the T-26, due to the lack of alternatives, the Leningrad plant ” Bolshevik ” was chosen, which had previously been engaged in the production of the T-18. Later, it was supposed to connect the Stalingrad Tractor Plant, which was being completed, to production. The Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, which was also under construction, was also considered. The design work for the preparation of production, and subsequently the modernization of the tank, was led by S. Ginzburg. Initially, the Bolshevik plant was issued a plan for the production of 500 T-26s in 1931, later this number was reduced to 300 with the release of the first tank no later than May 1, but this figure could not be reached either.. Although the plant had previously produced the T-18 at a similar pace, the new tank proved to be much more difficult to produce. In the spring of 1931, the factory department, which consisted of only 5 people, prepared for production and produced two reference copies of the tank. By May 1, working drawings were completed, and on June 16, the technological process was approved and the manufacture of equipment for mass production began.

In July 1931, it was planned to begin production of two prototype tanks with non-armored steel hulls using temporary technology, with extensive use of imported components. The cars were ready in August. Their design exactly repeated the British original, differing only in armament, which consisted of a 37-mm PS-1 cannon in the right turret and a 7.62-mm DT-29 machine gun in the left. In the course of production, a number of serious problems immediately emerged, while, although the design bureau from the very beginning of work repeatedly proposed to introduce improvements into the design aimed at simplifying the manufacturing technology, all these attempts were suppressed by top management. The tank engine brought the most problems, which, despite its apparent simplicity, required a higher production culture than the Soviet plant could provide  – at first it was considered normal if the marriage of engines was up to 65%. In addition, the Izhora Plant, which supplied tank hulls, was initially unable to establish the production of 13 mm armor plates due to a high percentage of defects, as a result of which 10 mm were used instead of them on a significant part of the hulls. But even the 10-mm sheets on the supplied hulls had numerous through cracks and were pierced during tests by a 7.62-mm armor-piercing bullet from a distance of 150-200 m. Until November, tank hulls were produced with assembly completely on bolts and screws, in order to ensure the replacement of armor plates with conditioned ones. As a result, the engines did not actually work on the tanks of the pilot batch, and the tanks could move only when they were replaced with an imported engine from the reference B-26.

Double turret tanks

 

Double-turret T-26 of early production with riveted hull and turrets with diesel fuel

In August 1931, the production of an initial batch of 10 tanks began, which differed from the pre-production turrets of increased height with an inspection hatch and slots in the upper part, more suitable for production on available equipment. But even on these tanks, the engines turned out to be inoperable, and it was only in the autumn of that year that it was possible to achieve the movement of serial tanks on their own. The rush to master production led to the fact that the plant until 1934 did not have a precisely established technological process, and the cost of tanks was almost twice the cost of British-made B-26s. By the end of 1931, 120 tanks were made, but due to poor quality, none of them could be handed over to military acceptance at first. Only after lengthy negotiations did the army agree to accept 100 tanks, most of them conditionally. Even the 17 tanks that were fully accepted by military acceptance did not have weapons. However, the plant was ordered to replace the engines on the tanks, since when working under load they “made numerous extraneous noises and experienced interruptions”. Approximately 35 tanks from this first hundred had hulls and turrets made of non-armoured steel. Subsequently, they were to receive full armor protection.

This situation led to the resumption of work on the T-19 and TMM, as well as the creation of a simplified small tank T-34, with which it was proposed to compensate for the numerical shortage of the escort tank in the event of a threat of war. However, the plan adopted in September 1931, which provided for the production of 3,000 T-26s in 1932, was not adjusted even after it became clear that STZ was unable to join production at that time. Only in February 1932, the Defense Commission allowed the plant to make any changes to the design of the tank that “would not reduce the fighting qualities and contribute to an increase in production”. In addition, for better organization of work, tank production at the Bolshevik plant was separated from February into a separate plant No. 174. By the end of 1932, the number of allied enterprises reached fifteen, including: Izhora Plant (armored hulls and turrets), Krasny Oktyabr (gearboxes and cardan shafts), Krasny Putilovets (chassis), Bolshevik “(semi-finished products of engines) and Plant No. 7 (boiler and tin products). In addition, it was planned to involve NAZ and AMO in the production of engines. On a number of them, problems arose with the production of such complex units, as a result of which the delivery time of components was delayed, and the percentage of defects, according to the report of the director of plant No. 174 K. Sirken of April 26, reached 70-88% for engines and -41% for cases. As a result of all this, the plan for the production of tanks was again frustrated: by July, only 241 tanks were handed over to the army in addition to those adopted in 1931, and in total, by the end of the year, the plant managed to produce 1410 tanks, of which it was presented for delivery. 1361, but only 1032 are accepted.

 

The design of the tank was constantly improved during production. In addition to the introduction of new towers, in 1931 the engine was moved aft to provide it with better working conditions, and from the beginning of 1932 new fuel and oil tanks were introduced, and from March 1 of the same year, a box over the grate was installed on the T – 26 an air vent that protected the engine from atmospheric precipitation. S. Ginzburg also proposed in March 1932 to switch to an inclined front part of the hull, which would improve both the manufacturability and security of the tank, but this initiative was not supported. In January – March 1932, a batch of 22 machines with welded hulls was produced, but due to the lack of a production base at that time, welding was not widespread. Nevertheless, in 1932-1933 welding gradually began to be introduced into the construction of hulls and turrets, while in parallel hulls could be produced as an all-riveted and all-welded construction, as well as mixed riveted-welded ones. On the hulls, regardless of the design, both riveted or welded and mixed turrets could be installed, and towers of different types sometimes fell on one tank. From September 1932, the armor protection of the tank was strengthened by replacing 13 mm armor plates with 15 mm.

 

In parallel, two variants of tanks were produced – with machine gun armament and with machine gun and cannon armament, consisting of a DT-29 machine gun in the left turret and a 37-mm cannon in the right. Machine-gun tanks at the end of 1932 began to be produced with ball mounts for the new DTU machine guns, but since the latter were soon taken out of production, the tanks of these series turned out to be unarmed and they later had to replace the frontal sheets of the towers with those suitable for installing the old DT-29. Cannon tanks were equipped with a 37-mm Hotchkiss cannon or its modified Soviet version ” Hotchkiss-PS “, but the release of these guns was curtailed and for arming the T-26, the guns had to be dismantled from the T-18 and even the FT-17 withdrawn from the combat units. Even at the stage of preparation for the production of the T-26, it was supposed to arm it with a more powerful 37-mm PS-2 gun, but the prototypes of the latter were never brought to a working state. In addition, the PS-2 had a larger breech and recoil length compared to the PS-1, and on the T-26 it was supposed to be installed in the middle tower from the T-35 tank, which was experienced at that time. Another alternative was the B-3 cannon, obtained by imposing the barrel of an anti-tank gun from Rheinmetallon the bed PS-2. Work on it was more successful, but in addition, due to the smaller size of the B-3, it could be installed in a standard machine-gun turret. Tests of the cannon in the tank in the autumn of 1931 were successful, but the production of the B-3 unfolded much more slowly than expected, and they were only in small quantities on the T-26, and from the summer of 1932, all produced guns of this type were to be supplied to the armament of the BT tanks -2. At the end of 1933, at the suggestion of M. Tukhachevsky, the installation in one of the tank turrets of a 76-mm recoilless gun designed by L. Kurchevsky was worked out, but carried out on March 9In 1934, tests showed a number of shortcomings of such a weapon – the general underdevelopment of the design, the inconvenience of loading on the move, the formation of a jet of hot gases behind the gun when fired, dangerous for the accompanying infantry – as a result of which further work in this direction was stopped.

For the better organization of tank production, by order of the People’s Commissariat for Heavy Industry of October 26, 1932, a special engineering trust was formed as part of plants No. 174, No. 37, Krasny Oktyabr and KhPZ. After getting acquainted with the state of affairs at the factories, the management of the trust turned to the government of the USSR with a proposal to reduce the program for the production of tanks. The proposal was supported and, according to the plan approved for 1933, plant No. 174 was supposed to produce 1700 tanks, and the main attention should have been directed to improving the quality of the produced vehicles. But these plans were corrected by the start of production of the single-turret version of the T-26 in the middle of 1933. Although M. Tukhachevsky advocated the continuation of the production of double-turret machine-gun vehicles, as the most suitable for escorting infantry, and at first both variants of the tank were produced in parallel, the single-turret T-26 replaced its predecessor in production by the end of the year, and plans for the production of a double-turret version for 1934 were adjusted in favor of releasing specialized variants such as Flamethrower/Chem Tanks. had cannon-machine-gun armament, including about 30 vehicles armed with B-3 cannons.

Transition to a single-turret tank

T-26 Light TankAlthough of the Mk.E variants proposed by Vickers-Armstrong for mass production in the USSR, only a two-turreted machine-gun was selected, back in 1931, S. Ginzburg secured funding for the creation of a “tank fighter ” armed with a 37-mm cannon of “high power” and a 7.62-mm machine gun in a twin mount, housed in a single conical turret from the T-19 Improved tank. But in reality, work on the single-turret T-26 began only in 1932. Mastering the assembly of a conical turret from curvilinear armor plates was difficult for the Soviet industry, so the first turret of this type, created by the Izhora plantby the spring of 1932 and intended for the BT-2 tank, it had a cylindrical shape. A similar tower was supposed to be installed on the T-26 “tank-fighter” variant. During tests of the riveted and welded versions of the turret, preference was given to the first one, which was recommended for adoption after the revision of the identified shortcomings and the addition of a niche in the stern for the installation of a radio station. To conduct military tests, the Izhora plant had to produce a batch of 10 towers from January 21, 1933.

