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modified: Nov 10, 2012
The T-28 (also called TG-1) is a Soviet medium tank and one of the first of its type. It was intended to support the infantry by breaking through fortified defences. The OKMO bureau was given the task of developing a new medium tank and also a new heavy tank. A team led by N. Tsiets began work on the T-28. The design was based on both the British Vickers A-6 and the German Grosstraktor. In 1929, the performance of several Grosstraktor at the Kazan tank school encouraged the Soviets to produce medium and heavy tanks. The first prototype of the T-28 was built in 1932 and trials were conducted. The 45 mm gun of this design was not sufficient as a primary armament because light tanks were capable of carrying such weapons. The RVS approved the production of the T-28 in an improved form, in October 1932.

Production was shifted to to the Red Putilov Factory and the first batch of ten reached the Red Army in February 1933. They participated in the May Day parade in Moscow. More trials were conducted and the T-28 was officially approved by the Red Army on August 11, 1933. A small design team led by O. Ivanov was formed at the Red Putilov Factory, but it remained under the control of the OKMO. The standard T-28 had the same turrets as the T-35 heavy tank. This version was produced from 1934 until 1938. Improvements were made in 1938 including a stabilization system for the main gun and replacement of the Model 27/32 tank gun with the new L-10 76.2 mm gun. Modifications were also made to the engine. The new version, T-28 Model 1938 was produced until 1940.

The 10th and 20th Heavy Tank Brigades fielded the T-28 during the fighting in Finland in 1940. They were unsucessful against Finnish anti-tank gunners. The main reason for failure of the T-28 was its thin armor and a project was undertaken rather quickly to add applique armor to the T-28 Model 1938. The new version was designated the T-28E and its performance was comparable to that of the early Panzer IV. The last batch of about twelve T-28s were called T-28 Model 1940 and had the conical turret of the late production T-35 tank. There was also an experimental variant of the T-28 called T-29.

Other variants of the T-28 include self-propelled guns. There was also a bridge-layer variant and the IT-28 engineering tank fitted with a mine roller system that were never mass-produced. All T-28s had radios and anti-aircraft machinegun mounts. Between 1933 and 1941, 503 T-28s were built. They were exclusively used by three heavy tank brigades. In addition, the 5th Heavy Tank Brigade was formed with T-28 medium tanks as well as T-35 heavy tanks.

References: OW, STCV, WP