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During the war, the famous designer Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin was not only the Deputy Commissar of the tank industry, but also the chief designer of the Chelyabinsk plant. Whole “constellation” formidable fighting machines were created with his participation, or under the direct supervision: KV-1C, IS-122, SU-152 ISU-152 and others.

After the war he returned to Leningrad Kotin and headed the scientific tank and diesel-research institute. Here he continued to work on the new machines.

Steel swimmer

The war experience has shown that one of the most difficult and important tasks – forcing water obstacles: rivers, canals, and so on. d. The existing crossing means were towed, and therefore have a relatively low mobility. Self-propelled pontoon bridge parks at the end of the 40s did not exist.

August 15, 1949, the Council of Ministers has set designers task to develop a floating tank and an armored personnel carrier. Dates for the task sets a limit on hard – testing of samples should begin before the end of 1950. Overall project management laid J. Kotin. Project amphibious tank factory designation was “Object 740”.

At the very beginning of work between the designers who participated in the design, there was a heated argument, with the help of an engine car will float. There were four options: tilt screws on the columns, tunnel screws tracked navigable propeller and water cannons. Most Kotin circuit with folding propellers seemed the most successful. But the designer NF Shamshurin proven benefits Pump-jet, which eventually decided to stay. State tests have confirmed that this was the best idea, “Object 740” showed superiority over all machines-rivals.

In early August 1961 the tank was accepted for service under the designation PT-76. On military trials at Sevastopol these machines again flashed overcome this formidable obstacle, as the Kerch Strait. Thus, it was proved that the PT-76 can be used including a naval amphibious operations.

PT-76 was produced from 1951 to 1967 and repeatedly modernized, mostly on the part of weapons and surveillance equipment connection. Changed the size and shape of the hull. There were built more than three thousand tanks PT-76, which were in service not only Soviet, but also a number of foreign armies.

Amphibian in battle

Tank participated in many military conflicts of the mid-twentieth century: the Vietnam War, the Israeli-Syrian and Indo-Pakistani wars and others. He proved to be a great fighting machine and uniquely successful engineering projects.

PT-76 could carry on the armor across the river landing up to 12 people, and if the cross was not necessary, or even more

very revealing was the use of PT-76 in 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War. Good cross machine once again been tested in difficult terrain. Postwar upgraded gun and optics on the tank adequately confront American Tank M24 Chaffee. PT-76 could conduct aimed fire at a distance of a kilometer, while the enemy tank, designed even during World War II, almost was not able to get into the PT-76 at a distance. Similarly, were not very effective grenade launchers, recoilless rifles and bazookas Pakistani army. Great value for the Indians was the ability to tank effectively overcome the river, which was a lot in theater (today – part of Bangladesh). PT-76 could also carry on the armor across the river landing up to 12 people, and if the cross was not necessary, or even more.

Another example of extremely successful combat use of the PT-76 – Yom Kippur War between Israel and Arab countries in October 1973. Here the army tank used on both sides. In the first phase of hostilities with the help of the Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal. Later, when part of the PT-76 was captured by the IDF held a large-scale operation “Abir-Lion” (“Brave”). In its early small detachment under the command of Israel Ariel Sharon captured seven amphibious tanks and armored personnel carriers with troops eight crossed the Great Bitter Lake (part of the Suez Canal) and seized a bridgehead, which then crossed the main force.

For its time PT-76 was one of the most successful amphibious vehicle. Joseph Kotin managed to combine it into a good land mobility, excellent quality when moving through the water and serious firepower. It is not surprising that in some countries, the PT-76 was in service until the end of two-thousand years.

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