 

While work was underway on the turret, the issue of arming the tank was also being decided. The 37 mm gun B-3 was tested in the new turret in September-October 1932 and was recommended for adoption. But in May 1932, a 45-mm cannon mod. 1932, which also became a candidate for armament of tanks. Compared to the 37 mm cannon, the 45 mm had close armor penetration, but a much more effective fragmentation projectile with a significantly larger explosive charge. This made it possible to use the new tank not only as a specialized fighter, but also to replace the double-turreted version with it, as a universal tank for infantry support.. At the beginning of 1933, the design bureau of plant No. 174 developed a twin installation of a 45-mm 20-K cannon and a DT machine gun, which successfully passed factory tests in March 1933. The main identified problem was the frequent failures of the semi-automatic guns, leading to the need for manual unloading, which significantly reduced the rate of fire. In February – March 1933, comparative tests of the B-3 and 20-K were carried out, in which both guns showed similar results, with the exception of continued semi-automatic failures in the 45-mm gun. Nevertheless, already in the spring of 1933, it was decided to adopt a single-turret T-26 with a 45-mm gun. But the double tower of the Izhora plant was considered too cramped and the design bureau of plant No. 174 developed several options for an increased volume, of which the leadership of the Motorization and Mechanization Department of the Red Army chose a cylindrical balanced tower of a riveted-welded design, with a developed oval-shaped aft niche formed by a continuation side sheets.

According to the decision of the Defense Commission issued in December 1932, the production of a single-turret tank was to begin with the 1601st serial T-26. No difficulties were expected with the transition to a single-turret tank and it was planned to start its production in the spring of 1933, but due to delays in the supply of guns and optical sights, it was only started in the summer. In addition to the production of the T-26 with turrets designed by plant No. 174, produced at the Izhora and Mariupol plants, a certain number of tanks also received turrets of the first variant with a small aft niche. According to some data, a single batch of such machines was made with the turrets of an experimental batch of the Izhora plant, no more than 10-15 units in number, according to others, some, but also insignificant, number of T-26s received tank-type turrets from among 230 manufactured by the Mariupol plant for BT-5 tanks. From the very beginning of the production of the single-turret T-26, the designers of plant No. 174 had to solve a number of problems. One of them was that it was not possible to achieve reliable operation of the mechanical semi-automatic gun 20-K – according to the report of the director of plant No. 8, in summer the semi-automatic gave up to 30% of failures, and in winter – “solid failures”. To eliminate this, a new semi-automatic inertial type was introduced by the special design bureau of plant No. 8 and the recoil mechanisms were changed. Modified gun mechanisms when firing fragmentation shells worked only as ¼ automatics, providing semi-automatic firing only with armor-piercing shells, but in tests the number of failures was reduced to 2%. Serial production of such a gun, which received the designation “arr. 1932/34, began in December 1933 and until the end of production of the T-26, without significant changes, it was its main armament.

 

Another problem was the T-26 engine, whose power, which at that time was 85-88 liters. s., seemed insufficient due to the ever-increasing mass of the tank, with the transition to a single-turret modification, it increased by another ton. In the fall of 1932, the Vickers-Armstrong company offered the Soviet side its upgraded version of the 100 hp engine. s., but after studying its technical description, the specialists of plant No. 174 proposed to carry out a similar modernization of the engine on their own. It was expected that the installation of a new carburetor would increase engine power to 95 hp. s., however, tests of an experimental batch of modified engines showed their low reliability. It was possible to achieve satisfactory operation of the engine only in May 1933, deforcing it to 92 hp. With. Since 1933, Plant No. 174, and later the Experimental Plant of Spetsmashtrest, has been developing an air-cooled MT-4 carburetor engine with a capacity of 200 hp for the T-26. with., as well as a two-stroke or four-stroke diesel engine DT-26 with a capacity of 95 liters. s., but their production was never started, although the engine compartment of the tank since 1934 was slightly modified to allow the installation of a diesel engine.

The development of the tank in other directions also continued. Since the 45-mm gun during firing created an unacceptable concentration of carbon dioxide in the tank, from 1934 a fan was introduced on the right side of the roof of the fighting compartment. In 1935-1936, the transition to welded hulls was finally made, and the welded mantlet of the gun, which was laborious to manufacture, was replaced by a stamped one in 1935. Of the planned measures to increase mobility, in addition to the development of a new engine, which included the improvement of the gearbox and final drives, it was only possible to increase the power reserve by placing an additional fuel tank in the engine compartment. A number of other changes were introduced to reduce production costs and improve operational reliability. From the end of 1935, an additional ball mount with a DT-29 machine gun in the rear of the turret began to be installed on the T-26, and some of the machine guns began to be equipped with optical sights instead of diopter sights. At the end of 1935, a pivot anti- aircraft machine gun mount was developed for the tank, all with the same DT-29, but according to the results of tests in the troops, it was considered inconvenient and did not go into mass production. In addition, since 1935, based on every fifth tank, the T-26 for conducting combat operations at night began to be equipped with two headlights fixed on the mask of the gun – searchlights – the so-called “headlights of combat light”.

 

Modernization and retirement

In the second half of the 1930s, the T-26 was the most massive light tank in the USSR in the pre-war period. This tank of direct infantry support (NPP) on the battlefield in the early 1930s was the leader in its class, but the rapid development of foreign tanks and the appearance in almost all armies of the world of inexpensive mass anti-tank guns changed the situation for the worse for the USSR. One of the first news of the urgent need for a significant modernization of the T-26 was a report in 1936 by designer Semyon Alexandrovich Ginzburg to the head of the armored department of the Red Army (ABTU) about the appearance of new foreign tanks that surpass the T-26 in a number of characteristics. In particular, it was recommended to pay attention to the French Renault R 35 tanks.and “Forge-et-Chantier” FCM 36 and the Czechoslovak “Skoda” Š-IIa, which have already implemented promising technical solutions: welding and casting of thick armor parts, suspension with high performance characteristics.

At the beginning of 1938, the Soviet military realized that the T-26 began to quickly become obsolete, which was noted by S. A. Ginzburg a year and a half earlier. By 1938, the T-26, while still outgunning foreign tanks, began to yield to them in other respects. First of all, they noted the weakness of the armor and the lack of mobility of the tank due to the low engine power and overloaded suspension. Moreover, the trends in the development of world tank building at that time were such that in the near future the T-26 could lose its last advantage – in armament, that is, by the beginning of the 1940s, become completely obsolete. But the Soviet leadership did not dare to immediately proceed to the design of a fundamentally new infantry support tank, believing that the design of the T-26 still had reserves for serious modernization. Nevertheless, the design bureau of plant No. 185 under the leadership of S. A. Ginzburg received permission to manufacture an experimental tank with reinforced armor and suspension. Under the name T-111such a prototype was built in April 1938, tested and generally received good reviews, but in terms of mass it moved into the category of medium tanks, that is, the first attempt to create a light tank with anti-cannon armor to replace the T-26 failed.

Experienced modernized T-26

T-26Upon completion of the T-111 tests, using the experience gained, at the end of 1938, S. A. Ginzburg and his design bureau employees began work on the project of the T-26M tank with a reinforced suspension similar to the Czechoslovak tank Š-IIa, which at that time was undergoing tests in the USSR (the Soviet government then considered the issue of its purchase). However, it was not possible to reach an agreement acceptable to both sides, therefore, with the sanction of the People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR, for one night the tank standing in the hangar was secretly examined and measured by a group of Soviet designers. In 1939, the T-26M tank entered the trials, which confirmed the effectiveness and reliability of the new suspension.

Even during the period of work on the T-26M, plant No. 185, by order of the GABTU, began to develop the T-26-5 tank, which was considered as a major modernization of the T-26. In addition to the Skoda-type suspension, it was planned to use boosted up to 130 hp. With. engine and 20 mm cemented armor on the sides of the hull. By 1940, this tank was ready for testing (with the exception of the boosted engine).

Soviet-Finnish war 1939-1940 revealed the need for a significant increase in the reservation of all types of tanks. Therefore, the GABTU puts forward a requirement to strengthen the side armor of the tank to 30 mm of cemented armor or up to 40 mm of homogeneous. In 1940, the military leadership issued an order to two Leningrad plants – Kirov and Plant No. 174 to urgently create a tank weighing about 14 tons, armed with a 45-mm cannon and protected by moderate-thick shell armor. At first, this tank was listed under the brand name T-126SP (SP – infantry escort). At the same time, in 1940, OKB-2 of Plant No. 174 received an order from the Glavspetsmash of the People’s Commissariat for Medium Machine Building to develop a new tank with 40 mm armor, torsion bar suspension, a V-3 diesel engine andDS machine guns. In fact, from this moment begins the design of the new T-50 tank. After the merger of factories No. 185 and 174, the T-26-5 project began to be called “126-1”, and the project on the instructions of Glavspetsmash – “126-2”. In 1940, the “126-1” was tested, but was not accepted into service, since it was not possible to create an engine of the required power suitable for installation in the engine compartment of the T-26. It became obvious that the T-26 was completely outdated, and attempts to modernize it did not have serious prospects. Design work was focused on the new tank. Its prototypes were created at the end of 1940 and successfully tested. Preference was given to the tank of plant No. 174. Somewhat later, in April 1940, a decree was issued on its adoption by the Red Army and on putting it into production at plant No. 174 under the T-50 index. The 126-2 project was not implemented in metal, and both developments were seriously criticized by the customer, who insisted on unifying a number of components of the future infantry escort tank with the A-32 tank (prototype of the future T-34), as well as saving the mass of vehicles in the light tank category.

