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Soviet Union's BT-5 Bystrochodnij Tankov (Fast Tank)

Photos

BT-5 Model 1934 under construction. Named after Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a partisan that was killed in 1941.
Soviet Union's BT-5 Model 1934 under construction. Named after Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a partisan that was killed in 1941

BT-5(V) Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5(V) fast tank

BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank
BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank

BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank
BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank

BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank
BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank

BT-5 Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5 fast tank
BT-5A Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5A fast tank
BT-5(V) Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-5(V) fast tank
BT-DT Fast Tank:
Soviet Union's BT-DT Smoke Emitter Fast Tank

Design

It was found that the BT-2 wasn't adequate during the war with Finland so new requirements were devised for a vehicle with stronger armament, a single turret with the main gun and coaxial MG, space for a radio, and better mobility with an engine manufactured in the Soviet Union.2 The BT-5 was the design that was selected to meet those specifications.2

It was the first main production model of the BT series.8,12

When on wheels, steering was done by a steering wheel operating the front wheels.7 When on tracks, steering was done with the clutch and brake.7

Turret

The turret was riveted with an extension to the rear to make room for the 45 mm model 1932 main gun and a 7.62 mm DT MG.2

The 45 mm gun had a velocity of 2,350 ft/sec.6 The range it could fire was 4,800 meters.2 The velocity of an 1.43 kg shell was 760 m/sec.2 42 mm of armor could be penetrated at 100 meters.2

It had a larger turret, 2 rectangular escape hatches in the turret, new engine, and a stronger suspension.2,5,8,12

The top of the turret a PTK panoramic scope.2

Production

  • BT-5: 5,000
    • Production: 1932 - ?1,2,6
    • Manufacturer: factory in Kharkov1
  • BT-IS: 52
    • Production: 19372

Variants

  • BT-5:
  • BT-5AT, BT-5A: Artillery tank.2,5 Close support version with 76.2 mm howitzer.2,5,8,12 It's 6.2 kg shell could be fired 7,125 meters.2 Turret was from T-28.5
  • BT-5TU(1934), BT-5(V), BT-5U, BT-5TU, BT-6: Commander's version.1,2 Carried only 72 shells to make room for the radio sets.2 The antenna was placed around the turret.1,2
  • T-5Pch, BT-5PKh: Had a snorkel device attached so that it could go through water obstacles 5 meters deep.1,2 Able to ford water obstacles by going under water.7 Was tested by the 4th Don Cossack Division in 1936.1
  • BT-IS: Five prototype vehicles that had improvements designed by N. F. Zygankovich.2 It had 3 pairs of road wheels to be driven on, and also had more angled hull armor.2
  • BT-DT: Had smoke emitters.7
  • BT-IT: Bridge layer.5,7
  • BT-5-OT: Had flamethrower.5,7

Usage

Spanish Civil War

About 501,11 / 64 fought in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side.2,9

Against Japan

The BT-5s saw action against the Japanese at Khalkin-Gol in July 1939.2

Internal Action

The occupation of the western areas of White Russia & Ukraine in September 1939.2

