FORTRESS ON TRACKSOne of the most interesting pages in the history of world tank development was, without doubt, the period of creation towered tanks. He covered almost all of the 1920-ies that is not accidental, because the whole concept of mnogobashenniye schema is a logical continuation of the scheme British tanks during the First world war. English diamond machines were created to break through the defensive positions of enemy infantry, therefore, the location of the main weapons in side sponsons seemed quite obvious. When crossing the defensive lines so it was easier to kill the enemy infantry, entrenched in the trenches. Shots were fired from both sides along the trenches. In the process of transition to tower layout, which was apparent at the final stage of the First world war, the scheme with the placement of the weapons in the sponsons transformed into mnogobashenniye.

The first classic mnogobashenniye tank built by the British. French 2S, which appeared immediately after the war, which had two towers, placed along the longitudinal scheme, repeated in the layout of the light tank FT17 and no development of the diamond scheme is not represented. The second tower is needed to protect the tank from the stern, and not for the destruction of infantry in the trenches. In contrast, English А1Е1 “independent”, designed in 1927 and constructed in 1929, had five towers. In the main (or big) the tower housed guns, and four small, arranged in pairs front and rear of the main turret guns. The similarity of the diamond scheme is clear — guns in small towers could hit infantry and firing points of the enemy at the crossing of its lines of trenches, gun was connected to them when necessary. Tower arrangement gave the tank and the obvious advantages of providing an already full fire 360°. Further tests of the British it does not matter — at the turn of 1930-ies, the British army treated a minimum number of tanks. Kind of a rebirth of the British car took place in the Soviet Union.
Designing a heavy tank began in the USSR in December 1930 with the development of a heavy breakthrough tank T-30. According to the plan, it was supposed to be a 50-ton combat vehicle, armed with two 76-mm guns and five machine guns. However, work on the project ended in failure — affected by the lack of sufficient experience of tank. Was not successful and the attempt to develop in the 1930 — 1931 years the project breakthrough tank TP-1 weight 75 t
Further work on the creation of breakthrough tank in the Soviet Union associated with the use of foreign experience. In March 1930 in the Soviet Union from Germany there has arrived group of engineers, headed by E. Grotto. For the design of advanced models of tanks at the plant “Bolshevik” in Leningrad has created a design Bureau AVO-5, which in addition to German experts entered the young Soviet engineers Barykov, sparrows and others who subsequently became prominent developers of the various samples of domestic tanks. Created under the direction of the Grotto TG new tank (“Tank Grote”) differed from the Soviet and foreign cars of the time primarily by the fabrication technology and layout. The car had a welded hull and a three-tier placement of weapons. The running gear was used up rolls of large diameter and independent suspension. During the second half of the 1931 year, the vehicle underwent an extensive test programme, but the red army was not adopted, mainly due to the structural complexity and high cost. Further services E. Cave refused, and the German engineers returned to Germany.
Heavy tank T-35 from the composition of the 68th tank regiment, 34th tank division 8th mechanized corps. South-Western front, June 1941.
Heavy tank T-35 from the composition of the 68th tank regiment, 34th tank division 8th mechanized corps. South-Western front, June 1941.
After the departure of the German design specialists AVO-5 had reorganized and placed on it all further work on the design of a breakthrough tank. KB led the young engineer N. In.Barykov working in the AVO-5 Deputy E. Grotto. New KB received from the UMM RKKA job by August 1, 1932 year to design a heavy tank the T-35. The work was started in November 1931, and at the end of February, 1932, Deputy chief of the UMM gg Boces reported to M. N. Tukhachevsky: “work on the T-35 are accelerated pace and disrupting the timing of the completion of the work is not planned”.
Timing is really not broke — 20 Aug 1932 ended the Assembly of the first prototype, T-35-1, and on 1 September he has demonstrated leadership, UMM. The car looks much like the British five-turret tank “the independent” apparently the awareness of it among members of the Soviet purchasing Commission in 1930 year were not in vain.
T-35-1 looked very impressive.. In a hemispherical drop tower was installed 76-mm tank gun PS-3 and DT machine-gun in a ball mounting, in four identical smaller towers, two 37-mm gun PS-2 and two DT machine guns. Another DT machine gun was placed in a ball mount in the hull. Six bogie wheels suspension (on Board) were interlocked in pairs in three trucks, designed for the type of bogie suspension tank “Grosstraktor” company “Krupp”, and PowerPack group was made based on the experience of designing a tank TG. To operate the onboard friction clutches used a pneumatic system, which significantly facilitates the process of driving a 38-ton combat vehicles. However, tests carried out in the autumn of 1932 year, has put an end to transmission-type TG, and pnevmoballony. Both proved too expensive and too unreliable. Further work on the T-35-1 was stopped.
In February 1933, tank production plant “Bolshevik” was a separate factory # 174, and KB is the AVO-5, upgraded to experimental design engineering Department (okmo). The head of the last N. In.Barykov. Experimental machine design Bureau started to design the second prototype heavy tank — T-35-2. The tank received a new main tower with a riveted-welded construction, engine M-17 and a new transmission. Otherwise it is almost no different from its predecessor. Assembly T-35-2 completed in April 1933 year, and on 1 may he took part in the military parade on Uritsky square (now the Palace) in Leningrad. At the same time, T-35-1 rumbled on the cobblestones of red square in Moscow.