Since 1941, it was supposed to transfer the plant to the production of the T-50 tank, in connection with which the production of the T-26 tank was to be stopped from January 1, 1941. However, problems arose with the production of the T-50 tank, before the start of World War II, plant No. 174 did not produce a single serial tank of this type. The most serious difficulties arose with the development of the V-4 diesel engine (Kharkov Plant No. 75).

Modifications

 

  • T-26 model 1931 – line tank, two-turreted version with cannon-machine gun armament (37-mm cannon in one of the towers and a machine gun in the other);
  • T-26 model 1932 – line tank, two-tower version with machine-gun armament;
  • T-26 model 1933 – tank of the line, single-turret version with a cylindrical turret and a 45-mm gun. The most popular option.
  • T-26 model 1936 – an experimental machine with an automatic 37 mm anti-aircraft gun Boris Shpitalny installed in the tower. Due to the unreliability of the gun, work on the creation of an anti-aircraft tank was stopped.
  • T-26 model 1938 – line tank, single-turret version with a conical turret and a welded hull.
  • T-26 model 1939 – a variant of the T-26 model 1938 with enhanced armor. An improved conical tower and a turret box with sloping walls are also installed.
  • T-26RT – a single-turret tank with a 71-TK-1 radio station (since 1933).
  • TU-26 / TT-26 – control tank and teletank of the first series in the telemechanical group. They were equipped with TOZ-6 equipment. They were built on the chassis of the linear T-26. In 1936-37, 35 groups of vehicles of each type were converted from 2-turret tanks.
  • TU-132 / TT-131 – control tank and teletank of the second series in the telemechanical group. They were equipped with TOZ-8 equipment. TT-131s were built on the basis of the XT-130. In 1938-39, 30 groups were formed. 55 tanks were built from scratch in 1938, and 5 were converted from 2-turrets in 1939.
  • T-26A – artillery support tank. A new, more spacious T-26-4 turret with a short-barreled 76 mm tank gun was installed. Produced 6 prototypes.
  • XT-26 – flamethrower tank, armament was located in one small tower. 552 tanks were produced and 53 converted from serial 2-turret T-26s.
  • XT-130 is a flamethrower tank, a variant of the 1933 model of the year, the flamethrower is mounted in a cylindrical turret instead of a gun. 401 vehicles were produced.
  • XT-133 is a flamethrower tank, a variant of the 1938 model of the year, the flamethrower is mounted in a conical turret. 269 ​​tanks produced.
  • XT-134 is a flamethrower tank, a variant of the 1939 model. Armament: 45-mm tank gun 20K model 1932/38, flamethrower in the hull, 2 DT machine guns, two prototypes converted from linear T-26s.
  • ST-26 – sapper tank (bridge layer) (1932-1939). Armament: DT machine gun, 65 vehicles were produced and converted into experimental 6 tanks of different systems.
  • T-26T (“tractor T-26”, “tractor T-26”) artillery tractor with canvas top. Converted from 2-tower tanks 201 vehicles.
  • T-26T artillery tractor with armored top. 10 double-turreted tanks have been redone.
  • T-263 – light tank with electric transmission (1935-1938). Armament: 45-mm tank gun model 1932 and 2 DT machine guns, a prototype was produced
  • KT-26-Light wheeled-tracked tank

Tactical and technical characteristics

Design

T-26The T-26 had a layout with the engine compartment in the rear, the transmission compartment in the front, and the combined fighting compartment and control compartment in the middle part of the tank. T-26 mod. 1931 and arr. 1932 had a two-tower layout, T-26 mod. 1933 and subsequent modifications – single-tower. The crew of the tank consisted of three people: on double-turrets – the driver, the gunner of the left turret and the tank commander, who also served as the gunner of the right turret; on single-tower ones – a driver, gunner and commander, who also performed the functions of a loader.

Armored corps and turrets

Armament

Double-turret modifications

 

Initially, the tank was supposed to be armed with cannon and machine guns. A 37-mm tank gun of the 1930 model of the year (B-3) was to be placed in the right turret. However, due to problems with the production of guns, experimental PS-2 guns were installed in the prototypes. Plant No. 8 failed to cope with the program for the production of B-3 guns and was able to deliver the first two serial guns only in 1932. In fact, the tanks were without weapons. Therefore, already on February 8, 1932, an order was issued by the head of the NTK UMM KA G. G. Bokis, which required: until further notice, produce tanks with purely machine-gun weapons. The armament consisted of two 7.62 mm DT-29 machine guns, located in ball mounts in the frontal part of the towers. Guidance of machine guns was carried out with the help of diopter sights. DT-29 had an effective firing range of 600-800 m and a maximum aiming range of 1000 m. The machine gun was powered from disk stores with a capacity of 63 rounds, the rate of firewas 600, and the combat rate of fire was 100 rounds per minute. For firing, cartridges with heavy, armor-piercing, tracer, armor-piercing tracer and sighting bullets were used. As with other Soviet tanks, the machine guns were fitted with a quick-detachable mount to ensure their use by the crew outside the tank, for which the machine guns were equipped with bipods. Machine gun ammunition was 6489 rounds in 103 stores.

Due to the lack of regular B-3 guns, it was decided to use the 37-mm Hotchkiss gun as a replacement. According to the original version, it was also placed in the right tower. Of the approximately 450 tanks that received cannon armament, the vast majority had precisely these guns, and only a small part, about 30 vehicles, installed the B-3 in 1933. The Hotchkiss gun had a monoblock barrel 22.7 caliber / 840 mm long, a vertical wedge breech, hydraulic recoil and spring knurler. To aim the gun, a telescopic optical sight manufactured by MMZ was used, which had a magnification of 2.45 × and a field of view of 14 ° 20′. The rate of fire of the Hotchkiss gun was up to 15 rounds per minute. The gun was placed on the frontal part of the tower on horizontal trunnions and in a vertical plane, ranging from -8 to +30 °, was induced by swinging with the help of a shoulder rest. Pointing the gun in a horizontal plane was carried out by turning the tower. About 450 tanks received cannon and machine gun armament.

Single turret modifications

 

The T-26 turret, 1933. The breech of the 45-mm cannon and its aiming mechanisms are visible, paired with the DT-29 cannon. To the left of the gun is the TOP sight, there is no PT-1 sight

 

The main armament of the single-turret modifications was a 45-mm rifled semi-automatic gun 20-K arr. 1932, and since 1934 – its modified version arr. 1932/34 The gun had a barrel with a free tube, fastened with a casing, 46 calibers / 2070 mm long, a vertical wedge breech with semi-automatic mechanical type on the gun mod. 1932 and inertial type on arr. 1932/34 The recoil devices consisted of a hydraulic recoil brake and a spring knurler; the normal recoil length was 275 mm for a mod. 1932 and 245 mm for arr. 1932/34 Semi-automatic gun mod. 1932/34 it worked only when firing armor-piercing shells, while when firing fragmentation, due to the shorter recoil length, it worked like a ¼ automatic, providing only automatic closing of the shutter when a cartridge was inserted into it, while the opening of the shutter and extraction of the sleeve were carried out manually. The practical rate of fire of the gun was 7-12 rounds per minute.

The gun was placed in a coaxial installation with a machine gun, on trunnions in the frontal part of the turret. Guidance in the horizontal plane was carried out by turning the tower using a screw rotary mechanism. The mechanism had two gears, the speed of rotation of the tower in which for one revolution of the gunner’s flywheel was 2 or 4 °. Guidance in the vertical plane, with maximum angles from −6 to +22°, was carried out using a sector mechanism. Guidance of the twin installation was carried out using a panoramic periscope optical sight PT-1 arr. 1932 and telescopic optical sight TOP, model 1930 The PT-1 had a magnification of 2.5× and a field of view of 26°, and its reticle was designed for firing at a range of up to 3.6 km with armor-piercing shells, 2.7 km with fragmentation and up to 1.6 km with a coaxial machine gun.. For shooting at night and in low light conditions, the sight was equipped with illuminated scales and crosshairs of the sight. The TOP had a magnification of 2.5x, a field of view of 15°, and an aiming reticle designed for firing at a distance of up to 6.4, 3, and 1 km, respectively. Since 1938, a telescopic sight TOP-1 (TOS-1) was installed on part of the tanks, stabilized in the vertical plane, with similar TOP optical characteristics. The sight was equipped with a collimator device, which, when the gun oscillated in a vertical plane, automatically fired a shot when the position of the gun coincided with the aiming line. Cannon arr. 1934, adapted for use with a stabilized sight, was designated as mod. 1938 Due to the difficulty of using and training gunners, by the beginning of World War II, the stabilized sight was removed from service.

Means of observation and communication

The means of observation on the T-26 of the first batch were rudimentary and for the driver were limited to a viewing hatch, and for the commander and gunner – machine gun sights. Only in the autumn of 1931, an open viewing slot was introduced in the cover of the driver’s hatch and towers of increased height, in the upper part of which there was a viewing hatch, in the cover of which there were two viewing slots.

Flag signaling served as the basic means of external communication on the T-26, and all double-turret tanks had only it. On the part of the produced single-turret tanks, which received the designation T-26RT, from the autumn of 1933, a radio station of the model 71-TK -1 was installed. The share of the RT-26 was determined only by the volume of deliveries of radio stations, which were primarily equipped with the vehicles of unit commanders, as well as part of the line tanks. Since 1934, the modernized version 71-TK-2 was adopted, and since 1935 – 71-TK-3. 71-TK-3 was a special tank shortwave simplex telephone and telegraph radio station and had an operating range of 4-5.625 MHz, consisting of 65 fixed frequencies spaced 25 kHz apart. The maximum communication range in the telephone mode was 15-18 km on the move and 25-30 km from a stop, in the telegraph – up to 40 km; in the presence of interference from the simultaneous operation of many radio stations, the communication range could be halved. The radio station had a mass of 60 kg and an occupied volume of about 60 dm³. For internal communication between the tank commander and the driver on tanks of early releases, a speaking tube was used, later replaced by a light signal device. Since 1937, tanks equipped with a radio station have been equipped with a TPU-3 tank intercom on all crew members.

