Thursday, 16 October 2014

Nezhinets' Wonder-tank

"To the GABTU chief, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko

From a student of the VAMM Stalin Military Academy, Lieutenant Nezhinets, Ivan Ivanovich

From May 1938, I worked alongside Military Technician 2nd Grade comrade I.M. Sharalapov on orders from Colonel-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Pavlov. We completed all tasks assigned to us.

In response to my letter in May 1940 addressed to Colonel-General Pavlov, Colonel-General Pavlov replied with orders to develop special equipment for tank units. This equipment has been developed by comrade Sharalapov and I, and a new universal tank designed to use it.

This tank uses a new 300 hp diesel type engine, which burns fuel in a different way and a hydraulic gearbox. There is no electric starter, which makes the tank easier to maintain and resistant to various rays. The suspension has a convertible drive, the hull and turret are aerodynamic in shape. The conical turret has a rotation mechanism. The gun has a loading mechanism, which lets the third crewman work on fire correction and other equipment which will be used in more difficult combat situations.

The tank has a mass of approximately 14 tons, with a maximum speed of 100 kph. If one or two track links break on one track, the tank does not stop moving, due to an improved chassis. Driving the vehicle will be made simpler due to a lack of clutch. In the winter, the vehicle can be heated by recycling air.

When tanks are used in more difficult combat situations, it is equipped with special devices which protect the crew from anti-tank rifles and poison gases (the tank is air-tight). The engine is cooled with special devices. The driver's controls are two-sided, making it easy for large tank units to make 180 degree turns in tight spaces and makes vehicles more maneuverable in combat.

The vehicle is designed for improved independence from other vehicles. It is equipped with a hydraulic compressor to generate pressurized compressed air, with several advantages over the one designed in 1939. The compressed air can be used to:

  1. Start vehicles.
  2. Operate tow cranes when the engine has broken down.
  3. To repel poison gases.
  4. To clean the vehicle from dirt and dust.
  5. For other specialized uses.
Such a vehicle can also be equipped with a trailer.

Comrade Lieutenant-General, allow me to report to you more detailed combat and technical characteristics on this vehicle.

Lieutenant Nezhinets
February 7th, 1941"


  1. So, what became of this proposal? I'm assuming the devices were used somewhere else, if at all.

    1. Compressed air starters were a thing, and positive pressure inside the fighting compartment was definitely used in the T-55A and up. Diesel engines, obviously. I don't think that two-sided driver controls were a thing on Soviet vehicles, but the Germans definitely used them.

      Some ideas of this design are rational, but obviously the whole thing is kind of nuts.