Meanwhile, the arcm has already completed the design of a production variant of the T-35A. Its engine, transmission and suspension were the same as the T-35-2, but the hull and turret have undergone substantial changes. The main tower unified with that of a medium tank T-28, and the small turret was a turret T-26, but without the rear bin. In addition, the T-35A got a new machine-gun turrets and bulwarks, and the elongated body.
The decision of Sovnarkoma of the USSR production T-35A was assigned to the Kharkiv locomotive plant them. The Komintern (KhPZ). In early June, 1933, was sent to still did not pass test T-35-2 and all the project documentation on the T-35A. The production machines were connected more plants. The Izhora had to put hulls, “Red October” — transmission of the Rybinsk engines. Manufacturer of T-35 on KhPZ was carried out in the key principle was created nine sections, each of which led the Assembly of a single node or unit tank. Final Assembly was carried out on a special gantry. The first car collected by November 1, 1933, and November 7, surrounded by tankettes T-27 five-towered giant paraded through the streets of Kharkov.
The production plan for 1934 provided for the production of the first experimental batch of 10 tanks. With great difficulty, the factory managed to cope with the task.
The T-35 was petibarevny fighting machine with bunk location of weapons. The three towers were guns, two — one gun. Housing tank welded and partly riveted, going from armor plates with thickness of 10, 20 and 30 mm. using the four interior walls of the tank hull was functionally divided into five departments: the front towers with the control of the driver, the main towers, the rear towers, motor and transmission.
76-mm gun KT sample 1927/32 he represents the tank variant of the regimental cannon sample 1927, was installed in the main tower and had a circular field of fire. The length of its barrel — 16.5 caliber, muzzle velocity — 381 m/sec. From the beginning of 1936, 76-mm gun of the T-35 was completely uniform with a gun KT-28 medium tank T-28. This will reduce the length of the rollback introduced a new linkage and foot descent.
Machine gun DT of 7.62 mm were placed in the ball mount to the right of the cannon. To fire back in an alcove of the main tower had a drag setup for my backup gun. Since 1937 the hatch gunner was equipped with anti-aircraft turret installation P-40 with machine gun DT.
For firing of the 76 mm gun was used periscope sight PT-1 model of 1932 and telescopic sight TOP of the sample in 1930 in addition to these sights, in the roof of the tower on the right side, symmetrically with the periscope sight installed commanding panorama of PTK.
Two 45-mm cannon 20K sample 1932 (late 1934), provided the initial velocity armor-piercing projectile 760 m/s, housed in two towers situated diagonally. The tower design was the same as tower light tank BT-5 with the exception of the missing rear bin. Guns were installed in the masks and was paired with machine-guns.
Two small towers, also located on the diagonal, was identical to the small towers of a medium tank T-28. In small towers placed one machine gun DT in spherical systems.
Ammunition of the tank consisted of 96 rounds for 76-mm gun (48 48 grenades and shrapnel), 226 — to 45-mm guns (armor-piercing 113 and 113 high-explosive) and 10 080 out of machine gun ammo.
In the main — top — tower were three crew members: the tank commander, gunner and rear — radio operator. In addition, the separation of the main tower was the workplace of the mechanic. The duties of the tank commander in addition to leading the actions of the crew were firing from a machine gun and loading (via radio) guns. In the two towers with 45-mm guns were located on the two crew members—a gunner and loader, machine-gun towers, one arrow.
Heavy tank T-35-release of 1936
Heavy tank T-35-release of 1936
Heavy tank T-35 release 1936:
1 —the main tower; 2-76-mm gun KT-28; 3—front small tower; 4 — 45 mm gun 20K mod. 1934; 5 — machine gun DT; 6—porucnika antenna of the radio station 71-TK-1; 7—Jack; 8 — feed mid tower; 9 — the bulwarks; 10 — supporting the rink; 11 —support roller; 12—a tension roller; 13 — a steering wheel; 14 — driving wheel; 15 — cover of the driver’s hatch; 16 — front mid tower; 17 — muffler; 18—spare tracks; 19 — shutters over the fan; 20 — towline; 21 — the reel with the cable for tensioning caterpillars; 22—signal 23 — ball installation of a machine gun DT; 24—the us commander of the panorama PTK; 25—us periscope sight PT-1; 26—Fara; 27—towing earring; 28 — the viewing driver’s hatch; 29 — porthole for installation of the aft machine gun; the 30—hatches for access to the powertrain

Twelve-cylinder carbureted V-twin engine M-17 liquid-cooled, mounted in the rear of the hull, developed a power of 500 HP at 1450 rpm (when modernising 1936 — 1937 engine boosted to 580 HP) and allows the tank to move with a maximum speed of 30 km/h, and on the ground — about 14 km/h Fuel tanks capacity 910 l provide cruising on the highway up to 100 km In fuel used is petrol B-70 and CB-70. The engine was connected through the main clutch multi-disc with mechanical four-speed transmission. As the rotation mechanism used steering clutches with band brakes and final drives with two pairs of cylindrical gears.