 

The T-26 was equipped with an in-line 4- cylinder four- stroke air-cooled carburetor engine, which was a copy of the British Armstrong-Sidley Puma. The engine had a working volume of 6600 cm³ and developed a maximum power of 91 hp. With. / 66.9 kW at 2100 rpm and a maximum torque of 35 kg m / 343 N m at 1700 rpm. In 1937-1938, a forced version of the engine was installed on the tank. According to one source, its power was 95 hp. With., according to others, it could range from 93 to 96 liters. With. even according to passport data. The fuel for the boosted engine was gasoline of the 1st grade, the so-calledGrozny. The specific fuel consumption was 285 g/l. s.h.

The engine was located in the engine compartment along the longitudinal axis of the tank, a feature of its configuration was the horizontal arrangement of the cylinders. To the right of the engine in the engine compartment was a fuel tank with a capacity of 182 liters, and the cooling system, which included one centrifugal fan, was located in a casing above the engine. From the middle of 1932, instead of one fuel tank, two were installed on the tank, with a capacity of 110 and 180 liters.

The T-26 transmission included :

  • Single disc main dry friction clutch (Ferodo steel) mounted on the engine.
  • Cardan shaft passing through the fighting compartment.
  • Five-speed (5 + 1) three-way manual gearbox located in the control compartment to the left of the driver.
  • The turning mechanism, which consisted of two multi-plate side clutches of a springless type and band brakes with Ferodo linings.
  • Single stage final drives.

 

Chassis

The running gear of the T-26 for one side consisted of eight double rubberized road wheels with a diameter of 300 mm, four double rubberized road wheels with a diameter of 254 mm, a sloth and a front drive wheel. Suspension of road wheels – interlocked in interchangeable bogies of four, on leaf springs. Each cart consisted of two rocker arms with two rollers, one of which was pivotally connected to a cast balancer, which, in turn, was hinged to the tank body, and the other was mounted on two parallel quarter-elliptical springs rigidly connected to the balancer. The only change in the suspension during the serial production of the tank was its strengthening in 1939 due to the replacement of three-leaf springs with five-leaf ones, due to the increased weight of the tank. Caterpillars T-26 – 260 mm wide, with an open metal hinge, single-ridge, lantern gearing, made by casting from chromium-nickel or manganese steel.

Vehicles based on the T-26

 

Self-propelled artillery mounts

After the adoption of the T-26, earlier work on the creation of self-propelled artillery mounts (ACS), carried out on the basis of the T-18 and T-19, was transferred to its base. In accordance with the decree of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR of 1931 on an experimental weapon system, it was planned to develop on the basis of the T-26 self-propelled guns for mechanized formations :

  • 76.2-mm escort self-propelled guns, intended for artillery preparation and support of tanks and as an anti-tank weapon;
  • 45-mm anti-tank self-propelled guns for anti-tank defense and tank support;
  • 37-mm anti-aircraft automatic self -propelled guns to provide air defense for mechanized units on the march;

The SU-1 was developed by the design bureau of the Bolshevik plant according to an assignment issued in the spring of 1931 for the installation of a regimental gun on the T-26 chassis. The self-propelled guns were armed with a 76.2 mm regimental cannon mod. 1927, located on a pedestal installation in a fully closed armored cabin above the fighting compartment, which corresponded to the base tank in terms of protection. CrewThe self-propelled guns consisted of three people. The only SU-1 prototype was made in October 1931 and tested in November of the same year. According to the test results, the fundamental performance of the design and even some improvement in the accuracy of the gun compared to the towed version were noted, but serious shortcomings were also noted – the inconvenience of the crew working in a cramped fighting compartment, the lack of ammo racks and defensive weapons. According to the decision of UMM and GAU, after finalizing the design, the SU-1 was to be released in a series of 100 units, but in May 1932, work on it was stopped in favor of the T-26-4 artillery tank.

More active work on self-propelled artillery was launched after the adoption by the STO on March 22, 1934 of the resolution on the rearmament of the Red Army with modern artillery equipment.

 

SU-5, the so-called “small triplex” – a family of self-propelled guns, developed in 1934 by the design bureau of the Spetsmashtrest Pilot Plant. All vehicles of the family were located on a reconfigured T-26 chassis, which was distinguished by the transfer of the engine compartment to the middle part of the hull, to the left of the control compartment, and the placement of a semi-open fighting compartment in the aft part of the hull, protected by armor only in front. The thickness of the armor was reduced compared to the base tank – the hull was assembled from sheets 6 and 8 mm thick, and only the protection of the fighting compartment had a thickness of 15 mm. The crew of the self-propelled guns consisted of a driver and four gunmen. All variants of the self-propelled guns differed only in the type of gun and the mechanisms associated with it. SU-5-1 was armed with a 76.2 mm cannon mod. 1902/30, SU-5-2 carried a 122-mm howitzer mod. 1910/30, and the SU-5-3 was armed with a 152-mm mortar mod. 1931 (NM). Due to the lack of space in the self-propelled guns to accommodate the necessary ammunition, it was planned to use an armored ammunition carrier, also based on the T-26.

Prototypes of each of the self-propelled guns were completed by the autumn of 1934 and in 1935 they passed factory tests, accompanied by intensive design refinement. All three variants of the SU-5 were put into service, but only the SU-5-2 of them went into mass production – the SU-5-1 was abandoned in favor of the AT-1, and the armament of the SU-5-3 turned out to be too powerful for the T-26 chassis. According to some data, a total of 6 SU-5-1 and 3 SU-5-3 were manufactured, while according to others – only one sample of each of them. SU-5-2, in addition to the prototype, was produced in 1936 by an experimental series of 30 copies. Based on the results of its military tests, it was supposed to finalize the design and begin large-scale production, but in 1937 all work on the SU-5 program was curtailed. Four SU-5-2s were used by the Red Army in the battles near Lake Khasan in 1938, and by the beginning of World War II, the troops had 28 self-propelled guns of this type, which were lost in the first week of fighting.

 

SU-6 is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the T-26, also developed by the Design Bureau of the Pilot Plant in 1934. The armament of the SU-6 was a 76-mm semi-automatic anti- aircraft gun mod. 1931 (3-K), located on a pedestal installation in the middle part of the tank, in a semi-open fighting compartment, defended by folding sides on the march. For self-defense, the ZSU was equipped with two DT-29 machine guns in the front and rear flaps. Compared to the base tank, the body of the self-propelled guns, assembled from armor plates 6-8 mm thick, was enlarged, an additional roller with an individual spring suspension was added between the suspension bogies, and a hydraulic system for blocking it during firing was introduced into the entire suspension. In 1935, a prototype SU-6 was manufactured and tested, during which numerous breakdowns and overloading of the installation, as well as insufficient stability during firing, were noted. As a result, the SU-6 was not accepted into service, but in October – December 1936 it was tested with a 37-mm automatic gun designed by B. Shpitalny. At the beginning of 1937, 4 samples of the SU-6 were handed over (the Izhora plant handed over 6 buildings).

Armored personnel carriers

TP-26

Several armored personnel carriers based on the T-26 were created, which participated in the battles.

  • TR-4 – armored personnel carrier.
  • TR-26 – armored personnel carrier.
  • TR-4-1 – ammunition transporter.
  • TV-26 – ammunition transporter.
  • Ts-26 – fuel transporter.
  • T-26ts – fuel transporter.

Engineering Vehicles

ST-26 – sapper tank (bridge layer) (1933-1935). Armament: DT machine gun. Produced from 1933 to 1935. A total of 65 vehicles were assembled (1933 – 1, 1934 – 44, 1935 – 20). In addition, 6 conventional tanks were converted into bridge layers of different systems.

Tractors

 

Tractors T-26T had an open hull on top, and T-26T2 closed. Several of these machines survived until 1945.

Chemical tanks

  • ST (Adjunct Schmidt Chemical Tank) – a project of a universal chemical tank designed for setting smoke screens, using chemical warfare agents, degassing the area and flamethrowing. Developed in the early 1930s. a team of designers under the leadership of an adjunct of the Military Technical Academy of the Red Army Grigory Efimovich Schmidt. The vehicle was a T-26 chassis with two tanks installed instead of turrets (600 l and 400 l), the hull was somewhat modified due to the installation of special equipment and the need for sealing. The project was not implemented due to non-compliance with the requirement of maximum unification with serial T-26s. 
  • OU-T-26 – the tank was developed by the staff of the NIO VAMM named after. Stalin under the leadership of Zh. Ya. Kotin in 1936, differed from the serial two-turreted T-26 tank by installing an additional flamethrower.

 

Vehicles on the T-26 chassis

  • TT-26 – teletank.
  • TU-26 – TT-26 teletank control tank as part of a telemechanical group.
  • SU-5-1 – self-propelled guns with a 76.2 mm gun (one prototype).
  • SU-5-2 – self-propelled guns with a 122-mm howitzer (one prototype and 30 serial).
  • SU-5-3 – self-propelled guns with a 152.4-mm mortar (one prototype).
  • T-26-T is an armored artillery tractor based on the T-26 chassis. The early version had an unarmored superstructure, the late T-26-T2 was fully armored. A small number of tractors were produced in 1933 for motorized artillery batteries for towing divisional 76 mm guns. Some of them remained in service until 1945.
  • TN-26 (Observer) – experimental observation version of the T-26-T, with a radio station and a crew of 5 people.
  • T-26FT – photo reconnaissance tank (photo tank). The tank was intended for conducting film and photo reconnaissance, which was possible, including on the move. Reconnaissance was conducted through special openings for film and photographic equipment in the tower. The tank did not have a gun – it was replaced by a mock-up. The series was not launched.
  • T-26E – In the Finnish army, after the Finnish campaign of 1940, Vickers Mk E tanks, re-armed with a Soviet 45-mm cannon, were called T-26E. They were used in 1941-1944, and some remained in service until 1959.
  • TR-4 – armored personnel carrier.
  • TR-26 – armored personnel carrier.
  • TP4-1 – ammunition transporter.
  • TV-26 – ammunition transporter.
  • T-26Ts – fuel transporter.
  • TTs-26 – fuel transporter.
  • ST-26 – sapper tank (bridge layer).

