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 Today, at least two T-50s survive. One is at the Finnish tank museum at Parola. This is a later model with bolted-on appliqué armour. A standard T-50 is on display at the Kubinka armor collection outside Moscow. Today, at least two T-50s survive. One is at the Finnish tank museum at Parola. This is a later model with bolted-on appliqué armour. A standard T-50 is on display at the Kubinka armor collection outside Moscow.
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 {{Panel Gallery|Historical Gallery| {{Panel Gallery|Historical Gallery|
 [[image:T50 at Kubinka tank museum.jpg|160px|T50 at Kubinka tank museum]] [[image:T50 at Kubinka tank museum.jpg|160px|T50 at Kubinka tank museum]]
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 [[image:T50_with_dtiver_hatch_open.jpg|120px|T50 with driver standing out through the open driver hatch]] [[image:T50_with_dtiver_hatch_open.jpg|120px|T50 with driver standing out through the open driver hatch]]
 [[image:One unit was captured from the Soviets and remained on Finnish inventory until 1955.jpg|160px|One T-50 was captured from the Soviets and remained on Finnish inventory until 1955. It was used as a command tank]] [[image:One unit was captured from the Soviets and remained on Finnish inventory until 1955.jpg|160px|One T-50 was captured from the Soviets and remained on Finnish inventory until 1955. It was used as a command tank]]
 {{Panel content|style=collapsed|title=Sources and External Links|content=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-50_tank , https://www.flickr.com/photos/peer_gynt/3702578860/ {{Panel content|style=collapsed|title=Sources and External Links|content=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-50_tank , https://www.flickr.com/photos/peer_gynt/3702578860/
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 {{USSR Tanks}} {{USSR Tanks}}
 {{Light Tanks}} {{Light Tanks}}

Revision as of 08:20, 20 March 2012


The T-50 is a Soviet tier 4 light tank. With its lightning-fast acceleration, the T-50 is an extremely fast scout that packs a fairly good gun for its size. It is easily able to out-maneuver heavier tanks and storm through enemy lines, cause chaos, and hunt down Artillery with its 57mm gun. Some light tank drivers favor the T-50 over its tier 5 upgrade thanks to the relatively low repair costs.

The T-50 leads to the T-50-2.


Historical Info


The T-50 light infantry tank was built by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II. The design for this vehicle had some advanced features, but was complicated and expensive, and only a short production run of 69 tanks was completed. Furthermore, even before it was ready for mass production wartime experience invalidated the underlying concept of light tanks.


The T-50 was an advanced design for its time, with torsion-bar suspension, diesel engine (in common with all the new Soviet tanks) and well-sloped, all-welded armor. An excellent feature was the three-man turret with commander's cupola, which would not appear on other Soviet tanks until 1942. Most Soviet tanks of the 1939-43 era had either one-man or two-man turrets, which are far less efficient in combat than three-man turrets. Additionally, all T-50s had radios, a feature only found on the commander's vehicle in earlier models. However, the T-50 had several weaknesses; to begin with, like many Soviet tanks, it was very cramped inside. The main problems, however, were related to the new V-4 engine developed specifically for this tank, unlike other Soviet light AFVs, which used standard truck engines. The T-60 and T-70 light tanks and the SU-76 self-propelled gun used standard GAZ truck engines. Specialized tank engines, more expensive to produce, were reserved for higher-performance AFVs. The very mobile BT-8 fast tank, the T-34 medium tank, KV-1, the IS-2 heavy tanks, and their derivatives all used variants of the same standard 12-cylinder model V-2 diesel engine. The V-4 engine was extremely unreliable, and the design flaws could not be worked out. The engine's low reliability and high cost contributed to the demise of the T-50.

Production history

T-50 with Finnish markings at Parola tank museum

The T-50 was a light tank developed on the eve of World War II for the Red Army. The experience of the Spanish Civil War led to an effort to upgrade or replace the large Soviet tank fleet. Prior to 1939, most tanks in Red Army service were improved versions of foreign designs. For example, the most numerous tank, the T-26 light infantry tank, was a copy of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank with a Soviet-designed turret and 45 mm gun. However, just prior to and during the war, the USSR developed new light, medium and heavy tanks of wholly indigenous design. The T-50 light tank was intended to replace the T-26 infantry tank; in prewar planning, the T-50 was intended to become the most numerous Soviet tank, operating alongside the BT fast tank.

