It is one of the ironies of Soviet tank development that a country opposed to free enterprise and capitalism was largely reliant on influences from Britain and the USA for many of its early designs. However, unhindered by many of the tactical constra It is one of the ironies of Soviet tank development that a country opposed to free enterprise and capitalism was largely reliant on influences from Britain and the USA for many of its early designs. However, unhindered by many of the tactical constraints that affected tank development in the West, the Red Army was able to acquire and develop technology that was under-rated in both Britain and the USA. From Britain, the famous manufacturer Vickers produced a Six-Ton light tank; effectively rejected by the War Office, one example was acquired by the Russians and this formed the basis of the Russian T-26 of 1931. Further British designs also influenced the later light tanks, equipment which was pivotal to the Red Army during its campaigns in Manchuria, Finland and against the initial German assault in 1941. In the USA, Walter Christie was also largely ignored as a designer but, as with Vickers, his designs came to be highly important. His influence was seen in the 'BT' - short for 'Bystrochodri' or 'Fast Tank' - series of light-medium tanks that was first introduced in 1932. The BT series saw service in Spain, Manchuria, Finland and in the defense of Russia itself in 1941. The critical aspect of the Christie design was that the vehicles were capable of operating both with nor without tracks; in the latter case eight road wheels carried the weight of the vehicle, with steering being achieved via a steering wheel acting in conjunction with the clutch/brake system.
In the second of the new 'Soviet Tanks' series, Mikhail Baryatinsky provides the reader with a comprehensive account of the development and operational record of Soviet light tanks. Utilizing photographs, line drawings and specially prepared artworks, he provides a detailed portrait of these highly successful tanks.
Aimed at the modeler, military historian and war gamer, the new 'Soviet Tanks' series is designed to provide, probably for the first time in the English language, authoritative information on the classic Soviet tank designs of the 20th century. The series will be required reading for all those interested in the development of armored warfare over the past 100 years. ...Continua Nascondi