SMK Tank
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SMK Tank
SMK, August 1939.jpg
The Soviet SMK heavy tank
TypeHeavy tank
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1939 (prototype)
Used bySoviet Union
WarsWinter War
Production history
ManufacturerKirov Plant
No. built1
Mass55 t (54 long tons)
Length8.75 m (28 ft 8 in)
Width3.36 m (11 ft 0 in)
Height3.35 m (11 ft 0 in)

Armor20-60 mm
45 mm gun M1932 (forward turret), 76.2 mm gun L-11 (main, or rear-most turret)
3×7.62 mm DT MG
850 hp
Power/weight15.5 hp/t
Suspensiontorsion bar
Ground clearance0.5 m (1 ft 8 in)
Fuel capacity1,320 l
220 km (140 mi)
Maximum speed 35 km/h (22 mph)

The SMK was an armored vehicle prototype developed by the Soviet Union prior to the Second World War. It was named after Sergei Mironovich Kirov, a Communist Party official assassinated in 1934. The SMK was discovered and classified by German intelligence as the T-35C, leading to the misunderstanding that the T-35 took part in the Winter War.[1]

Only one was built and after a trial showing the downsides of its weight and size against the KV tank and brief use in the war with Finland, the project was dropped.

Design and development

The SMK was among the designs competing to replace the unreliable and expensive T-35 multi-turreted heavy tank. A design team under Josef Kotin at the Kirovski Works (formerly the Putilov Works) at Leningrad designed the tank. Competition came from the former OKMO designer N. Barykov at the Bolshevik Plant.

In spite of the lessons that could have been learned during the Spanish Civil War, the specification drawn up for the "Anti-Tank Gun Destroyer" in 1937 required the ability to withstand 45 mm anti-tank guns at point-blank range and 75 mm artillery fire at 1,200 m (1,300 yd).[2]

Meetings in 1938 reduced the number of turrets in the specification and a move to torsion bar from spring suspension. Kotin and his assistant independently designed a single-turret version of the SMK which received Stalin's approval and the name KV. Production of two prototypes was ordered.

The SMK's armament was a short 76.2 mm gun in the upper centrally placed turret and a 45 mm weapon in the forward turret.

Service history

The SMK, the two KV-1 prototypes and the two T-100 prototypes were put through proving trials before being tested operationally in combat at the Battle of Summa during the Winter War against Finland. The vehicles formed a company of the 91st Tank Battalion of the 20th Heavy Tank Brigade. The unit was under the command of the son of the Defence Commissar. After being immobilized by a mine, the SMK had to be abandoned and was not recovered for 2 months.

The KV design proved superior in both trials in Finland and was accepted.


Location Front Side Rear Top/bottom
Hull 60 mm at a 45° angle (nose)

40 mm at a 15° angle (glacis)

60 mm at a 55° angle (driver)

60 mm at a 75-90° angle 60 mm round (lower)

60 mm at a 60° angle

20 mm at a 15° angle (engine)

20-30 mm flat (bottom)

20 mm flat (top)

Upper Turret 60 mm at a 75° angle and round 60 mm at a 75° angle 60 mm at an 80° angle 20 mm at a 0-15° angle
Lower Turret 60 mm at a 75° angle and round 60 mm at a 75° angle 60 mm at an 80° angle 20 mm flat to a 15° angle

See also


  1. ^ WeSMK Heavy Tank Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Zaloga p6

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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