Friday, 12 July 2013

Moto-tank MT-25

Periodically, various people with interesting ideas sent them to the Soviet government, in order to help the fight against fascism. The inventions ranged anywhere from insane (spherical tanks, motorized skis, catapults) to very reasonable. This invention is more of the latter than the former.

"To the Chair of the State Committee of Defense of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I.V. Stalin.

Fulfilling our duty to the Motherland in this period of relentless and heroic struggle of the Soviet people against the German fascist occupants, and protection of our honour, freedom, and independence, we developed blueprints of a new combat vehicle.

During development, we have considered the following factors:
  1. High movement speed.
  2. Low damage as a result of being hit.
  3. Large operational range.
  4. Ability to suddenly attack the enemy.
The vehicle we have developed is called MT-25, and is a wheeled vehicle, with every wheel being a drive wheel. If tracks are added, the MT-25 becomes a tracked vehicle. The vehicle's mass is 25 tons. The average speed is 40-45 kph, maximum 100 kph. 

Since every wheel is a drive wheel, the vehicle is very survivable. Even if half of the wheels are disabled, the vehicle does not stop. When the engine uses a muffler, the vehicle moves silently. 

Armament: 47 mm gun and 3 machine guns.

We ask you to consider our proposal and accept it as a gift in honour of the Red Army's 25th anniversary.

Engineers F.F Gorodkov
A.I. Starodubtsev

February 9th, 1943"

CAMD RF 38-11355-1485

Let's take a look at this wonder-tank.

CAMD RF 38-11355-1804

It's interesting to not the various influences in the tank. The turret, when viewed from the side, is a scaled down version of the KV-1 ChTZ turret. The hull is also reminiscent of the KV-1: the "zig-zag" layout (unlike the flat faced T-34, T-50, and IS model 1944), the driver observation device, machine gun, and headlight are all in the same place. From the top, the same engine compartment cover is visible.

When you look down on the road wheels, the situation changes. The interleaved road wheels are closer to the Tiger, but in February of 1943, it's highly doubtful that some rank and file engineers have already familiarized themselves with one, as the Red Army only got their hands on a working one in January. The "every wheel is a drive wheel" was something used pretty successfully on the BT-7M. 


  1. A very interesting article. Thank you!

  2. The Soviet engineers would have seen interleaved road wheels in the German half tracks by that point.

    I didn't realize that the road wheels were power-driven. Were they also capable of pivoting to turn the tank, or did the tank skid-steer when it was running on wheels?

    1. Yes, they do look very similar. As for pivoting, I don't know. By the looks of it, probably not, since no wheel is capable of turning both left and right.

  3. Do you know if the maximum speed was with tracks removed? IIRC the BT series could go considerably faster on wheels, this would probably also see a speed increase with the more efficient system of travel - Xlucine

    1. 100 kph was the theoretical maximum without tracks, but who knows what real speed could have been achieved. This tank was never built.

    2. Aah, so it's not really fair to say the speed is drastically reduced from historical as you did in the FTR post

    3. It is fair IMO because it will NOT go 100kph in the game: they won't give you the option to remove tracks. Hence, it's a nerf because it removes a realistic ability.

      As an aside I did read that WG has found a way to implement wheeled vehicles. Does this mean they may implement some as scouts for instance in the distant future? Could be a lot of fun, I miss the pre-physics 50-2.

  4. Shame the little guy wasn't built, it's adorable. It looks like Babby's First KV.

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