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Soviet Tank T-28. Parola. Советский танк Т-28. Парола.
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Image by Peer.Gynt
Parola Tank Museum. Finland.

The Soviet T-28 was among the world’s first medium tanks. The prototype was completed in 1931 and production started in late 1932. It was an infantry-support tank intended to break through fortified defences. The T-28 was developed to complement the heavier T-35, with which it shared a lot of components. The type would not have that much achievement in combat, but it played an important function as a improvement project for the Soviet designers. A series of new tips and options were attempted out on the T-28 and have been later incorporated in future models.
Design history
The T-28 was in a lot of approaches comparable to the British Vickers A1E1 Independent tank. This tank tremendously influenced tank design and style in the period between the wars, even though only 1 prototype was manufactured in 1926. The Kirov Factory in Leningrad began manufacturing a tank, which was based on the British Independent in 1932. The T-28 tank was officially approved on August 11, 1933. The T-28 had one large turret with a 76.2mm gun and two smaller sized turrets with 7.62mm machine guns. A total of 503 T-28 tanks have been manufactured more than a period of eight years from 1933 to 1941.
Combat history
The T-28 was deployed in the course of the Invasion of Poland and the Winter War against Finland. During the initial stages of the Winter War, the tank was utilised in direct fire missions against Finnish pillboxes. In the course of these operations it was found that the armour was inadequate and programs were initiated to upgrade it. Frontal plates were upgraded from 50 mm to 80 mm and side and rear plates to 40 mm thickness. With this up-armoured version the Red Army broke by means of the primary Finnish defensive fortification, the vaunted Mannerheim Line.

According to Russian historian M. Kolomietz’s book T-28. Three-headed Stalin’s Monster, more than 200 T-28s have been knocked out for the duration of the Winter War, but only 20 of them have been in irrecoverable losses (including 2 captured by the Finnish Army). Due to proximity of the Kirov Plant, all other knocked-out tanks have been repaired, some of them more than five instances.

T-28 tanks, with horseshoe radio antennasThe Finns knew the T-28 as the Postivaunu (&quotmail wagon&quot or stagecoach), a name which alluded to Finnish troops’ discovery of Red Army field mail sacks inside the 1st destroyed T-28. One more explanation is that the higher profile of the tank resembled the old west stagecoaches of the United States.Finns captured two T-28s in the course of the Winter War and 5 in Continuation War, for a total of 7 vehicles.

The Soviets had 411 T-28 tanks when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Most T-28s had been lost during the initial two months of the invasion, a lot of of them abandoned soon after mechanical breakdown. Some T-28s took component in the 1941 winter defence of Leningrad and Moscow,[3] but following late 1941, they were uncommon in Red Army service a few had been operated by enemy forces.

Today three T-28s remain, two in Finland and one in Moscow. One restored T-28 is on display in Finnish field camouflage in the Parola Tank Museum, Finland.

AssessmentAlthough the T-28 was rightly regarded ineffective by 1941, it is worth remembering that when the Red Army was fielding the initial T-28s in 1933, the French Army was nevertheless largely equipped with the FT-17, and the Reichswehr had no tanks at all. No army had a series-production medium tank comparable to the T-28 for many years.

The T-28 had a number of sophisticated features for the time, such as radio (in all tanks) and anti-aircraft machine-gun mounts. Just just before the Second Planet War, many received armor upgrades, bringing its protection on par with the early PzKpfw IV, although its suspension and layout had been outdated.[five]

The T-28 had considerable flaws. The plunger-spring kind suspension was poor, but numerous of the far better suspension designs used in Planet War II tanks had not yet been created. The engine and transmission were troublesome. Worst of all, the design was not flexible. Though the T-28 and early PzKpfw IV were comparable in armour and firepower, the sound simple style of the PzKpfw IV permitted it to be drastically upgraded, even though the T-28 was a poor basis for improvement.

However for the Red Army, by the time the T-28 saw combat in 1939, events had overtaken it. The 1930s saw the improvement of the first dependable high-speed suspensions, the 1st objective-made antitank guns, and a gradual increase in the firepower of tanks. The Spanish Civil War showed that infantry units with small, towed anti-tank guns could defeat most modern tanks, and produced the below-armoured tanks from the early 1930s particularly vulnerable.

Despite heavy losses, in the Winter War the Red Army’s 20th Tank Brigade, equipped with T-28s, fulfilled its mission to break the defensive Mannerheim Line. As an infantry-assistance tank, designed to help infantry in breakthrough operations, the T-28 in basic was profitable for an early 1930s style.
T-28 Model 1934 or T-28A — principal production model with the exact same machinegun turrets, and equivalent main turret as the T-35 heavy tank and Model 27/32 76.2mm gun.
T-28 Model 1938 or T-28B — version with enhanced L-10 76.2 mm gun (from 16.5 calibres to 26 calibres), improved gun stabilization program and improved Model M-17L engine.
T-28E or T-28C — 1940 addition of appliqué armour in response to poor functionality in Finland. Total front armour was improved to 80 mm, weight to 32 t, and road speed dropped to 23 km/h
T-28 Model 1940 — the final batch of about twelve tanks had the same conical turret as late-production T-35 tanks.

Replica Enigma Machine PCBs have arrived!
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Image by Adam N. Ward
The PCBs I ordered from OSHPark (aka Dorkbot PDX, aka Laen’s PCB Order) have arrived!

As usual, the quality of the manufacture is flawless, the service fast and simple. Plus it’s low-price to boot!

I am quite pleased with these boards and they will look wonderful in the replica Enigma Machine I am developing (see the blog URL in the image).

Thanks James, one more wonderful set of PCBs and a pleased returning client 🙂