Soviet BT-7 Fast Tankovy Comp - SBX20
Once the Soviet infantry had broken through the enemy lines, deep operations began. These called for tank and cavalry forces to advance rapidly to take objectives up to a hundred kilometres (sixty miles) or more behind the front, surrounding the enemy and destroying them. For this role the Red Army looked at a tank designed by an American, Walter Christie, and like the T-26, built unlicensed copies in huge numbers as the BT series of fast tanks.
The thing that made the Christie design attractive for this role was its speed, both cross country and on roads. Its mobility came from a novel suspension system of large rubber-shod road wheels mounted on long coil springs. This allowed the wheels to absorb he shock of high-speed cross country travel, and when the tracks were removed, allowed the tank to drive at high speeds on roads. While an interesting idea, the impracticality of taking the tracks on and off the tanks in a combat situation meant that they never tried it in action.
The second model (obr 1933) was more conventional with just a single turret mounting a 45mm gun and a coaxial machine-gun. Typical of Soviet tank design, the 45mm gun was one of the most powerful tank guns in the world at the time. The original Vickers design mounted a low-velocity 47mm gun. While this was as effective against machine-gun nests, its anti-tank performance was woeful, especially compared with the Soviet gun.
The BT-7 fast tank was an improvement of the BT-5 design. It fitted a redesigned slopped turret, a welded hull and a more powerful engine. The overall effect was increased armour, while the tank remained as manoeuvrability as the earlier model. It also retained the excellent 45mm obr 1938 gun, giving it plenty of anti-tank punch!
|The BT-7 in Flames Of War|
- five BT-7 Tanks with optional AA MG
- one Tank Commander sprue
Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Mark Hazell
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