HEAVY TANK SMKThe development of anti-tank artillery in the second half of the 1930-ies, in particular the appearance of the guns of calibre of 37 — 47 mm, has questioned the effectiveness of the use of tanks with thick armor 20 — 25 mm. clearly this was proved by the experience of the civil war in Spain. Anti-tank gun of Franco easily punched well armed, but poorly protected tanks, the Republicans — the Soviet T-26 and BT-5. However, the problem of security was not only light, but medium and heavy tanks. They all had different weapons and sizes, but virtually the same reservation is applied to the heavy tank T-35.

In November 1937 the Kharkov locomotive plant (KhPZ) Comintern received from the Auto-armored Directorate of the red Army (ABTU) the technical conditions to increase the armor thickness of the T-35. According to them, the frontal hull armor was to be 70 — 75 mm, the hull sides and turret — 40 — 45 mm. the weight of the tank in this case could not exceed 60 T. However, at the stage of conceptual design, it became clear that to meet with such thick armor to limit mass will not succeed In this regard, the decision was made to change the layout scheme of a heavy tank. In KB KhPZ has developed seven options which while maintaining the base of the T-35 had a different number of towers and their location, the Final decision was made in favor of the three-towered scheme.
To speed up the design of a new heavy tank to this work has attracted two powerful design team — KB Leningrad Kirov plant (LKZ) and the construction Bureau of factory No. 185 named. S. M. Kirov. Heavy tanks developed in these two KB was trehyadernye machines weighing 55 tons with a strength equal to the armor thickness of 60 mm In the main tower was located 76 mm, and two small towers, one 45-mm cannon as the power plant was assumed to use aviation gasoline engine with capacity of 800 — 1000 HP or diesel power 1000 HP Estimated maximum speed was 35 km/h range — 260 km the Crew consisted of eight people.
In KB KhPZ developed trehvalentnoe machine with thick armor-plates from 15 to 74 mm. Weapons were placed in conical towers, and was fitted with a stabilized sight “Orion”, the guidance Mechanisms were manual and Electromechanical actuators. Extraordinary equipment of tanks was supplemented with two radios, the system of collective protection of the crew from toxic substances and the equipment of the underwater stroke. The crew consisted of 10 people. However, work on this project Kharkiv failed. In connection with the heavy workload KB KhPZ designing new types of medium tanks and further work on promising heavy car in Kharkov was discontinued.
10 Oct 1938 state mock-up Committee reviewed the blueprints and layout of a heavy tank “Sergei Mironovich Kirov” (QMS, or, more precisely. — SMK-1), developed on the LB group leading engineer A. S. Ermolaev. I must say that the designers have allowed themselves some deviations from the requirements of ABTU. For example, instead of the recommended military suspension on the T-35 tank was equipped with the latest at the time the torsion bar suspension. However, just in case developed a spring-balance suspension of the “thirty-fifth”. On 9 December, the project of SMK-1 in conjunction with the “product 100” (T-100) factory No. 185 was discussed at the meeting of the Supreme military Council. As a result of discussions with the aim of downsizing the number of towers in the tanks was reduced to two. In January 1939, the manufacture of the tank SMK, and on April 30 the new car made its first trip in the factory yard, on 25 July, the tank departed for field trials. Two months later, September 23 — 25 QMS among other promising models of military vehicles took part in a government show in Moscow Kubinka.
SMK tank had a tower, conical in shape, located one behind the other diametrically elevated above the crew compartment. Front (small) was offset by 145 mm to the left of the longitudinal axis of the tank. Rear (main) tower was located on a high turret box also had a conical shape. The office was in front, power pack- behind the fighting compartment. The compartment housed the driver and right — gunner in the small turret — gunner (commander of the tower) and the loader in the main — tank commander, gunner and loader. In addition, the tank was the place for appliances.
The hull and turret were made of homogeneous armor and carried out of the welding Thickness of the upper front plate of the housing by removing the third tower could be reduced to 75 mm. the thickness of the other front and side armor plates of the hull and towers was 60 mm. Armor plates were connected by goujon, followed by fusion welds. Because of the use of torsion bar suspension has become possible to abandon the side screens as the T-35. In the hull there was only the so-called hatch-tube with a viewing device, landing the driver’s hatch was placed on the roof of the enclosure.
