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Soviet Union's T-50 light tank
Nicknames: Maliy Klim, Mali Klim, or Little Kliment Voroshilov

Design

The T-50 was created by a design bureau, headed by L. Troyanov and I. Bushnevov, to create a light tank replacement for the T-26 and BT tanks.

It was similar in appearance to the KVs so it was nicknamed Mali Klim or Little Kliment Voroshilov.

The tank was complex and required great resources and was discontinued after 65 were built. It took about as much effort to produce a medium tank as it was to produce the T-50.

The T-50 also had space for a radio set.

Crew

The driver sat in the center of the forward hull and used a slit in the armor and a turning periscope for driving.

Had cast conical shaped turret with commander's cupola. In the cupola was six angle seals with armored blinds over them.

Armor

The armor was 37 mm thick and could withstand fire from 37 mm guns at over 500 meters. The armor was welded.

Main Armament

  Type Weight Penetration
500 m 1,000 m
45 mm 1939 AT 1.43 kg 35 mm 28 mm

Prototype

In 1940 two prototypes from the Voroshilovsky and Kirovsky factories were tested.

Production

The first 2 vehicles were finished at Factory No. 174 in Leningrad in late 1940. After a few modifications it was ready for delivery in April 1941.

  • T-50: 63, 65
    • Production:
      • 1941: 48
      • 1942: 15

Usage

Captured by Finland

The Finns did capture some T-50s and used them against their former owners.

Specifications

  T-50
Crew 4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 29,700 lb
13.5-14 tons, 13.5 tons, 13.7 tons
13,715 kg
Length 17', 17' 4", 18' 3.25"
5.2 m, 5.18 m
Height 6.6', 6' 8", 7.1', 7' 2", 7' 7.25"
2.16 m, 2 m
Width 8.1', 8' 3", 8' 8.75"
2.47 m, 2.48 m
Ground clearance 0.35 m
Ground contact length 9' 6"
Ground pressure 0.57 kp/cm
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 45 mm 1938
45 mm
45 mm L/46 A/TK
Secondary  
MG 1, 2: 7.92 mm DT MG
2: MG
7.62 mm MG
1: MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 150
Secondary  
MG 4,000, 400
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 12 - 37, 37
1.46"
Hull Front, Upper 37
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 37
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 25 - 37
Hull Top 12 - 15
Hull Bottom 12 - 15
Turret Front 15 - 37, 37
Turret Sides 15
Turret Rear 15
Turret Top 12 - 15
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ V-4, V-4, W-4
Bore / stroke 4
Cylinders 6
Net HP 300, 300@2,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio 21.4 HP/ton
Transmission  
Fuel type Diesel
Octane  
Capacity 350 liters
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 31 mph, 32 mph, 32.5 mph, 33 mph, 37 mph
52-65 kph, 50 kph, 60 kph
Speed - Cross Country 25 mph
Range - Road 217.5 miles, 220 miles
350 km, 352 km
Range - Cross Country 172 miles
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth 1.1 m
Trench crossing 2.2 m
Vertical Obstacle 0.7 m
Climbing ability 35°
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side 6 double tired
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 1' 5"
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. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  5. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site