War with Finland

The BT-5 was used in the Winter War of 1939-1940 against Finland.1,2

Defending the Motherland

The BT-5 were used against the invading Germans in 1941.2

Specifications

  BT-5 (1933 Model)
Crew 31,2,3,4,5,7,8,12
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.3 tons8,12, 11.31 tons1, 11.5 tons2,4,5,7, 11.52 tons3
11,500 kg1,8,12, 11,700 kg3
25,350 lb
Length 18'1,3,4,8,12, 18.1'5,7, 19' 5.5"
5.48 m3, 5.49 m1,8,12, 5.76 m2
Height 7' 3"1,3,8,12, 7.25'4,5,7, 7' 9.5"
2.21 m1,8,12, 2.2 m3, 2.25 m2
Width 7' 4"1,3,8,12, 7.33'4,5,7, 7' 10.25"
2.15 m2, 2.23 m3, 2.24 m8,12, 2.33 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 9"
0.35 m2
Ground clearance - wheels 9"7
Ground clearance - tracks 10.5"7
Ground contact length 12'5,7
Ground pressure 9.3 psi7
0.65 kp/cm2 2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 45 mm 1932 L/42 45 mm 19322,3
1: 45 mm1,4,6,8,10,12
1: 45 mm M19321
1: 45 mm L/467
1: 45 mm L/46 A/TK5
Secondary  
MG 1: MG4
1: 7.62 mm DT MG5,7,12
MG - coaxial 1 or 2: 7.62 mm DT2
1: 7.62 mm MG1
1: 7.62 mm DT MG3,8
1: MG6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 72 - 1151,2,5
With radio: 722,7
Without radio: 1152,7
Secondary  
MG 2,3941,2,5,7, 2,7092
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 131,3,4, 138,12
Hull Front, Upper 132,5,7
Hull Front, Lower 132
Hull Sides, Upper 10 - 135,7, 132
Hull Sides, Lower 132
Hull Rear 107, 132
Hull Top 6 - 105,7, 102
Hull Bottom 6 - 102,5,7
Turret Front 10 - 135, 132,7
Turret Sides 132,7
Turret Rear 132,7
Turret Top 102,7
Engine (Make / Model) M-5 Liberty Aero2,3
M-56
M-5 modified Aero7
Liberty Aero8,12
M-5 Aero1,5
Bore / stroke 4 stroke2
Cooling Water7
Cylinders 122,5,6, V-121,7,8,12
Capacity  
Net HP 3501,2,4,5,6, 4008,12
350@2,300 rpm2,7
Power to weight ratio 30.4 hp/ton2,7
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Wheels: Chain drive7
Tracks: Sliding gear7
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4,7,8,12
Octane  
Quantity 88 gallons7, 105 gallons,
400 liters2
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°7
Max speed 39 mph6, 43 mph3, 68.4 mph, 69 mph5, 40 - 69 mph4
70 kph3
Max speed - tracks 40 mph1,12
52 kph2, 65 kph1,12
Max speed - wheels 65 mph12, 69 mph7, 70 mph1
72 kph2, 105 kph12, 112 kph1
Speed - Cross Country 31 mph
Cross country speed - tracks 39 mph7
Range - Road 55 miles1, 124 miles3, 186.4 miles
90 km1, 200 km3
Road radius - tracks 124 miles12
200 km2,12
Road radius - wheels 186 miles12, 187 miles5,7
300 km2,12
Cross country radius - tracks 125 miles5,7
Turning radius 40'7
Elevation limits -4° to +40°7
Fording depth 3.98'7, 4'
0.9 m2
Trench crossing 8.85'7, 8' 9"
2 m2
Vertical obstacle - wheels 8"7
Vertical obstacle - tracks 29.8"7
0.55 m2
Climbing ability 37°2
Suspension (Type) Christie independent type7
Wheels each side 47
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width - tire 2 x 3.957
Width - track 10.25"5,7
Diameter 32.5"7
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.33'7
  BT-5A
Crew 35,7
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.7 tons5,7
Length 18'5,7
Height 7.25'5,7
Width 7.33'5,7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground clearance - wheels 9"7
Ground clearance - tracks 10.5"7
Ground contact length 12'5,7
Ground pressure 9.3 psi7
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 76.2 mm L/16.55,7
1: 76.2 mm / 3" howitzer12
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.62 mm DTMG5,7
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 727, 72 - 1155
Secondary  
MG 2,3945,7
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 135,7
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 10 - 135,7
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 107
Hull Top 6 - 105,7
Hull Bottom 6 - 105,7
Turret Front 10 - 135, 137
Turret Sides 137
Turret Rear 137
Turret Top 107
Engine (Make / Model) M-5 modified Aero7
M-5 Aero5
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water7
Cylinders 125, V-127
Capacity  
Net HP 3505, 350@2,300 rpm7
Power to weight ratio 30.4 hp/ton7
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Wheels: Chain drive7
Tracks: Sliding gear7
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline5,7
Octane  
Quantity 88 gallons7
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°7
Max speed  
Max speed - tracks  
Max speed - wheels 69 mph5,7
Speed - Cross Country  
Cross country speed - tracks 39 mph7
Range - Road  
Road radius - tracks  
Road radius - wheels 187 miles5,7
Cross country radius - tracks 125 miles5,7
Turning radius 40'7
Elevation limits -4° to +60°7
Fording depth 3.98'7
Trench crossing 8.85'7
Vertical obstacle - wheels 8"7
Vertical obstacle - tracks 29.8"7
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Christie independent type7
Wheels each side 47
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width - tire 2 x 3.957
Width - track 10.25"5,7
Diameter 32.5"7
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.33'7
  BT-DT
Crew 37
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.7 tons7
Length 18'7
Height 7.25'7
Width 7.33'7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground clearance - wheels 9"7
Ground clearance - tracks 10.5"7
Ground contact length 12'7
Ground pressure 9.3 psi7
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main  
Secondary  
MG 7.62 mm DTMG7
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 137
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 10 - 137
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 107
Hull Top 6 - 107
Hull Bottom 6 - 107
Turret Front 137
Turret Sides 137
Turret Rear 137
Turret Top 107
Engine (Make / Model) M-5 modified Aero7
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water7
Cylinders V-127
Capacity  
Net HP 350@2,300 rpm7
Power to weight ratio 30.4 hp/ton7
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Wheels: Chain drive7
Tracks: Sliding gear7
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7
Octane  
Quantity 88 gallons7
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°7
Max speed  
Max speed - tracks  
Max speed - wheels 69 mph7
Speed - Cross Country  
Cross country speed - tracks 39 mph7
Range - Road  
Road radius - tracks  
Road radius - wheels 187 miles7
Cross country radius - tracks 125 miles7
Turning radius 40'7
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 3.98'7
Trench crossing 8.83'7
Vertical obstacle - wheels 8"7
