The SINGLE serial type of tankette in RKKA. Based on the English made Carden-Loyd Mk VI. Analogues:
French tankette UE, Polish tankettes TKS, TK3, Italian -CV3/33,CV3/35 tankettes
Weapon: 1 -7,62 machine gun(MG)
Armor: 10mm-front 6mm-side
Number produced (1929-33)~3300
Number utilized in WW2 ~2000
Comments: Were used in cavalry divisions in 1941. Were also
utilized in Crimea landing operation on Dec.,1941. Mostly were used as artillery prime movers.
2. MS-1 (T-18M)
Based on Renault FT-17 French tank. After modernization in 1930 was named T-18M
Weapon: 37mm gun (45 mm T-18M) + 7,62 MG
Armor: 16 mm (all)
Number produced (~1927-30)-959
Comments: Were used as static pillboxes on the Western frontier in June 41. According to some sources 10-20 of them were used in some
mixed tank divisions. To my knowledge, they could take part in Moscow battle.
T-37A had a bit more strong armor.
T-37RT had radio.
OT-37(BKhM-4) - flame thrower tank
Weapon: 1-7,62 MG
Speed 38-40km/h (6km/h swimming)
Number produced: T-37 (1933) - little series, T-37A(1933-1936) - 1909 units, T-37RT (1934-36) -643
units, OT-37 (1935-36) - 75 units
Total number produced: 2627
In RKKA by 01.01.41 - 2225 units of all modifications
Comments: T-37 and T-38 were used in the first months
of the war. I have information of their usage in Sevastopol 1941-42 and in the landing
operation in Crimea at Dec, 1941. Last operationally use: 1943, when
almost all T-37/38 were collected for Svir' river crossing operation. These tanks were
used in recon battalions of mechanised corps (67
units in each), mechanised regiments (30 units in
each), tank battalions of infantry divisions, and recon companies of tank
At least 7 T-37 were used in the Moscow battle in the 107th Mech.
Division (data on Oct. 01, 1941)
See also Galleries section
4. T-38/T-38RT Recon Amphibious Tank
Modification of T-37 tank model.
T-38RT had radio
Weapon: 1-7,62 MG
Armor: 9mm front and side, 8mm rear
Speed: 40km/h (6km/h swimming)
Number produced: T-38 (1936-37,39)-1217, T-38RT(1937)-165
Number in RKKA to 01.01.41 - 1090
Comments: see T-37 comments
A few modifications were made on a little group of
machines (T-38M, T-38M2, T-38TT(remote control tank
Also on the base of the T-38, together with
"Komsomolets" prime movers, the ZIS-30
self-propelled gun (1941) Weapon: 57mm AT gun.
Of which 100 units were made. Used in Moscow battle (80% of all
23 modifications were made on series. Only the main variants are listed here.
Was constructed on the base of the English "Vickers-6
tons" ("Vickers-E"). Analogues: Polish tank 7TP
See also Galleries
Remote control group TT-26 flame thrower tank
(Flame thrower apparatus+7,62MG), TU-26 tank of remote control (45mm gun+7,62mm MG)
Number produced: (1935-36) - 55 units.
Comments: Last time were seen loaded on a train near Ryazan town ready to be evacuated
to the rear. Were permitted to be used only under extreme circumstances.
A battalion of such tanks was used in the Winter War.
For additional info check Galleries
In 1940, after the Winter war (in Finland) some tanks (~100)
were given additional armor screens. For additional info check Galleries section
Such modification were made on tanks of 1939 year production with
conical turret and inclined under-turret's box and on tanks made in 1936-37
with cylindrical turret and OT-133 tanks. Their weight was increased by
2.3 - 2.5 tons and front armor was increased up to 60mm. Sometimes they were
called T-26E. They were overweighted!
Number of all flame thrower tanks based on T-26 - 1336 units.
Total number produced: 11,218 units
In RKKA (on 01.01.1941) there were 9665 T-26 tanks of all modifications.