Leningrad Experimental Machine Building Plant No. 185 named after S. M. Kirov. The plant team produced a large number of armored vehicles. More than 20 models were designed on the T-26 light tank chassis alone. The design bureau of the plant under the leadership of P. N. Syachintov, in pursuance of the decree of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR of August 5, 1933 “The Artillery System of the Red Army for the Second Five-Year Plan”, developed in 1934 the so-called “small triplex” (SU-5). It included three self-propelled artillery mounts on a unified chassis of the T-26 tank – SU-5-1, SU-5-2 and SU-5-3 – which differed mainly in armament. 152 mm mortar was installed on an experimental self-propelled artillery mount SU-5-3, created on the basis of the T-26 tank. The self-propelled guns successfully passed factory tests at the end of 1934, and the experimental vehicle was even sent to the traditional parade on Red Square. In 1935, however, it was decided to abandon its mass production – the chassis of the T-26 tank was not strong enough for the normal operation of a gun of such a significant caliber. The fate of the prototype is unknown, according to some reports, it was converted into a self-propelled gun SU-5-2 with a 122-mm howitzer mod. 1910/30

In 1933, the plant began designing on the basis of the T-26 a turretless artillery tank AT-1 (self-propelled artillery installation of a closed type), armed with a new promising 76-mm PS-3 gun. Tank tests took place in 1935.

German self-propelled guns on the chassis of captured T-26s (Pak 97/38)

At the end of 1943, the Germans in the field installed 10 Pak 97/38 guns (German-French – the swinging part of the 75-mm mle 1897 on a Pak 38 carriage) on the chassis of captured T-26 tanks. The resulting tank destroyer was named 7.5 cm Pak 97/38(f) auf Pz.740(r). New self-propelled guns entered service with the 3rd company of the 563rd anti-tank battalion. However, their combat service is short-lived – on March 1, 1944 they were replaced by self-propelled guns Marder III

T-26 in service

  • USSR
  • Spain – 281 single-turret T-26 tanks of the 1933 model.
  • Finland – 126 captured tanks during the Soviet-Finnish wars of 1939-1940 and 1941-1944. Several dozen of them were withdrawn from service only in 1961.
  • Republic of China – 82 T-26B tanks (model 1933).
  • Turkey – 64 single-turret and 2 double-turret tanks in 1932-1935.
  • Germany – several dozen T-26s captured as trophies (used as Panzerkampfwagen 737(r)).
  • Tuva – 1 single tower (March 14, 1941)
  • Romania – about 30 tanks captured as trophies, but only one tank is known to have been used.
  • Slovakia – 2 tanks were captured as captured, one of which was exhibited at an exhibition of captured weapons in Bratislava.
  • Hungary – one T-26 model 1938 (numberH-035) was captured as a trophy.

 

Operation and combat use

 

In 1937, 82 single-turret tanks were delivered to China.

T-26s took part in the battles of the Spanish Civil War, near Lake Khasan and on the Khalkhin Gol River, in the Polish campaign and the Soviet-Finnish War.

The most intensive use of tanks of this type was during the Soviet-Finnish war in 1940, as well as at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, in 1941.

Along with BT, T-26 tanks formed the basis of the Soviet tank fleet before the start of World War II and in its initial period.

T-26 tanks were popular at one time, but weak armor and low speed made them easy prey for the enemy, and sometimes the tank did not even have a radio.

t-26 in WinterBut there were several tricks that were specific to the T-26, which turned it into a meat grinder on the front line. Here is what is known from the chronicles: “T-26 tanks, equipped with two turrets, were used as infantry fire support tanks. The length (wheel) base was about 2 meters. The width of the infantry trenches was about 50-70 cm. This made it possible to use the T-26 in the first line of attack and clear the enemy’s trenches. The tank stood up on the trench, turned the towers at 90 degrees to the course, so that the right tower covered the right side of the tank, similarly for the left. Then the machine gunners fired closely at the infantry, shooting through the entire trench in one burst.

One of the significant drawbacks of the double-turret models was that the right and left arrows periodically prevented each other from firing. With the advent of anti-tank rifles, the use of the T-26 became more risky. The armor on the latest models was made thicker and set at a sharper angle (it was believed that this contributed to the ricochet of bullets and shells, which did not always help out).

For single-turret T-26s, the welded turret was shifted to the left. The gun and machine gun were mounted in a twin installation, protected by an armored mask. Some of the tanks received an additional machine gun in the aft niche of the turret, which could also be installed as an anti-aircraft gun on the turret of the commander’s hatch of the turret. But after the modernization, the tank became heavier (the armor is thicker) and slightly lost in speed. At the same time, the armor of the tank remained bulletproof. Despite the weak armor protection, the tank was tenacious due to the fact that the engine and tanks were located in the aft compartment behind the partition. This tank had a record for that time ammunition – 230 37-mm shells, both armor-piercing and incendiary.

Spanish Civil War

In total, 281 T-26 tanks were sent to Spain

: 1936-106 units.

1937—150 units

1938 – 25 units.

The silhouettes of 15 tanks, 15 ultra-modern vehicles barely loomed in the predawn twilight. Behind was a night march, and in front… in front – the line of defense of the Nazis. What awaits a Soviet tank company there? For her, 26 kilometers of forced march were a trifle, but as an infantry, didn’t people run out of steam? Will they fall behind the tanks? Is intelligence accurate? Did the Nazis manage to equip firing points on the captured line? In a few hours everything will become clear.

It’s time. The engines roared. Captain Arman’s tanks rushed forward.

Paul Matissovich Armand was not French. He comes from Latvia, but as a teenager he lived for several years in France, and received his first identity card there, hence the unusual name. Before the war, he was commander of a tank battalion near Bobruisk.

The Nazis did not have anti-tank weapons, only machine-gun bursts rained down on the armor like peas. “The machine gun is the worst enemy of the infantry,” the manual says, and the tankers combed the observed firing points with fire and caterpillars. The infantry still lagged behind. You can’t linger, they will spot and cover with aircraft or artillery. Retreat? Captain Arman was quick in his decisions. Flags flashed on the command tank: “Do as I do,” and the tanks rushed forward. Here are the outskirts of the town. No one expects a raid by Soviet tanks, and according to intelligence, there are no Nazis in the town. Tanks are rushing with open hatches, Arman is in the lead vehicle.

Suddenly, an Italian officer runs out from around the corner, waving his arms, shouting something. “I took it for my own,” Armand realized. Tank hatches slammed shut. The fascist motorized infantry battalion was not lucky. Wheels are rolling along the pavement, fragments of trucks are flying, the surviving soldiers are hiding behind stone fences. But the fled fascists quickly came to their senses, bottles of gasoline are flying, the surviving guns are dragged onto the roofs of houses. The commander knows well that in the city one cannot fight armored vehicles, they will immediately burn them. New solution – move on. Tanks rush through the town, two artillery batteries are swept away on the outskirts.

And here are the Italian tanks. A short duel – and three “Italians” are on fire, the remaining five retreated. Their shooting did not damage our tanks.

It is risky to operate behind enemy lines further, and the ammunition is running out. The company again penetrates the front line, now in the opposite direction.

The infantry did not break through the defense of the Nazis in a day. After the tanks left, the surviving machine guns came to life, enemy aircraft swooped in… The battle failed. And although Arman has something to be proud of… what to report to the commander?

But brigade commander Krivoshein is not upset. Not everything is so bad. The tanks are intact, the losses are small, and most importantly, the Nazi offensive has been stopped. And Colonel Voronov reported that in the auxiliary direction – success. Two junction railway stations are occupied.

Bright stars shine in the anthracite-black sky. A seriously wounded tower shooter died – he got out to cut telephone wires. Iron clanging, shadows from portable lamps rushing about – these are technicians fumbling at the tanks.

The day ends on October 29, 1936.

The time of action is October 1936, the place is the town of Seseña, southwest of Madrid.

Andrey Parshev. When did World War II start and end?

 

On July 8, 1937, the head of the ABTU of the Red Army, Divisional Commander Bokis, signed another certificate for the property sent on July 17, 37 :

Tank T-26 linear (without radio stations) with weapons and spare parts (spare parts, tools and accessories) – 71,710 rubles. (US$20,150);

Tank T-26 with a radio station – 75,810 rubles. (US$21,302);

Motor T-26 with the main clutch assembly for – 11,380 rubles. (3198 US dollars);

Gearbox for T-26 assembly – 4700 rubles. (1320 US dollars);

45-mm tank gun – 7000 rubles. (2100 US dollars);

Periscope for T-26 — 6100 rubles. (2000 US dollars);

Radio station 71-TK – 10 for 1850 rubles. (555 US dollars).

Armored units and formations of the Republicans

On October 12, 1936, the first delivery of Soviet armored vehicles arrived on the Komsomol ship – 50 T-26 tanks. On the basis of the received T-26Bs, the 1st tank battalion was soon organized in the city of Archena. The composition of the tank training battalion is 3 companies of 3 platoons of 3 tanks (27 tanks).

