WoT History article on T-14 Armata

The Archive Awareness blog has translated a Russian language article on the T-14 Armata tank that originally appeared on the World of Tanks History page.  While numerous articles have appeared on the T-14 recently, this one seems to have a good bit more detail than most we have seen.


30 years ago, engineers from Nizhniy Tagil created a foundation for a new tank with Object 187 and Object 187A. The innovative but unfortunate Object 195 was then built in metal. What was the fruit of the labours of Ural engineers?

On the way to a breakthrough

Successful decisions in the 1960s allowed Soviet engineers to achieve a tank with a very tight layout. The tanks were compact, not very heavy, and had excellent protection. On the other hand, if the enemy shell did punch through the armour, it was nearly guaranteed that it would destroy components or kill the crew. The ammunition rack in the fighting compartment was especially worrying.

In the end of the 1980s, all major Soviet tank factories were working on new tanks. Engineers aimed to boost the firepower (including by means of increasing the gun caliber), increase protection, and automate the vehicles. Additionally, a new layout was necessary, as the classic layout was no longer sufficient for survivability on the battlefield.

obiekt_195_150203_01Soviet engineers had a difficult task. They needed to develop an innovative solution to protect the crew and fighting compartment, separating them from the ammunition rack. Kharkov, Nizhniy Tagil, and Leningrad were working on this task. The Nizhniy Tagil project from Uralvagonzavod, Object 187A, was never built in metal, but was the basis of the experimental “Perfection-88” program. In 2000, the Object 195 vehicle was created based on that research, a predecessor for the T-14 tank built on the heavy universal tracked Armata platform.

Read the full article at Archive Awareness blog.

WoT History Articles translated to English

At the Russian language World of Tanks website, they frequently publish articles on the history of various tanks and vehicles written by their staff of researchers.  Fortunately for English language readers, the Archive Awareness blog regularly translates and posts these articles.  April saw a good number of these translated articles posted online.  Here are some links to the most recent ones.

World of Tanks History Section: SOMUA S35

World of Tanks History Section: Infantry’s Fangs (anti-tank rifles)

World of Tanks History Section: Tanks in the Far East

World of Tanks History Section: K2 Black Panther

World of Tanks History Section: PT-76

MS-1 Soviet tank restoration

ms-1-restoration-17Over at Archive Awareness they have posted a series of pictures and videos chronicling the restoration of a vintage Soviet MS-1.  This particular vehicle was found near the Russian-Chinese boarder where it had been dug in as a bunker. According to the man responsible for the restoration, “The work took about three years, but preparing for the restoration took even more time. We needed to retain all technical subtleties, so it was not just a copy, but as close to possible to the original. It is known that this tank participated in the events at Lake Hasan. To this day, no more than 5 tanks of this kind remain. Experts already admit that our tank is the closest to the original.”  The full post can be read here.

Valentine IX Trails in the USSR

valentine-9-1For the Record has an interesting post translating information on the Valentine infantry tank in Soviet service provided by Russian researcher Yuri Pasholok.  The post relates the results of Soviet testing at Kubinka in March of 1943 of a Valentine IX tank.  The IX variant was equipped with a larger turret and 57mm 6 pounder gun as compared to earlier versions of the vehicle which had the 2 pounder gun.  The report concludes that the Soviets were less than enthusiastic about this varient of the tank due to the lack of an HE round for the main gun and lack of coaxial machine gun.  The test results can be viewed at the Archive Awareness website.

Q&A with “Ensign Expendable” of Archive Awareness

header4For those who regularly visit forums such as World of Tanks, War Thunder or Tank Net, the name Ensign Expendable is a familiar one.  The man behind the Ensign Expendable avatar is Peter Samsonov, creator of the website/blog  Archive Awareness.  Digging through online archives only made available since the end of the Cold War, Samsonov diligently posts on a daily basis, translating Soviet archive material into English for a North American audience.  Armed with his blog, Ensign Expendable is a man on a mission, battling what he sees as a cold war legacy of negative perceptions in the West of Soviet tanks and armored vehicles.

For those interested in Soviet tanks of the Great Patriotic War (World War II), Archive Awareness has much to offer.   [Read more…]