Caterpillar mover for one Board consisted of eight rubber rollers of small diameter, six support rollers with rubber tyres and guide wheels with a screw mechanism for track tensioning, the drive wheels (rear) with removable ring gear and melkopilchatye tracks with skeletal trucks and an open hinge. Tracks connected by fingers, toparadise with cotter pins. Between the guide wheels and the front road wheels were installed idler pulleys prevents the deflection of the front branches of caterpillars in overcoming vertical obstacles. The caterpillar consisted of 135 trucks with a width of 526 mm, step truck — 160 mm.
Suspension — blocked, two skating rinks in the cart; the suspension of the two coil springs. Suspension closed 10-mm armour screens. Tank overcame steep climbs to 20°, ditches width up to 3.5 m vertical wall height of 1.2 m, Ford a depth of 1 m. the Specific ground pressure of 0.78 kg/cm2. At the same time, a large value of the ratio of tank length to width (more than 3) adversely affected his agility.
The tank had a radio station 71-TK-1 (1936 — 71-TK-Z) with runaway antenna around the main turret, intercom SPU-7R seven subscribers and system of smoke. Devices smoke TDP-3 were mounted in armored boxes on the sides of the hull.
Electrical equipment was performed at the single-wire scheme, a voltage of 12 V.
From 1932 to 1938 the Assembly shop left 55 KhPZ T-35. The cars of different years of release, with almost the same external appearance was substantially different. Thus, in particular, in 1936 — 1937 years in the design of the tank were a number of changes. Was upgraded transmission, steering clutches, oil tank, electrical equipment, lightweight side skirts, a special seal prevents the tank from ingress of water. The muffler across the rear of the hull is covered with armour and shields, cleaned inside and out only took out the exhaust pipe, protecting them a shutter casing.
As a result, the reliability of the tank issue 1937 — 1938 years has increased markedly. The mileage prior to repair, for example, the upgraded machines were already 2000 km 1500 km against tanks early releases.
Since 1938, the planned installation in the main tower 76-mm gun L-10 with a barrel length of 26 calibres, but the military refused this, believing that the power of the original gun KT-28 enough for infantry support, and to combat tanks and other armored targets enough for two 45-mm guns.
At the end of 1939 KhPZ started production of T-35 with conical towers with a maximum armor thickness of 25 mm. Thickness of the armor plates turret boxes in the main tower also brought to 25 mm, and the front hull plates up to 70 mm. the Combat weight of the machine increased up to 54 T. the first three tanks with conical towers, delivered in February — April 1939, armor plates turret boxes of the main tower was performed vertical, and the next three cars taken by the military acceptance in may — June of the same year, are inclined. On two machines edition 1939 in the rear recess of the main tower was placed in the DT machine gun in a ball mount.
Due to the fact that opportunities for improving the T-35 was exhausted (in particular, there was no way to significantly increase the level of armor protection of the tank, meeting 60 ton of mass), the decision of the Supreme military Council of the USSR of June 8, 1939 the serial production of the tank was discontinued.
The first serial tanks T-35 entered the 5th heavy tank regiment of the Reserve of the Supreme Command (RGK), stationed in Kharkiv. The location of this part near the manufacturer has enabled the plant personnel to assist tankers in the development of new combat vehicles. In 1935 the regiment was deployed to the 5th separate heavy tank brigade, which a year later was also allocated the RGC. She was sent to strengthen the infantry and tank units in the breakout specially fortified defensive positions of the enemy. Crew training for the brigade was carried out in special courses, which were led by engineers KhPZ. In addition, in 1936, in Ryazan, with the 3rd heavy tank brigade was a training tank battalion of T-35.
In March 1939 the 5th heavy tank brigade was transferred to the Kiev Special military district (KOVO) and transferred to Zhitomir. Soon she changed her number and became the 14th heavy tank brigade. In 1940 during the formation of the mechanized corps 48 T-35 were the 67th and 68th tank regiments of the 34th tank division 8th mechanized corps KOVO. As of 1 June 1941 the red army had 59 T-35: 48 in the 8th mechanized corps (6 of them required medium and current repair); two in the Military Academy of mechanization and motorization in Moscow; four in the 2nd Saratov tank school in Kazan and armored refresher courses technical staff and five repairs on CPF.
Fighting the way the T-35 was short. At midnight June 21, 1941, in the regiments of the 34th tank division stationed in Grudki-Jagiellonian South-West of the city, announced the alarm. Machine fueled and brought to the landfill to load ammunition. The next five days, all the “tridtsatye” was lost, and only five tanks out of action as a result of battle damage.
Machine, located in Kharkov, was used as stationary gun emplacements during the defense of the city in October 1941. Two tanks of the educational Park VAMM became part formed on its basis a tank regiment, but in the defense of Moscow, these machines did not participate.
To survived both heavy tanks petibarevny: English “the independent” can be seen in the exhibition of the Royal tank Museum in Bovington, Soviet T-35 — in the Military-historical Museum of armored vehicles and armament in Kubinka.

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