T-40
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modified: Nov 10, 2012

The T-40 was a Soviet light amphibious scout tank deployed during the Second World War. The team of N. Astrov at Zavod Nr. 37 was ordered in 1938 to develop a replacement for the T-37 and T-38 tanks. Two versions were built. The T-30A was amphibious and the T-30B was not. T-30A prototype was accepted into Red Army on December 19, 1939 as the T-40 amphibious scout tank.

The T-40 had a 12.7mm DShK machine gun replacing the T-30A's 20mm ShVAK machine gun. It had a torsion-bar suspension with four pairs of road wheels. The hull was enitrely welded as opposed to the riveted hulls of the T-37 and T-38. The conical shape of the turret improved protection and the armor was increased by a few millimeters. The DT machine gun used by the T-38 was replaced by the more powerful 12.7 DShK heavy machine gun.

For propulsion in water, a small propeller was mounted into an indent in the rear of the hull. The indentation provided better protection than the exposed propeller of the T-38. The boat shaped hull creates the necessary buoyancy.

Production of the T-40 began in 1940 with 41 vehicles. The T-40 was planned to be deployed by reconnaissance units. However a large production of tanks was necessary when war outbroke. Thus a cheaper and better armed non-amphibious variant was built on the chassis of the T-40. It was designated the T-60. 181 more T-40s were completed in 1941 before WWII began. The last set of T-40s were produced with BM-8-24 Katyusha rocket racks instead of turrets.



References: OW, STCV, WP