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T-40 amphibious scout tank
T40 13.jpg
Type Light amphibious tank
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1941–46
Used by Soviet Union
Wars World War II
Production history
Produced 1941–42
Number built 222
Variants BM-8-24 Katyusha
Specifications
Weight 5.9 tonnes
Length 4.11 m
Width 2.33 m
Height 1.95 m
Crew 2

Armour 7–14 mm
Primary
armament
12.7mm DShK machine gun
Secondary
armament
7.62mm DT machine gun
Engine GAZ-202
70 hp (52 kW)
Power/weight 12 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range
450 km
Speed 44 km/h

The T-40 amphibious scout tank was a light amphibious tank used by the Soviet Union during World War II.

Contents

Importance

Amphibious capability was important to the Red Army, as evidenced by the production of over 1,500 amphibious tanks in the 1930s. The T-40 was intended to replace the aging T-37 and T-38 tank light amphibians. It was a superior design, but due to the pressures of war the Soviets favored the production of simpler tank designs, and only a small number of T-40s were built.

Development

The T-40 was an improvement over the T-37 and T-38 in several respects. The coil-spring suspension of the T-38 was replaced by a modern torsion-bar suspension with four pairs of road wheels. The boat-shaped hull was entirely welded, in contrast to the riveted hulls of the T-37 and T-38. The welded, conical turret shape improved protection, although the armor was still very thin. Armament was a 12.7mm DShK heavy machine gun, a much more potent weapon than the 7.62mm DT machine gun mounted on the T-38.

Water propulsion was via a small propeller mounted at the rear of the hull. The propeller was set into an indent in the hull rear, and was thus better protected than the exposed propeller of the T-38. Buoyancy was provided by the large boat-shaped hull.

Production

The T-40 entered production just prior to the outbreak of war, and was intended to equip reconnaissance units. As the need for large numbers of tanks became critical, a secondary non-amphibious variant was designed on the T-40 chassis. This design became the T-60. The T-60 was simpler, cheaper, better armed, and could fulfill most of the same roles. Under the stress of war, production of the T-40 was halted in favor of the T-60. Thus only 222 T-40s were issued, compared to over 6,000 T-60s.

The last batch of T-40s built had BM-8-24 Katyusha rocket racks mounted instead of turrets. This version provided a mobile mount for a 24-rail multiple-launch rocket system, firing 82mm unguided rockets.

The T-40 was widely photographed at the time of Operation Barbarossa and also during the defence of Moscow. The type was very rarely seen after the end of 1941. Some T-40 remained in service as late 1946 in school units.

References

  • Zaloga, Steven J.; James Grandsen (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-606-8.  

External links

List of armoured fighting vehicles of World War II  · Soviet armored fighting vehicle production during World War II

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