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T-26 obr 1939 (SU002) T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)

The Soviet T-26 light tank was based on the British Vickers 6-Ton tank Mark E. The Vickers was one of the most successful tank designs of the 1930s and was adopted by a number of countries. A Vickers was tested in Leningrad and a license to build the tank was obtained from Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. The initial models were very similar to the Vickers design.

By 1941 it was the most common tank in the Soviet arsenal. Over 12000 were produced between 1931 and 1941. Initial variants used a twin turret arrangement with machine-guns and/or 37mm guns.

T-26 obr 1931 - Twin turret version with machine-guns.

T-26 obr 1932 - Twin turret version with 37 mm gun in one turret and machine-gun in other.

T-26 TU - Command version with radios.

T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)
T-26 obr 1939 (SU002) In 1933 a design with a single BT style turret mounting the Soviet 45mm gun was put into production and became the most numerous version in service.

T-26 obr 1933 - single turret version with 45mm gun.

A new conical turret was introduced in 1938, incorporating sloped armour.

T-26 obr 1938 - New semi-conical turret with sloped armour.
An finally in a further development the hull sides were sloped to add further armour protection to give the final model of the T-26.

T-26 obr 1939 (T-26S) - Semi-conical turret and increased armour with sloped hull sides.

The T-26 first saw action against the Japanese on the Manchurian border in 1934 and 1935.
T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)
T-26 obr 1939 (SU002) During the Spanish civil war of 1936-39 both Germany and the Soviet Union used the conflict as a proving ground for new equipment and the T-26 was sent to aid the Republican forces with 362 T-26 obr 1933 seeing service. Their 45mm gun proved very effective against the light machine-gun armed German and Italian tanks with its HE round also effective against infantry and guns.
In the Winter War with Finland, Soviets used large numbers of T-26s. The Finns soon captured sizable numbers and added them to their own arsenals. During the conflict the T-26s armour was found wanting against towed anti-tank weapons such as the 37mm Bofors anti-tank gun.

During Operation Barbarossa, the T-26 made up the bulk of the Soviet Unions tank forces.

T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)
T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)
The T-26 was able to take on the German Panzer II, Panzer 35(t) and Panzer 38(t) light tanks, however were outclassed by the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Because of the age of the T-26 fleet, many were 7 or 8 years old, they proved mechanically unreliable in combat. Combined with poor leadership and training, this unreliability led to huge losses of tanks and men. By mid-1942 they had become uncommon, with the few units remaining being the newer T-26 obr 1939 who had been previously stationed in the east away from the initial fighting.
In Flames of War

You can field the T-26 obr 1939 as part of the Mixed Tankovy Batalon, and now as support for a Strelkovy Batalon.

The T-26 obr 1939 like most Soviet tanks has Limited Vision; it is also Slow (8”/20cm cross-country) and Unreliable. It has armour of: Front 1, Side 1 and Top 1. It is armed with the 45mm Tank gun with a range of 24”/60cm, ROF 2, AT 7 and FP 4+.

Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Casey Davies

T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)
 T-26 obr 1939 (SU002) T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)
T-26 obr 1939 (SU002) T-26 obr 1939 (SU002)

Last Updated On Monday, August 3, 2009 by Blake at Battlefront