Monday, June 25, 2012

Metal Drake

The Carden-Loyd tankettes by Carden-Loyd Tractors, Ltd., were promising enough that the company was purchased by Vickers-Armstrong. They developed light, floating tanks to General Staff requirements (A4E11 etc). In April 1931, Vickers-Armstrongs conducted several successful tests of these light vehicles in the presence of the press. Publication of the design and testing by the press attracted the attention of the Red Army Department of Motorization and Mechanization: the small tank was well suited to the new armament policies of the Red Army, as well as possibly being able to replace the older T-27 tankette, which never performed well in combat.
The Selezen ("Drake", Ru. Селезень) program was established in order to construct a similar amphibious tank with a layout based on that of the British prototype.
The first Selezen prototype, which was designated the T-33, was built in March 1932 and showed good buoyancy during testing.
However, the T-33 did not perform satisfactorily in other tests and was too complicated for the existing military-industrial complex to produce.

As a result, it was not mass produced or equipped in large numbers.

Sources: Wiki (text), Bronetehnika (images)

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