Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 update.
Today we are showing off the new Soviet tanks that you will see on Operation Mars.
The T-60 was born from the sudden need to produce tanks as quickly as possible following the German invasion of the Soviet Union. On paper at least, the T-50 had been selected to become the new light tank but it was a complicated design and Factory 37 was unable to switch over to it. The solution was to re-use the existing tooling for the T-40 amphibious tank to make a simpler and more conventional design. While this was approved, at about the same time the factory design team were also working on a more radical redesign of the T-40. Confusingly these designs both ended up being the T-60, and it wasn't for some months until the first of these projects was re-designated the T-30.
Since this second T-60 was designed from the ground up without the amphibious capability, it was considerably shorter than the T-40 at 1.74 metres. Gone was the complicated conical turret, replaced with a simpler polygonal design made from flat plates. Originally the armament was to be the DShK heavy machinegun, but there were severe shortages of this weapon and instead a replacement was found in the ShVAK 20 mm aircraft cannon. Redesigned for ground use as the TNSh, it was ordered off the design table before prototypes were made.
In combat the T-60 was woefully under armed and armoured when compared to the German panzers. The TNSh was not any better than the DShK at penetrating armour, and there were no radios fitted at all. It did see some success when supporting infantry, and the low height allowed it to be hidden well. In 1942 the frontal armour was slightly thickened, but this extra weight really only made the tank slower. 5417 T-60 would be produced between Autumn 1941 up to the end of 1942, when it was succeeded by the T-70. Our T-60 was made by Kraetzer and specifically is based on those that were made by the GAZ factory in 1941.
Soviet pre-war Deep Battle doctrine had identified a need for a heavy tank to support infantry against heavily fortified areas. Armour protection was seen as a priority, and the early designs to meet this requirement drew inspiration from the Vickers made multi-turret Independent tank. The T-35 was the first of these designs to reach maturity, but it was lacking in many areas and by 1936 new designs were called for.
Two multi-turret designs would emerge by 1939: the T-100 and SMK. Noting that the SMK was overly large and heavy, that team also worked on adapting their tank to a more conventional single turreted form that would be named after Marshall Kliment Voroshilov. These three tanks would be tested at Kubinka in 1939, and then in combat during the Winter War. It was soon obvious that the KV-1 was the superior design and it was placed into production.
Our KV-1 is the design that emerged in 1942. The turret armour had been increased over the earlier models with the switch to casting, and this allowed the KV to deal with the newer German antitank guns. This extra 3 tonnes of metal compared to the first model severely strained the already overstretched engine and gearbox, and breakdowns were common. Seth Soldier has made our KV-1, slightly modified to remove the Finnish additions from the version you'll already be familiar with. It is based on Toddel's KV-1S.
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