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T-26

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T-26 (Stock)

AnnoT-26.png
Totals
3700 Price
150 Hit Points
9.25 / 10.2 kgWeight
Crew
  1. Commander
Armor
15/15/15Hull Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
30/15/15Turret Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
Maneuver
90 h.p.Engine Power
36 km/hSpeed Limit
54 deg/secTraverse Speed
Firepower
36 Standard Shell Damage
40 mmStandard Shell Penetration
2.3 Time for Complete Loading
46 deg/secTurret Traverse Speed
Communication
280 mView Range
265 mSignal Range
II
T-26
3700
Produced in greater numbers than any other tank of the Red Army during the pre-war period, with 11,218 vehicles in four main modifications built from 1931 through 1941.

This is the first tank in the Soviet heavy tank branch. The armor on the T-26 is only slightly better than the BT-2, which is nothing to boast about; both have less armor than the tier I MS-1 starter tank. While the BT-2 is much faster than the aforementioned MS-1, the T-26 gets more health and better traverse speeds, making it more suited for a more cautious play style. Depending on which gun you chose, the T-26 can be an excellent sniper, and its incredible traverse speeds mean it can still be effective in close quarters.

T-26

Stock

Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret II T-26 mod. 1936–1937 850 30/15/15 46 280
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun I 37 mm B-3 77 40/64/19 36/36/40 26.09 0.46 2.3
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine I T-26 545 90 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis I T-26 1880 10.2 54
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio II 71-TK-1 0 265

T-26 mod 1940

Attack

Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret II T-26 mod. 1936–1937 850 30/15/15 46 280
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun II 45 mm 20K 250 51/88/23 47/47/62 26.09 0.46 2.3
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine II T-26M 545 100 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis II T-26M 1880 12.7 55
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio III 71-TK-3 0 300

T-26 mod 1938

Speed

Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret III T-26 mod. 1938 1050 15/15/15 48 310
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun III 37 mm ZiS-19 200 58/92/19 40/40/50 26.09 0.39 2.3
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine II T-26F 545 130 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis II T-26M 1880 12.7 55
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio III 71-TK-3 0 300

T-26-3

Attack

Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret III T-26 mod. 1938 1050 15/15/15 48 310
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun II 23 mm VJa 71 30/42/19 12/12/40 116.13 0.54 1.7
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine II T-26F 545 130 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis II T-26M 1880 12.7 55
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio III 71-TK-3 0 300

Compatible Equipment

Small Spall Liner
Camouflage Net
Coated Optics
Enhanced Gun Laying Drive
Enhanced Vickers Suspension
Cyclone Filter
Improved Ventilation Class 1
Binocular Telescope
Toolbox

Compatible Consumables

Automatic Fire Extinguisher
Manual Fire Extinguisher
Large First Aid Kit
Large Repair Kit
Lend-Lease Oil
Extra Combat Rations
Removed Speed Governor
Small First Aid Kit
Small Repair Kit

Player Opinion

Pros and Cons

Pros:


  • High maneuverability
  • Good penetration and accuracy
  • Above average HP
  • Large selection of guns


Cons:


  • Low top speed
  • Thin armor
  • Second turret is a downgrade in armor aspect
  • Low signal range


Performance

Try to play in a defensive stance or in a second line of defense, and avoid tanks such as the Pz.Kpfw. II or BT-2 near you as they will destroy this tank quickly with their mobility and superior firepower. But despite this, it can lead a battle quite well. The 37 mm ZiS-19 has reasonable accuracy, so using it as a pocket sniper has great advantages, and the 23 mm VJa can provide good suppression fire as your allies move up. And despite it's thin armor, it is sloped enough that you can bounce auto-cannon shots, but don't count on it, and keep yourself at a reasonable distance. Any tank can penetrate this, and won't hesitate to fire upon you.


Early Research

  • Researching the 45 mm 20K first will provide you with greater damage and penetration with no loss in accuracy or rate of fire.
  • Upgrade the engine next. Go straight for the T-26F engine to save yourself some money. They have the same weight, so that isn't an issue.
  • Upgrade the suspension.
  • Go from there.


Historical Info

T-26 The prototype of STZ-25 (T-25) wheeled-tracked light tank during tests at the Kubinka Tank Proving Ground, September 1939.