In mid-November 1936, 2 battalions were already active. In December 1936, the 1st armored brigade was created from 3 battalions of T-26B (96 tanks). In the spring of 1937, the brigade has 4 tank battalions and a reconnaissance company with BA-6s.

At the same time, a decision was made to create a 2nd brigade – reinforced with a similar composition. In addition, the need to provide armored support to different directions requires the creation of 4 more separate T-26B battalions assigned to each army. So, in June 1937, a total of 12 T-26B battalions (4 in each brigade and 4 separate) and 3 battalions of wheeled armored vehicles (other authors mention 4). The last battalions are organized into an armored vehicle regiment (3 battalions of 3 companies of 10 vehicles each: about 100 wheeled armored vehicles) created on April 3. Sometimes this unit is called an armored vehicle brigade. Other texts also mention a light brigade equipped only with armored vehicles. It is possible that this is another name for the brigade of armored vehicles.

Other authors give different data on the reorganization of the armored forces in the spring and summer of 1937 and claim that other 3 armored brigades joined the 1st brigade. These brigades are less powerful than the 1st because they have 1 T-26B battalion and 2 armored car battalions.

In October 1937, a new reorganization of the armored forces – on the basis of existing brigades, the creation of an armored vehicle division, which includes two T-26B brigades (4 battalions each), a regiment of heavy tanks (BT-5), an infantry brigade and a company of anti-tank guns. This division has 260 T-26Bs and 48 BT-5s. There were also separate battalions (2?) assigned to each army (with 3 companies of tanks and 1 armored car). In any case, the actual availability of tanks is significantly lower than that established in the states: up to this point, only 256 T-26Bs have been received, from which a large number of destroyed, captured or decommissioned must be deducted.

The gap of the republican zone into two forced the division of serviceable armored vehicles, which has been structured since April 1938 into the 1st division of armored vehicles (assigned to the Eastern Army Group – GERO) and the 2nd division of armored vehicles (GERC – Army Group Center). 1st Division, consisting of three tank brigades and the 2nd and 3rd mixed brigades of tanks and armored vehicles (other sources include only two brigades in this division). BT-5 to the 2nd division. The 1st division ceases to exist due to the fall of Catalonia in February 39.

The actual availability of armored vehicles that these divisions had was insufficient, since only 25 T-26s were received since the summer of 1937 (March 13, 1938). A little over 100 T-26Bs, 28 BT-5s, 50 BA-6/ Chevrolet 37s and about 30 FAIs and UNL-35s are believed to be operational in the spring of 1938 (the number of UNLs seems to be very low).

Despite the presence of large armored units of the division type, they are not comparable with the tank divisions of the Second World War, since they were newly formed, their actions were not developed – they are rather parts of the reserve, which put separate operational battalions, companies at the disposal of the commanders of infantry formations and units or even a platoon of armored vehicles, depending on the moment.

The world’s first tank ram

During the Civil War in Spain, on October 29, 1936, Semyon Osadchy on the T-26 tank made the world’s first tank ram, pushing the Italian Ansaldo wedge into a hollow.

Fighting at Lake Khasan

The first combat operation of the Red Army, in which T-26s participated, was the Soviet-Japanese conflict near Lake Khasan in July 1938. To defeat the Japanese troops, the Soviet command attracted the 2nd mechanized brigade and the 32nd 40th separate tank battalions of the 32nd and 40th rifle divisions. The Soviet tank grouping consisted of 257 T-26s, including 10 KhT-26s, three ST-26 tank bridgelayers, 81 BT-5s and BT-7s, and 13 SU -5-2 self-propelled guns.

During the assault on the Bogomolnaya and Zaozernaya hills occupied by the Japanese, our tankers came across a well-planned anti-tank defense.

During the fighting near Lake Khasan, 77 T-26

 

T-26 is a Soviet light tank. The most numerous tank of the Red Army and the Finnish army at the beginning of World War II, as well as the army of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, the second largest after the T-34 Soviet tank of the 1930s – 1940s. Based on the British Vickers Mk E tank (also known as the “Vickers 6-ton”) purchased in 1930. Adopted by the USSR in 1931.

Although of the Mk.E variants proposed by Vickers-Armstrong for mass production in the USSR, only a two-turreted machine-gun was selected, back in 1931, S. Ginzburg secured funding for the creation of a “tank fighter ” armed with a 37-mm cannon of “high power” and a 7.62-mm machine gun in a twin mount, housed in a single conical turret from the T-19 Improved tank. But in reality, work on the single-turret T-26 began only in 1932. Mastering the assembly of a conical turret from curvilinear armor plates was difficult for the Soviet industry, so the first turret of this type, created by the Izhora plantby the spring of 1932 and intended for the BT-2 tank, it had a cylindrical shape. A similar tower was supposed to be installed on the T-26 “tank-fighter” variant. During tests of the riveted and welded versions of the turret, preference was given to the first one, which was recommended for adoption after the revision of the identified shortcomings and the addition of a niche in the stern for the installation of a radio station. To conduct military tests, the Izhora plant had to produce a batch of 10 towers from January 21, 1933.

 

While work was underway on the turret, the issue of arming the tank was also being decided. The 37 mm gun B-3 was tested in the new turret in September-October 1932 and was recommended for adoption. But in May 1932, a 45-mm cannon mod. 1932, which also became a candidate for armament of tanks. Compared to the 37 mm cannon, the 45 mm had close armor penetration, but a much more effective fragmentation projectile with a significantly larger explosive charge. This made it possible to use the new tank not only as a specialized fighter, but also to replace the double-turreted version with it, as a universal tank for infantry support.. At the beginning of 1933, the design bureau of plant No. 174 developed a twin installation of a 45-mm 20-K cannon and a DT machine gun, which successfully passed factory tests in March 1933. The main identified problem was the frequent failures of the semi-automatic guns, leading to the need for manual unloading, which significantly reduced the rate of fire. In February – March 1933, comparative tests of the B-3 and 20-K were carried out, in which both guns showed similar results, with the exception of continued semi-automatic failures in the 45-mm gun. Nevertheless, already in the spring of 1933, it was decided to adopt a single-turret T-26 with a 45-mm gun. But the double tower of the Izhora plant was considered too cramped and the design bureau of plant No. 174 developed several options for an increased volume, of which the leadership of the Motorization and Mechanization Department of the Red Army chose a cylindrical balanced tower of a riveted-welded design, with a developed oval-shaped aft niche formed by a continuation side sheets.

According to the decision of the Defense Commission issued in December 1932, the production of a single-turret tank was to begin with the 1601st serial T-26. No difficulties were expected with the transition to a single-turret tank and it was planned to start its production in the spring of 1933, but due to delays in the supply of guns and optical sights, it was only started in the summer. In addition to the production of the T-26 with turrets designed by plant No. 174, produced at the Izhora and Mariupol plants, a certain number of tanks also received turrets of the first variant with a small aft niche. According to some data, a single batch of such machines was made with the turrets of an experimental batch of the Izhora plant, no more than 10-15 units in number, according to others, some, but also insignificant, number of T-26s received tank-type turrets from among 230 manufactured by the Mariupol plant for BT-5 tanks. From the very beginning of the production of the single-turret T-26, the designers of plant No. 174 had to solve a number of problems. One of them was that it was not possible to achieve reliable operation of the mechanical semi-automatic gun 20-K – according to the report of the director of plant No. 8, in summer the semi-automatic gave up to 30% of failures, and in winter – “solid failures”. To eliminate this, a new semi-automatic inertial type was introduced by the special design bureau of plant No. 8 and the recoil mechanisms were changed. Modified gun mechanisms when firing fragmentation shells worked only as ¼ automatics, providing semi-automatic firing only with armor-piercing shells, but in tests the number of failures was reduced to 2%. Serial production of such a gun, which received the designation “arr. 1932/34, began in December 1933 and until the end of production of the T-26, without significant changes, it was its main armament.

 

Another problem was the T-26 engine, whose power, which at that time was 85-88 liters. s., seemed insufficient due to the ever-increasing mass of the tank, with the transition to a single-turret modification, it increased by another ton. In the fall of 1932, the Vickers-Armstrong company offered the Soviet side its upgraded version of the 100 hp engine. s., but after studying its technical description, the specialists of plant No. 174 proposed to carry out a similar modernization of the engine on their own. It was expected that the installation of a new carburetor would increase engine power to 95 hp. s., however, tests of an experimental batch of modified engines showed their low reliability. It was possible to achieve satisfactory operation of the engine only in May 1933, deforcing it to 92 hp. With. Since 1933, Plant No. 174, and later the Experimental Plant of Spetsmashtrest, has been developing an air-cooled MT-4 carburetor engine with a capacity of 200 hp for the T-26. with., as well as a two-stroke or four-stroke diesel engine DT-26 with a capacity of 95 liters. s., but their production was never started, although the engine compartment of the tank since 1934 was slightly modified to allow the installation of a diesel engine.

The development of the tank in other directions also continued. Since the 45-mm gun during firing created an unacceptable concentration of carbon dioxide in the tank, from 1934 a fan was introduced on the right side of the roof of the fighting compartment. In 1935-1936, the transition to welded hulls was finally made, and the welded mantlet of the gun, which was laborious to manufacture, was replaced by a stamped one in 1935. Of the planned measures to increase mobility, in addition to the development of a new engine, which included the improvement of the gearbox and final drives, it was only possible to increase the power reserve by placing an additional fuel tank in the engine compartment. A number of other changes were introduced to reduce production costs and improve operational reliability. From the end of 1935, an additional ball mount with a DT-29 machine gun in the rear of the turret began to be installed on the T-26, and some of the machine guns began to be equipped with optical sights instead of diopter sights. At the end of 1935, a pivot anti- aircraft machine gun mount was developed for the tank, all with the same DT-29, but according to the results of tests in the troops, it was considered inconvenient and did not go into mass production. In addition, since 1935, based on every fifth tank, the T-26 for conducting combat operations at night began to be equipped with two headlights fixed on the mask of the gun – searchlights – the so-called “headlights of combat light”.

