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modified: Nov 10, 2012

The T-50 was a Soviet light infantry tank built at the beginning of the Second World War. It was intended to replace the T-26 infantry tank which was based on the British Vickers 6-Ton. The T-50 was more streamlined and better armored than the T-26.

The T-50 began as a project in 1939 called SP (Soprovzhdeniya Pekhoty, 'Infatry Support') at the OKMO design bureau in S.M. Kirov Factory no. 185. It was supervised by S. Ginzburg and L. Troyanov. T-126 and T-127 were initial prototypes of which, T-126 was chosen for further development. The T-50 used torsion-bar suspension and had a cast turret with a commander's cupola.

The bureau was unable to continue working on the project because of the Great Purge. Therefore, it was transferred to the K.E. Voroshilov Factory no. 174 in May 1940. In January 1941 Troyanov finished the T-50 design. However, even though it was authorized, production was unable to continue due to technical problems. After Operation Barbarossa, part of OKMO was transferred to Omsk and production began. The T-50 suffered technical problems and was costly. When production ended in January 1942, 63 units have been produced, only 48 of which were armed.

The T-50 served with a tank brigade in Karelia in the Finnish war. There, it was known as the Little Kim because of its similarity to the KV tank.

References: OW, STCV, WP, WW2T