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Soviet Union's T-40 light tank

Design

The T-40 was created during 1940 as a replacement for the T-37 and T-38. Earlier light tanks were vulnerable to machine gun fire and to shell splinters so N. A. Astrov, at a research department of Zavod Nr 37, was instructed to design to new light tanks to overcome these difficulties. One of these new models was to be amphibious.

To speed up production as many parts of the T-40 came from car and trucks parts.

In the Water

It had a 4-blade ship's propeller and was steered by two rudders. Had a welded body and the hull resembled a boat's. There were additional float chambers installed at the rear to improve its performance in water. The hatches were hermetically sealed.

Turret

The turret was mounted to the left with external roller mantlets. The main weapon in the turret was the 12.7 mm DSchK 38 machine gun and it had a coaxial 7.62 mm DT machine gun.

  Type Velocity Penetration
100 m 300 m
12.7 mm BST (armor piercing) 895 m/sec 10 mm 8 mm @ 60°

Engine

The T-40's engine and gearbox were based on an automobile's. It was the GAZ 202 which could produce 85 HP.

Prototype

The T-30A prototype was tested in July and August 1939.

Production

The T-40 was accepted for production on December 19, 1939.

  • T-40: 220, 225
    • Production: 1940 - ?
      • 1941: 41
      • 1942: 181
    • Manufacturer: Factory No. 37 in Moscow

Variants

  • T-30A: Amphibious prototype.
  • T-30B: Amphibious prototype. Non-amphibious prototype. Had more armor.
  • T-40: Amphibous. Was designed to be built by factories that produced automobiles. Early production had the 12.7 mm installed. First used in the Winter War with Finland. Issued to reconnaissance and liaison units at beginning of 1941.
  • T-40A: Amphibious. Increased armor. Limited production as it was no longer amphibious as the extra weight caused it to lose its buoyancy.
  • T-40S: Non-amphibious version. Was rushed into production at time of German invasion. Was redesignated T-60.
  • T-40?: Mounted by placing Katyusha rocket launcher.

Usage

The Red Army started to equip reconnaissance and armored liaison units in early 1941.

Finland

The T-40s thin armor made it very vulnerable during fighting in Finland during 1939.

Specifications

  T-40
Crew Commander, driver
2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12,980 lb, 13,007 lb
5.5 tons, 5.8 tons, 5.9 tons, 6 tons
5,900 kg
Length 13' 6",13' 5.8", 13' 5.9", 14', 14' 6.25"
4.11 m
Height 5' 8", 6' 4.8", 6' 5", 6' 6", 6' 11.5"
1.95 m
Width 8' 3", 7.65', 7' 7.7", 7' 8",
2.33 m
Ground clearance 1' 2"
Ground contact length 7.66'
Ground pressure 6.55 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 12.7 mm DShK 38
1: 12.7 mm DSchK 38 MG
1: 12.7 mm DShK MG
1: 12.7 mm MG
OR 1: 20 mm
1: 20 mm ShVAK 20
Secondary 1: 7.62 mm MG
MG  
MG - coaxial 1: 7.62 mm MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 550
Secondary  
MG 2,016
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 13, 7 - 14, 8 - 14, 14
Hull Front, Upper 13, 14
Hull Front, Lower 13
Hull Sides, Upper 10, 13
Hull Sides, Lower 10
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 6 - 10
Hull Bottom 6, 6 - 10
Turret Front 7 - 14, 14
Turret Sides 10
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ-202
GAZ
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 6
Net HP 70, 85
Power to weight ratio  
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type) Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 27 mph, 27.3 mph, 28 mph
44 kph
Water speed 4 mph, 6.2 mph, 6.5 kph
Speed - Cross Country 18.6 mph
Range - Road 210 miles, 222 miles, 223.7 miles, 224 miles
360 km
Range - Cross Country 115 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation Limits +40°
Fording depth Amphibious
Trench crossing 6' 1", 10' 2.8"
1.85 m, 3.12 m
Vertical Obstacle 2' 3.6", 2' 3.75", 2' 2"
0.7 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side 4, 5
Return rollers each side 3
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 7"
Track centers/tread  
  T-40A
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 6.2 tons
Length 14'
Height 6.48'
Width 7.65'
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 7.66'
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 550
Secondary  
MG 2,016
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 14
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 14
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 6 - 10
Hull Bottom 6 - 10
Turret Front 7 - 14
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ-202
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 6
Net HP 85
Power to weight ratio  
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 26 mph
Water speed  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 210 miles
Range - Cross Country 100 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 7"
Track centers/tread  
  T-40 1940
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.5 tons
5,590 kg
Length 4.43 m
13' 6"
Height 2.12 m
6' 11"
Width 2.51 m
8' 3"
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 12.7 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm DShK 1: MG
OR 1: 20 mm
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.62 mm MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Transmission  
Fuel type  
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 kph
28 mph
Water speed  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  T-40 1941
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.5 tons
Length 4.11 m
Height 1.95 m
Width 2.33-2.35 m
Ground clearance 0.34 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.46 kp/(cm)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 12.7 mm DSchK 38 MG
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.62 mm DT
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 550
Secondary  
MG 2,016
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 10 - 13
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 13
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 10
Hull Top 6
Hull Bottom 6 - 10
Turret Front 14 - 15
Turret Sides 10
Turret Rear 10
Turret Top 7
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ-202
Bore / stroke 4 stroke
Cylinders 6
Net HP 85@3,600 rpm
Power to weight ratio 15.4 HP/ton
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity 206 liters
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 44-45 kph
Water speed 5-6 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 185-360 km
280 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth Amphibious
Trench crossing 1.7m
Vertical Obstacle 0.6 m
Climbing ability 34°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  T-40 S
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 6.1 tons, 6.2 tons
Length 13.9', 14'
Height 6.38', 6.48'
Width 7.65'
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 7.66'
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 12.7 mm
1: 12.7 mm DShK MG
OR 1: 20 mm
Secondary  
MG 1: MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 550
Secondary  
MG 2,016
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 14
Hull Front, Upper 14
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 14
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 10
Hull Bottom 10
Turret Front 7 - 14
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ-202
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 6
Net HP 85
Power to weight ratio  
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 26 mph
Water speed  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 216 miles
Range - Cross Country 110 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 7"
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. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  8. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
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