The light tank BT-7 of the 1935 model. Armor – 22 mm. The speed on the wheels is 72 km / h, on the caterpillars – 52 km / h. Crew – 3 people.

Museum of the Soviet Army, Moscow

The BT-7 was the last of the BT series of Soviet cavalry tanks that were produced in large numbers between 1935 and 1940. It was lightly armoured, but reasonably well-armed for the time, and had much better mobility than other contemporary tank designs. The BT tanks were known by the nickname Betka from the acronym, or its diminutive, Betushka.

The BT-7’s successor was the famous T-34 medium tank, introduced in 1940, which replaced all of the Soviet fast tanks, infantry tanks, and medium tanks then in service.

The first prototypes of the BT-7 had a distinctive canted-ellipse shaped turret mounting both the main gun and a coaxial machine-gun. The specification also called for the project to allow for the installation of new guns without any significant change to the framework: the 76 mm KT-26 or PS-3 main gun (a short-barreled howitzer) and the 45 mm 20K model 1932/38, a long-barreled, high-velocity gun useful against tanks, but less effective than the 76 mm gun against infantry.

Manufacturer: Malyshev Factory

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