Also a captured T-26 were utilized in the Finnish army (For additional info check
Galleries section). They were used next
to the Fins "Vickers-6tons" tanks. The main differences between the Vickers
and T-26 were in armor (on T-26 more heavy) and gun (37mm gun Vickers vis. 45mm - T-26)
I also have information that Finnish Vickers tanks were called T-26E. A few
captured Vickers tanks were used by RKKA in 1941 in the battle for Leningrad.
6. BT series
Analogues: Polish tank 10TP, English tank
The BT series were constructed based on J.W.Christie's tank (USA) and had several
modifications. All BT tanks could move both on wheels and on tracks.
But in memoirs I couldn't find any examples of using wheel moving mode in action. All tankmen were complaining
of a bad tracks of an old tans (including BTs). They too often were loosing their tracks on marches.
BT-1 index was assigned to original Christy's tank. Existed BT-3 -4 -6 -8 tanks.
In several sources I met different descriptions of BT-3 and BT-4. Later
I hope to place here more detailed info. BT-6 tank was an experimental one.
BT-8 more often was called BT-7M.
Weapon: 76mm gun+3(2) 7.62mm MG (1 may be anti-aircraft)
See common BT-7 data.
Comments to all BTs
The BT-tanks had NO official names, all such used in literature are therefore UNOFFICIAL nicks.
The most commonly used ones for BTs' were "Betushka" or "Beteshka". Their origin stems from the Russian
pronunciation of the "BT" abbreviation -[ b e t e']. This abbreviation
can be interpreted as "High Speed tank"
Like the BTs, some other tanks also had unofficial nicks, for example the T-34 is always named "Tridtsat'chetviorka"
(very hard to spell for foreigners). This origins from its number and can be translated as "34th".
Several dozens of conversions were made by Finland with the captured BT tanks.
The 114mm howitzer was mounted on their hull. These self propelled guns were
named BT-42. They were recaptured in 1944 in Vyborg vicinities.
The total number of BT tanks in RKKA on 01.01.41 - 7463 units of all modification.
Besides the major types, some experimental tanks were based on the BT chassis. Some of them even took part in
battles. BT-20 (A-20) single unit was utilized in the Moscow battle. I can name
only several of them: PT-1, T-43-1, T-43-2, BT-IS, BT-SV-2, T-46-1, T-25, ST-35
Comments: 8 T-50 took part in Moscow battle in 150 tank. brigade. A few tanks were
captured by Finns and were used there. On Oct. 1, 1942 27 T-50 (+5 T-34) were used by the 488th Separate Tank Battalion of Caucasian Front
8. T-40/T-40S/T-30-recon tanks
T-40 was an amphibious tank, other were common ones
Weapon (T-40 and some T-40S): 12,7mm MG + 7,62 mm MG
Weapon (some T-40S and T-30): 20mm gun+7.62mm MG
Armor:13mm (all except rear), rear-10mm
Speed: 45 km/h
Production: (1940-41)-709 units
In RKKA on June, 22-1941 - 233 units
Comments: in RKKA all subtypes were called T-40 and
there were no distinctions between them in documents. The last T-40 known to be
used was in the summer of '42.
Further development of T-40.
Weapon: 20mm gun+7.62mm MG
Armor:35mm front , 15mm-side , 25mm-turret front
Speed: 45 km/h
Production: (1941-43): 5915 units
Comments: No principal modification were made.
A small series of rocket launchersBM-8-24 (1941)
were also based on T-60 chassis.
T-70M had enlarged tracks and modified running gear. Deep modification of T-60
Weapon: 45mm gun+7.62mm MG
Armor:45mm front , 15mm-side , 35mm-turret front
Speed: 45 km/h
Production: (1941-43):8226 units.
Comments: In some literature there is information that some of them were equipped with cast or welded turret. (cast
turret on latest modifications 1942)
Further development of T-40-T-70 line
Weapon: 45mm gun+7.62mm MG
Armor:45mm front , 15mm-side , 35mm-turret's front