Development of the T-50 started as the SP project (Soprovzhdeniya Pekhoty, ‘Infantry Support’) in 1939 at the OKMO design bureau in the S.M. Kirov Factory Number 185 in Leningrad, under the direction of S. Ginzburg and L. Troyanov. Initial prototypes, called T-126 and T-127, were not much improved over the T-46-5 project which had been abandoned earlier that year, but the heavier T-126 was selected for further development. The design bureau was gutted during the Great Purge, and was unable to continue the project, so it was transferred to the K.E. Voroshilov Factory Number 174 in May 1940. Troyanov completed the T-50 design in January 1941 and production was authorized, but due to technical problems, it was unable to proceed. In the meantime, a replacement for the BT fast tanks was developed and built at the KhPZ factory in Ukraine, which exceeded its original programme. The result was the very capable and economical T-34 medium tank.

After the German invasion, Operation Barbarossa in June, tank factories were ordered to be transferred to the Urals. Part of OKMO was moved to Omsk after September, and production was finally begun. The T-50 was of an excellent design, but still suffered from technical problems, and at that time was found to be as expensive to produce as the more capable T-34. Much simpler T-60 light tanks were already being mass-produced. A total of 69 T-50 tanks were built (only 48 of them armed), before production ended in January 1942.Some further infantry tank design work on a prototype, called the T-45, continued at Factory Number 174 and the Kirovskiy Factory Number 100. But faced with the need to accelerate T-34 production, and due to a lack of interest from troops in the field, the Soviet infantry tank concept was abandoned.

Combat history

The few T-50s available were deployed on the Leningrad front. Few in-service photos survived and not much is known of their combat record. One uparmored T-50 was captured by Finnish forces and was used by them in 1944. This unit survived the war and is now on display in Finland.On paper, the T-50 should have been easily able to hold its own against any early-war German tank, however, paper specifications cannot always predict real-world performance. Most light tank production in 1941–43 consisted of the less advanced but simpler T-60 and T-70 light tanks. By 1943, the infantry tank role was considered obsolete, and cheaper SU-76 self-propelled guns took over the light infantry support role. Light tanks in tank regiments were being replaced by T-34 medium tanks. The liaison and reconnaissance roles of light tanks were assumed by cheaper armoured cars and Lend-Leasesupplies of Canadian and British Valentine tanks and U.S. M3 Stuart light tanks.


There were two variants; a basic model and an up-armored model. Just prior to the German invasion of the USSR, many Soviet tanks had their armor reinforced with welded or bolted add-on plates. Some Kliment Voroshilov heavy tanks, T-28 medium tanks and T-26 light tanks received add-on armor fittings. A few T-50s also received these add-ons. This up-armored variant is recognizable by the bolt heads that hold the armor added to the turret sides and hull front. The normal T-50 is a very 'clean' looking vehicle by comparison. Ironically, the armor add-ons were in response to erroneous reports of powerful German antitank and tank guns. The uparmored T-50 had 57 mm of armor at its thickest points.

Surviving vehicles

Today, at least two T-50s survive. One is at the Finnish tank museum at Parola. This is a later model with bolted-on appliqué armour. A standard T-50 is on display at the Kubinka armor collection outside Moscow.

{{Panel Gallery|Historical Gallery| T50 at Kubinka tank museum T50 side view T50 with driver standing out through the open driver hatch One T-50 was captured from the Soviets and remained on Finnish inventory until 1955. It was used as a command tank

Soviet Tanks
Light Tanks MS-1  • BT-2  • Tetrarch  • T-26  • T-60  • BT-7  • BT-SV  • LTP  • M3 Light  • T-127  • T-46  • T-70  • A-20  • T-50  • T-80  • Valentine II  • T-50-2  • MT-25
Medium Tanks A-32  • T-28  • Matilda IV  • T-34  • T-34-85  • A-43  • KV-13  • T-43  • A-44  • T-44  • Object 416  • T-54  • Object 430 II  • T-62A  • Object 140  • Object 430
Heavy Tanks Churchill III  • KV  • KV-1  • KV-220  • KV-220 Beta-Test  • KV-1S  • KV-2  • T-150  • IS  • KV-3  • IS-3  • IS-6  • KV-4  • KV-5  • IS-8  • ST-I  • IS-4  • IS-7
Tank Destroyers AT-1  • SU-76  • SU-85B  • SU-85  • SU-85I  • SU-100  • SU-100Y  • SU-100M1  • SU-122-44  • SU-152  • ISU-152  • SU-101  • Object 704  • SU-122-54  • Object 263  • Object 268
Self-Propelled Guns SU-18  • SU-26  • SU-5  • SU-122A  • SU-8  • S-51  • SU-14-1  • SU-14-2  • 212A  • Object 261

