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TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russian ?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:41 pm
Post subject: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russian ?

Here is a summary of all the information I can glean from books I own and online:

"TG Tank (Tank Grote or Grotte) was a heavy tank of very advanced design, with low silhouette and high power, built by Russia in 1931. It incorporated an unusual, almost futuristic, design with turret rounded on top, a feature 15 years before its time. A very sleek, heavy design, it sported a 76.2 A-19 cannon in the lower turret, a 37mm PS-2 gun in the upper turret, aswell as three 7.62mm M-1910 machine guns in the lower turret, and two 7.62 DT machine guns in hull sides. It could run on roadwheels or tracks. The tank was jointly developed by the Red Army of the Soviet Union, and the German Army of the Weimar Republic of Germany. After completion and testing of the TG-1, all German engineers were repatriated from the USSR. Due to a manufacturing error the lower turret of the prototype was fixed. The engine designed for use in the TG was not completed in time, and an M-6 engine was substituted, although it did not fit properly in the engine compartment. Max armor was 50mm. Max speed 25mph."

Could this be true? Could the TG-1 have been a joint Russian and German design? Nothing like the TG-1 would appear in Russia for many years - it does seem to be a 'futuristic' design. Both Germany and Russia were eager to try and gain know-how about building tanks, so I could believe this story.

Can anyone back up this with facts?

Here are some pictures of the TG-1:
ww2photo.mimerswell.co.../06044.jpg
www.militaertechnik-de...tart23.gif
www.nemo.nu/ibisportal.../grote.jpg
www.onwar.com/tanks/us...ans/tg.gif

Furthermore, does anyone have any aditional pictures of this prototype? If this indeed was a partly German design, I'm sure all the Panzer Heads out there would love to learn all about it! It's a very interesting design. In the line-art of it, the front view of the turret is reminiscent of an Abrams!

---Liottel.

P.S. One of my tank books seems to think that "Grotte Tank" simply means "Heavy Tank" in Russian - but the battlefield.ru website says that the leader of the small group of German engineers sent to build the first prototype Heavy Tank for Russia (because they simply couldn't do it on their own) were led by 'Edward Grotte'. The lessons learned by the Russians during the building of the single TG-1 Heavy Tank would be put to use to build the T-35 Heavy Tank, and greatly increased Russias knowledge of armor building. Could the "Grotte Tank" have been named after the German engineer who helped build it ??

Keep in mind, virtually all information on early Russian armor is muddled with misinformation. But, why Russians would freely admit to their first heavy-tank being brought to life by Germans they hired, is beyond me.
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:43 am
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russian ?

Interesting. The dome type turrets appear in other designs of that era Look at some of the British designs like the 'Independent'.

I know we don't have many angles to look at but I have a little problem with thinking the lower gun position is in a rotating turret. The dimensions just don't look right. It may be that it is designed with a large overhang (but it doesn't seem to have enough clearance from the hull top) but the fore to aft dimension looks to great to be rotating turret. And then there would be the problems of having one turret rotating on topof the other and not on the same axis.

It is an interesting design and I can almost see the KV series growing out of it.

By the way there seems to be a problem with your 4th link (the one to onwar.com)

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Tanklord
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:20 am
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russia

Could "Grotte" be "Grosse"? The lettering used in Old german makes "S" look like a "T" sometimes. Just my thoughts on the name.

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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:44 pm
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russia

Sorry folks, the fourth link is from a site that apparently doesn't like linking to its images... Here is the same image, (Copyright Maxim Kolomiets).

s1.simpload.com/070844...274208.gif

Yes, the extremities of the turret would not be where the turret ring was. Clearly it had some sort of modern 'turret overhang'.

I do not think the fact that the upper turret revolved on a different axis as the main would be much of an issue. For instance, the M3 tank had a secondary machine-gun turret on top of its primary 37mm gun turret - and it clearly rotated on a different axis. It would be basically impossible for the 37mm gun to be brought to bear on one target, while at the same time the turret cupola machine gunner brought his gun to bear on a different target.

Also, the later T-35 Heavy Tank was clearly inspired by the Independent tank, its turret was taller, and even had a sort of dome like top to some of the models. This tank however, had a squat primary turret - the secondary turret was domed, yes, but the primary had much more in common with far later tanks than the Independent.

---Liottel.
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:30 pm
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russian ?

I don't think there was much intent in the M3 Lee for the machinegun to be used for independent fire. If I remember correctly in some contemporary sources it was listed as an anti-aircraft gun. (another flawed concept) That was also the tank commanders position so he would tend to be occupied with directing the fighting of the 75mm and/or the 37mm gun.

