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  • T-70; better as an APC.

    This went nowhere in Weapons of War, so I thought I would try it out here-

    The factory that made the T-70 was incapable of producing heavy or even medium tanks, that's that rationale given for producing this tank, anyhow.

    It was chopped up, about like any other tank with a one-man turret in that war, but there was another alternative- why not make it an APC?
    The Red army could have been well ahead of the rest of the world in this- nobody else had a fully tracked and armored APC, aside from the little Bren-gun carrier... not a great machine.

    With a slightly wider chassis and a longer armored box, this could have worked, and would probably been much more useful to the Tank Corps than a mess of light tanks... or would it?

    What do the Ivans think?
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

  • #2
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    This went nowhere in Weapons of War, so I thought I would try it out here-

    The factory that made the T-70 was incapable of producing heavy or even medium tanks, that's that rationale given for producing this tank, anyhow.

    It was chopped up, about like any other tank with a one-man turret in that war, but there was another alternative- why not make it an APC?
    The Red army could have been well ahead of the rest of the world in this- nobody else had a fully tracked and armored APC, aside from the little Bren-gun carrier... not a great machine.

    With a slightly wider chassis and a longer armored box, this could have worked, and would probably been much more useful to the Tank Corps than a mess of light tanks... or would it?

    What do the Ivans think?
    They made the SU-76 instead, lots of them.

    Scott Fraser
    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

    Comment


    • #3
      Not a bad idea, but I am talking back to late 41 or early 42. A good APC could have made a big difference in a lot of battles.
      And the SU-76 was not a very popular machine, and less and less effecitve from late 43 onwards.

      Does anyone have a simple line-drawing of the T-70 with the scale? It would be easy to show what I am talking about if I could draw up a 3-view.
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
        Not a bad idea, but I am talking back to late 41 or early 42. A good APC could have made a big difference in a lot of battles.
        And the SU-76 was not a very popular machine, and less and less effecitve from late 43 onwards.
        They had the T-20 Komsomolets tractor, roughly equivalent to a British Carrier, normally used to tow organic guns and anti-tank guns. Infantry walked. Not even the Germans had any great quantity of armoured halftracks in 1941.

        Once war began, any notion of APCs became pure fantasy. All resources went to tanks, first of all, and trucks a distant second. None of the older tanks were still in production (BT, T-26, T-28, T-35, T-38). TProduction had begin of the T-34 and KV, and that was the future except there were not very many yet. Once war began, they got priority. The T-40 was downgraded to the T-30, the T-50 had the longest shortest career of any tank ever, and pretty much everything else was abandoned.

        The T-60 was cobbled together from truck engines, flat armour plates, and minimum suspension and armament. One driver, one gunner, armed with a 20mm TNSh machine cannon. It was a ghastly thing to die in, but they could be built by workers without a lot of skill and without sophisticated machinery.

        The T-70 was a distinct improvement. They built those while they needed them, but in 1943 it was becoming apparent that there were only limited roles remaining for light tanks. The T-34 had become the primary tank, their numbers now displacing both heavy tanks and light tanks on the battlefield, and there was a complete reorientation in tank design. The outcome was that the KV was abandoned in favour of the IS-2, and the T-70 was abandoned in favour of using that production capacity for the SU-76.

        As for unpopular, they were tempermental, unreliable, offered little shelter and very limited armour protection.

        Regarding effectiveness, they only appeared in 1943. They had the very versatile 76mm ZiS-3 gun, capable of firing in direct or indirect capacity, with an effective high-explosive round, a armour-piercing round capable of taking out anything up to a Panther, and sub-caliber munitions to take on the scary tanks. NB: They were NOT intended to be used against tanks. That is a myth.

        Look at it this way. They had lots. In the last part of the war there were around 12,000 built. Every rifle brigade had 60 of them, organic batteries dispatched as necessary to support an attack on a strongpoint, up close and personal, like a big Universal Carrier with a 17-pdr, or held behind and used for bombardment. There were tanks around to deal with enemy tanks.