 

 

Battles at Khalkhin Gol

The brunt of the fighting in Mongolia near the Khalkhin-Gol River fell on BT tanks. By February 1, 1939, in the 57th Special Corps in Mongolia, there were only 33 T-26 tanks, 18 KhT-26s and 6 tractors based on the T-26. BT-5 and BT-7 were 219. Little has changed since then. So, on July 20, 39, in parts of the 1st Army Group, 10 KhT-26 tanks (11th light tank brigade) and 14 T-26s (82nd rifle division). By August, the number of T-26s, mainly flamethrower-chemical ones, increased – there were 37 chemical ones, but they still made up a small part of the tanks participating in the battles. However, they were used very intensively.

The documents of the 1st Army Group noted that “T-26s showed themselves exceptionally well, they overcame dunes well, the tank has great survivability. In the 82nd division there was a case when the T-26 had 5 hits from a 37-mm gun, the armor was blown, but the tank did not catch fire and after the battle it went to SPAM under its own power. After such a flattering assessment, a much less flattering conclusion follows, regarding the armor of the T-26: “the Japanese 37-mm cannon pierces the armor of any of our tanks freely.”

The actions of chemical tanks received a separate assessment.

“By the start of hostilities, the 57th Special Corps had only 11 chemical tanks (KhT-26) as part of the combat support company of the 11th light tank brigade. The flamethrower mixture had 3 charges in the company and 4 in the warehouse.

On July 20, the 2nd company of chemical tanks from the 2nd tank chemical brigade arrived in the combat area. She had 18 XT-130s and 10 flamethrower charges. However, it turned out that the personnel had very poor training for flamethrowing. Therefore, before the company went directly to the combat area with the personnel, practical exercises in flamethrowing were held and the combat experience already available to the chemical tankers of the 11th LTBR was studied.

In addition, the 6th Tank Brigade, which arrived at the front, had 9 KhT-26s. In total, by the beginning of August, the troops of the 1st Army Group had KhT-26 – 19, LHT-130 – 18 units.

During the period of the August operation (August 20-29), all chemical tanks took part in the battle. They were especially active in the period of August 23-26, and these days LHT-130 went on the attack 6-11 times.

In total, during the period of the conflict, chemical units used up 32 tons of flamethrower mixture. Losses in people amounted to 19 people (9 killed and 10 wounded).

The weak point in the use of flamethrower tanks was poor reconnaissance and preparation of vehicles for an attack. As a result, there was a large consumption of fire mixture in secondary areas and unnecessary losses.

During the very first battles, it was found that the Japanese infantry could not withstand flamethrowing and was afraid of a chemical tank. This was shown by the defeat of the Azuma detachment on May 28-29, in which 5 KhT-26s were actively used.

In subsequent battles, where flamethrower tanks were used, the Japanese invariably left their shelters without showing stamina. For example, on July 12, a detachment of the Japanese, consisting of a reinforced company with 4 anti-tank guns, penetrated deep into our location and, despite repeated attacks, offered stubborn resistance. Introduced only one chemical tank, which gave a stream of fire to the center of resistance, caused panic in the ranks of the enemy, the Japanese fled from the front trench into the depths of the pit and our infantry, who arrived in time, who occupied the crest of the pit, this detachment was finally destroyed.

In the battles near the Khalkhin Gol River, 7 vehicles were irretrievably lost, of which XT-26 – 5, T-26 single-turret – 2

Polish campaign of the Red Army

During the operation, 5 single-turret T-26s were irretrievably lost.

Soviet-Finnish War

The most intensive use of tanks of this type was during the Soviet-Finnish war (1939-1940).

In the Winter War, the Red Army irretrievably lost 23 double-turreted, 265 linear and 10 single-turreted radial tanks, as well as 118 KhT-26 and KhT-130.

In the Red Army

 

The first recipient of the T-26 in 1931 was the 1st Mechanized Brigade. K. B. Kalinovsky. Since 1932, T-26 tanks began to enter service with the formed mechanized brigades. From August 1938, mechanized brigades were renamed light tank brigades with a change in number; however, this event was somewhat delayed: so the 6th mechanized brigade became the 6th tank brigade, and it received its assigned No. 8 only in September 1939. At the beginning of 1938, the Red Army had 10 brigades on the T-26 and 2 26 and BT). By the end of the year, the mixed brigades were reorganized into homogeneous and T-26 light tank brigades became 12. In the first half of 1939, another T-26 brigade was formed, and by the end of 1939 another 7 brigades were created, bringing their total number to 20. In the first half of 1940, 5 brigades were assigned to form tank and motorized divisions, and the same number of brigades were formed again. In November 1940, the formation of another 20 T-26 brigades began. In total, by the beginning of 1941, there were 40 T-26 tank brigades in the Red Army. But already in March, the process of forming 21 mechanized corps of the second wave was launched, and they were turned to staffing them.

Also in 1938 – mid-1940 there were 3 chemical tank brigades on the KhT-26.

In addition to brigades, tank battalions with T-26s and T-37s were added to rifle divisions in 1934. Tank battalions were expelled from divisions by the summer of 1940, except for 18 in the Far East. However, in the spring of 1941, 16 of them went to equip new tank and motorized divisions, and tank battalions remained only in the 36th and 57th motorized rifle divisions of the 17th Army, stationed in Mongolia.

 

In addition to the Red Army, 76 T-26s were part of the Navy. In 1938, out of 23 vehicles produced by order of the department, 2 went to the Northern Fleet and 21 to the Pacific Fleet; out of 21 tanks delivered in 1939, 1 was shipped to the KBF and 20 to the Pacific Fleet; in 1940, out of 32 tanks, 22 entered the KBF and 10 received the Northern Fleet.

On June 1, 1941, there were 12 tanks in the Northern Fleet (a separate tank company), 23 in the KBF (in warehouses: 11 in Tallinn and 12 in Leningrad) and 41 in the Pacific Fleet (1st, 2nd, 4th and 351 -I separate tank companies, and the latter was part of the 3rd separate rifle brigade of the Vladimir-Olginskaya naval base of the STOF).

On the right flank, in no man’s land, a T-26 is moving towards us, towing another, wrecked. The cannon of the downed man looks down, his stern smokes a little. An enemy tank is rapidly approaching the slowly crawling tug. It goes straight to the back of his head, and several other German cars stopped behind him in the distance. I understand his maneuver: hiding behind a damaged, towed tank, he seeks to get closer, so that, turning to the side, he can shoot the towing vehicle on the move. Two people fall out of the tug tower one after another. Having jumped from the stern to the towed tank, they disappear into the open hole of the driver’s hatch. The cannon of the wrecked tank trembled, rose to meet the pursuer and flashed twice with flame. The German tank stumbled and froze…

– From the memoirs of G. Penezhko, Hero of the Soviet Union

T-26 tanks were the most numerous in the Red Army at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. In the very first months of the war, most of these tanks (along with tanks of other types) were also lost due to the fact that 73% of the old types of tanks required major or medium repairs.

As of October 28, 1941, there were 441 tanks on the Western Front, including 33 KV-1, 175 T-34, 43 BT, 50 T-26, 113 T-40 and 32 T-60.

Massively used during the Iranian operation (1941).

The last time the T-26 was used was in 1945 against the Kwantung Army in Manchuria.

On December 20, 1945, there were 1455 T-26s in the Far East, 492 of which were serviceable and 352 required maintenance.

Project evaluation

 

Tanks of the BT and T-26 series formed the basis of the tank fleet of the Red Army in the late 1930s. The armor protection of the T-26 was designed for maximum resistance to rifle bullets and shell fragments. At the same time, the armor of the T-26 was penetrated by armor-piercing rifle bullets from a distance of 50-100 m. Therefore, one of the directions for the development of Soviet tank building was a radical increase in the armor protection of tanks from the fire of the most massive anti-tank weapons.

The Spanish Civil War, in which the T-26 and BT-5 light tanks supplied to the republican government took an active part, demonstrated the ever-increasing role of anti-tank artillery and the saturation of the armies of developed countries with it. At the same time, the main anti-tank weapons were not anti-tank rifles and heavy machine guns, but quick-firing small-caliber guns of 25-47 mm caliber, which, as practice has shown, easily hit tanks with bulletproof armor, and breaking through a defense saturated with such guns could cost heavy losses in armored vehicles. Analyzing the development of foreign anti-tank weapons, the chief designer of plant No. 174 S. Ginzburg wrote:

The power and rate of fire of modern 37-mm anti-tank guns is sufficient to make an unsuccessful attack by a company of thin-armored tanks carried out in ranks by platoon, provided that 1-2 anti-tank guns are available for 200-400 m of front defense…

Already at the beginning of 1938, the Soviet military realized that the T-26 had begun to become obsolete, which was noted by S. A. Ginzburg a year and a half earlier. By 1938, the T-26, while still superior to foreign vehicles in terms of armament, began to yield to them in other respects. First of all, the weak armor and insufficient mobility of the tank were noted due to the low engine power and the congestion of the suspension. Moreover, the trends in the development of world tank building at that time were such that in the very near future the T-26 could lose its last advantage in armament, that is, by the beginning of the 1940s. become completely obsolete. The leadership of the USSR in 1938 finally decided to develop new types of tanks with anti-ballistic armor and stop the modernization of the completely obsolete T-26 and BT.