Light Tanks
USA I T1 Cunningham  • II M2 Light Tank  • II T1E6  Gold  • II T2 Light Tank  Gold  • II T7 Combat Car  Gold  • III M22 Locust  Gold  • III M3 Stuart  • III MTLS-1G14  Gold  • IV M5 Stuart  • V M24 Chaffee  • V M7  • VI M24E2 Super Chaffee  Gold  • VI T21  • VI T37  • VII T71 CMCD  • VII T71 DA  • VIII T92  Gold  • VIII M41 Walker Bulldog  • IX T49  • X XM551 Sheridan
UK I Cruiser Mk. I  • II M2  • II Cruiser Mk. II  • II Light Mk. VIC  Gold  • III Valentine  • III Stuart I-IV  • III Cruiser Mk. III  • IV Cruiser Mk. IV  • V Covenanter  • VI A46  Gold  • VI Crusader  • VII GSR 3301 Setter  • VIII FV1066 Senlac  Gold  • VIII LHMTV  • IX GSOR3301 AVR FS  • X Manticore
Germany I Leichttraktor  • II Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. D  Gold  • II MKA  Gold  • II Pz.Kpfw. 38H 735 (f)  Gold  • II Pz.Kpfw. 35 (t)  • II Pz.Kpfw. I  • II Pz.Kpfw. II  • III 43 M. Toldi III  Gold  • III Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t)  • III Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. E  • III Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. J  Gold  • III Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. C  • III Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. G  • III Pz.Kpfw. T 15  Gold  • IV Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) n.A.  • IV Pz.Kpfw. II Luchs  • V VK 16.02 Leopard  • VI VK 28.01  • VII Aufklärungspanzer Panther  Gold  • VII Spähpanzer SP I C  • VIII leKpz M 41 90 mm  Gold  • VIII leKpz M 41 90 mm GF  Gold  • VIII HWK 12  • VIII HWK 30  Gold  • IX Spähpanzer Ru 251  • X Rheinmetall Panzerwagen
France I Renault FT  • II D1  • II AM 39 Gendron-Somua  Gold  • II AMR 35  Gold  • II FCM 36  • II Renault R35  • II Hotchkiss H35  • III AMX 38  • IV AMX 40  • V AMX ELC bis  • VI AMX 12 t  • VI Panhard AMD 178B  • VII AMX 13 75  • VII Hotchkiss EBR  • VII AMX 13 57  Gold  • VII AMX 13 57 GF  Gold  • VIII Panhard EBR 75 (FL 10)  Gold  • VIII Panhard AML Lynx 6x6  • VIII Bat.-Châtillon 12 t  • VIII ELC EVEN 90  Gold  • IX AMX 13 90  • IX Panhard EBR 90  • X Panhard EBR 105  • X AMX 13 105
USSR I MS-1  • II BT-2  • II T-45  Gold  • II T-26  • II T-60  • II Tetrarch  Gold  • III BT-SV  Gold  • III LTP  Gold  • III M3 Light  Gold  • III BT-7 artillery  Gold  • III T-116  Gold  • III BT-5  • III T-127  Gold  • III T-46  • III T-70  • IV BT-7  • IV T-80  • IV Valentine II  Gold  • V A-20  • V T-50  • VI MT-25  • VI T-50-2  Gold  • VII LTG  • VIII LTTB  • VIII LT-432  Gold  • IX T-54 ltwt.  • X T-100 LT
China I Renault NC-31  • II Vickers Mk. E Type B  • III Type 2597 Chi-Ha  • IV M5A1 Stuart  • VI 59-16  • VI Type 64  Gold  • VII Type 62  Gold  • VII WZ-131  • VIII WZ-132  • VIII M41D  Gold  • IX WZ-132A  • X WZ-132-1
Japan I Renault Otsu  • II Type 95 Ha-Go  • II Type 97 Te-Ke  Gold  • III Type 97 Chi-Ha  • III Type 98 Ke-Ni  • IV Type 5 Ke-Ho
Czechoslovakia I Kolohousenka  • II LT vz. 35  • III LT vz. 38
Sweden I Strv fm/21  • II Strv m/38  • II L-60  Gold  • III Strv m/40L