Vertical obstacle - tracks 29.8"7
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Christie independent type7
Wheels each side 47
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width - tire 2 x 3.957
Width - track 10.25"7
Diameter 32.5"7
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.33'7
  BT-5PK
Crew 37
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.7 tons7
Length 18'7
Height 7.25'7
Width 7.33'7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground clearance - wheels 9"7
Ground clearance - tracks 10.5"7
Ground contact length 12'7
Ground pressure 9.3 psi7
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 45 mm L/467
Secondary  
MG 7.62 mm DTMG7
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 727
Secondary  
MG 2,3947
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 137
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 10 - 137
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 107
Hull Top 6 - 107
Hull Bottom 6 - 107
Turret Front 137
Turret Sides 137
Turret Rear 137
Turret Top 107
Engine (Make / Model) M-5 modified Aero7
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water7
Cylinders V-127
Capacity  
Net HP 350@2,300 rpm7
Power to weight ratio 30.4 hp/ton7
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Wheels: Chain drive7
Tracks: Sliding gear7
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7
Octane  
Quantity 88 gallons7
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°7
Max speed  
Max speed - tracks  
Max speed - wheels 69 mph7
Speed - Cross Country  
Cross country speed - tracks 39 mph7
Range - Road  
Road radius - tracks  
Road radius - wheels 187 miles7
Cross country radius - tracks 125 miles7
Turning radius 40'7
Elevation limits -4° to +60°7
Fording depth 3.98'7
Trench crossing 8.85'7
Vertical obstacle - wheels 8"7
Vertical obstacle - tracks 29.8"7
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Christie independent type7
Wheels each side 47
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width - tire 2 x 3.957
Width - track 10.25"7
Diameter 32.5"7
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.33'7
  BT-IT
Crew 17
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12.7 tons7
Length With bridge: 21.33'7
Height 7.25'7
Width 7.33'7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground clearance - wheels 9"7
Ground clearance - tracks 10.5"7
Ground contact length 12'7
Ground pressure 10.4 psi7
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main  
Secondary  
MG 7.62 mm DTMG7
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG 2,3947
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 137
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 10 - 137
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 107
Hull Top 6 - 107
Hull Bottom 6 - 107
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) M-5 modified Aero7
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water7
Cylinders V-127
Capacity  
Net HP 350@2,300 rpm7
Power to weight ratio 30.4 hp/ton7
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Wheels: Chain drive7
Tracks: Sliding gear7
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7
Octane  
Quantity 88 gallons7
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse -5° to +5°7
Max speed  
Max speed - tracks  
Max speed - wheels 69 mph7
Speed - Cross Country  
Cross country speed - tracks 5 mph7
Range - Road  
Road radius - tracks  
Road radius - wheels 187 miles7
Cross country radius - tracks 125 miles7
Turning radius 40'7
Elevation limits -5° to +5°7
Fording depth 3.98'7
Trench crossing 20'7
Vertical obstacle - wheels 8"7
Vertical obstacle - tracks 30"7
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Christie independent type7
Wheels each side 47
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width - tire 2 x 3.957
Width - track 10.25"7
Diameter 32.5"7
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.33'7
  BT-5-OT
Crew 27
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.6 tons7
Length 18'7
Height 7.25'7
Width 7.33'7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground clearance - wheels 9"7
Ground clearance - tracks 10.5"7
Ground contact length 12'7
Ground pressure 9.3 psi7
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main OT-130 Flame Gun7
Secondary  
MG 7.62 mm DTMG7
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 28.6 gallons7
Secondary  
MG 2,3947
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 137
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 10 - 137
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 107
Hull Top 6 - 107
Hull Bottom 6 - 107
Turret Front 137
Turret Sides 137
Turret Rear 137
Turret Top 107
Engine (Make / Model) M-5 modified Aero7
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water7
Cylinders V-127
Capacity  
Net HP 350@2,300 rpm7
Power to weight ratio 30.4 hp/ton7
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Wheels: Chain drive7
Tracks: Sliding gear7
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7
Octane  
Quantity 88 gallons7
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°7
Max speed  
Max speed - tracks  
Max speed - wheels 69 mph7
Speed - Cross Country  
Cross country speed - tracks 39 mph7
Range - Road  
Road radius - tracks  
Road radius - wheels 187 miles7
Cross country radius - tracks 125 miles7
Turning radius 40'7
Elevation limits -10° to +40°7
Fording depth 3.98'7
Trench crossing 6.85'7
Vertical obstacle - wheels 8"7
Vertical obstacle - tracks 30"7
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Christie independent type7
Wheels each side 47
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width - tire 2 x 3.957
Width - track 10.25"7
Diameter 32.5"7
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.33'7

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. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
  6. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  7. Profile AFV Weapons 37 Russian BT Series, John F. Milsom, 1971
  8. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  9. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  10. Profile AFV Weapons, #47, Russian T34, by J. M. Brereton, Major Michael Norman, RTR, 1972
  11. Atlas of Tank Warfare From 1916 to the Present Day, Dr. Stephen Hart, 2012
  12. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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