Sunday 29 December 2013

World of Tanks History Section: T-100 Variants

In 1938-1939, Soviet engineers worked on a new heavy tank with anti-shell armour. The vehicle was going to replace the menacing looking, but not all that dangerous, T-35. Three projects competed, and the KV won. The T-100 and SMK remained prototypes, albeit ones in metal.

The T-100 was built at factory #185 in Leningrad. It was a 58 ton vehicle with two guns: 76 and 45 mm. In December of 1939, the Military Council of the North-West Front ordered an engineering vehicle to be built on its chassis. The factory began working on this project, but soon after, ABTU demanded that an assault tank be built on the T-100 chassis, with a 152 mm gun, designed to combat enemy fortifications. Work on the engineering tank ceased. Factory director N. Barykov obtained permission to use the 130 mm B-13 naval gun instead of a 152 mm gun.

The new vehicle received the index T-100-X. Instead of a rotating turret like on the T-100, the T-100-X had an immobile wedge-shaped casemate. The hull was to be built at the Izhor factory, and the suspension at factory #185.

In order to speed up construction, the casemate was simplified. This was the shape that it took in March of 1940. Along with a new casemate, the vehicle received a new name: T-100-Y. This SPG is also known as SU-100-Y. The original intention was that the SPG would be trialled in combat against the Finns, but the war already ended. Nevertheless, the vehicle was sent to Karelia to shoot at bunkers. The gun performed well, but the military did not like the large size and heavy weight of the SPG, and so it remained a prototype. Sources say that it fought with the experimental SU-14 and SU-14-1 SPGs in defense of Moscow in winter of 1941, providing indirect fire support against the Germans.

In January of 1940, another project on the T-100 chassis started. Army Commander 1st grade G. Kulik ordered the tank to be equipped with a 152 mm M-10 howitzer in a rotating turret. This project was indexed T-100-Z. The turret was ready by March of 1940, but it was never installed on the T-100. That project ended when the KV-1 and KV-2 were accepted for service.

Original article available here.

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