Russian Museum Recreates WWII-Era 'Land Battleship'

2018/04/1524123985.jpg
Read: 934     17:59     19 April 2018    

The T-35 was huge, and there's a reason no one makes 'em like this anymore.


A copy of the largest tanks of World War II was produced for a Russian military museum. A working T-35 tank, which weighed even more than Russia’s newest main battle tank, was built by the metallurgical company Uralelectromed JSC for the Museum of Military Equipment in the Sverdlovsk region, Russia.

During the years between World War I and World War II, the new Soviet state pursued an aggressive military expansion plan, including the mechanization of its armed forces. The construction of heavy tanks—heavier than any of those fielded by any other country—was meant to grow Soviet heavy industry, encourage the study of engineering, as well as strengthening the Soviet military.

The T-35 was one of those tanks. Thirty and a half feet long, ten feet wide, and ten feet tall, the T-35 had a top speed of twelve miles an hour cross-country, and could go 94 miles on a full tank of gas. But what really made the T-35 stand out was its armament. The heavy tank had five turrets instead of just one, including one 76.2-millimeter anti-personnel gun, two 45-millimeter anti-tank guns, and six Degtyarev machine guns. The 76.2 and one 45-millimeter gun faced forward, while the second 45-millimeter gun faced to the rear. The machine guns could fire to the front and left and right sides.

Here's a Russian TV news segment on the heavy tank showing it running:

 

The T-35 was built with the trenches of World War II—and enemy tanks—in mind. The heavy tank was meant to spearhead an attack on prepared enemy positions, rolling over trenches, destroying bunkers and machine gun nests with its 76-millimeter gun, and fending off counter attacking enemy tanks with its forward-facing 45-millimeter gun. In case accompanying infantry got bogged down, the T-35 could engage targets to its flanks and rear. The tank held enough ammo for a prolonged battle, with each carrying 96 rounds of 76-millimeter ammo, about 180 rounds of 45-millimeter anti-tank shells, and 10,000 rounds of machine gun ammo. Some tanks were equipped with flamethrowers.

The T-35 had more than its share of problems. As heavily armed as it was, it had an unsatisfactory steering system. It was mechanically unreliable, with the engine and transmission prone to breakdown. While some lasted long enough to reach the front line in World War II, many of the tanks broke down before they could reach the battlefield. The war record of those few that did reach the front line is unclear, but the tanks were slow enough that they would likely have been outflanked and destroyed by swifter German armor.

The T-35 was probably the epitome of the heavy tank concept—and also expressed everything that was wrong with it. The T-35 was too slow, which was a function of its weight. It was heavy because it carried far too much armament and no restraint when it came its arsenal. What exactly was the point of having an anti-tank gun facing rearward? And why did it need six machine guns? All of this added weight and crew to man the guns.

On top of that, Russia’s relative lack of technical prowess at the time meant the tank was underpowered and mechanically unreliable. If the tank broke down, the result was a lot of firepower—and soldiers—sitting out the fight.

Sixty one T-35As—improved models of the original T-35—were built at the Kharkov Locomotive Plant before between 1932 and 1939. The reproduction has the -A model’s 45-millimeter anti-tank guns capable of greater armor penetration.

One interesting detail to note is that the reproduction tank’s turrets don’t turn in either of the TV news reports, suggesting they are fixed in place. Eighty years after the tanks first came off the production lines, building and maintaining five different turrets is still complicated.

Sputnik



Tags: Russia   WW2  



News Line

Russian Museum Recreates WWII-Era 'Land Battleship'

2018/04/1524123985.jpg
Read: 935     17:59     19 April 2018    

The T-35 was huge, and there's a reason no one makes 'em like this anymore.


A copy of the largest tanks of World War II was produced for a Russian military museum. A working T-35 tank, which weighed even more than Russia’s newest main battle tank, was built by the metallurgical company Uralelectromed JSC for the Museum of Military Equipment in the Sverdlovsk region, Russia.

During the years between World War I and World War II, the new Soviet state pursued an aggressive military expansion plan, including the mechanization of its armed forces. The construction of heavy tanks—heavier than any of those fielded by any other country—was meant to grow Soviet heavy industry, encourage the study of engineering, as well as strengthening the Soviet military.

The T-35 was one of those tanks. Thirty and a half feet long, ten feet wide, and ten feet tall, the T-35 had a top speed of twelve miles an hour cross-country, and could go 94 miles on a full tank of gas. But what really made the T-35 stand out was its armament. The heavy tank had five turrets instead of just one, including one 76.2-millimeter anti-personnel gun, two 45-millimeter anti-tank guns, and six Degtyarev machine guns. The 76.2 and one 45-millimeter gun faced forward, while the second 45-millimeter gun faced to the rear. The machine guns could fire to the front and left and right sides.

Here's a Russian TV news segment on the heavy tank showing it running:

 

The T-35 was built with the trenches of World War II—and enemy tanks—in mind. The heavy tank was meant to spearhead an attack on prepared enemy positions, rolling over trenches, destroying bunkers and machine gun nests with its 76-millimeter gun, and fending off counter attacking enemy tanks with its forward-facing 45-millimeter gun. In case accompanying infantry got bogged down, the T-35 could engage targets to its flanks and rear. The tank held enough ammo for a prolonged battle, with each carrying 96 rounds of 76-millimeter ammo, about 180 rounds of 45-millimeter anti-tank shells, and 10,000 rounds of machine gun ammo. Some tanks were equipped with flamethrowers.

The T-35 had more than its share of problems. As heavily armed as it was, it had an unsatisfactory steering system. It was mechanically unreliable, with the engine and transmission prone to breakdown. While some lasted long enough to reach the front line in World War II, many of the tanks broke down before they could reach the battlefield. The war record of those few that did reach the front line is unclear, but the tanks were slow enough that they would likely have been outflanked and destroyed by swifter German armor.

The T-35 was probably the epitome of the heavy tank concept—and also expressed everything that was wrong with it. The T-35 was too slow, which was a function of its weight. It was heavy because it carried far too much armament and no restraint when it came its arsenal. What exactly was the point of having an anti-tank gun facing rearward? And why did it need six machine guns? All of this added weight and crew to man the guns.

On top of that, Russia’s relative lack of technical prowess at the time meant the tank was underpowered and mechanically unreliable. If the tank broke down, the result was a lot of firepower—and soldiers—sitting out the fight.

Sixty one T-35As—improved models of the original T-35—were built at the Kharkov Locomotive Plant before between 1932 and 1939. The reproduction has the -A model’s 45-millimeter anti-tank guns capable of greater armor penetration.

One interesting detail to note is that the reproduction tank’s turrets don’t turn in either of the TV news reports, suggesting they are fixed in place. Eighty years after the tanks first came off the production lines, building and maintaining five different turrets is still complicated.

Sputnik



Tags: Russia   WW2