Weapons 19/03/20 “Snow tanks”: why the Soviet Union created bronzani in the Winter war

whatever you say, but our country is very inhospitable to foreign invaders. To move through its territory, no easy task. The autumn and the spring thaw would wash away the road, they’ll take snow drifts. It is not surprising that in the armed forces of our country first in the world to a snowmobile equipped with machine guns and armor.

Ahead of all

strangely enough, but the first snowmobiles appeared in Russia before the revolution. Their serial production was deployed in 1912, and in WWI they proved themselves on the battlefields in winter. However, in most cases, these unusual vehicles were used for reconnaissance, not combat. They were fast, quiet and maneuverable. The first production snowmobile in the Soviet Union was the modification of the number NKL – 26. It should be noted that the snowmobile is constantly improving. In their design there was armor and guns. At the same time, between the wars of the first half of the twentieth century in the far North the snowmobile was also used in the national economy. But the massive use of snowmobiles during hostilities began during the Soviet-Finnish war.

Snow tank

As is known the fields of the Finnish war became a testing ground of the red Army to test new types of military equipment and coordination of the actions of the Soviet troops in the winter time. It was here that was first used by the Soviet heavy tanks. However, very quickly it turned out that in winter conditions, on rough terrain they are of little use. Needed lightweight, maneuverable, well-armed machine, able to move quickly through deep snow. Snowmobile, could not be better suited for this task. The first troops arrived in civilian models of snowmobiles ANT – IV, designed by A. N. Tupolev and the NKL – 16, konstrucchi N. M. Andreev. On them in an emergency order were mounted ShKAS machine guns. However, the availability of light weapons could not protect the crew of the snowmobile from enemy bullets and shells. We need a new model snowmobiles are protected by armor. To solve this problem, in 1940-m to year in the country by the forces of several design Bureau began development of a patrol bonesana, and on 11 December 1940 published a special resolution of SNK USSR No. 451СС, in which was approved tactical and technical requirements for creating bonesana weight of 3.5 tonnes. Responsible work entrusted CDB – 50, is engaged in designing armored, and the production bonesana transferred to Shipyard No. 5 of the NKVD of the USSR.

the Crew battle

the Crew of snowmobiles consisted of two people. The first set was made on 25 January 1941. Most interesting is that at the cost bronsan was comparable to a light tank T-50. Their length reached 7 metres and the mechanism itself was more like a boat, mounted on two wide skis, than on the sled, in the conventional sense of the word. The body of the snowmobile, was indeed armored. The movement of the snowmobile was operated using aircraft engine M-103A with a capacity of 850 horsepower. As the weapons on bronzani mounted tank turret, developed for the tank-amphibious T-40. In fact, brodersen was outgun other tanks. They had: a 23-mm automatic aircraft cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun. But, unfortunately, during the tests bronzani received a lot of criticism. They were too heavy and very expensive, and bad showed itself while moving over rough terrain. In the end, in the spring of 1941 it was decided to start developing new bonesana hovercraft, which could be used not only in winter but in summer on the rivers and lakes. It should be noted that this project was a prototype of the Soviet Union a large family of hovercrafts.

© Russian Seven

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