|T-24 Medium Tank|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Designer||Ivan N. Aleksenko, T2K design bureau|
|Variants||T-12 tank prototype, Komintern & Voroshilovets artillery tractors|
|Length||6.50 m (21 ft 4 in)|
|Width||3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)|
|45 mm gun Model 32|
|3 × DT machine gun|
250 hp (190 kW)
|Speed||25 km/h (16 mph)|
The T-24 was a Soviet medium tank built in 1931. Only twenty-four tanks were built, and none saw combat. This was the first tank produced at the KhPZ factory in Ukraine, which was later responsible for the very successful T-34 and T-54 Soviet tanks. The T-24's suspension was used successfully in the Soviet Union's first purpose-built artillery tractors.
The T-24's main armament was a 45 mm gun. It had a ball-mount 7.62 mm DT machine gun in the hull, another in the turret, and a third in a secondary turret atop the main turret. The tank was well-armoured for its time, but the engine and transmission had problems.
A tank design bureau was established at the Kharkov Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) in Kharkiv, Soviet Ukraine, in 1928. The first tank project of the factory was the T-12 (or T-1-12). This was a larger version of the T-18, with a more powerful engine (the T-18 was based on the Renault FT). One prototype was built and production of thirty tanks in 1930 was authorized, but automotive performance was so disappointing that it was decided to do further development work.
The project was re-designated T-24, work was completed fixing problems with the transmission and fuel system, and a larger turret was designed. Initial trials were conducted, during which performance was found satisfactory, although the prototype's engine caught fire, and the turret had to be transferred to a T-12 prototype for further testing. Only a total of twenty-four were built during 1931. The T-24s were originally armed only with machine guns, until the 45 mm guns were installed in the following year.
The T-24 was found unreliable, and was used only for training and parades. Although the T-24 tank was a failure, it gave the KhPZ its initial tank design and production experience, which was applied much more successfully in adopting production of the U.S. Christie tank as the BT tank series, starting in 1931.
The KhPZ's Komintern artillery tractor was based on the suspension of the T-12 tank (50 built from 1930) and later the T-24 (2,000 built from 1935 to 1941), powered by a 131-hp diesel engine. Unlike its predecessor tanks, the tractor was more successful and was put into mass production. The Komintern inherited several of the T-24's disadvantages, but some of them were fixed by designers, others were not as significant for tractor as for a tank. The Komintern was used to tow medium artillery such as the 152 mm gun-howitzer.
The Voroshilovets heavy artillery tractor was also based on the T-24's suspension, using the same but detuned Model V-2 diesel engine as the BT-7M and T-34 tanks. About 230 were built at KhPZ from 1939, and after the German invasion of 1941 production was shifted to the Stalingrad Tractor Factory until August 1942.
- Zaloga, Steven J.; James Grandsen (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-606-8.
- Komintern at battlefield.ru
- T-12, T-24, Komintern, Voroshilovets at KMDB design bureau's official site
- T-24 Medium Tank at battlefield.ru
- Первые советские танки (First Soviet tanks), at M. Svirin's Soviet Tanks, in Russian
- Первые Средние (First Mediums), from Modelist-Konstruktor, no 9, 1989, in Russian