T-26 Infantry Light Tank
The T-26 began as a direct copy of the British Vickers 6-ton Type E light tank.
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As was the norm after World War 1 in all industrialized nations around the globe, Soviet warplanners set about to upgrade their armed forces to meet the demands of the everchanging battlefield. In particular demand was the improvement of the armored corps which were progressively outclassed by their contemporaries. Attempts were made to develop and indigenous design but most came to naught. As such, the British-based Vickers 6-ton Type E series were available in limited numbers stemming from a 1930 purchase from England and were selected for further development.
The British Type E became the T-26 in the Soviet inventory and brought about as a light infantry tank. The initial production version featured twin turrets in a distinct World War 1 style layout, each turret mounting a single 7.62mm anti-infantry machine gun. This version was known as the T-26A1 and were basically carbon copies of the British production models. From there, the previously Vickers design evolved into several variants starting with the base T-26A, all centering on increased crew protection and the mounting of evermore potent weapons. Power was derived from a single GAZ-type T-26 8-cylinder gasoline engine that delivered some 91 horsepower. The system would be crewed by 3 personnel. The T-26A2 followed shortly there after and became the first all-Russian production models armed with Soviet machine guns.