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Great Soviet writer Nikolai Nosov in the story about the adventures of Dunno and his friends painted inventor Shurupchika and his masterpiece – vosmikolёsny steam car with pistachio cooling: “Four wheels in his bottom and four on top. Usually the car goes on the lower wheels; Top wheels are made on a case if the car rolls over. All eight wheels of the machine placed at an angle that is inclined, whereby the vehicle can drive not only all the cars travel, but also on its side or even on its back, i.e. completely upside down “.

But it is – a story, a fairy tale. And many military inventors of the twentieth century have designed amazing machines in all seriousness.

ATV-meteor. He – the tank armored train
“In the expenditure of fuel METEOR can independently go off the rails and go in search of fuel, taking his hands being under any fuel.”
From the description of the project B. Emelyanov

in September 1941. Paramedic from Syzran VN Emelyanov, no trifle, sent to Stalin his project – “The ultra-versatile armored train tank ATV” . The author claimed that his offspring “can walk: on the tracks – and one with a composition at a speed exceeding 200 km / h; land – overcoming mountains and ravines; can float on the water, regardless of the depth and width of the river “. (Hereinafter, the style and the original spelling retained. – Comm. Ed.) The letter was sent to Emelyanova GABTU, but not impressed with his staff. From these papers, it became clear that the car is bad permeability, low turning performance and overall design is cumbersome.

Emelyanov not lose heart, and another two years trying to improve these characteristics of his “all-terrain vehicle.” As a result, the estimated weight of the tank has decreased three times, and he was free to move along the ground and the rails on the tracks as well as on wheels. Updated project received no less grandiose name – “Universal-tank armored train Meteor” .


Emelyanov described the possibilities of his invention as follows: “Meteor immediately goes off the rails on the track and on dirt paths bypass the obstacle, and then go back to the railway way … Thanks to its superfast, probability of hitting the enemy METEOR artillery shells and bombs will be greatly reduced, “. Switching between propulsion was achieved through a tank mounted on jacks. Incredible speed “Meteor” (more than 200 km / h) Emelyanov explained the rejection of the crank locomotive transmission in favor of a hydraulic transmission. In this work all the mechanisms of the chassis and the movement of the machine was to provide a single steam cylinder. Gear inventor intended to cover a reliable armor.

The boiler is also armored, thought “omnivorous”. He had to work on coal, kerosene, oil, wood or straw! Despite all the efforts Emelyanov, specialists of the Main Tank-Automotive Management Project it did not succumb. “Meteor” has remained on paper.

double wedge “Sark”. Deceive the enemy!


Very nontrivial armored vehicle in 1945 invented the Muscovites A. Smirnov and K. N. Romanov, name your project mysterious word “Sark”.

What was its originality? According to the author: “The whole setup of two completely identical in appearance and size, separate moving vehicles. This is done in order to disguise the main machine. “

Both wedges should combine rugged cable. According to it, receiving power for electric auxiliary machine. Energy is generated by a DC generator, located in the main platform sole. The length of the cable, there are about 800 meters, and for him in the auxiliary machine planned to install a wooden drum. Crew it was not provided. But the main machine had to run just one person, but as it is, and wrote at length Smirnov Romanov: “Management of the main machine is made present in it lying down fighter. The control levers are in the arms and legs it. For a stable position lying fighter in the bottom cushion is a saddle on which fighter rests / sits / “. Shoulder straps and springy cushion on top of the driver would provide the main machine ideal cushioning.

Why all required auxiliary machine and armored tandem “Sark”? The authors of the project description that no questions are asked. However stressed that “copy”, covering the main tankette, could serve as a moving projectile carrying explosives and destroy enemy fortifications or equipment at a distance of cable. Only historical


Single analogy ideas of inventors – assault barrel. In the wars of the past, up to the First World War, they were filled with gunpowder, shrapnel (pieces of metal shrapnel, bullets), was fitted with fuses and rolled on the enemy troops besieging the fortress. However, the creation and use of such improvised weapons cheaper anticipated cost of the project “Sark”.

ATVs and modular armored vehicle

Projects Emelyanov, Smirnova and Romanov – not the first. For thirty years before this modular and all-terrain vehicles have already been the object for reflection designers.

In late March 1916 a citizen of the British Empire Horatio Thomas Layell of Essex County addressed to the Russian ambassador in London, Count Benckendorff “Description of the improved Combined motor carts: car-sled-boat-seaplane “. Layell talked about the car, like a boat with propellers, the ability to move on any surface without losing speed. Patency of the senor chassis – wheels, floats or skids. The crew of two people, according to the engineer, could replace one another without much effort. Armament machine supposed minimal – one gun. Weakness in battle was compensated mobility and freedom of maneuver on any terrain. In a letter to the inventor admitted that even in 1914, offered the British military development, but they showed no interest in it. Alas, two years later, and Russian specialists showed no enthusiasm.

“This is an armored vehicle-cruiser. Without arms – the armored trucks … include the likes of tram cars, why, from the outside, as well as back to the absent. “
From the description of the project P. Marchenko

In December 1916, Odessa, PS Marchenko proposed Russian Minister of War, General of Infantry DS Shuvaeva other invention. His car was structurally composed of independent modules. For example, on the front of the two damaged vehicles could collect a “healthy” again and send it into battle. Arm-car cruiser inventor wanted six 75-mm cannon ship sample, four machine guns, and a tower with two anti-aircraft guns.

Unfortunately, the authors did not enclose a sketch of their machines, confining only a verbal description.

Today, many of the technical proposals era of world wars, remains on paper may cause a smile. But they remain a monument of engineering quest the hard way from the beginning of tank to its vertices. Inventors, be they citizens or subjects of the crown of the USSR, were sincere in seeking help to achieve victory on the front. Their projects await researchers in the archives.

Also read: epicycloid “oboj.” Steamroller Russian Empire .

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 «Panzerjäger Tiger (P)” Ferdinand “. Combat use. “

Sources and Literature:

  • Russian State Military History Archive (RGVIA). F.803. Op.1. D.1829. L.75.
  • RGVIA. F.803. Op.1. D.1817. L.103-104.
  • Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (RF TsAMO). F. 38. Op. 11350. D. 591. L. 2-9
  • TsAMO RF. F. 38. Op. 11350. D. 1695. L. 2-6.
  • Shperk VF Fortification dictionary. M., 1946.

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