kleinerPanzer

Re-Armed T-37A and T-38: Obsolete Firepower

Re-Armed T-37A and T-38  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see the T-37A (DShK) in-game?

    • Yes, in the tech tree
      17
    • Yes, as a premium (please explain)
      1
    • Yes, as a gift/rare (please explain)
      0
    • No (please explain)
      3
  2. 2. Would you like to see the T-37A (ShVAK) in-game?

    • Yes, in the tech tree
      17
    • Yes, as a premium (please explain)
      1
    • Yes, as a gift/rare (please explain)
      2
    • No (please explain)
      1
  3. 3. Would you like to see the T-38 (ShVAK) in-game?

    • Yes, in the tech tree
      17
    • Yes, as a premium (please explain)
      2
    • Yes, as a gift/rare (please explain)
      1
    • No (please explain)
      1


 The T-37A (DShK)T-37A (ShVAK) and T-38 (ShVAK) a series of upgrade attempts to prolong the lifespan of the obsolete T-37A and T-38 light amphibious tanks. The former was upgraded by mounting the gun mantle from a T-40 light amphibious tank with the 12,7 mm DShK machine gun into the turret of a T-37A, while the latter two seem to use a T-60 mantle, armed with a 20 mm ShVAK autocannon. 

 

Image result for T-38 shvak cannon

A T-38 with the 20 mm ShVAK autocannon in Moscow, which is very likely to be an original vehicle. There do not appear to be any surviving T-37A with ShVAK autocannon or DShK machine gun. 

 

OVERVIEW

 

The T-37A and T-38 are light amphibious tanks which, historically, preceded the T-60 and T-70 light tanks (with the T-40 in between them). Their original armament of a single 7,62 mm DT machine gun proved to be obsolete very quickly, and multiple attempts to upgrade them were made. An early attempt in 1942 fitted the T-37A with a 12,7 mm DShK machine gun, while a 1944 attempt fitted both with a 20 mm ShVAK (TNSh-20) cannon.

 

In-game, they would serve as amphibious but less-armored versions of the T-60. 

 

Images

No historical photographs of any tanks exist, only modern photographs of the above-featured tank in Moscow. Here provided will be photographs of standard T-37A and T-38 tanks, as well as the T-40, T-60, and modern photographs of the T-38 (ShVAK).

Spoiler

T-37A Tank

Finnish officers and men with a captured Soviet T-37A amphibious tank, Finland, 1939-1940

Image result for T-37A tank

Image result for T-37A tank

Image result for T-37A tank

 

 

T-38 Tank

Image result for T-38 tank

Image result for T-38 tankImage result for T-38 tank

 

The T-40, where the T-37A (DShK) sourced its weapon from

Related image

Image result for T-40 light

The T-60, the source of the gun mantle and weaponry for the T-37A (ShVAK) and T-38 (ShVAK)

Image result for T-60 light

Related image

 

The surviving T-38 (ShVAK)

Serial T-38, rearmed at BTRZ No. 105.  In addition to weapons, he was no different from the usual T-38 - Metamorphoses of an amphibian reconnaissance |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

Bottom-front view of a mask and TNS reservation - Metamorphoses of an amphibian scout |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

Top view of tower - Metamorphoses of amphibian reconnaissance |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

Space in the tower became smaller, but in general it was quite convenient to work with new weapons - Metamorphoses of an amphibian reconnaissance |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

The TNS gun, the DT machine gun and the sight were located as well as on the T-60 - Metamorphoses of the amphibian reconnaissance |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

To install more powerful weapons had a little redo the bow of the tower - Metamorphoses amphibian reconnaissance |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

The mask’s reservation was very similar to that placed on the T-30 tanks, equipped with TNS guns - Metamorphoses of an amphibious reconnaissance |  Military historical portal Warspot.ru

 

HISTORY

 

In 1931, Vickers-Carden-Loyd debuted its Amphibious Tanks, the first (relatively) successful and mass-produced amphibious tank in the world. The Red Army was seeking to replace the unsuccessful T-27 tankette, and new designs for an amphibious tank (tankette) were drafted based upon the VCL Amphibious Tank. The T-33, the first prototype, was created in late 1931 and was clearly a direct copy of the VCL. Although it possessed good floating characteristics, it proved to be too complex and unreliable and was not advanced beyond trials. Another prototype, the T-41, was developed somewhat in parallel. It borrowed the drivetrain and tracks from the T-27 and the hull from the T-33. Alongside the T-41 the T-37 (not to be confused with T-37A) was developed. The T-37 was very similar to the T-41, but used many more automotive parts and a "Krupp chassis", introduced to the USSR during their partnership with the Weimar Republic. Both tanks still failed to satisfy the Army, although a small production batch of T-41 tanks was produced.