This book is provided to protect the crew and inner equipment of the tank from hitting armor-piercing shells of calibre of 37 — 47 mm on all shooting distances.
Weapons SMK was very powerful In the main tower was mounted 76 mm gun L-11. The gun had an elevation range from -2° to +33°, horizontal — 360°. Landing on the turret hatch of the tower was mounted anti-aircraft machine gun DT, and in the rear recess of the tower in the ball mount, heavy machine gun DK. In the turret there was a differential mechanism to allow simultaneous operation of Electromechanical and manual drives, which provides high speed and smoothness of aiming weapons.
Heavy tank SMK
Heavy tank SMK:
1 — the main tower; 2 — small tower; 3 turret box; 4 – 76 mm gun L-11; 5 to 45 mm gun 20K; 6 – heavy machine gun DK; 7 ball installation of a machine gun DT; 8 — landing driver’s hatch; 9— the boarding hatch of the main tower; 10 — surveillance device; 11 —tow rope; motor hatch cover 12; 13 exhaust pipes; 14 — access hatches to the transmission; 15 antenna input; 16 hatch-stopper of the driver; 17 the observation devices of the driver; 18— Spa panoramic sight PTK

Weapons small tower consisted of 45 mm 20K gun and the coaxial machine gun DT. The angle of the horizontal guidance twin installation was 270°, vertical — from -4° to+13°.
In addition, the tank had a machine gun course DT, placed in a ball mount in the hull. Fire it led to the gunner.
For firing and observation of the battlefield were used panoramic and telescopic sights PTK, PTCU, TOP and PT-1.
Ammunition of the tank consisted of 113 76-mm rounds, 300 45-mm rounds, 2200 rounds of machine-guns and 100 rounds of machine gun DK.
In the rear of the tank was located 12-cylinder V-shaped four-stroke gasoline aircraft engines AM-34-WATT power 850 HP at 1850 rpm. Strictly speaking, this motor was not quite aviation, and marine gliserin, that is adapted for installation on boats. Starting the engine is carried out using the electric starter ST-62 with a capacity of 8 — 9 HP or compressed air. Three fuel tanks with a total capacity of 1400 l was located on the bottom of the tank in the fighting compartment. The radiator of the cooling system is blown through with air using a two-stage fan with guiding device installed on the toe of the crankshaft of the engine.
Transmission of the tank consisted of a multi-disc main clutch dry friction (steel on Ferodo), five-speed gearbox, disk of steering clutches of dry friction (steel on steel) with band brakes and two final drives (the second stage was a planetary gear set).
Suspension (for one Board) consisted of eight road wheels with internal shock absorption, four rubber support rollers, drive wheel cycloid gear with removable ring gear and guide wheel with a screw mechanism tension Suspension — individual torsion without shock absorbers. Caterpillar — melkopilchatye steel for 113 tracks each. The width of the track was 660 mm, step truck — 165 mm.
SMK tank was installed radio station 71-TK-Z with whip antenna and intercom TPU-6A.
The weight of the tank was 55 t Average speed on the highway reached 17 km/h on a dirt road — 15.5 km/h. cruising on the highway — 280 km, by road — 230 km.
By the end of November 1939 the QMS mileage was 1700 miles, but the course of routine testing was interrupted on 30 November, the Soviet-Finnish war. It was decided to send an experienced heavy tanks (SMK, T-100 and KV) to the army for trials in the front line Before sending it to the front of the aft gun on DK SMK replaced by DT After that the 7.62 mm ammo increased to 5733 Grand.
Because the troops were not soldiers trained on the new tanks, the crews had to incorporate the factory testers. On this account received special permission from Moscow. Factory experts dressed in military uniform and issued a personal weapon, although technically military personnel, they are not.
The tank commander was appointed SMK tanker personnel senior Lieutenant V. Petin, his assistant Sergeant Mogilchenko. The red army was also the gunner and the gunner. In addition, the crew included three workers of the Kirov factory: a driver V. Ignatiev, minder A. Kunitsina and transmissiondata A. Grouse.
From tanks SMK, T-100 and KV formed a company of heavy tanks. Its commander appointed a military engineer 2nd rank I. Kolotushkin. 10 Dec 1939, the company came to the front and were attached to the 90th tank battalion of the 20th heavy tank brigade.