 

On June 22, 1941, there were about 10 thousand T-26s in the Red Army. Weak (bulletproof) armor and low mobility of the tank were among the factors that led to the low efficiency of the use of these tanks in the initial period of the Great Patriotic War. However, the armor of most German tanks and self-propelled guns of that time was, in turn, vulnerable to the 37 or 45 mm T-26 guns.

Most of the T-26 tanks were lost by the Soviet side in the first six months of the war. A fairly significant part of the losses of the tank troops of the Red Army in the summer of 1941 was of a non-combat nature. Due to the suddenness of the start of the war, the service technicians were not drafted into the technical support units of tank units. Also, tractors for the evacuation of equipment and tankers were not transferred to the Red Army. Worn-out old T-26 and BT tanks, together with the unfinished T-34 and KV, during forced marches broke down and rushed into the territory occupied by the enemy, as a result of deep breakthroughs of the Wehrmacht, some tanks were captured even on railway platforms – they did not have time to unload them for entry into battle or evacuate to the rear for repairs.

Some observers explained the defeats of the Red Army in the first period of the Great Patriotic War by the low qualifications of the higher and middle command personnel. As the former commander of the howitzer battery of the 14th Panzer Division, Ya. I. Dzhugashvili, who was captured near Senno (See Lepel counterattack), said during interrogation :

The failures of the [Soviet] tank forces are due not to the poor quality of materials or weapons, but to the inability of command and lack of experience in maneuvering. Commanders of brigades-divisions-corps are not able to solve operational tasks. In particular, this concerns the interaction of various types of armed forces.

T-26 on the territory of the General Menacho military base, Badajoz. year 2013

About five dozen complete and reconstructed T-26 tanks of various modifications have survived to this day, not counting a large number of scattered turrets and parts of armored hulls.

Model sample 1931 (double-turret, machine-gun)

  • In the exposition of the Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow. The tank was raised from the Neva in 1989.
  • In the exposition of the Museum of Military Equipment “Battle Glory of the Urals” in Verkhnyaya Pyshma. Reconstructed from an armored hull with the addition of a number of original elements (including one machine-gun turret).
  • In the exposition of the Museum of National Military History, Padikovo, Moscow Region. Completely restored, running on the native engine.
  • On display at the Australian Armored and Artillery Museum
    Model sample 1932 (two-tower, cannon-machine gun)

In the exposition of the Patriot Park, Kubinka, Moscow Region.

Sample models 1933/34/35/36/37 (with cylindrical tower)

  • In the exposition of the Central Museum of the Armed Forces, Moscow. Transferred from the Museum in Kubinka in the early 1980s.
  • In the exposition of the Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow. Reconstructed from the destroyed armored hull of the Polish Vickers with the addition of original elements (including the turret).
  • In the exposition of the Museum of Technology Vadim Zadorozhny, Krasnogorsk district (Moscow region). Reconstructed using a number of original elements of the tower and armored hull.
  • Museum-Reserve “Breakthrough of the blockade of Leningrad” Kirovsk, Leningrad region. Raised from the bottom of the Neva in 2003. The tank was not fully restored (combat damage was preserved).
  • In the exposition of the Museum of National Military History, Padikovo, Moscow Region. Reconstructed from the wreckage of three T-26 tanks, restored to running condition.
  • Lenino-Snegirevsk Military History Museum, Snegiri, Moscow Oblast. Found near the village of Myasnoy Bor, Novgorod Region, in 1989.
  • In an open area near the Museum of the North-Western Front, Staraya Russa. The tank was raised from the Lovat River near the village of Korovitchino in 1981.
  • Vyborg. Monument at the crossroads Gagarin and Primorskoye Highway. Participated in the Winter War. Sunk during shelling in the Gulf of Finland, the crew died. Raised in 2005. It was restored at the Vyborg shipyard and installed as a monument to the dead tankers.
  • State Museum of Military Glory, Saratov. Found near Yelnya, restored and installed in 2011.
  • Private Museum of Military Equipment, Engels. Reconstructed, combat damage preserved.
  • Historical and Memorial Museum-Reserve “Battle of Stalingrad”, Volgograd. Tank model 1937. Reconstructed using the wreckage of the original car. Donated to the museum as a gift by the collector and restorer Dmitry Bushmakov.
  • In the exposition of the Museum of Military Equipment “Battle Glory of the Urals” in Verkhnyaya Pyshma. Reconstructed from a broken armored hull with the addition of a number of genuine elements and the original turret from the BT-5.
  • On the grounds of the Basic General Non-commissioned Officer Academy
    Talarn, Catalonia.
  • On the territory of the Infantry Academy in Toledo. Three tanks. All were previously radio, have the remains of handrail antenna mounts.
  • On display at the Armored Museum of the Spanish Land Forces, in El Goloso, north of Madrid. Five tanks, two linear and three former radium. One of them (former radio, with the remains of the handrail antenna mounts) is in running condition.
  • On the territory of the Conde de Gazola military base of the 63rd Artillery Regiment. Ferral del Bernesga, Leon.
  • On the grounds of the Military Academy. Two tanks. One of them is a former radium.
  • On the territory of the military base “General Alvarez de Castro” of the 62nd Infantry Regiment “Arapiles”. San Clemente Sacebas, Girona.
  • On the grounds of No. 1 Armored Vehicle Maintenance Center, Segovia. Former radium tank.
  • On the territory of the General Menacho military base of the 16th Motorized Infantry Regiment Castile. Valdebotoa, Badajoz.
  • On the territory of the military base of the 10th Panzer Regiment “Cordoba”. Cerro Muriano, Cordoba. Former radium tank. Weapon – layout.
  • In the exposition of the Military Historical Museum of Valencia. Former radium tank.
  • On the territory of the military base of the 4th tercio (regiment) “Alexander Farnese” of the Spanish Legion. Ronda, Malaga. Former radium tank.
  • In the exposition of the Military Historical Museum of Cartagena. In running condition.
  • On the grounds of the barracks of the 54th Regiment of Native Regulars, Ceuta. Former radio antenna, handrail antenna has been preserved.
  • On the territory of the military base “El Empecinado” of the 12th Cavalry Regiment “Farnesio”. Santovenia de Pisuerga, Valladolid.
  • On the grounds of the Armored Vehicle Maintenance Centre, Valladolid. Former radium tank.
  • In the exposition of the Tank Museum. Etimezgut, Ankara.
  • In the exposition of the Military Museum of Istanbul.
  • At the site of military equipment in Kuhmo. Finnish tactical number Ps. 163-45.
  • On display at the Artillery Museum of Finland, Hämeenlinna.
  • On display at the Parola Tank Museum. In running condition. Finnish tactical number Ps. 163-33.
  • On display at the Bovington Tank Museum. Formerly in the Parola Tank Museum, transferred to Bovington in the 2000s.
  • In a private collection (the remains of an armored hull and a turret).

Model 1938/39 (with conical tower)

 

T-26 in the armored museum in Kubinka

 

T-26 on the territory of the former garrison in Mikkeli

  • In the exposition of the Patriot Park, Kubinka, Moscow Region. In 2005, it was restored to running condition (with an engine from the BRDM-2).
  • In the exposition of the Museum of National Military History, Padikovo, Moscow Region. Restored to running condition.
  • On display at the Parc-Français Military Museum in La Wantzenau, Basse-Rhin. Raised from Lake Ladoga near Pitkyaranta in 1998, sold abroad.
  • In the exposition of the Parola Tank Museum.
  • At the site of military equipment on the territory of the former garrison of the disbanded Savolaks Infantry Brigade, Mikkeli.
  • On the road in the forested area of ​​the Hanko Front Museum. Lappohya, near Hanko. With a broken aft hull.

Chemical tanks T-26

 

Destroyed Finnish XT-130 with turret mod. 1939 at Suomussalmi

  • XT-130. In the exposition of the park of the District House of Officers of the Russian Army in Chita. It was originally installed as a monument in the city of Borzya. Partially incomplete (tracks and drive wheels from M3 Stuart). Armament – layout
  • XT-26. In the Museum of Russian Military History in the village of Padikovo, Istra District, Moscow Region. Fully restored, running.
  • On display at the Parola Tank Museum. Two XT-26s converted by the Finns into combat. Tank number Ps.163-16. has an early-type turret from BT-5 (with a small aft niche), a tank with the number Ps.163-28 a turret from BT-5 / BT-7 mod. 1935.
  • On display at the Parola Tank Museum. Two XT-133s converted by the Finns into battle tanks using the conical turrets from the T-26. Tactical numbers Ps. 164-7 and Ps. 164-32.
  • On the road near the Winter War Museum at the Raate border outpost near Suomussalmi. XT-133 with tactical number Ps. 164-34, rebuilt by the Finns into a battle tank using a conical turret from a T-26. In poor condition.
  • The original XT-133 in the steppe near Khalkhgol. In poor condition.

Teletanks TT-26

  • In the exposition of the Patriot Park, Kubinka, Moscow Region. Has a mock-up flamethrower.
  • In the exposition of the Museum of Technology Vadim Zadorozhny, Krasnogorsk district (Moscow region). Reconstructed using a number of original elements of the tower and armored hull.

In popular culture

 

T-26 – a monument in Vyborg. 2011

From the poem “Tank”:

Whenever the monument was ordered to me

Raise up to all the dead here in the desert,

I would be on a granite hewn wall

I put a tank with empty eye sockets;

I would dig it up as it is

In holes, in torn iron sheets, –

Unfading military honor

There are in these scars, in burnt wounds.

Climbing high on the pedestal,

Let as a witness testify by right:

Yes, it was not easy for us to win.

Yes, the enemy was brave.

The more our glory.

Konstantin Simonov. 1939. Khalkhin Gol.

 

 

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