 

Around this time in 1932, VCL had been denied the contract to produce the Amphibious Tanks for the British Army and thus became willing to export to foreign nations. Two were delivered to the USSR, and the T-37 design was revised considerably with the arrival of the VCL design. At the end of 1932 the first T-37A tanks were ordered, and by 1933, deliveries started flowing in. Around 1200 would be produced in total from 1933 through 1936.

 

Before mass-production of the T-37A had even begun, further prototypes were being created to remedy its shortcomings. It had issues with flotation and general reliability, and the armor and firepower were deemed insufficient. By 1935, the prototype T-38 had been created. The tank was lower and wider, and the position of the driver and turret were switched. The initial prototype kept the 7,62 mm DT in the turret, but also attempted to give the driver a 20 mm ShVAK cannon. This was soon deleted and the armament remained at one machine gun. Other minor improvements to the suspension and transmission also took place, but it was overall very similar to the T-37A. The tank was still somewhat unreliable, but, being superior to the T-37A, was chosen to replace the T-37A on the production lines in 1936. Around 1300 T-38 would be produced from 1936 through 1939. 

 

By the time the T-37A and T-38 saw combat, they were several years old. The T-37A first fought against the Japanese at Khalkhin Gol. They suffered heavy losses due to weak armor, and did not get to use their amphibious properties. The terrain exacerbated the tank's reliability issues, with track throwing and insufficient traction being chief among the issues. The T-37A and T-38 next fought against the Polish. Resistance was rather weak, but 3 or 4 T-37A were lost anyway. Complaints about the tanks' reliability still built up. They next fought against the Finnish in the Winter War, where they suffered very heavy casualties. Upon the outbreak of war with Germany, the tanks again suffered heavy losses, with only a small number remaining by 1942. Even so, they served primarily in reconnaissance roles throughout the rest of the war. 

 

Multiple attempts to upgrade the tank were made, but the majority simply fell through and never made it beyond the prototype stage. Better tanks were also developed—the T-40 (and related T-30), then the T-60, and T-70. By 1942, the concept of light tanks for the Red Army was abandoned as they proved to be unfit for the battlefield. 

 

In 1942, a plan was drafted to up-gun the T-37A with the 12,7 mm DShK machine gun. The plan was as follows:

 

Quote

 

Report on the modernization of the T-37 tank

  1. After the modernization, the T-37 becomes purely a land tank.
  2. The following components are removed:
    1. Hull buoys
    2. Propeller with transmission
    3. Rudder, carrier, and drive
    4. One DT machinegun magazine rack (15 slots remain)
    5. Gunner's turning seat
  3. The hull of the tank has 6 mm of armour added to the sides. The side armour is attached right to the hull and covers the space from the bogey mounts to the rivets on the edges of the hull. The front and rear of the hull has sloped armour installed. The armour plates are attached using bulletproof rivets and electric welding. The part of the hull that protrudes above the radiator is shielded from four sides with 6 mm armour. 3 armour plates are added to the front, 2 to the sides, and one on the ventilation cap. The left plate and cap plate are bent to follow the shape of the parts they are installed on. The upper horizontal parts of the hull and the floor also have applique armour. Additional 6 mm plates are welded onto the observation port cover and the left side of the hatch edge. Mudguards are installed along the length of the hull on the buoy carriers.
  4. The turret has 6 mm of armour added to the sides. The front of the turret is converted similarly to the T-40 turret, and the DShK machinegun is installed, with no DT. The machinegun has no elevation mechanism, but has a shoulder stock. Aside from the existing travel locks, a stopper was added to the turret to fix it in place while shooting. A travel lock was added for the DShK machinegun. The DT machinegun opening is preserved, but closed with a plug. The DT remains in the tank, in case it needs to be removed and taken from the tank, or, in an emergency, installed in its old location. This kind of placement was caused by the fact that the old location made it difficult for the gunner to enter or exit the turret and made his station cramped. A special mount was added for the DShK ammunition box. A rack with 10 boxes was added instead of the second driver's seat.
  5. In the event that the current armament and 15 DT magazines remain, the turret can receive applique armour without any design changes.
  6. The mass of the T-37 tank increases by 350 kg after completing the work, stemming from these calculations:
    1. Applique armour weight: up to 400 kg
    2. Armament, ammunition, and mounts: up to 120 kg
    3. Removed components and parts: 170 kg
  7. Additional work to modernize the T-37 tank (with re-armament):
    1. Cutting and mechanical: 252 hours
    2. Smithing: 8
    3. Lathing: 18
    4. Milling: 4
    5. Planing: 3
    6. Welding: 42
    7. Installation: 146
    8. Total: 473 hours
      Note: Major repairs of a T-37 tank take 573 hours. The modernization adds an extra 79% to the time it takes to repair the tank.
  8. Additional work to modernize the T-37 tank (without re-armament);
    1. Cutting and mechanical: 173 hours
    2. Smithing: 4
    3. Lathing: 12
    4. Milling: 2
    5. Planing: 1
    6. Welding: 26
    7. Installation: 96
    8. Total: 316 hours
      Note: Major repairs of a T-37 tank take 573 hours. The modernization adds an extra 55% to the time it takes to repair the tank.
Base Chief, Brigade Engineer Burakov
Base Military Commissar, Senior Battalion Commissar, Gagloyev
Technical Assistant to the Base Chief, Military Engineer 2nd Grade, Sharashov
 
