T-35 Tank

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During the interwar years the Red Army followed a policy of developing every size of tank imaginable so that by the outbreak of World War II as well as having thousands of light tanks in service they had one of (if not the) biggest tanks in service anywhere in the world. Unfortunately the T-35 proved to be rather disappointing. Having its origins in studies that were undertaken in 1930 the T-35 was strongly influenced by the design of the Vickers Independent, mainly in the form of being a multi-turreted design.

The first prototype rolled out of the Bolshevik factory in July 1932 and went on trials in Kubinka in April 1933. Immediately afterwards it went on display by featuring in the annual May Day parade and surprised the world with its great size and abundance of armament, which for the time, was considerable. By the years end and the first batch consisting of 10 units was completed though the early model used exactly the same main gun and turret as the T-28 tank. Later models replaced this and the other cylindrical turrets with turrets that had sloped and welded armour, giving better all round protection for the crew which was further facilitated by the increasing of the frontal armour thickness. However the main batch produced between 1935 and 1938 had a lengthened hull, which made steering considerably more difficult.

In all only 61 T-35s were completed and all of these vehicles served with the same tank brigade which was stationed just outside Moscow. Some T-35s went into action in the winter war with Finland and in practice, fire control over 5 turrets proved to be a difficult task for the commander. During the German invasion of Russia a hand full of T-35s saw action and were encountered by the Germans at Lvov in Poland (the East of which was Russian occupied), however, these tanks had run out of fuel. The rest were retained to defend Moscow, although whether any T-35 actually took part in the battles round Moscow in the winter of 1941/42 is unclear.

Specifications
Crew: 11
Weight: 45,000 kg
Length: 9.72 m
Width: 3.20 m
Height: 3.43 m
Max speed (on road): 30 km/h
Engine: One M-17M V-12, petrol
(373 kW)
Power-to-weight ratio: 8.3 kW/tonne
Range: Road: 150 km
Vertical obstacle climb: 1.2 m
Gradient: 22.2 %
Trench crossing: 3.5 m
Main armament: 76.2 mm L/16 howitzer (center turret)
2 × 37 mm guns (later upgraded to 2 x 45mm L/46 guns)
Secondary armament: 4+ DT machineguns depending on the model
Armour: 11-30 mm
(frontal armour later upgraded to 52mm)
Weapon specifications
    Ammunition carried
76.2mm L/16 howitzer : 96 rounds
2 × 37 mm guns : 220 rounds
DT machineguns : 10,000 rounds
Images
T-35 Heavy Tank
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