History and models
The T-26 was a light tank developed by the Soviet union and in service from 1931 with the Russian Army. The British Vickers 6-ton tank was its role model. The T-26 Light tank was one of the most successful designs in the 1930s. The first model from 1931 to 1932 had twin-turrets, each holding a DT Machinegun, nothing bigger to shoot with. The Degtyaryov machine gun carried a pan cartridge with 45 rounds, caliber 7.62mm.
The single turret T-26 came on the market in 1933 and had a high velocity 45 mm gun and a coaxial DT machinegun. The 45 mm gun was used in all models from this version on, the 1936 model had a second DT machinegun in the rear of the cupola.
The T-26 light tank came in multiple variants from flame thrower to artillery tank, bridge layer tank and many more. The T-26 was not the fastest tank on the Battlefield, it reached speeds of 31 km/h on roads and 16 to 22 km/h off-road and weighed 9600 kilograms. Its 3 men crew was protected with 6 to 15 mm of armor and was in control of the DT machine guns and/ or the 45 mm tank gun model 1932 (20K). Its operational range was around 220 km on roads and 130 km off-roads. As tank it was produced around 10300 times and there were about 1700 other variants built with the T-26 chassis.
Bogged near Leningrad
This particular T-26 was pulled out of lake Ladoga near the town of Pitkyaranta north of Sint Petersburg. It was found in 1998 and seems to have participated in the Lenningrad Blokkade in 1941 – 1942.
The light tanks from the interbellum became obsolete at the end of the 30s and during the first war years with the introduction of the medium tanks and better anti-tank guns. The T-26 tank was produced from 1931 up to 1941 and was in action throughout the entire Second World War with the Soviet Army.