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Soviet Union's SMK (Sergei Mironovich Kirov) heavy tank

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SMK heavy tank:
Soviet Union's SMK Heavy Tank
SMK heavy tank:
Soviet Union's SMK Heavy Tank

Design

The Sergei Mironovich Kirov (SMK) was to meet the requirements that were put forth by the Directorate of Armed Forces (ABTU) in November 1937.5 These requirements called for a tank that could withstand shots from a 76.2 mm gun from 3,937' / 1,200 m.5 It was also to be powered by a diesel engine as it was felt petrol resulted in too large of fires when hit.5 The requirements also called for a tank with five turrets.5

In 1938 the SMK was designed by Colonel Zh. Kotin5 / S.J. (Z.?) Kotin / I.S. Kotin3 (chief engineer of the Kirov-Zavod tank factory in Leningrad) to replace the T-35.3,5

The SMK had a 76.2 mm gun in the main turret and a 45 mm gun in the lower turret.3,4 This layout was virtually the same as the T-100.4

The engine was based on a German BMW aircraft engine.3

The hull and turrets were cast armor.6

Prototype

On May 4, 1938 the designs for the SMK and T-100 were presented to a joint committee from the Politburo and Defense Council.5 Both were approved to build prototypes.5

The SMK's prototype was completed in August 1939.5 It was sent to the Kubinka testing grounds outside of Moscow.5 The SMK was tested alongside the T-100 and KV-1 prototypes.5

Usage

Russo-Finnish War

The SMK was used in the Winter War with Finland.4,5,6

The T-100, SMK, and KV-1 prototypes were apart of the 91st Tank Battalion of the 20th Heavy Tank Brigade and had their first combat near Summa from December 17 to 19.5

On December 19 the SMK and T-100 were joined by five T-28s and Red Army infantry.5 The SMK was immobilized by a mine which blew off one if its tracks.5 It was then found that during the repairs, under fire from the Finns, that the engine wouldn't restart.5 The T-100 was hooked up to it to try and tow it out of fire.5 But this was difficult in the icy conditions.5 The SMK was eventually abandoned when the covering forces started to run low on ammunition.5 The SMK wasn't recovered until February 1940 when the Red Army broke through the Mannerheim Line.5

Specifications

  SMK5
Crew 6 or 74, 71,2,3,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 45 tons2,4,5,6, 54.1 tons1, 56 tons3
45,772 kg6, 55,000 kg1
Length 27' 6"1, 31' 6"2,6
8.38 m1, 9.66 m6
Height 10' 6"'2, 10' 10"1,6
3.3 m1,6
Width 10' 6"2, 11' 4"1,6
3.45 m1,6
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76.2 mm L-111
76.2 mm2,3,4,6
Secondary 45 mm1,2,3,4,6
MG 3: MG2
3: 7.62 mm MG3
4: MGs1
4: 7.62 mm MG6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 20 - 601, 30 - 602, 603,6
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) AM-341,6
Cylinders  
Net HP 4002,4, 5003
Transmission  
Fuel type Diesel1,6
Gasoline2,3,4
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse - main turret 360°4
Traverse - front turret 180°4
Speed - Road 20 mph2, 22.4 mph1,6
36 kph1,6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 93 miles1, 93.2 miles6
150 km1,6
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar3,5,6
Wheels each side 86
Return rollers each side 46
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. 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
  2. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  3. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  4. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  5. Russian Tanks of World War II Stalin's Armored Might, by Tim Bean & Will Fowler, 2002
  6. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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