To test the fighting qualities of the new machines have chosen a rather difficult section of the front. To him tanks moved through Terijoki (now Zelenogorsk), then passed Raivola and came to the area Boboshino, near station, Perkjarvi (now kirillovskoe). The front edge of the enemy passed between lake Summajarvi and unfrozen swamp, Anasua Finnish pillboxes on the hill were armed with 37-mm anti-tank guns “Bofors” and machine guns. Before them stood the granite dragon’s teeth, Heavy tanks were to attack these fortifications and capture the heights.
SMK tank in field tests. August 1939.
SMK tank in field tests. August 1939.
On the original line of tank crews visited the head of the Armored Directorate of the red army corps commander D. G. Pavlov, Director of the Kirov factory by I. M. Saltzman and chief designer Kotin. Zh. I. The actions of the company with the Observatory watched the commander of the North-Western front army commander 1st rank
S. K. Timoshenko, the commander of the Leningrad military district army commander 2nd rank K. A. Meretskov, and the test Manager is the son of P.’s Commissar of defense Voroshilov.
Artillery preparation before the attack was carried out so as to not only suppress enemy defenses, but also to break through the passes in the barbed wire. SMK tank was moving at the head of the column experimental machines. He easily broke through the wire fence, crossed a ditch and came to a granite nadaram. Finnish anti-tank guns were heavy shelling of the tank, but no holes, the crew is not found. In turn, the tankers opened fire on the embrasures of Finnish bunkers. The next day the attack was repeated twice, and both times experienced the cars were returned to their original positions without serious damage.
19 Dec 1939 SMK heavy tank hit a mine. On this day, the 90th tank battalion 20th tank brigade broke through, finally, a line of Finnish fortifications in the area of Sum — Hottinen.
In the depths of the Finnish defense advanced SMK and T-100 (KV before he departed to repair) accompanied by five medium tanks T-28. The QMS explosion damaged sloth and caterpillar broke the transmission housing mounting bolts and bent the bottom of the tank But the crew didn’t leave the car. Heavy tank T-100 SMK armor cover stationary and fire. The details of this battle you can learn from a document of those years: “Under artillery and machine-gun fire of the Finns (seven hits 100 37-mm and 47-mm shells and numerous bullet hit) driver (T-100 — Approx. ed.) t pliukhin, closing his car podpitii QMS after long attempts to get him out of the fight by towing T-100, attempts have not been successful due to the slipping of the tracks T-100 (black ice) — enabled the crew undermined the QMS to lead into disrepair assemblies of the tank and its weapons.
The crew of the T-100 has developed a heavy fire from guns and machine guns, and thus gave an opportunity for the eight crew members of the QMS through the escape hatches (the bottom of the T-100 and SMK) to switch from QMS 100 At the same time, the driver of t pliukhin never stopped observing the actions of the enemy and fired a revolver at trying to get close to the tank the Finns.
In this operation he was seriously wounded the youngest commander of a tank crew Smkt Mogilchenko. After a failed attempt to pick up his 100 through the emergency hatch in the floor (the latter is jammed shells and machine gun rounds), the vols Drozhzhin and goats, under the fire of the Finns, came from the T-100 through the hatch of the small tower and collect the wounded dragged it 100″.
The next day, by order of the chief ABTU D. G Pavlova, an attempt was made to evacuate the stricken QMS Despite the involvement of a fairly significant forces (infantry and engineer company supported by seven tanks T-28), to perform this task failed. Trying to haul a 55-ton SMK 25-ton T-28 was unsuccessful QMS stood for the Finnish positions until the end of February 1940. Only after the breakthrough of the “Mannerheim line” had an opportunity to examine the damaged car.
To evacuate the tank was only in the beginning of March 1940 In tow six T-28 he was taken to the railway station Perk-yarvi. But here, there were problems at the station, there was no crane needed capacity. The car had to be dismantled, to load on separate platforms and to deliver to the plant. On the instructions of the ABT and the Kirov factory must have been during 1940 to restore the tank and transfer it to Nicholoson in Kubinka. However, for unknown reasons, until the beginning of the great Patriotic war the plant to restore the SMK has not started. The tank parts were left lying in the factory yard, and after the war went to the smelter.

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