The T-26 tank was a Soviet light infantry tank used during many conflicts of the 1930s as well as during World War II. It was a development of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank and is widely considered one of the most successful tank designs of the 1930s. It was produced in greater numbers than any other tank of the period, with more than 11,000 produced. During the 1930s, the USSR developed approximately 53 variants of the T-26, including other combat vehicles based on its chassis. Twenty-three of these were mass-produced. The T-26 was used extensively in the armies of Spain, China and Turkey. In addition, captured T-26 light tanks were used by the Finnish, German, Romanian and Hungarian armies. Though nearly obsolete by the beginning of World War II, the T-26 was the most important tank of the Spanish Civil War and played a significant role during the Battle of Lake Khasan in 1938 as well as in the Winter War in 1939-40. The T-26 was the most numerous tank in the Red Army's armored force during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The Soviet T-26 light tanks last saw use in August 1945, in Manchuria. The T-26 was reliable and simple to maintain, and its design was continually modernised between 1931 and 1941, with a total of 11,218 vehicles built. However, no new models of the T-26 were developed after 1940.

Development history

T-26 mod 1933 turret looking forward at the 45 mm gun

The Soviets did not simply replicate the Vickers Six-Ton. Like its British counterpart, the T-26 mod. 1931 had a twin-turreted configuration and was designed to carry two machine guns, mounting one in each turret. A major difference between the Soviet T-26 mod. 1931 and the British 6-Ton were higher turrets on the T-26, complete with observation slit. Also Soviet turrets had a round firing port for the DT tank machine gun, as opposed to the rectangular ports used by the original British design for the Vickers machine gun. The front part of the hull was also slightly modified. Hulls of twin-turreted T-26s were assembled using armoured plates riveted to a frame from metal angles. Some tanks, produced in 1931, had sealing zinc shims at the hull bottom at the interface between armoured plates for fording water obstacles. After experiencing problems with precipitation entering the engine compartment, a special cover was installed over an air outlet window after March 1932. A number of T-26s produced at the end of 1932-1933 had a riveted and welded hull. The T-26 mod. 1931 had two cylindrical turrets mounted on ball bearings; each turret turned independently through 240°. Both turrets could provide common fire in front and rear arcs of fire (100° each). The disadvantage of such a configuration was the impossibility of focusing all of the tank's firepower on a single target. Four technological modifications of turrets existed, and they were mounted on tanks in different combinations (for instance, a tank with a riveted hull could have riveted and welded turrets). The hull and turrets of the T-26 mod. 1931 had a maximum armour thickness of 13-15 mm, which was sufficient to withstand a light machine gun fire. Nevertheless, many twin-turreted tanks of the first series had 10 mm armour plates of low quality, which could be penetrated by 7.62 mm armour-piercing bullets from 150 m. In 1938, the T-26 was upgraded to the model 1938 version which had a new conical turret with better anti-bullet resistance but the same welded hull as the T-26 mod. 1933 produced in 1935-1936. This proved insufficient in the Battle of Lake Khasan, which took place in 1938, so the tank was upgraded once more in February 1939 to have an underturret box with sloped (23°) 20 mm side armoured plates. The turret featured an increase to 20 mm at 18 degrees sloping. This time it was designated T-26-1 (known as the T-26 mod. 1939 in modern sources). There would be subsequent attempts to thicken the front plate, but T-26 production soon ended in favor of other designs, such as the T-34.

