T-100 tank

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T-100-3k-7942071
Type Heavy tank
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
Used by  Soviet Union
Wars Winter War
Production history
Number built 2
Specifications
Weight 58 tons
Length 8.38 m (27 ft 6 in)
Width 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
Height 3.42 m (11 ft 3 in)
Crew 6 or 8

Main
armament
76.2mm type L-11 gun : 120 rounds (center turret)
Secondary
armament
45mm gun (forward turret) : 393 rounds 4 DT machine guns
Engine petrol 4-stroke, V-12 GAM-34BT, water cooled
800 hp
Power/weight 14 hp/ton
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range

road: 200 km (120 mi)

cross-country: 120 km (75 mi)
Speed 36 km/h (22 mph)

The T-100 was a twin-turreted Soviet heavy tank prototype, designed in 1938–39 as a possible replacement for the T-35. The T-100 was designed to by N. Barykov's OKMO design team at S.M. Kirov Factory No. 185 in Leningrad. It was in competition with a similar design - the SMK - but neither were adopted and instead a single turret version on the SMK was ordered as the KV-1.

Development[edit]

The project was initiated by the Red Army's need to replace the aging five-turreted T-35 tank based on combat experience in the Spanish Civil War. One of the lessons the Red Army drew from this conflict was the need for heavy 'shell-proof' armor on medium and heavy tanks. Although the T-35 was never used in Spain, its thin armor was vulnerable to the small towed antitank guns and gun-armed tanks encountered there by Soviet T-26 and BT tanks.

The T-100 was in direct competition against the very similar SMK heavy tank, by Lt-Colonel Kotin's team at the Leningrad Kirovsky Factory. The original specification was for a five-turreted "anti-tank gun destroyer" which would resist 37mm-45mm guns at any range and 76.2 mm artillery at 1,200 m. Both design teams objected to the antiquated multi-turreted design and the requirement was reduced to two turrets before serious design work began. Both tanks had some modern features, including thick, welded armor, radios and torsion bar suspension (another feature insisted upon by the design teams).

Description[edit]

The T-100 tank sported two turrets placed on a long chassis. The front turret, mounting a 45mm antitank gun, was placed at a lower elevation than the other, and as such had a limited area of fire. The top turret, mounting a 76.2mm gun, was able to turn a full 360 degrees. The multi-turret design concept had been common in the 1920s, with the British one-off Vickers A1E1 Independent influencing the Soviet T-35.

Service history[edit]

The prototype T-100 tank was briefly tested alongside the other designs in the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939 without success. It was never put into production, due to the archaic design concept, poor mobility and the availability of a far superior alternative, the KV series.

In an attempt to rush a tank armed with a large howitzer capable of dealing with Finnish bunkers into use, one of the T-100s was converted into the SU-100Y self-propelled gun. It did not go into production, although the prototype was used in the defence of Moscow in 1941.

References[edit]

  • Zaloga, Steven J. and James Grandsen (1981). Soviet Heavy Tanks. London: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-422-0.
  • Zaloga, Steven J. and James Grandsen (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-606-8.
  • Zaloga, Steven J. and Peter Sarson (1996). KV-1 & 2 Heavy Tanks 1939–1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-496-2.