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Soviet Union's T-35 heavy tank

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T-35 Heavy Tank:
Soviet Union's  T-35 Heavy Tank

T-35 Heavy Tank:
Soviet Union's  T-35 Heavy Tank
T-35 Heavy Tank:
Soviet Union's  T-35 Heavy Tank

T-35 Heavy Tank:
Soviet Union's  T-35 Heavy Tank
T-35 Heavy Tank:
Soviet Union's  T-35 Heavy Tank

T-35 Heavy Tank:
Soviet Union's  T-35 Heavy Tank
T-35 heavy tank and T-28 medium tank:
Soviet Union's T-35 heavy tank and T-28 medium tank

Design

The T-35 was designed by the Experimental Design Mechanical Section (OKMO) at the Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad by a team led by N. Tsiets.1

The Red Army wanted a multi-turreted vehicle that would break through heavy defenses.

The engine was placed in the rear half of the hull.7

Crew

Internally the crew was linked by telephones.2 The commander was quite over worked by having to coordinate five separate turrets.5

Armament

The main armament of the T-35 prototype was the 76.2 mm 1927/32 tank gun.2 There were four BT-2 turrets that were placed around the vehicle.2 The right front and left rear had 37 mm 1930 tank guns.2 The left front and right rear had 7.62 mm DT MGs in ball mantlets.2

In 1935 new turrets, similar to the BT-5's turrets without the rear extension, replaced the BT-2 turrets.2 These turrets had 45 mm 1932 guns.2 The machine gun turrets were also replaced by turrets from the T-37 amphibian tank.2 The main turret was redesigned to have a cylindrical shape and rear extension.2 There was a radio installed and the antenna wrapped around the turret.2

Some models had a flame-thrower installed in one of the 45 mm gun turrets.2

Engine

The T-35 had a M-17 engine that produced 500 HP.2 There were 5 forward and 1 reverse gear.2

Suspension

There was a suspension member for each pair of road wheels.2 There were rubber tires for the road wheels.2

Prototype

Original design started in 1930 and first prototype appeared in July 1932.5,6
Two prototypes were constructed between 1932 and 1933.1

The first prototype, the T-35-1, was to complex and cost too much to build.1 The second prototype, the T-35-2, reduced the number of weapons, complexity, and crew was authorized by the STO Work Defense Council (STO) on August 11, 1933 for production.1

The prototype vehicles had 6 road wheels on each side with rubber tires.2,6 Production vehicles had 8.2

The prototype appeared at the May Day parade in Moscow in 1933.2 Then in 1934 at the 17th Party Day of the Communist Party a company of heavy tanks appeared.2

Production

  • Prototype: 21
    • Produced: 19322,6
  • T-35: 20 - 307, 611,3,5, 622
    • Manufacturer: Kharkov Locomotive Factory (KhPZ)1,2
    • Production: 1933 - 19391,5,6

Variants

  • Prototype: With a seven man crew and armor that was 20 - 30 mm thick it weighed 37 tons.6 The armament consisted of a 76.2 mm gun, two 37 mm guns, and four 7.62 mm MGs.6 It could go 29 kph with its 500 HP engine.6
  • T-35:
  • T-35-1: Prototype.1 3 turrets.6
  • T-35-2: Prototype.1 2 turrets.6
  • T-35 Model 1935: Longer5 and had 76.2 mm L-10 gun and two 45 mm guns.1
  • T-35 Model 1938: Final six tanks had turrets with sloping armor.1
  • SU-7: Projects to place 254 mm cannon, 305 mm howitzer, and 400 mm mortar in a self-propelled mount.2 Weighed up to 106 tons and could do 26 kph.2
  • SU-14: Designed at the Kirov factory in Leningrad in 1935 to carry a 152.4 mm to 203 mm guns.2 The first prototype appeared in 1935 and had a 203 mm howitzer.2 It weighed 50 tons and could go 20 kph.2
  • SU-14-1 or SU-BU-10: The next prototype had a 152.4 mm B-10 naval gun.2 It weighed 47.9 tons and could go 31 kph.2
  • SU-14-2 or SU-14-Br-2: In 1939 they were developed at the Barikady works in Stalingrad.2 It had a 152.4 mm Br-2 1935 gun.2 It weighed 65 tons.2

Usage

Parades

The T-35s were often seen in the parades going through Red Square in Moscow.5

Finland

They were used against Finland from December 1939 to March 1940.3
One source says they saw no action against the Finns.1

Against the Germans

The Germans encountered them at Lvov shortly after Germany invaded Russia.3

The 5th Heavy Tank Brigade saw action in June and July of 1941.2 Some saw action in the Lvov area. Most didn't reach the front due to mechanical breakdown.2 Fought final battle at Moscow in December 1941.2

