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Soviet Union's MS-1, MS-2, MS-3, and T-18 light infantry tanks

Photos

MS-1 45 mm
Soviet Union's MS-1 Light Infantry Tank
MS-1 light tank3
Soviet Union's MS-1 Light Infantry Tank
MS-2 light tank3:
Soviet Union's MS-2 Light Infantry Tank
MS-3 light tank3:
Soviet Union's MS-3 Light Infantry Tank
T-18M light infantry tank:
Soviet Union's T-18 Light Tank

Design

After a special Tank Bureau was formed on May 6, 1924, a specification for a light tank was given. It was to weigh 3,000 kg, have a speed of 7.5 mph, 16 mm of armor, 37 mm gun, and with a crew of two. During early 1925 the Red Army staff reviewed the specification and increased it to 5,000 kg.

It used rubber tired bogies.4 The engine was mounted crosswise to save length and thus weight.4

Communication was by flag.3

Field Tests

During tests in 1929 it was found that the T-18 had difficulties crossing trenches.5 The commander of the Leningrad Region Armored Force had another tail added to the front of the T-18 which resulted in it receiving the nickname Nosorog (Rhinoceros).5

Prototype

The first prototype was called the T-16 and was finished in May 1927.5 Improvements to the engine and the length were completed in November 1927 and this was designated the T-18.5 The Revolutionary Military Council accepted the T-18 as a standard on July 6, 1927, even before testing was completed. It was called the Maliy Soprovozdieniya - Small Accompanying - One (MS-1).

Production

An order for 108 T-18s was placed by the Red Army to be built from 1928 to 1929.5 The first 30 were available for the November 7, 1929, Revolution parade in Moscow and Leningrad.5 Ball bearings and carburetors had to be imported as there weren't Soviet factories to produce those components.5

The MS-1 was produced at the Leningrad Bolshevik plant starting in 1928. This was the first Russian tank to be put into serial production.

  • T-18: 9606, 9895
    • Production: 1928 - 19315, 1928 - ?6
  • MS-1: 9604
    • Production: 1928 - 19314
    • Manufacturer: Leningrad Weapon Factory4
  • MS-2:
  • MS-3:
    • Production: 19235

Variants

  • MS-1: Was to have a 37 mm gun and two 7.62 mm machines guns in the turret, but the turret was too cramped so only one machine gun was installed.4
  • MS-2:
  • MS-3:
  • T-16: Prototype.5
  • T-17 light tank: Had air cooled 2 cylinder engine (18 HP).4
  • T-18:
  • T-19 light tank: Engine was improved and was 60 HP.4
  • T-23 light tank: Had no turret and had a two man crew with a single 7.62 mm MG.4 The armor was 6 to 10 mm thick and protected the crew from small arms fire.4 Weighed 3.5 tons and could go 35 kph.4

Usage

It was withdrawn from service in 1932 and given to the Ossoaviakhim, which as the military training organization.

After the Germans invaded Russia, approximately 200 MS-1s were converted into T-18Ms mounting 45 mm guns.

Against China

MS saw combat Kiev-Voronezh and Chinese Eastern Railway in 1929.4

T-18s saw action against the Chinese in border clashes in 1929.5 In one particular action around Dzhalaynor Station, Russian infantry advanced behind T-18s with some success as the tanks were handled skillfully by their crews.5 A later attack wasn't as successful as the T-18s were unable to cross an anti-tank ditch.5

Specifications

  MS-1
(T-18)
Crew 22
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.4 tons2
6.3 tons4
Length 11.8'2
4.38 m4
Height 6.9'2
2.12 m4
Width 5.75'2
1.76 m4
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm2,4
Secondary  
MG MG2
7.62 mm MG4
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 2504
Secondary  
MG 3,0004
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 222, 8 - 164
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)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders Inline 44
Capacity 90 l4
Net HP 352, 404
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2
Octane  
Quantity 90 liters4
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 10.6 mph2
22 kph4
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 110 km4
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 0.7 m4
Trench crossing 1.3 m4
Vertical obstacle 0.6 m4
Climbing ability 35°4
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  MS-1,
MS-2,
MS-3, MS-3A
Crew 23
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.4 - 6.7 tons3
Length w/gun 11.8'3
With tail: 14.3'3
Length w/o gun 11.8'3
With tail: 14.3'3
Height 6.9'3
Width 5.75'3
Width over tracks 5.7'3
Ground clearance 15.5'3
Ground contact length 8'3
Ground pressure 6.1 - 6.5 psi3
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm Puteaux A/Tk3
Secondary  
MG 1 or 2: 7.62 mm Hotchkiss MG3
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 2503
Secondary  
MG 3,0003
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Turret: 8 - 223
Hull Front, Upper 163
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 83
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 83
Hull Top 63
Hull Bottom 63
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Fiat Transverse3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling MS-1: Water3
MS-2, MS-3, MS-3A: Air3
Cylinders 4 or 63
Capacity  
Net HP 35 - 40@1,500 rpm3
Power to weight ratio 6.5 - 63
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Sliding gear3
4 forward, 1 reverse3
Steering Simple differential, manual3
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 19.85 gallons3
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°3
Speed - Road 10.6 - 14 mph3
Speed - Cross Country 8 mph3
Range - Road 37.5 - 68 miles3
Range - Cross Country 20 - 40 miles3
Turning radius Pivots3
Elevation limits -10° to +30°3
Fording depth 2.35'3
Trench crossing 4.25'3
Vertical obstacle 1.9'3
Climbing ability 35°3
Suspension (Type) Vertical helical springs3
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Skeleton, cast double spud 3
Length  
Width 11.8"3
Diameter  
Number of links 543
Pitch 5.9"3
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 4.7'3
  MS-III, MS-3
Crew 21,5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5,410 kg1, 5,500 kg5
5.32 tons1, 5.41 tons5
Length 11' 6"1,5
3.5 m1,5
Height 6' 11"1,5
2.12 m1,5
Width 5' 9"1,5
1.76 m1,5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm5
37 mm Model 19161,5
Secondary  
MG 1: MG5
2: MG5
2: 7.62 mm Hotchkiss MG1
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 221, 165
0.62"5
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) Fiat1
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 65
Capacity  
Net HP 655
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 9.9 mph1, 10 mph5
16 kph1,5
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 31 miles5, 37.3 miles1, 38 miles5
50 km5, 60 km1,5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  T-18
Crew 26
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.9 tons6
Length 4.38 m6
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm M286
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.62 mm MG6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 166
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)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 10 mph6
16 kph6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
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. Russian Tanks 1900-1970, The Complete Illustrated History of Soviet Armoured Theory and Design, John Milsom, 1970
  4. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917 - 1945, Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  5. Russian Tanks of World War II, Stalin's Armored Might, Tim Bean, Will Fowler, 2002
  6. Atlas of Tank Warfare From 1916 to the Present Day, Dr. Stephen Hart, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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