Soviet T26 late winter war light tanks
From 1933 to 1938 the T-26 was virtually unchanged, except for the use of buggy-whip antennae, VKU-3 command system, TPU-3 intercom and an electric breechblock and vertically stabilized (or TOS model) TOP-1 gun telescopic sight. The main armament will remain unchanged until the end of the production in 1941, but the model 1938 received a brand new cast turret with sloped angles, the same armor and a PTK commander’s panoramic sight for newly radio-equipped commander tanks.
This turret was also factory-equipped with a rear gun port, first introduced in 1935, for a third DT machine-gun. After the battle of Lake Khasan in August 1938, the turret base was reinforced with a sloped underturret plate, 20 mm (0.79 in) strong. This late model was called the model 1939 or T-26-1 in some sources.
In all, 4,826 model 1938 and 1939 tanks were built. Around 670 of these were fitted with AA machine-gun mounts in 1939-40. At the same time, many obsolescent twin-turret models were converted as flame-throwers or dispersing tanks for chemical battalions. In 1940, the Factory of Carrying-and-Conveying Machines S. Kirov in Leningrad was responsible for the modernization of 340 1933 models T-26, replacing older road wheels with new reinforced ones. Other change included some armor increase for the headlight, driver’s hatch lower door and new armored PT-1 or PTK observation devices were fitted, as well as a common hatch above the engine compartment and fuel tank access. The latter’s capacity was increased. This unit and Factory N°105 were responsible for repairing many disabled T-26s.