Thursday 6 November 2014


Guderian's saying about an engine being as much of a weapon as a tank's gun could not have been more true about WWII, where operations failed or succeeded not because of millimeters of armour and gun caliber, but mobility, strategic and operational, allowing the destruction of massive groups of enemies. I have already explored the reliability of some vehicles, but what about the ones that are lesser known, but no less important than big names like T-34 and Sherman?

The above is a table of vehicles that arrives for repairs at Repair Base #7 in December of 1940. The columns are as follows:
  1. Number (column largely cut off by scanner)
  2. Unit
  3. Region and dislocation
  4. Vehicle type (A-26 is T-26, A-7 is BT-7, A-5 is BT-5, and A-2 is BT-2)
  5. Date of arrival
  6. Hull number
  7. Engine number
  8. Engine-hours total
  9. Engine hours since last repairs
With some vehicles, we're seeing some pretty good numbers! Data on the T-26 is sparse, but the one that has had its time calculated is at a whole 195 hours and 20 minutes! Although, its neighbour has only worked 86 hours before landing in the repair bay, so that's not exactly a good showing. For all the flak BT tanks caught for using worn our aircraft engines, they seem to be doing pretty well. An aged BT-2 clocks in at as much as 284 hours and 10 minutes, and 179 hours from the other isn't too shabby. Overall, there aren't any poor showers from the BT series, with the worst performer only working for 100.5 hours since it was last repaired. Overall, the tanks are pretty robust as well, raking in hundreds of engine hours over their entire lifespan. Clearly, by 1940, the BT was a refined and mature design. Sadly, by this time it was completely obsolete.

Speaking of obsolete tanks, other pages in the folder include the tanks being sent off from the repair base back to the army after being fixed. These tanks include a fair number of dual-turreted T-26es, tanks that have been out of production for nearly a decade at this point!

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