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Origins of tank development. Machines anonymous constructors

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the twentieth century, with its bureaucracy is almost completely excluded from the process of invention anonymity. Would be an idea, but there exists the author! Or the one who will give themselves over to the author, if the idea is good. But even in a strict system of military proceedings of the last century there was a place unnamed technical projects. They seriously considered professionals, but to inform the decision turned out to no one. Indeed, under the technical description and drawings were missing not only the address of the inventor, but even his name.

Among the materials found in the archives of this kind, two projects were devoted to the armor. Not worth too much to sneer at ideas presented combat vehicles, even if they are not properly contained. Whatever they were, it’s – era documents, it traces. Information about the projects is published for the first time.

Broneavtobus “Gratitude elders”

November 5, 1915 in the office of the inventions of the Central Military-Industrial Committee (TSVPK) of the Russian Empire delivered an envelope with no return address. In it were a letter and a couple of sketches performed on tissue paper. Mysterious message completed no less intriguing caption: “Gratitude elders”.

Most of the letters ‘elders’ councils devoted to the Supreme Commander of the Russian army, Tsar Nicholas II – The Balkan front enhance and strengthen the alliance with Japan. However, we are more interested in the combat vehicle project, which was mentioned in the letter – the more so because the authors have moved to the point in the first lines: “ Herein are making a sketch of armored vehicles, which accommodates 36 people capacity infantry with servants at two machine guns and two cannon mountain type. During the detailed design may be will be able to put two guns in front and the set the same fire on all four sides & hellip; » (hereinafter, spelling and punctuation are given in the original. – Approx.’s) .

It was about the wheeled armored vehicle giant size, the ability to serve at the same time and conveyor troops. The body of the car was divided into two layers, the top and bottom. Overall, the project resembles the famous London dabldeker – double decker bus, only equipped with weapons.

Who were they – the monastic community, while versed in geopolitics and military equipment? One of the occult societies, fashionable in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century? Or so extravagant pseudonym chosen for himself a certain unacknowledged inventor? It is now impossible to find out for sure.

Probably “Gratitude elders’ mean Maxim gun sample of 1910, former major automatic weapon of the Russian army during the First World War. They offer place in cylindrical sponsons at the stern of the armored car. By “type of mountain guns” is clearly implies acceptance into service in 1909, 76.2 mm gun developed by French company “Schneider”. This trёhdyuymovkam set aside turret-cutting, clearly visible in the figures. In the bow of the armored car was supposed to be the driver, with boeukladku inventors located directly above it.

estimated goodwill gesture “Gratitude elders”, Department of inventions still ruled: “In the absence of advantages compared to those used cars – reject “. Their message went straight to the archive, where it was kept in obscurity until recently. Curiously, the mysterious “elders” to within a few days predicted date of the end of World War I in Russia, measured out two more years. But when November 10, 1917, the Soviet government adopted a decree “On the gradual reduction of the army,” in fact, demobilize its military engineers hardly remembered the mysterious anonymous “elders”.

Petty and his tank

Танк «cтаршины», вид сбоку. Оригинальный эскиз. Another one anonymous letter – already during World (April 1944) – with descriptions and thumbnails of the tank division inventions NKO appropriated “classified.” The author, to sign a “foreman”, as well as “Acknowledgements elders’ long before he began writing in a businesslike: ” Ie. Armor thickness of 180 m / m to 200 mm, all four walls (frontal 250 m / m) is located on the front wall 76 Cannon m / m gun nozzle and gun smoke screen “.

Hard to say , whether the foreman chose to remain anonymous, or simply forgot to sign, illumined the idea of ​​his tank. It is also unclear why such a powerful book, surpassing even the German SAU “Ferdinand”, was accompanied by an analogue of the F-34 cannon installed on the T-34. The author did not go into these details, stating his concept on items.

In the side armor plates he wanted to put flamethrowers and nozzles for spraying smoke-forming mixture. Last author recommended the use and as a means of attack: “To be intoxicating substances and can be applied” . “Tower is not movable, Nisku, only to install gun & hellip; In the rear of the tower, a machine gun, “- emphasized on. Another flamethrower ( “transheiny”) should be mounted at the bottom – apparently, to deprive the enemy a chance to escape in the trenches of the impending tank.

Танк «старшины», вид спереди. Оригинальный эскиз The inventor took into account everything. Mufflers and engine compartment relied secondary armor from Molotov cocktails. “ In all viewing windows for cracks and visors for fencing weapons falling into the machine zhitkosti as combustible and protchaya” – he adds. Caterpillars also securely closed armor, walking inside the case.

Weight of the future of the tank should be 65 tons, of which 700 kg were motor, gun and “everything else” . But the rest, the author insists, should speak to the addressees of the inventions of eye to eye. He attached to his letter pattern invented the tank into quarters lined paper, honestly confessing: “ On risovalyya iskizy niznayu that you understand them or not” .

Lyricist – Yuri Bahurin

Yuri Bahurin – military historian. Author of several publications in national and regional scientific press: magazines “Questions of history,” “Military History Journal,” “Military-Historical Archive”, “Motherland”, “Anthology of War” anthology “Reiter” and so on. D. The author «Panzerj & auml; ger Tiger (P) & ldquo; Ferdinand & rdquo ;. Combat use. “

  • Russian State Military History Archive (RGVIA). F. 13251. Op. 4. AD 618.
  • Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (RF TsAMO). F. 38. Op. 11350. D. 1302.
  • M. Popenker machine guns. Encyclopaedia. M .: Tactical Press, 2014.

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