CAMD RF 38-11355-935
 

Note: The T-37 mentioned above is the T-37A.

 

As one can see, the main changes are: the removal of any amphibious capabilities, revisions and additions to the armor profile, the replacement of the gun mantle with a single 12,7 mm DShK from the T-40 light tank, and a minor weight change. The DT could be installed coaxially, if necessary, although the turret would become very cramped. There is not much else known about this modification, and, due to its lack of reporting almost anywhere else, was probably limited to only a handful of vehicles.

 

Fast-forward to 1943. A plan is drafted to re-arm the T-37A and T-38 tanks in the Far East with 20 mm autocannons to prolong their lifespan. By the end of the year Repair Plant No. 105 in Khabarovsk begins upgrading old T-37A and T-38 tanks to be fitted with a single 20 mm ShVAK cannon along with a coaxial DT. While the plan called for 400 conversions, only 130 or so were completed by June 1944.

 

This modification was done by exchanging the gun mantle of the T-60 with that of the T-37A's and T-38's turrets. The weight was increased by 400 kg, but the tanks were still able to float. 

 

It is likely that the modified T-37A and T-38 were withdrawn from service before seeing combat. Even by June 1945, these tanks were being taken away from all units, far ahead of hostilities against Japan in August. 

 

At the end of the war, some of the Far East's T-38 tanks were sent back to Moscow to be preserved in a museum, including one of the 20 mm modifications. It is very likely that the one on display today is an original model. 

 

STATISTICS (T-37 (DShK))

Crew

2 (Driver, Gunner)

Length

3.75 m

Width

2.00 m

Height

1.82 m

Ground Clearance

0.30 m

Weight

3.55 t

Ground Pressure

0.61 kg/cm2

Track-Ground Contact

1.62 m long, 0.21 m wide

Engine

GAZ AA 4-cylinder petrol
40 hp at 2220 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio

11.3 hp/t

Transmission

4 forward, 1 reverse

Speed

35 km/h (road), 25 km/h (cross-country), 4 km/h (floating)

Fuel

100 L 

Range

230 km (road), 115 km (cross-country) 

Vertical Obstacle

0.50 m

Trench-Crossing

1.60 m

Max Gradient

70% (35°)

Max Fording Depth

Unknown - no longer Amphibious*

Armor**

Hull:

 15 mm front ?

 15 mm sides

 15 mm rear ?

 12 mm roof ?

 12 mm floor ?

Turret:

 10-20 mm front (sources unclear)

 15 mm sides

 15 mm rear

 6 mm roof

Smoke

None

Armament

1x DShK

Primary

12,7 mm DShK (600 Rounds)

 Elevation: Manual, -7 to +25°

 Traverse: Manual, ±180°, °/s

Secondary

No Secondary Armament***

*When floating, the waterline is right below the fenders and level wtih the join between the upper and lower front armor plates. It can be safely assumed that the fording depth is about that much, about 1 meter.

**The phrasing of the additional armor does not explicitly state the thicknesses of all the additional armor, but the only one mentioned is additional 6 mm plates. 

