7 T 35, the Multi Turret Tank of the Red Army

T 35, the Multi Turret Tank of the Red Army

Posted on December 26, 2012 by team


T-35 is a heavy tank of the 1930s made in the USSR. It is the only five-turret tank of mass production. In the period since 1933 to 1939 61 units were produced. It had not participated in battles till 1941 however was used for military parades being the symbol of the Soviet power. T-35 took part in early battles of WWII however it was lost too soon because of multiple occuring failures.

They started to develop the tank in the end of the 20s. But Soviet engineers didn’t have enough experience in this sphere so they invited the German specialists who came to the USSR in 1930 and helped to design the tank.

The first tank, T-35-1, was made in August, 1932. Its weight was 42 tons, its armour was 30-40 mm thick. The tank was equipped with one 76 mm gun, two 37 mm guns and three more guns. The crew consisted of 10-11 persons. The dimensions of the tank were  9720 x 3200 x 3430 mm. The travel speed of the tank was 28 km/h. The top of the main turret had a rounded shape.

T-35-1 showed good results during the first trials in 1932 however some disadvantages were also noticed in the power package. Besides, the construction of the pneumatic control and transmission was too complicated and expensive for mass production.  The designers were offered to refine the project.

T-35-2 was assembled in April, 1933 and in May it already participated in a military parade in Leningrad.

As opposed to the first model of T-35 the new one had a diffrent main turret, another engine, cover skirt and had some other small changes.

At the same time there was being designed a T-35A, which was much different from T-35-1(2). Its chassis was lengthened with one more truck, small machine gun turrets had a different design, average turrets of the enlarged shape were equipped with a 45-millimeter cannons 20K.Tthey also changed the form of the body, and made some other differences. In fact, it was a completely new machine.

During the production period the design of the tank was modified many times. They were changing armour thickness, engine power, weight of the tank, number of crew members etc.

The body of the tank had a complex configuration. It was welded and partially riveted from armor sheets 10-15 mm thick. The armor of the turrets was 25-30 mm. The driver could get in and out through the hatch over his working place.

The last serial tanks T-35 had conical turrets.

During Operation Barbarossa, ninety percent of the T-35s lost by the 67th and 68th Tank Regiments were lost not to enemy action but through either mechanical failure or because they were abandoned and destroyed by their crews. The most common causes of breakdown were transmission-related. The last recorded action of the T-35 took place during the early stages of the Battle of Moscow. At least one captured T-35 was shipped to Germany for evaluation at the Kummersdorf military proving ground

The T-35 is sometimes cited as having participated in the Winter War against Finland, but according to Soviet sources it did not. In fact, two other prototypes of multi-turreted heavy tanks had been sent to the front for testing: T-100 and SMK. The SMK tank was disabled by a Finnish land mine and all attempts to recover the 55-ton behemoth failed. Finnish photographs of the previously unknown tank were mistakenly designated T-35C by German intelligence.

Four T-35 machines were used in training facilities in the Soviet rear. One of these still exists and is accessible to visitors at the Kubinka Tank Museum near Moscow.

“Long live Workers ‘and Peasants’ Red Army – the faithful guardian of the Soviet borders!”

Despite the fact that T-35 was not widely used in battles it became the embodiment of strength of the Red Army. It was often depicted on the agitational posters and on medals.

via yumorno and wiki

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7 Responses to “T 35, the Multi Turret Tank of the Red Army”

  1. T34/55 says:

    Scrap metal basically. Useless for fighting, slow, poor assembly quality, numerous mechanical failures… It was good for a parade and nothing more. The first German built prototype looks best by far.

  2. OD1N says:

    Colossus on clay feet

  3. Me says:

    Check out the Vickers A1E1 Independent, I think you’ll find that the T35 was based upon this design!

  4. Kent of Sweden says:

    This time (the thirtees) was a time of experimentation in Tank-design, no one really knew how the ideal tank should look or be equipped. A lot of strange designs popped up all over the place, Look at all these Multi-gunned designs from France, England, the U.S and what not. Not really until the T-34 appeared was there a useful idea on what a modern tank should look like, A dual-purpose gun, supported by one or two machine-guns, sort of heavy, but most of all, slooped armour. Tracks that could handle whatever you threw at them and a five-man crew giving the commander time to command. The gunner peace to aim the gun for first-shot hits. Very crucial in any tank vs tank fight. Unless of course you try to take out a KV-1 with a PzKw III. Then first, second, third or fourth hit does not matter when the KV-1 scores you’re dead no matter how many hits you have bounced of the KV-1 first

    • Patriot says:

      Tanks were NEVER designed to go tank for tank before WWII. It was the Germans who took the anti-tank rifle to a whole new level and made it bigger and mounted it on tanks. Multi-gun platforms where called “combat cars” or “infantry support tractors” in the US. The M3 Lee was the last of the multi-gun designs but it had an edge in the desert…88mm shells went right through it. M3 Lee’s were known to slug it out 88mm AT guns in the desert.

  5. andel says:

    Official history says, that Germans started WWII.
    But always you can say “Si vis pacem, para bellum”.
    Like in 1939.

  6. VDV bob says:

    The medium T-28 of similar design showed much more usable and realistic. Howver it was also a crap on tracks compared to the best machines of the time : Pzkpfw III/IV, KV-1 and T-34.

    While good on paper, in a WWI type of warfare, the multi-gun tank is good, it could handle many targets, but in reality it proved to be a very unpractical design. Several tanks each with good crew operation, focused on a single weapon, a single turret, is the way, scince WW2.

    Yes today it seems rediculous to see those machines of the 20-30’s, but we have to put ourselves in the context, they had no idea of what kind of warfare the WW2 would develop, the first modern warfare, the first war of combined arms. Today no one can imagine an army without a strong armoured corp, can we ?

    It’s the very basis of ground warfare, an army without is not going to win, whatever her size or strenghts.

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