I think recoil would be a problem with a gun as large as a 37mm mounted in a secondary turret off the centerline of rotation. Everytime the 37mm was fired when it wasn'tpointed down the centerline of the main turret it would put stress on the rotating gear of the main turret which would potentially affect the aim or operation of the main turret gun. It would also complicate gunlaying and target tracking for the 37mm. But all these are things that would be found out during trials and operational use. The late 20's and early 30's were a time of innovation in armored warfare

It would be interesting to find out details of the suspension. Did it use torsion bars, large coil springs like the Christie tanks, or something else. The potential for wheel or track operation is also interesting. That is a complexity that I don't remember seeing in any other German designs

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:07 pm
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russia

Luckily I have done a lot of research on Edward Grote and previous messages on him can probably still be found in the old archives...

- BenjaminLiottel

Could this be true? Could the TG-1 have been a joint Russian and German design? Nothing like the TG-1 would appear in Russia for many years - it does seem to be a 'futuristic' design. Both Germany and Russia were eager to try and gain know-how about building tanks, so I could believe this story.


After visiting Germany in late 1929/early 1930 Members of the Soviet Mission invited german engineer Edward Grote to the USSR. After his arrival, Grote began work at the AVO-5 Design Office, within the Aviation Engine Department of the 'Bolshevik' Factory. He led a team that was engaged on designing on a heavily armored, medium-weight tank as an alternative to the maneuverable T-24 . In 1930, prototypes of the experimental, TG Tank (Tank Grote) aka T-22 were subjected to trials and found to have some faults. Despite rectifying the faults that were found during testing, it was decided that the TG Tank would not be placed in production. Further work on the TG Tank was suspended and the services of Edward Grote were no longer required and in August 1933, Grote was requested to leave the USSR.

He then went to France and worked at Renault on the experimental G1 R series of tanks. towit the G1 R [75mm] - French experimental model and the G1 R [47mm] - Original french concept with 47mm in turret and 75mm in hull.

On the declaration of war he moved to the USA and is rumoured to have been involved in the design of the Lee & Sherman tanks. His speciality seems to have been cast turrets and there is more than a passing resemblance between the Lee and the G1R 47mm version.

Incidentally the Renault G1 R holds the record for being the only tank ever to have been rejected by an army because it EXCEEDED the official requirements.

Cool

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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:33 pm
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russian ?

Awesome information Jim!!

This was certainly one of the coolest tanks of its time. I mean, it had very good armor for the time (50mm max!), a good top speed for the time, and it had a 75mm gun AND a 37mm!

I wonder if the 75mm was a high-velocity gun? It had a long barrel, so I'm guessing it was a true heavy tank cannon, rather than some sort of howitzer. That would mean it could easily out-gun any tank in the world for literally years and years, until 75mm guns became commonplace in WWII!

Amazing design. Can you enlighten us on whether the bottom turret did indeed have traverse, or limited traverse, or was it fixed? I read that there was a manufacturing accident, and in the final product the bottom turret was fixed - but it was meant to be able to turn.

---Liottel.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:46 am
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russia

- BenjaminLiottel
Awesome information Jim!!

This was certainly one of the coolest tanks of its time. I mean, it had very good armor for the time (50mm max!), a good top speed for the time, and it had a 75mm gun AND a 37mm!

I wonder if the 75mm was a high-velocity gun? It had a long barrel, so I'm guessing it was a true heavy tank cannon, rather than some sort of howitzer. That would mean it could easily out-gun any tank in the world for literally years and years, until 75mm guns became commonplace in WWII!

Amazing design. Can you enlighten us on whether the bottom turret did indeed have traverse, or limited traverse, or was it fixed? I read that there was a manufacturing accident, and in the final product the bottom turret was fixed - but it was meant to be able to turn.

---Liottel.


Check the provided link, it should answer all your questions. I would have provided the link sooner but the Russian Battlefield site was down for a long , long time.

Tank Grotte (TG) at the Russian Battlefield

Be sure to check the rest of the site as well, it is truly excellent!

Cheers,
Rik

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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:08 pm
Post subject: Re: TG "Tank Grotte" Russian 1931 Heavy Tank - German+Russian ?

Fascinating stuff!

It still doesn't entirely put to rest the turret question though. Yes, by the time it was built the lower 'turret' could not move, only the top turret could rotat. But, was that how it was designed all along? Or, as I read in a different web page, was there a manufacturing problem and while trying to make the rotating lower turret, it was decided to make it fixed?

A gun that can only be aimed around ±10° in all directions seems to have quite limited tactical use, especially with how long this vehicle is. It would have to stop, and pivot on its tracks to try and sight in an enemy - yet the vehicle is so long, pivoting would be very hard. Vehicles like the StuG could pivot easily because they had a very short body. So I am inclined to believe the lower turret was originally meant to rotate, although obviously I seem to have no proof.

---Vil.
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