***A DT could be installed coaxially with 945 rounds, but this was not standard.

 

STATISTICS (T-37 (ShVAK))

Crew

2 (Driver, Gunner)

Length

3.75 m

Width

2.00 m

Height

1.82 m

Ground Clearance

0.30 m

Weight

3.6 t

Ground Pressure

0.62 kg/cm2

Track-Ground Contact

1.62 m long, 0.21 m wide

Engine

GAZ AA 4-cylinder petrol
40 hp at 2220 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio

11.1 hp/t

Transmission

4 forward, 1 reverse

Speed

35 km/h (road), 25 km/h (cross-country), 4 km/h (floating)

Fuel

100 L 

Range

230 km (road), 115 km (cross-country) 

Vertical Obstacle

0.50 m

Trench-Crossing

1.60 m

Max Gradient

70% (35°)

Max Fording Depth

Amphibious

Armor

Hull:

 9 mm front

 9 mm sides

 9 mm rear

 6 mm roof

 6 mm floor

Turret:

 20 mm front

 9 mm sides

 9 mm rear

 6 mm roof

Smoke

None

Armament

1x ShVAK (TNSh-20)

1x DShK

Primary

20 mm ShVAK (TNSh-20) (240 Rounds)

 Elevation: Manual, -7 to +25°

 Traverse: Manual, ±180°, (Reduced from Standard)°/s

Secondary

7,62 mm DT (1260 Rounds)

 Elevation: As Primary Armament

 Traverse: As Primary Armament

 

STATISTICS (T-38 (ShVAK))

Crew

2 (Driver, Gunner)

Length

3.78 m

Width

2.33 m

Height

1.63 m

Ground Clearance

0.30 m

Weight

3.7 t

Ground Pressure

0.42 kg/cm2

Track-Ground Contact

1.62 m long, 0.22 m wide

Engine

GAZ AA 4-cylinder petrol
40 hp at 2220 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio

10.8 hp/t

Transmission

4 forward, 1 reverse

Speed

40 km/h (road), 20 km/h (cross-country), 6 km/h (floating)

Fuel

115 L 

Range

220 km (road), 130 km (cross-country) 

Vertical Obstacle

0.50 m

Trench-Crossing

1.70 m

Max Gradient

84% (40°)

Max Fording Depth

Amphibious

Armor

Hull:

 9 mm front

 9 mm sides

 9 mm rear

 6 mm roof

 4 mm floor

Turret:

 20 mm front

 9 mm sides

 9 mm rear

 6 mm roof

Smoke

None

Armament

1x ShVAK (TNSh-20)

1x DT

Primary

20 mm ShVAK (TNSh-20) (240 Rounds)

 Elevation: Manual, -7 to +25°

 Traverse: Manual, ±180°, (Reduced from Standard)°/s

Secondary

7,62 mm DT (1260 Rounds)

 Elevation: As Primary Armament

 Traverse: As Primary Armament

 

SOURCES

1 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2017/09/t-37-and-t-38-with-shvak.html

2 - https://warspot.ru/7036-metamorfozy-amfibii-razvedchika

3 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2018/03/upgunned-t-38-trials.html - CAMD RF 38-11355-2586 p. 47

4 - https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_T37A.php

5 - https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_T38.php

6 - http://www.wardrawings.be/WW2/Files/Site.htm

7 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2018/04/far-east-conversions.html - CAMD RF 38-11355-2548 p. 175

8 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2017/07/t-37-modernization.html - CAMD RF 38-11355-935

9 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2018/09/far-east-modernizations.html - CAMD RF 38-11355-2224 p.51

10 - http://legion-afv.narod.ru/T-38_Moskow_CMMF.html - Photographs only

11 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-37A_tank

12 - https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Т-37А

13 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-38_tank

14 - https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Т-38

15 - Russian Tanks of World War II - Stalin's Armoured Might by Tim Bean and Will Fowler

16 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-40

17 - https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Т-40_(танк)

18 - https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_T40.php

19 - https://ww2db.com/vehicle_spec.php?q=466

20 - https://ww2db.com/vehicle_spec.php?q=501

21 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers-Carden-Loyd_light_amphibious_tank

22 - https://www.o5m6.de/redarmy/t_37a.php

23 - https://www.o5m6.de/redarmy/t_38.php

24 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2017/09/metamorphoses-of-amphibian-scout.html

25 - http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2017/07/t-37-and-t-38-applique-armour.html

Edited by HugoTroop
  • Upvote 4
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Open for discussion. :salute:

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3 minutes ago, Solarmod said:

Would like to see more love for lower tiers. Not everyone is here for MBTs and Supersonic jets. +1 from me.

 

^

 

Tier 1-3 is where the real fun happens, in my book.

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With the limited production I can see them as a premium.  They will hardly be unbalancing in the game.  +1

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On 03/02/2020 at 00:24, tinygerman26 said:

+1 here. Also were the amphibious capabilities of all the types removed or just the T-37s?

Only the uparmored version with the DShK lost amphibious abilities. Both ShVAK versions could still float

Edited by kleinerPanzer
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