T-26 mod. 1931. with welded turrets after repair and modernization

In 1933, the Soviets unveiled the T-26 mod. 1933. The Model 1933, with a new single cylindrical turret carrying one 45 mm cannon and one 7.62 mm machine gun, would become the most common T-26 variant. The 45 mm 20K tank gun was based on the German Pak 35/36 cannon acquired in 1930. The T-26 could carry up to three secondary DT 7.62 mm machine guns in coaxial, rear, and anti-aircraft mounts. This increased fire-power was intended to aid crews in defeating dedicated anti-tank teams, as the original machine gun armament had been found insufficient. The turret rear ball mounting for the additional DT tank machine gun was installed on the T-26 tanks from the end of 1935 until 1939. The T-26 Model 1933 carried 122 rounds of 45 mm ammunition, firing armour-piercing 45 mm rounds with a muzzle velocity of 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s), or lower-velocity high-explosive munitions. Tanks intended for company commanders were equipped with a radio set and a hand-rail radio antenna on the turret. Later the hand-rail antenna was replaced with a buggy-whip antenna, because theSpanish Civil War and Battle of Lake Khasan demonstrated that the hand-rail antenna unmasked commander tanks for enemy fire. The tank was powered by a T-26 90 hp (67 kW) flat row 4-cylinder air-cooled petrol engine which represented a Soviet full copy of the Armstrong Siddeley engine used in the Vickers 6-Ton. The engine was located in the rear part of the hull. In the beginning, Soviet-made tank engines were of bad quality; they were improved beginning in 1934. The T-26 (Armstrong Siddeley) engine did not have an over-speed limiter, which often resulted in overheating and engine valve breakage, especially in summer. A fuel tank for 182 liters and an oil box for 27 liters were placed alongside of the engine. The engine required top-grade petrol; the use of second-rate petrol could cause damage to the valve units because of engine detonation. From mid 1932, a more capacious fuel tank (290 L instead of 182 L) and a simplified oil box were introduced. An engine cooling fan was mounted over the engine in a special shroud. From spring 1932, the exhaust muffler was affixed by three clamps instead of two. The transmission of the T-26 consisted of single-disk main dry clutch, a gearbox with five gears in the front part of the vehicle, steering clutches, final drives and band brakes. The gearbox was connected to the engine by a drive shaft passing through the vehicle. A gear change lever was mounted directly on the gearbox. A tank suspension (for each side) consisted of two bogies, four rubber-covered return rollers, a track driving wheel and a track idler. Each bogie consisted of a cast box, four twin rubber-covered road wheels connected by balancing levers and two one-quarter elliptic leaf springs. The cast track driving wheel with removable sprocket ring was located in front, and the track idler with a crank lever tightener was located in the rear part of the vehicle. A track made from chrome-nickel steel was 260 mm (10 in) wide and consisted of 108-109 links. The T-26 mod. 1931 did not have a radio set. A tank commander communicated with the driver by speaking tube, which was replaced with a signalling lamp in 1932. The T-26 was equipped with one fire extinguisher, a kit of spare parts tools and accessories (including a tank jack), a canvas stowage, and a tow chain fixed on the rear of the hull. The T-26 could cross 0.75 m high vertical obstacles and 2.1 m wide trenches, ford 0.8 m deep water obstacles, cut 33 cm thick trees and climb 40° gradients. The T-26 proved to be easy to drive. Beginning in 1937, there was an effort to equip many tanks with a second machine gun in the rear of the turret and an anti-aircraft machine gun on top of it, as well as the addition of two searchlights above the gun for night gunnery, a new VKU-3 command system, and a TPU-3 intercom. Some tanks had vertically stabilised TOP-1 gun telescopic sight. Ammunition stowage for the main gun was improved from 122 rounds to 147. In 1938, the cylindrical turret was replaced with a conical turret, with the same 45 mm model 1934 gun. Some T-26s mod. 1938/1939, equipped with radio set, had a PTK commander's panoramic sight.

Combat history

Twin-turreted T-26 armed with the 76.2 mm recoilless gun

The T-26 entered active service for the Red Army (RKKA) in 1932; it was used in many conflicts of 1930s as well as during World War II. The T-26 together with the BT was the main tank of the RKKA during the interwar period. The T-26 tank first saw action in the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union provided Republican Spain with a total of 281 T-26 mod. 1933 tanks starting in October 1936. T-26s were used in almost all military operations of the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939 and demonstrated there a superiority over the German Panzer I light tanks and Italian CV-33 tankettes armed only with machine guns. The first military operation of the RKKA in which T-26 light tanks participated was the Soviet-Japanese border conflict, the Battle of Lake Khasan, in July 1938. The 2nd Mechanised Brigade, the 32nd and the 40th Separate Tank Battalions had 257 T-26s, from which 76 tanks were damaged and 9 burnt towards the end of battle action. A small number of T-26 tanks and flame-throwing tanks based on the T-26 chassis participated in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939. On the eve of World War II, T-26s served mainly in separate light tank brigades (each brigade had 256–267 T-26s) and in separate tank battalions of rifle divisions (one company of T-26s consisted of 10-15 tanks). This was the type of tank units that participated in the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 and in the Winter War of December 1939-March 1940. The Winter War proved that the T-26 was obsolete and its design reserve was totally depleted. Finnish anti-tank guns easily penetrated the T-26's thin anti-bullet armour, and tank units equipped with the T-26 suffered significant losses during the breakthrough of the Mannerheim Line in which the flame-throwing tanks based on the T-26 chassis played a significant role. On June 1st 1941 the Red Army had 10,268 T-26 tanks of all models, including armoured combat vehicles based on the T-26 chassis. T-26s composed a majority of the fighting vehicles in Soviet mechanised corps of border military districts. For instance, the Western Special Military District had 1,136 T-26 tanks on June 22nd 1941 (52% of all tanks in the district). The T-26 (mod. 1938/39, especially) could withstand German tanks (except the Panzer III and Panzer IV) participating in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The majority of the Red Army's T-26s were lost in the first months of the Great Patriotic War, mainly to enemy artillery and air strikes. Many tanks broke down for technical reasons because of dead-line rate.