        As for mobile infantry, the only units that had a need for organic transport into battle were the reconnaissance troops. By 1944 they were riding in armoured scout cars, halftracks and Carriers, and trucks of course. What role remained for light tanks, again for reconnaissance, was also being met by Lend-Lease vehicles.

        I think there are basically two answers to your question. In 1940-41, they had tractors, and new ones in development, but the invasion changed priorities and ruled them out. By the end of 1943, when the Red Army was gearing up to roll back over the Germans, they wanted guns, and tanks, and the infantry could walk or ride on other vehicles.

        Does anyone have a simple line-drawing of the T-70 with the scale? It would be easy to show what I am talking about if I could draw up a 3-view.
        I think AMVAS has a site linked from here.

        Cheers
        Scott Fraser
        Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

        A contentedly cantankerous old fart

        Comment


        • #5
          Ironically, the closer you got to the Front, the more interest in an armored carrier for infantry you find. As early as late 1942 there were already captured German half-tracks being used in some tank brigades to carry a company or so of erstwhile 'tank riders'. I've found specific mention of 3, and I'll bet there were more than that as no one voluntarily reported captured equipment if they could get away with it, for fear of having it taken away by higher HQ or the ordinance types. In addition to the 1000s of British and US armored carriers sent through Lend Lease, by the end of the war Soviet sources claim to have some 1500 German APCs in service.
          By the way, some Canadian 'Ram' tanks were converted to armored personnel carriers, and were used in Northwestern Europe in 1944. I'm not sure of the specifics of how many infantry they could carry.
          There are also several photographs that I've seen of T-60 or T-70 tanks without turrets being used by both German and Soviet units as tractors in 1942-43, and from them it doesn't look as if the tank, even with the entire turret removed, could hold more than 4-5 infantry, or about a half-squad. This would make it far more suitable for a reconnaissance team than an infantry squad, and with all the Universal carriers and M3 Scout Cars available from overseas after 1942, why bother?

          Comment


          • #6
            why bother?
            To improve the effectiveness of the Infantry, and maybe even extend their life-expectancy a little.

            The universal carrires must have gone to pieces very quickly in Russia, and that figure of 1,500 captured German halftracks sounds doubtful... altho i have no doubt they hesitated to report them, that's something that goes on in every army!
            (You should have seen all the nonsense that went on with the BMP-2 my guys captured in Iraq... we wound up having to burn the thing instead of taking it home as a trophy or give it to the Kuwaitis.)

            US halftracks we sent, but never enough to make Red Army infantry track-mobile. As you say, they were snapped up by Recon and H.Q. units.

            Take the T-70, turn it around so the motor is up front, and make the chassis a third of a meter wider. Extend the armored box back a ways and you will have room for a squad, and a good mounting for their MG or AT rifle.
            This way, they would not have needed to pair cavalry units with Tank Brigades and the tank-riders would have had a machine that could have carried some heavy weapons for them. How many T-70s were made?

            I'm not saying it would have shortened the war, but a lot more of the Grunts might have survived long enough to become much better at their trade.
            "Why is the Rum gone?"

            -Captain Jack

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
              why bother?
              To improve the effectiveness of the Infantry, and maybe even extend their life-expectancy a little.
              You miss the point. They declined 12000 armoured taxicabs, choosing to build 12000 self-propelled guns. Quite apart from a competely different industrial situation, a different tactical doctrine, different military situation and complete lack of any moral imperative to coddle their troops, I should think 12000 self-propelled guns were a pretty effective enhancement in their own right, and did much more to prolong the life of the average infantryman than any comfy ride. This is particularly so, because one could easily make a case that their use on the battlefield shortened the war far more that 12000 armoured taxis.

