Soviet Light Infantry Tank of the Second World War.
History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures, and 3D model.

T-26S Model 1939
This T-26S Model 1939 was part of the Russian force that occupied Persia in 1941 and is inspected by allied British soldiers.

Type: Light tank.


Like many other Russian tanks in the early thirties of the last century, also the T-26 was developed from a British model, which had been bought by Vickers-Armstrong. In this case, it was the 6-t-tank with two turrets, which formed the initial model.
The Russians developed from it a light infantry support tank to replace the obsolete MS. It was produced during the entire period of 1931-1940 in large series. Overall, more than 12,000 units were produced in a variety of models.

In 1930 a team of engineers of the test department (OKMO) of the Bolshevik works in Leningrad, which was headed by N W Barikow and S A Ginzbury, built 20 pre-production vehicles with the label TMM-1 and TMM-2. In a comparison test against Russian models (T-19 and T-20) they had been approved by the Revolutionary Defense Council of the Red Army on February 13, 1931. After minor changes by the engineer Sigelja it was ready for production as the T-26. Apart from a few small changes in shape at the front of the hull and on the two independent machine-gun turrets, the production vehicle corresponded completely to the British original.

In the following year, the mass production in different plants was started, including the Kirov factory in Leningrad. In the first series the turrets lay side by side and could be equipped with a variety of weapons.
The command tank T-26TU was equipped with radios. The antenna was a railing around the turret. It was intended to make a model with only one turret for the army, which was equipped with a new long-barrel 37 mm gun. However, from this model only a small series was built, because it was decided to use a single turret model with a larger turret. The mass production of this model was started in 1933. The first vehicles were armed with the new 37-mm gun, but later got the tank a newly constructed 45-mm gun.

In 1938 the Far East army reported, that the riveted T-26’s were no match for the Japanese firepower. Therefore, a new welded version, the T-26S, was designed. Some older versions of the T-26 received this turret also. Before the Russian campaign in 1941 the T-26 has already been used against the Japanese in Manchuria, in Spain and in the Russo-Finnish War.

During his service in the Russian army the T-26 has been changed on several occasions and also formed the basis of many specialist vehicles. Among them, for example, self-propelled guns, flame thrower tank, armored vehicle launched bridges, nebulization tanks, artillery tractors, remote-controlled explosive tanks and many others.

User: Russia, Spain, China, Turkey (captured specimens were used also by the Finnish, German, Romanian and Hungarian armies).

Animated 3D model T-26S

Specifications for T-26S


TypeLight tank
Engine air-cooled 4-cylinder gasoline engine with 90 hp at 2,200 rev/min
Gearbox ?
Turret crew2
Length4.88 meters
Width3.41 meters
Height2.41 meters
Weight9.4 tons
Ground pressure c. 0.72 kg/cm²
Power to weight ratio c. 9.6 PS/t
Maximum speed30 km/hr
Cross-country speed?
Fuel consumption per 100 Kilometers 130 liters on road; 195 liters cross-country
Fuel292 liters
Road range225 km
Cross-country radius150 km
Vertical obstacle0.79 meters
Trench crossing1.90 meters
Fording depth?
Turning circle?
Climbing power40°


T-26S mmangle
Details unknown 12-37 mm?

Armament and Equipment:

Main armament 45 mm Model 38
Traverse 360°
Elevation ?
Muzzle velocity BR-240 (HE)760 m/s
Muzzle velocity BR-240P (DS) 1,070 m/s
Muzzle velocity O-240 (HE)750 m/s
Shell weight BR-240 1.4 kg
Shell weight BR-240P 0.85 kg
Shell weight O-240 2.1 kg
Maximum firing range ?
Secondary armament 1 x DT MG
Radio only for command tanks
Telescopic sight ?

Penetration mm at 0° armor plates of the gun:

100 m??
500 m42 mm80 mm
1.000 m38 mm50 mm
1.500 m--
2.000 m--


T-26 figures
Production 1932-1940 (special versions until 1941, T-26S since 1937-38)
Service delivery1933
Price per unit ?
Total production figure c. 12,000

Service statistics of all T-26 variants:

before 1940? c.10,500 ?
1940?1,549 ?
1941 c.11,000 (June) (only some special versions) ?
1945(out of service end 1945)-?
Total- c.12,000 ?

References and literature

Krieg der Panzer (Piekalkiewicz)
Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two (Steven J. Zaloga, James Grandsen)
Panzer und andere Kampffahrzeuge von 1916 bis heute (Christopher F. Foss, John F. Milsom, Colonel John Stafford Weeks, Captain Georffrey Tillotson, Richard M. Ogorkiewicz)
The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II (Chris Bishop)
Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Orgnaisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation, Volume I – IIIB (Nigel Askey)

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1 thought on “T-26”

  1. You did a great job well done. It is the site I was looking for to be able to do my missions on the 2WW with the Arma3 tactical simulator.

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