T-24 Medium Tank


T-24 Medium Tank

The T-24 was a Soviet medium tank built in 1931. Only twenty-four tanks were built, and saw no combat. This was the first tank produced at the KhPZ factory in Ukraine, which was later responsible for the very successful T-34 and T-54 Soviet tanks. The T-24's suspension was used successfully in the Soviet Union's first purpose-built artillery tractors.

The T-24's main armament was a 45 mm gun. It had a ball-mount 7.62 mm DT machine gun in the hull, another in the turret, and a third in a secondary turret atop the main turret. The tank was well-armoured for its time, but suffered from problems with the engine and transmission.

T-24 Medium Tank
Type Medium tank
Place of origin Soviet Union
Production history
Designer Ivan N. Aleksenko, T2K design bureau
Manufacturer KhPZ
Produced 1931
Number built 25
Variants T-12 tank prototype, Komintern & Voroshilovets artillery tractors
Weight 18.5 tonnes
Length 6.50 m (21 ft 4 in)
Width 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
Height 2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)
Crew 5

Armour 8–20 mm
45 mm gun Model 32
3 × DT machine gun
Engine M-6
250 hp (190 kW)
Power/weight 13.5 hp/tonne
Suspension vertical spring
Speed 25 km/h (16 mph)

A tank design bureau was established at the Kharkov Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) in Kharkiv, Soviet Ukraine, in 1928. The first tank project of the factory was the T-12 (or T-1-12). This was a larger version of the T-18, with a more powerful engine (the T-18 was based on the Renault FT-17). One prototype was built and production of thirty tanks in 1930 was authorized, but automotive performance was so disappointing that it was decided to do further development work.

The project was re-designated T-24, work was completed fixing problems with the transmission and fuel system, and a larger turret was designed. Initial trials were conducted, during which performance was found satisfactory, although the prototype's engine caught fire, and the turret had to be transferred to a T-12 prototype for further testing. Only a total of twenty-four were built during 1931. The T-24s were originally armed only with machine guns, until the 45 mm guns were installed in the following year.

The T-24 was found unreliable, and was used only for training and parades. Although the T-24 tank was a failure, it gave the KhPZ its initial tank design and production experience, which was applied much more successfully in adopting production of the U.S. Christie tank as the BT tank series, starting in 1931.

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