Soviet Tank BT-7 model 1937. БТ-7 быстроходный танк Tamiya 1/35 scale

Such a cool looking design! The world’s first truly fast tank. It features sloped armour all around the body in place of the previous flat version. It was an excellent tank for its time and gave the Russians the experience on which to base the famous T-34 and their large-scale tank tactics.

When I heard that Tamiya had released a model of the BT tank, I just knew I had to get one sooner or later! It has always been one of my favourite tank designs.

The designation BT stands for bystro-khodnii tank, literally fast-moving tank, and the BT series of tanks, BT-2, BT-3, BT-5, BT-7, and BT-8 had impressive speed . The BT-7 could travel at a maximum speed of 45 mph on its wheels or 32 mph when tracked. It was armed with a 45 mm 20K Model gun 7.62 mm DT machine gun.

All of these models featured the ingenious ‘Christie suspension’ of American automotive engineer J. Walter Christie, the ability to move from tracks to wheels and back again to tracks, and sloped armour designed to minimise the impact of anti-tank projectiles. More importantly, the series was progressively up-gunned. This celebrated series of tanks would culminate, after considerable modifications, in the legendary T-34.

The tank was suited to the Soviet ‘Deep Battle’ doctrine of fast, offensive warfare into the enemy rear areas although it later became apparent that heavier tanks would be needed to break through powerful enemy defences.

Box Art. As always, Tamiya feature a beautiful picture which adds to the allure and desirability of their kits. I just wish other kit makers would do the same!
The metallic tow chain comes with the kit and adds a touch of realism
The tracks could be removed for high-speed road travel although in reality the option was rarely used given the realities of campaigning in the field and the poor state of the road network in Russia even where it existed. The engine cover is photo-etch. I can’t help drooling every time I look at my BT-7, a practice not to be recommended at this time!
Berlin is the other way! Sorry part of my thumb wanted to get into the action!
In winter camouflage

БТ-7 быстроходный танк. Его военным дебютом стали боевые действия против японских войск у озера Хасан летом 1938 г. Однако наилучшим образом БТ-7 показали себя годом позже в Монголии в боях на Халхин-Голе, где в степях в полной мере проявились высокая скорость и маневренность этого танка.

Успешно действовали БТ-7 во время похода Красной Армии в Польшу в сентябре 1939 года, когда стремительное продвижение мобильных танковых групп позволило парализовать возможные активные действия польских войск. На начальном этапе Великой Отечественной войны по своим боевым качествам БТ-7 не уступали большинству немецких танков и применялся до первой половины 1942 года.

Заключительным эпизодом в боевой биографии БТ-7 стала советско-японская война в августе-сентябре 1945 года.

На тот момент эти уже устаревшие танки входили в состав вторых батальонов танковых полков и шли в прорыв за более мощными Т-34 и ИС-2.

‘BT-7 – fast tank. It’s military debut was during the battles against the Japanese forces at lake Khasan in the summer of 1938. However the BT-7 displayed its best form a year later in Mongolia in the battles of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan incident) where the high speed and manoeuvrability of this tank were displayed fully on the steppes. The BT-7 took part successfully in the campaign of the Red Army in Poland in September 1939, when the rapid advance of armoured groups enabled the possible actions of Polish forces to be paralysed. At the start of the Great Patriotic war the military qualities of the BT-7 did not yield to the majority of the German tanks and they were employed until the first half of 1942. The conclusive episode in the military biography of the BT-7 was the Soviet-Japanese war in August-September 1945. At that point the already obsolete tanks entered the secondary battalions of the tank regiments and followed in the breakthroughs made by the more powerful T-34 and Joseph Stalin-2 tanks.’

Source: Internet. 7 Legendary Russian Tanks.

A superb profile of this aesthetically pleasing tank

The following video is an excellent demonstration of the BT-7’s astonishing mobility. The Christie suspension of springs and large road wheels with the considerable vertical wheel displacement allowed the BT-7 to cross rough terrain at high speed, though this resulted in an unstable gun platform which inhibited firing on the move.

The ‘flying’ BT-7 in action. Classic stirring Soviet footage. Let’s hope the tank crew at the end were wearing crash helmets!

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