Nevertheless, the remaining T-26s participated in combat with the Germans and their allies during the Battle of Moscow in winter 1941-1942, the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of the Caucasus in 1942. Some tank units of the Leningrad Front used their T-26 tanks until 1944.
T-26 mod. 1933 with applique armour after running trials

The defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria in August 1945 was the last military operation in which Soviet T-26s were used.

In the 1930s, T-26 light tanks were delivered to Spain (281), China (82), Turkey (60) and Afghanistan. They were used in the Second Sino-Japanese War by the Chinese in 1938-1944. A considerable number of captured T-26s of different models were used by the Finnish Army during the Continuation War, some tanks served in Finland till 1960. Captured T-26s were also used by the German, Romanian and Hungarian armies.


Historical Gallery

Sources and External Links

USSR
Light Tanks IMS-1 IIBT-2 IIT-26 IIT-60 IITetrarch IIIBT-7 IIIBT-SV IIIM3 Light IIIT-127 IIIT-46 IIIT-70 IVA-20 IVT-50 IVT-80 IVValentine II VIMT-25 VIILTTB VIIIT-54 ltwt.
Medium Tanks IVT-28 VMatilda IV VT-34 VIA-43 VIT-34-85 VISpectre VIT-34-88 VIIA-44 VIIKV-13 VIIT-43 VIIT-44-122 VIIIObject 416 VIIIT-44 IXObject 430 Version II IXT-54 XObject 140 XObject 430 XT-62A
Heavy Tanks VChurchill III VKV-1S VKV-220 VKV-1 VIKV-2 VIKV-85 VIT-150 VIIIS VIIKV-3 VIIIIS-3 VIIIIS-6 VIIIKV-5 VIIIKV-4 IXIS-8 IXST-I XIS-4 XIS-7
Tank Destroyers IIAT-1 IIISU-76 IIISU-76I IVSU-85B VSU-85 VSU-85I VISU-100 VISU-100Y VIISU-152 VIISU-100M1 VIISU-122-44 VIIIISU-152 VIIISU-101 IXObject 704 IXSU-122-54 XObject 263 XObject 268
Self-Propelled Artillery IISU-18 IIISU-26 IVSU-5 VSU-122A VISU-8 VIIS-51 VIISU-14-1 VIIISU-14-2 IX212A XObject 261
Light Tanks
USA IT1 Cunningham IIM2 Light Tank IIT1E6-X IIT1E6-X1 IIT2 Light Tank IIT7 Combat Car IIIM22 Locust IIIM3 Stuart IIIMTLS-1G14 IVM5 Stuart VM24 Chaffee VIT21 VIT37 VIIM41 Walker Bulldog VIIT71 VIIIM41B Brazilian Bulldog VIIIT49
UK IICruiser Mk. I IICruiser Mk. III IIICruiser Mk. IV IIICruiser Mk. II IVValentine IVCovenanter VCrusader
Germany ILeichttraktor IIPz.Kpfw. 38H 735 (f) IIPz.Kpfw. 35 (t) IIPz.Kpfw. I IIPz.Kpfw. II IIIPz.Kpfw. 38 (t) IIIPz.Kpfw. III Ausf. A IIIPz.Kpfw. II Ausf. J IIIPz.Kpfw. I Ausf. C IIIPz.Kpfw. II Ausf. G IIIT-15 IVPz.Kpfw. 38 (t) n.A. IVPz.Kpfw. II Luchs VVK 16.02 Leopard VIVK 28.01 VIIAufklärungspanzer Panther VIIISpähpanzer Ru 251
France IRenault FT IID1 IIHotchkiss H35 IIIAMX 38 IVAMX 40 VELC AMX VIAMX 12 t VIF224 AMX Chaffee VIIAMX 13 75 VIIIAMX 13 90
USSR IMS-1 IIBT-2 IIT-26 IIT-60 IITetrarch IIIBT-7 IIIBT-SV IIIM3 Light IIIT-127 IIIT-46 IIIT-70 IVA-20 IVT-50 IVT-80 IVValentine II VIMT-25 VIILTTB VIIIT-54 ltwt.
China IRenault NC-31 IIVickers Mk. E Type B IIIType 2597 Chi-Ha IVM5A1 Stuart VI59-16 VIType 64 VIIWZ-131 VIIIWZ-132
Japan IRenault Otsu IIType 95 Ha-Go IIIType 98 Ke-Ni IVType 5 Ke-Ho
Czechoslovakia
Sweden