              US halftracks we sent, but never enough to make Red Army infantry track-mobile. As you say, they were snapped up by Recon and H.Q. units.
              Who said that? I said that the halftracks and other US 4x4s were allocated to reconnaissance units, because the recon force was deemed the only infantry that required autonomous mobility. Those units, as far as I know, used equipment they were assigned, and did not "snap it up" out of depots or off docks.

              Those allocations were in accord with Red Army "operational art" and the TOE, and were not haphazard or random. People tend to make wild assumptions about the proportion to the Wehrmacht that was motorized, in either trucks or halftracks. Even in the US Army, where troops had it easier than anywhere else, the footsoldiers were on foot.

              Take the T-70, turn it around so the motor is up front, and make the chassis a third of a meter wider. Extend the armored box back a ways and you will have room for a squad, and a good mounting for their MG or AT rifle.

              This way, they would not have needed to pair cavalry units with Tank Brigades and the tank-riders would have had a machine that could have carried some heavy weapons for them. How many T-70s were made?

              I'm not saying it would have shortened the war, but a lot more of the Grunts might have survived long enough to become much better at their trade.
              They took the T-70 and lengthened it, widened it, gave it a gun and had a weapon. Had they stuck eight men in the back and given it a sparkler, they would have had a target, no more than that.

              AMVAS has a good site where you can find out about no cavalry units, and desanty, or tank-borne infantry. Not all Red Army infantry were desanty. There is data on the T-70M, as mentioned earlier, as well as the SU-76 and Ya-12, which is relevant. Help yourself.

              The Red Army used what they had and made things they thought they needed. Despite your impressions of their ineffectiveness or inferior equipment, they did beat the Germans, and they did win the war.

              Cheers
              Scott Fraser
              Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

              A contentedly cantankerous old fart

              Comment


              • #8
                Quit snapping at shadows already, unless you can show hwo I am being so disparaging of the Red Army.
                I did read your whole post, and Shap's too. Good posts, but I am trying to respond to both at once and that is not working very well.

                I am looking at the export figures, and this might be interesting-
                M15; AA halftrack with twin 50 cal and one 37mm- 100 shipped.
                T48, a.k.a. SU-57, 650
                (15 transferred to the Polish People's Army, 7th SP Artillery battery)
                M2, M5, M9 APCs- 1158
                plus a small number of other variants.

                Two thousand Halftracks might sound like a lot, but not really, given the voracious needs of the biggest army in the world. Naturally, they were used by units with special need for them; Recon, HQ, Artillery spotters and so on. Even if all of the weapons carriers were converted back to troop carriers, they could barely have met the needs of a handful of Tank Corps.

                I am trying to be technical here, not political.

                And yes, 12,000 SU-76 were useful, the Soviet equivalent of the Marder, but even by 1943 it's days were numbered, and in no way could it fill the role of the Stug III. They also had a elevation limited to about 15 degrees, so it coudl not provide indirect fire.

                Right into 1945, Russian tanks repeatedly left the infantry behind and suffered badly for that. This is a means to preserve the offensive power of the Tank Regiments, not to make life "easy" for the infantry!

                A T-70 APC would have given the Red Army the best APC in the world in 1942. It would have had better cross-country performance than any Halftrack, a far tougher target to disable and could have been armored to resist 20mm fire. It would have been a worthy companion to the tanks that were being produced at such great effort.... and should have been proposed as soon as it was seen how helpful the Sdkfz. 251 was to the Panzer divisions.

                Yes, I'm not a Russian, I don't have that POV. I will have a look at AMVAS as soon as I get a chance.
                Last edited by The Exorcist; 23 Feb 10, 01:58.
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

                Comment


                • #9
                  I will have a look at AMVAS as soon as I get a chance.

                  Aw damn... it's not in his signature anymore. Where is it?
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                    I will have a look at AMVAS as soon as I get a chance.

                    Aw damn... it's not in his signature anymore. Where is it?
                    Well it's here:

                    http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/

                    But do you see the title bar at the top of the forum under the menu (user CP FAQ/Forum Rules etc.)?

