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The Real First Tank.

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dark_one View Drop Down
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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Real First Tank.
    Posted: 13-Jan-2005 at 19:20
Now most people think that the first tank was the Brittish Mark I in 1916, and few seem to know about the Lebedenko Tank of 1915. Here are some pictures:



and basic info on it:
The Russian Lebedenko or Tsar Tank, is without doubt the most strange Armoured Fighting vehicle ever constructed. It should, however, not be dismissed purely as another hare-brained scheme, but must be seen against the backdrop of the early tank development that was taking place at this time, and that in all countries was very experimental, and leading to many curious and non-functional designs.

The history of the Lebedenko starts in 1914 with the engineer N. Lebedenko, who was at that point employed in a private firm, that worked for the Russian War Department, designing artillery devices. Lebedenko himself, with the aid of N. Zhukovskiy and his nephews, B. Stechkin and A. Mikulin, came up with the idea (originally thought as a sort of enlarged gun-carriage) of a motordriven battle machine, weighing some 40 tons, running on one small double-wheel, and two very large spoked wheels, almost 9 meter in diameter, in a tri-cycle arrangement. The big wheels were attached to the hull, shaped like a tuning-fork, which tapered down to the double wheel, mounted in the rear, which provided the means for steering the vehicle. The designers hoped that this original configuration would make it possible for the vehicle to cross practically all obstacles. They initially called the vehicle Nepotir, but came to be known as the Lebedenko, after the designer. (Sometimes it was nicknamed "The Tsar ", after the financier.)

But who would finance this project? A small working wooden model of the Nepotir was made, driven by a spring motor taken from a gramophone. Then the model was demonstrated to Tsar Nikolaj, who was much impressed when the toy made it across some scale obstacles, i.e. a number of thick books. He promptly ordered the designers to go ahead with the project, and allocated the needed funds himself.

Construction of the full-scale Lebedenko started.

The drive assembly consisted of two 240 hp Maybach engines, one for each big wheel. The wheels themselves (designed by Zhukovskiy) had a T-shaped metal mid-section. A wooden overlay was then fastened to the shelf of the T-beam. The drive itself was very simple. Each engine drove an automobile wheels, who was in its turn pressed down (by means of a railway carriage spring) until it touched the wooden overlay of the big wheel, and by counterrotating, the automobile wheel transferred the energy from the engine to the big running wheel. (In case of over-heating, the driving wheels disengaged and protected the engine from seizing.) It was thought that the Nepotir should be able to reach a top speed of some 17 km/h which was pretty impressive compared to other WW1 AFV.

The hull of the vehicle would have one top-mounted centrally placed turret, equipped with MG and/or light cannons, giving the Lebedenko a total height of some 12 meters. In addition to this, at the outer flanks of the hull, small MG sponsons was to be placed. There was also a small weapons turret placed underneath the belly of the beast.

The construction progressed pretty quick and at the end of July 1915, the Nepotir was ready for its first trials. Because of its weight and size, it was designed to be transported in sub-assemblies, to be assembled again before action at the front (like it was later envisioned for the huge German K-Wagen). This procedure was followed, and the sub-assemblies were transported to the testing ground, some 60 km from Moscow. At the re-assembly it was found out that the weight of the machine exceeded calculations with some 50%, due to the use of thicker metal. In August the test began in front of a high commission. It started well. The vehicle moved well over some firm ground, crashed a tree, but then went into a soft patch, where the small double wheel got stuck in a ditch. Soon it was obvious that the engines were to small, as they were unable to free the rear double wheel.

After this fiasco, two of the designers, Mikulin and Stechkin, worked on equipping the vehicle with more powerful engines, but this plan was never fulfilled. The military had decided against the project. It was simply too expensive, it had thus far cost some 250.000 roubles. Also the vehicle (and then primarily its wheels) was deemed to be too vulnerable to artillery fire, which probably was quite true. (And by this time both France and Britain were near to completing new types of all-terrain armoured fighting vehicles, running on caterpillar tracks.)

The Lebedenko stood there, bogged down, for the rest of the war, but was finally scrapped in 1923.

As much of a failrue as it was Russia still ahd the first tank.
Also those smilies obviously don't belong htere.


Edited by dark_one
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Tobodai View Drop Down
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2005 at 19:33
lol, that is BIZARRE, I can see how the large wheels and size would make it an easy target, especially for artillery.
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  Quote Slickmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2005 at 15:11

The back wheels look like giant bicycle wheels

The Lebedenko would look intimidating though!

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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2005 at 15:15
You need to stretch the definition of tank quite abit to make that abonimation fit.
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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2005 at 16:54
 The only part of the definition that you need tos tretch is that a tank moves on enclosed threads.
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  Quote TheOrcRemix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2005 at 01:11
wow, cool. Looks like a giant drag racer.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2005 at 05:47
Very effective weapon. Enemies laughed themselved to death when they saw it.
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  Quote Conquistador Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2005 at 06:10

Very effective weapon. Enemies laughed themselved to death when they saw it.

Haha I know I would!

Still, thanks for posting, I didn't know this freak-show excisted! Interesting!

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  Quote babyblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2005 at 07:57

looks more like a giant lawn mower to me...

    we'd laugh ourselfs to death because we know what a modern tank looks like..

 

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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2005 at 15:32
 I got this out of Maxim's "big things that turned out badly"(translated from Russian so title not exact) feature. The WTC were among htem BtW
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  Quote Slickmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2005 at 20:07

Originally posted by TheOrcRemix

wow, cool. Looks like a giant drag racer.

That was my first opinion when I first saw the pics.

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 15:29

LOL--wow, that's the strangest thing I've ever seen--even worse than the Russian circular ironclad monitors like the Novgorod.

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 15:51
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 17:58
Haha, there it is!
"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


--Augustin Staidt, of the Federfechter (German fencing guild)
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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 18:30
 It does look quite revolutionary. What was the problem with it(the ship)?
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 04:13

Mendelejev

Mendelayef Tank Russia 1898 (Source Crow and Icke)

1 gun Kanz calibre 150 mm Naval gun

1 Maxim calibre 7,62 mm machinegun

armour 150mm

crew 8

speed: 24 km/h

engine: gasoline 250PS submarine engine

weight 170 tons

length 13 m, width: 4,4 m, height: 4,5m

1 prototype built only around 1911

 

 



Edited by Paul
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 21:19
 I'm still curious as to the fate of the circular boat.
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  Quote RED GUARD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2005 at 19:16
Originally posted by Paul

Mendelejev

Mendelayef Tank Russia 1898 (Source Crow and Icke)

1 gun Kanz calibre 150 mm Naval gun

1 Maxim calibre 7,62 mm machinegun

armour 150mm

crew 8

speed: 24 km/h

engine: gasoline 250PS submarine engine

weight 170 tons

length 13 m, width: 4,4 m, height: 4,5m

1 prototype built only around 1911

 

 



          How is the front turret going to turn?
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