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Soviet Union's T-26B, T-26 Model 1933 light tank

Design

In 1933 a new turret was fitted to the T-26 which extended over the width of the hull. This was designed by the Bolshevik Leningrad factory and KhPZ Kharkov works. The turret could mount a 45 mm Model 1932 gun.

Main Armament

A 37 mm BS 3 (1930 model) was installed as the main armament for the T-26 Model 1932.

The T-26 Model 1933 had a 45 mm gun installed.

Turret

The seats of the loader and commander were welded in place to the floor.

When traveling over rough terrain the gun was very hard to aim as the gun and turret weren't properly balanced.

Variants

  • T-26B, T-26 Model 1933: Prototype was built with a 37 mm gun in the left turret and the right turret was removed. This proved unsatisfactory and a turret similar to the BT tanks was installed.
  • T-26B-1: Initially had a cylindrical turret with a 37 mm gun. Later vehicles had a 45 mm gun in a cast mantlet. One turret was installed as it was discovered that by putting the 37 mm gun in one of the 2 turreted models, one of the turrets could break from the stress. Early models had 37 mm. The hull was welded.
  • T-26B-2 (Model 1933): Initially had a 37 mm gun. Improved model with cast turret and 45 mm gun and coaxial MG. Some had a rear MG as well, and others had antiaircraft machine guns installed. The turret had a overhang that had a gun counterweight in the turret. During production improvements were made to the visor and pistol ports, storage chests were attached to the track aprons, and aluminum road wheels installed.
  • T-26B-1(V), T-26B-2(V), T-26TU: Commander's tank with a frame aerial around turret. The radio had a range of 2 km and a power of 15-20 watts.
  • T-26 Pch: An experimental wading vehicle that had a snorkel attached and could wade in 5 meters of water. It was a modified T-26 (1933), and water penetrated around the riveted armor.
  • AT-1: Experimental version that added wings and twin boom tail mounting to turn it into a glider. It was a modified T-26 (1933). It was designed by the O. K. Antonov design bureau.
  • AT-26, AT-26 SP: (Artilleriskiy Tank) Artillery version with 76.2 mm PS-3 gun and one MG. It was designed by S. Ginzburg in 1932 at the Kirov works in Leningrad. It had body armor of 15 mm, and the gun could traverse 20° and elevate from -1.5° to +43°. It was 1.95 m high, weighed 9.5 tons, and had a crew of 3-4. Used T-26B chassis.
  • OT-130: Flame-thrower version of B, B-1 or B-2 that started production in 1938. It used the 1933 model of T-26 and had a 1938 model flamethrower installed instead of the 45 mm gun. It could reach targets up to 50 meters and could fire 70 1-second bursts. It carried between 135 and 400 liters of oil. One change made during production was modifications to the mantlet. Some carried the 7.62 mm DT MG coaxially and one in the rear of the turret. Crew was 2 men and weighed around 9.3 tons. It saw action in Manchuria against the Japanese and against Finland in Karelia in 1939-1940.

Specifications

  T-26 B
Crew

3

Physical Characteristics  
Weight 9.2 - 9.6 tons, 9.4 tons, 9.5 tons
Length 15.76', 16', 16' 3"
4.88 m
Height 7.95', 7' 11", 8'
2.41 m
Width 7.85', 8', 11' 2.25"
3.41 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 9' 9"
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 45 mm A/TK
45 mm L/46
OR 37 mm
Secondary  
MG 2 coaxial, bow
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 92 - 100, 169
Secondary  
MG 2,405, 3,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 15
Hull Front, Upper 15
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 15
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 6 - 10
Hull Bottom 6 - 10
Turret Front 6 - 15
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ T-26
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 8
Net HP 81, 88 - 91, 90
Power to weight ratio  
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 17.4 mph, 18 mph
28 kph
Speed - Cross Country 12.4 mph
Range - Road 108.7 miles, 140 miles, 190 miles
175 km
Range - Cross Country 110 miles
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing 6' 2.8"
1.9 m
Vertical Obstacle 2' 7"
0.79 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 10.2"
Track centers/tread  
  T-26 1933
Crew

3

Physical Characteristics  
Weight 9.4 tons
Length 4.88 m
Height 2.41 m
Width

2.41 m

Ground clearance 0.38 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.65 kg/(cm)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 45 mm 1932
Secondary  
MG 1 or 2: 7.62 mm DT MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 100
Secondary  
MG 4,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 15
Hull Front, Lower 15
Hull Sides, Upper 15
Hull Sides, Lower 15
Hull Rear 15
Hull Top 10
Hull Bottom 6
Turret Front 15
Turret Sides 15
Turret Rear 15
Turret Top 10
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ T-26
Bore / stroke 4 stroke
Cylinders 4
Net HP 91@2,200 rpm
Power to weight ratio 9.2 HP/ton
Transmission 5 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity 285 liters
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road

28 kph

Speed - Cross Country 12.4 mph
Range - Road 375 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth 0.9 m
Trench crossing 1.8 m
Vertical Obstacle 0.75 m
Climbing ability 32°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Russian Tanks of World War II Stalin's Armored Might, by Tim Bean & Will Fowler, 2002
  2. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  4. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
  5. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site