The T-35s saw action with the 67th and 68th Tank Regiments of the 34th Tank Division of the VIII Mechanized Corps.1

Poor Performer

Due to the T-35s bulk and poor steering5 it was a ponderous beast that one officer said "couldn't cross as much as a large puddle."1 The tank had to be still for the crew to have any chance of hitting their targets.1

Specifications

  T-35
Crew 104,7, 113,5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 110,250 lb,
45,000 kg3,
44 tons7, 44.3 tons3, 45 tons4,5
Length 31.5'4, 31' 6"7, 31' 10.7"5, 31' 11"3,
9.72 m3,5
Height 11' 3"3,5, 11.25'4
3.43 m3,5
Width 10' 6"3,5,7, 10.5'4
3.2 m3,5
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 11.08 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76.2 mm L/16 or L/243
76.2 mm4
Secondary 2: 45 mm1,3,4
MG

6: 7.62 mm MG3
6: MG4

MG - anti aircraft 1: P-40 AA
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 90
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 307
10 - 303,5
11 - 354
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) M-177
M-17 M5
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 127
V-125
Net HP 5004,5,7
Transmission 5 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel type Gasoline4,5,7
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 18 mph4,7, 18.6 mph3,5
30 kph3,5
Speed - Cross Country 12 mph7, 12.4 mph
Range - Road 93 miles3, 93.2 miles5
150 km3,5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing 11' 6"5
3.5 m5
Vertical Obstacle 4'5
1.2 m5
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 8
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  T-35 Model 19351,2
Crew 102,7
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 45 tons2
Length 11' 6"7
9.72 m2
Height 3.43 m2
Width 10' 6"7
3.2 m2
Ground clearance 0.53 m2
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.78 kp/cm2 2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76.2 mm 1927/322
Secondary 2: 45 mm 19342
MG 5 - 6: 7.62 mm DT MG2
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 96 - 1002
Secondary 220 - 2262
MG 8,230 - 10,0002
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 302
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 202
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 202
Hull Top 11-142
Hull Bottom 11-142
Turret Front Main: 20, 45 mm: 20, M:G 202
Turret Sides Main: 20, 45 mm: 20, M:G 202
Turret Rear Main: 20, 45 mm: 20, MG: 202
Turret Top Main: 11, 45 mm: 11, MG: 112
Engine (Make / Model) M-177
M-17 M2,3
Bore / stroke 4 stroke2
Cylinders 122,7
Net HP 5007, 500@1,450 rpm2
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline2,7
Octane  
Capacity 910 liters2
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 18 mph7
30 kph2
Speed - Cross Country 12 mph7
Range - Road 150 km2
Range - Cross Country  
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth 1.2 m2
Trench crossing 3.5 - 4 m2
Vertical Obstacle 1.2 m2
Climbing ability 20°2
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  T-35 Model 19381
Crew 107, 111
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 49 tons7, 49.2 tons1, 50 tons2
49,985 kg1
Length 31' 6"7, 31' 11"1
9.72 m1
Height 3.43 m1
11' 3"1
Width 10' 6"1,7
3.2 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76.2 mm1
Secondary 1: 45 mm1
MG 6: 7.62 mm DT MG1
MG - anti aircraft 1: P-40 AA1
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1.18"1
301, 502,7
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) M-177
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 127
Net HP 5007
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline7
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 18 mph7, 18.6 mph1
30 kph1
Speed - Cross Country 12 mph7
Range - Road 93.2 miles1
150 km1
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-35-11
Crew 101,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 45 tons6, 50 tons1
Length 31' 6"6
Height 11' 3"6
Width 10' 6"6
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 26.1'6
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76.2 mm L/16.56
76.2 mm PS-31
Secondary 2: 37 mm1
MG 2: MGs in turrets1
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 966
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 306
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 206
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 11 - 146
Hull Bottom 11 - 146
Turret Front 11 - 206
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) M-17M6
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 126
Net HP 5006
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline6
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 18 mph6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 94 miles6
Range - Cross Country 50 miles6
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 86
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 1' 0.18"6
Track centers/tread  
  T-35-21
Crew 71,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 46 tons6
Length 31.9'6
Height 10' 6"6
Width 10' 6"6
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 26.1'6
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76.2 mm L/246
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 966
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 1.3"1
Front: 351
Side: 0.9"1
Side: 251
Hull Front, Upper 356
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 256
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 11 - 146
Hull Bottom 11 - 146
Turret Front 11 - 356
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) M-171, M-17M6
Bore / stroke  
Cylinders 126
Net HP 5006
Transmission  
Fuel type Gasoline6
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 19 mph6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 94 miles6
Range - Cross Country 50 miles6
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 86
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 1' 0.18"6
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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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