C. C. Benson, a United States Cavalry officer, wrote in two military journals about the Christie Model 1940 vehicle. The head of the Red Army Military Technical Board, Innokenti Andreyevich Khalepsky, saw the articles and became very interested in the Christie design. Two Christie tanks were snuck out of the United States that became the basis for the BT series.
The BT series were to be mechanized cavalry complementing the T-28s that would serve as infantry support.
When on wheels, the steering wheel controlled the front pair of wheels. When on tracks, the steering was done by clutch and brake.
The construction was all riveted.