T-28 model 1932, having the true purpose of the T-28

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Caid’s suggestion #94

I would like to suggest a tank that would first be overlooked as uninteresting but could turn out to surprise you, the T-28 model 1932

if at first sight, and if you know the T-28 already, you will see the model 1932 as a T-28 with weaker armament, and you would be just half right. the armament was indeed weaker for fire support. but it was also strong for anti-tank fighting. the tank was built in the standard of the early 30s. That means it was not designed to fight other tanks, but designed to fight infantry in the trench. the tank was based on the A1E3 Independent of which Russia had managed to get a blueprint and adapted the concept for their own. this resulted in the introduction of 2 tanks, the Medium tank T-28 and the Heavy tank T-35. while the T-35 looked a lot more like the design of the Independent, the T-28 was taking a new approach that made it more mobile, cheaper and more efficient. it was in 1931 that the first design was developed and the prototype was built in 1932. initially, it incorporated a Russian 37mm gun which was capable of fighting about any tank of his time. this tank is required to provide the Russian army with a medium tank with high mobility capable of supporting the infantry and the armoured division alike. the weight fixed to 17 tonnes dry was set. but the prototype weighing 17.500 kg was in an acceptable range of overweight. the prototype meets satisfactory parameters. but the tank built in series in 1934 was now reaching 25 tonnes! what happened in 2 years? well, it happens what often happens, they wanted to improve the design, it started with the installation of a 76mm which required a new 3 men turret so the tank could more effectively support the infantry, the fire-power of the anti-tank weapons kept raising and so the armour had to become thicker, raising of about 50% in overall. the mobility then suffered the new weight, so they had to install a more powerful engine, new transmission and strengthen the frame. all together made the T-28 from 1932 far from the prototype of 1932. all this was a cascade of solutions coming up from the original idea of Comrade Stalin who proposed the T-28 and T-35 to share the same turret for standardization. As the tank was only intended for bullet-prof protection, the new gun required a new armour to better suit the need. the T-28 from 1932 was intended to support the infantry and light armoured division the same way the T-34 did during WW2 but the T-28 model 1934 was so costly and heavy that they could only build it in a small quantity and use it in breakthrough units. this killed the essence of the tank. while the model 1932 was already meeting all the original requirements, would in theory been a perfectly acceptable match for the German Panzer III in 1940 and capable of being produced in large quantities.

The main armament of the tank was the 37mm B-3 gun. this gun been obsolete in WW2 was the predecessor of the 45mm 20K used by the Russian tank. the gun would have a fairly good effectiveness analogue to the OQF 3-pounder from the UK, 37mm SA38 from France, 37mm kwk 36 from Germany, 37/40 from Italy or 37mm Kan 38 from Sweden. this gun has a good fire rate and decent penetration while also using APHE. the penetration would range from 40mm to 25mm at combat distance which means all low-rank vehicles are possible to penetrate. additionally, solid AP rounds were also available with 45-30mm of penetration at combat distance. The tank features a 7.62mm DT machine gun in the main turret with an independent elevation. it also has two auxiliary turrets on the front with a 7.62mm DT machine gun in each of them. the machines all have an elevation of -5°/+28° making it capable of engaging aircraft that fly too low easily enough (and with 3 machine, the aircraft is not likely to last long) the main gun elevation is not known, but likely around the same as the machine-gun or we could give it a generic -10°/+20° until we find the real value. the ammo carried is 230 rounds for the 37mm and 6048 rounds for the 7.62mm.

the tank was weighting 17.5 tonnes, which is a fairly good weight for an early medium tank. the goal was to limit the weight to 17 tonnes but an overload of 500 kg was considered acceptable. the engine was planned to be a M-5 but the M-6 was considered more suitable for the prototype. the engine was providing 300 hp which is a pretty good power for a tank under 20 tonnes. it gives a power/weight of 17.14 hp/tonnes which is nothing bad and similar to the production model. this allowed the tank to get 40 km/h on the road which at that time was considered pretty good. in the game, the players would feel pretty comfortable with the mobility of this tank. but the reverse speed would be lacking.

the T-28 model 1932 was more lightly protected than the production version. the protection would be around 1/3 thinner about everywhere. this makes the T-28 fall at a level of protection closer to the medium tank of BR 1.0. even some light tanks would have better protection. the armour layout is however more complex than average. this makes the T-28 have surprisingly good survivability on the frontal side. due to the secondary turret, the tank would be partially shielded on a certain angle of fire but serial layer of armour, but that would be at the cost of the machine-gunner. offering 20mm at the thickest part, the tank would only offer 16mm on the side and 10mm on the other part. this would make the tank only protected from machine-gun (and some heavier machine-gun on occasion) the crew of 5 men is fairly large and the disposition of this crew makes it hard to take them out altogether. the tank is also 960mm shorter in length and 240 mm shorter in wideness than the production model of the T-28 making it less massive on the battlefield.



This would be fun to have before the T-28 (1938). +1