|Manufacturer||Malyshev Factory, Kharkov, Ukraine|
|Primary Role||Heavy Tank|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseDesigned by the team led by N. Tsiest at the Soviet OKMO design bureau in the early 1930s, what would eventually be designated the T-35 heavy tanks were meant to serve in the role of creating gaps in enemy defensive lines for the infantry to pour through. The design might have had British influence, specifically the A1E1 Independent design by Vickers. The first prototype was completed in Jul 1932; considered too complex, the design was reworked, and on 11 Aug 1933 the design was accepted for production. T-35 heavy tanks each had five turrets, with the main turrets housing 76.2-millimeter guns and the secondary turrets housing 45-millimeter guns or machine guns. They were the only production heavy tanks in the world with five turrets each. Between 1933 and 1935, twenty units were built. The experiences gained from the initial production run resulted in the T-35 Model 1935 variant design, which had longer chassis and larger 45-millimeter guns; about 35 T-35 Model 1935 tanks were built between 1935 and 1938. A small number of other variants were also built in the 1930s, including some with sloped-armored turrets and some with improved side skirts. Production ended in 1938 due to its high cost. A total of 61 vehicles were built.
ww2dbaseAt the start of the European War in Sep 1939, T-35 heavy tanks served with the Soviet 5th Separate Heavy Tank Brigade based in Moscow, Russia; they served mainly ceremonial functions, participating in parades and other non-combat situations. In Jun 1940, it was decided that even though they were showing signs of obsolescence, they would continue to serve in active duty. Later that year, they were transferred to the Soviet 34th Tank Division, equipping 67th and 68th Tank Regiments based in Kiev, Ukraine. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Jun 1941, they were engaged in combat for the first time. Many of them were lost in action, not due to enemy fire however, rather due to mechanical failures or scuttling. All T-35 tanks that survived Operation Barbarossa were transferred to Moscow where they participated in the defense of the capital city. All T-35 heavy tanks that survived the Battle of Moscow remained in the rear for the remainder of the European War.
Last Major Revision: Nov 2010
|11 Aug 1933||The Soviet Army accepted the five-turreted T-35 heavy tank design for production.|
|Machinery||One Mikulin M-17M 12-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 500hp|
|Armament||1x76.2mm Model 27/32 gun, 2x45mm guns, up to 6x7.62mm machine guns|
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943