Home > Site news > History of Czechoslovak tank building. Skoda T-40 (Aces)

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In the history of the Czechoslovak tank industry has an extremely rugged, but still poorly studied period. This is the first 10 post-war years, when the Czechoslovak defense industry on the basis of the accumulated during the German occupation of experience and new developments led the work on the creation of their own armored vehicles and weapons. For a variety of reasons, including economic and political nature, most of these works extremely interesting, not only did not go to the series, but not even reached the prototype stage, however, they represent a monument to engineering. It is worth noting that developed in Czechoslovakia tanks and self-propelled guns were quite modern machinery at the time of so it happened that back the former glory of one of the leading powers tankostroitelnyh failed (which, however, did not prevent Czechoslovakia to regain its status as one of the leading exporters of arms and military equipment).

To date, the only source of information on post-war Czechoslovak military industry is the work of Martin Dubaneka. His book is dedicated to the Czechoslovak arms and military equipment 1945-1955 years, currently is a fundamental difficulty about this topic. Unfortunately, the book has a lot of factual errors, including the history of the Czechoslovak future tanks. Thanks to the work of Yuri Tintery (Jiří Tintěra), one of the leading Czech historians, some of these errors was able to locate and find the truth.

One of such errors is extremely significant, is related to the family of tanks TVP (Tank Všeobecného Použití, that is the main battle tank). Work on this project began in October 1945 and lasted until 1952. As a result, instead of a series of TVP stood first T-34-85, and then the T-54, however, the middle tank of Czech development has been quite successful, and the other thing is that for a number of reasons to put it into production was not possible. So, in the family line of tanks TVP Martin Dubanek included a machine that was actually competing projects. TVP project was developed VTU (Vojenský Technický Ústav), and the car, which was attributed to the TVP, in fact, had a T-index of 40, and was developed by Škoda.

История Чехословацкого танкостроения. Skoda T-40

Technical requirements, which was designed Škoda T-40 was repeated those that were presented TVP. Reservations housing 65 mm, 88-mm gun as the main armament, crew of 5 people, the rate of about 50 km / h. Outwardly, the two projects were quite similar, but in fact a number of details differed. At that time, the project VTU was more conceptual sketch, Škoda offered a more mature project with more specifics on the unit and structure. In addition, TTX TVP were more kontsetualny, and on the T-40 was conducted serious consideration. Summary table of the characteristics of the tank can be seen here.

История Чехословацкого танкостроения. Skoda T-40

Structurally, TVP and T-40 were similar, especially with regard to the characteristic shape of the hull fracture frontal sheet. There was also similarly constructed and chassis – 6 rollers 3 and is supported on each side. The similarity ends. From the idea to establish the installation course paired machine gun and flamethrower Škoda engineers refused. While, as expected TVP use leaf spring suspension, T-40 should have a torsion bar suspension. Furthermore, in itself TVP chassis raises many questions in mind sketchy, while the development of Škoda looks quite adequately, moreover, there is similarity with the previous medium tanks of the Czech company.

История Чехословацкого танкостроения. Skoda T-40

A particular specificity in terms of propulsion TVP not, except that the thrust-should be approximately 20 hp per tonne. Škoda engineers have been relatively turnkey solution – X-shaped air-cooled diesel Škoda 16ADH140 700 hp at 2000 rev / min. While as TVP VTU development project had a mass of about 33 tons, T-40 should have a combat weight of 40 tons. Of course, the required parameters tank thrust-weight ratio did not fit, however, to the design speed of 50 km / h and it could easily be dispersed.

Where were big differences in the design of the tower. The project is supposed VTU tower is quite complex shapes with curved sides, the frontal V-shaped gun and mask-like cool mask that Krupp developed for installation 8.8. cm KwK L / 71 to the tower Schmalturm. Ironically, as early as February 1946, just such a gun (it was called 8,8 cm kplvz.41) going to put in TVP. As for Škoda, then its engineers have offered more technological tower, with its shape reminiscent of great tower design Krupp. This is quite normal, especially given the fact that Škoda even managed to release a number of buildings and towers Tiger II, and, in principle, is actively working with a number of German defense plants and design bureaus. Gun Mask repeated one to one similar item for Schmalturm for Pz.Kpfw.Panther. As the weapons were to be used 88-mm cannon length of 57 calibers. In fact, a German 8.8 cm KwK 36 L / 56 without muzzle brake. With gun was paired gun ZB.37. Native to the German tank designs and installation of roof mortars.

История Чехословацкого танкостроения. Skoda T-40

In general, Škoda engineers have developed a very modern design, which had only one drawback – inadequate at the time of booking. But then most business in TTT issued for the development of the tank. Additionally, regarded as a reference point T 34-85, and it is characterized by little armor. The rest will get a car with distinctive elements of a good read German and Soviet schools, nor is it Campiglio, and clever use of the most suitable items. To name a copy of the Soviet and German tanks Škoda T-40 language does not turn, the car just like herself. Alas, to manufacturing in the metal tank is not reached as early as 1946 began to demand change, and the project would in any case substantially change …

Soon we will see the tank in the game as a premium car of the future Czechoslovak branch. Screenshots and TTX see here.

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