                    RKKA (The Russian Army) in World War II Discuss the Russian armed forces in World War II. Hosted by our resident Russian expert, AMVAS. Please visit his RKKA in WW2 Website.

                    "Website" contains the link.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Marders were anti-tank guns on an open platform, and used in that role by anti-tank units. The SU-76 was not. The StuGs were originally used much as the SU-76, no doubt, but were fully armoured guns on a medium tank chassis, not quite the same. Their equivalent would be more the SU-122 or SU-85, not the SU-76. That's an important point: There was no equivalent of the SU-76 in the German arsenal, or the British or American for that matter. Think of it as a platoon of big Bren Carriers with a potent 76mm assigned to each battalion.

                      As great an idea as APCs may be, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride, and so would Red Army infantry. They certainly pursued the idea after the war, and by 1950 had a PT-76 that swam, had a 76 mm gun in a turret, and carried a squad of infantry. That design was built on the experience of the T-40 and T-70 and the desire for a self-sufficient infantry delivery system, to give it a fancy name.

                      The fact of the matter is that APCs were a novel idea first proved by the Wehrmacht at the considerable expense of the Red Army. No doubt they were suitably impressed, but they must have thought the idea of an armoured vehicle to carry infantry, instead of a gun, as a luxury beyond the needs of the time. It's important to remember the time, too. There was confidence in ultimate victory in 1943, but still no light at the end of the tunnel.

                      Cheers
                      Scott Fraser
                      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by joea View Post
                        Well it's here:

                        http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/

                        But do you see the title bar at the top of the forum under the menu (user CP FAQ/Forum Rules etc.)?
                        Thanks, missed that part.
                        Lots of great stuff, and blueprints for just about every tank... except the damn T-70.


                        Oh well, at least they had production figures... 8,200 of the little buggers!
                        Yes, they were better than previous light tanks, but not even a match for the TNPH tanks, tactically.

                        Okay, they didn't want to build APCs until they were sure they had enough tanks. I guess the feasibility of the idea ends there.
                        But... would the last 6,000 produced have been a better investment as APCs?
                        "Why is the Rum gone?"

                        -Captain Jack

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                          Thanks, missed that part.
                          Lots of great stuff, and blueprints for just about every tank... except the damn T-70.
                          And AMVAS is unaware about this state of art...
                          Merely I have no enough hands to post every blueprint I have
                          Which ones do you need? Early models T-70, or later T-70M or what else?


                          Oh well, at least they had production figures... 8,200 of the little buggers!
                          Yes, they were better than previous light tanks, but not even a match for the TNPH tanks, tactically.

                          Okay, they didn't want to build APCs until they were sure they had enough tanks. I guess the feasibility of the idea ends there.
                          But... would the last 6,000 produced have been a better investment as APCs?
                          Here are more exact figures for T-70 production


                          Regards
                          Alex
                          If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just a quick reply to your posts.
                            why T-70 chassis was not used for APC?
                            The question is quite easy - because in the time it was produced a front needed tanks, tanks and tanks. Neither in 1942 nor in 1943 there was no time for making modifications of it. When the tank chassis became old enough to be used for tank production the easiest way to use it was making SP guns based on it.
                            Frankly, building APCs on tank chassis was not a good idea, because it is absolutely another kind of vehicles. You could see German case, when having plenty of different chassis they also preferred to make SP guns, antiaircraft vehicles based on the old tank models, but not APCs, which they had lack of.
                            It would be better idea to convert T-70's chassis into some prime-mover. Thus Ya-12 was designed with wide usage of T-70's units as far as I can remember. Later it developed itself as an individual vehicle model.
                            But it was late enough to make further modifications in APC, because that time wheeled APCs were in favor...

                            Regards
                            Alex
                            If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                            Comment


                            • #15



                              Blueprints of late T-70M model autumn 1943 GAZ plant production
                              If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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