D-8
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modified: Nov 9, 2012
D-8 (Dyrenkov 8) was a Soviet armored car based on the GAZ-A automobile. The D-8 was designed by N.I. Dyrenkov in the mid-1930s at the Moscow Auto Zavod (KIM). It was developed and produced alongside the D-12 at the Izhorskiy Factory. The D-8 was intended as the replacement for the BA-27. Although the D-8's function was to be a scout vehicle, it was largely road-bound because it was heavily armored and underpowered.

It had a rear-mounted machine gun fired by a crew member sitting back to back with the driver. The D-8 had a shorter wheel base than the D-12. The D-8 prototypes were open-topped but production versions were fully enclosed. The original prototype had four machine gun ball mounts. However, this was impractical for a two-man crew, and the number was reduced on the production models. It was manufactured from 1932 to 1934. The latter batches of this production were fully armored.


The D-8 underwent trials in late 1931, concurrently with the D-12. Although the trials were conducted while the D-8 was armed with one machine gun, a second one was reintroduced at the rear of the vehicle according to the suggestions of Marshal Klimenti Voroshilov, who was present during the tests. Evaluaton trials were successfully completed and D-8s served with the Red Army in the early 1930s.

Small numbers were built between 1931 and 1932 at the Izhorskiy factory. A rebuild program undertaken in 1932 mounted a turret with a 7.62mm DT machine gun on some of the D-8s.

The engine was mounted on the front, and the fighting compartment is located in the rear. The 40hp four cylinder GAZ-A (Ford-A) engine was suitable for roads. However, the vehicle's off-road performance was limited. Tire chains were used in cases of snow and on bad roads. The D-8 faced the problem of cooling the engine in combat conditions when the intake louvers are closed. Dyrenkov's solution was to design an armored cowl under the front engine compartment for air intake when the louvers are shut.

The hull is built from 7mm heat treated steel plates, which was sufficient protection against fire from small arms and shrapnels. A door was located on each side as well as a two-piece hatch mounted in the center of the roof. 2,079 rounds, of which 756 were armor piercing rounds, were available for each machine gun.

D-8 was one of the first armored cars to be used with airborne forces. In 1934, D-8s were involved in airborne maneuvers in Ukraine. A TB-3 heavy bomber could air-transport two D-8s. D-8s were out of service by the time of the Great Patriotic War. The D-8 served as the basis of the FAI, which replaced it.



References: RAC, STCV