Possible tier 6/7 Soviet LT: the Gavalov tank

Source: http://alternathistory.org.ua/proekt-legkogo-tanka-inzhenera-gvalova-sssr

Hello everyone,

in recent Q&A, SerB was asked about the machine, mysteriously known only as the “Gavalov tank”. SerB answered that this tank could be tier 6/7 Soviet light tank (not that it will, it would just be on that tier). After a quick search, I found the abovementioned article, which I will summarize here.


The light tank proposal from I.V.Gavalov (an engineer of some renown, he worked on several light tank designs, including the T-70) is an attempt to combine the concept of a light tank with a powerful gun. In an effort to make the vehicle more stable and easy to drive, the driver was moved to the turret and his seat was “stabilized” in order to compensate for the vehicle movement.

Despite the fact that in second half of 1943 the light tank projects were mostly stopped, some plants continued their light tank development. And so, in 1944 in the Gorky plant, I.V.Gavalov developed this technical project of a new tank.

In this project, the crew compartment was situated in the turret,w while the engine was apparently in the back in lying position. Fuel tanks and a part of stowed ammunition were located in the “nose” of the vehicle. In the turret, on the right side from the gun was the driver, the commander of the vehicle was behind him and on the left side, there was the gunner and loader. Furthermore, the engine was placed horizontally (the cylinders were horizontal), which, along with placing the crew in the turret, reduced the height of the vehicle.

As mentioned earlier, the driver’s seat was “stabilized” – when the turret turned, the driver stayed looking forward – this was possible thanks to a special chain transmission and the fact that the whole turret was “sitting” on the bottom of the tank on a pivot, not unlike the one of the anti-aircraft lafettes. Effectively, the driver was sitting on the turret axis and the whole thing rotated around him. The driver was also sitting above the rest of the crewmembers, looking out via a roof-mounted periscope, which was also stabilized.

As for the armament,in player-suggested trees, this tank is equipped with either a 57mm ZiS-5, or 76,2mm ZiS-4 and S-54 and characterised as a small, fast vehicle. Historically, it was to be equipped with a long-barelled 76mm gun and a machinegun. The vehicle was supposed to be 1,3m tall, 4m long and was supposed to have 7 large roadwheels. Armor was most likely probably non-existent. Altogether, when talking in game terms, it looks like a Soviet version of AMX ELC.

Since the same plant focused on light SPG vehicles (SU-85A for example) in the war, this light tank was only further developed after the war, eventually leading to the T-100:

24 thoughts on “Possible tier 6/7 Soviet LT: the Gavalov tank

    • Having a monkey crew with some cases of vodka makes everything possible in that tank.

      Oh….I forgot the bananas…

    • With the kind of manpower base the Red Army drew on finding sufficient numbers of short enough tankers ought not have been a major problem.

      • Red Army had a height limit for the tank crews, don’t recall the exact number, but perhaps it was 164 cm. Long story short, all their tankers were short. (pun not intended… maybe)

        • IIRC they also gleefully made use of similar restrictions for their space program, since they could thus get by with that much smaller crew modules and every kilogram counts going up the gravity well.

  1. I guess that this tank will be a very fun to play one. An ELC with a 360 degrees turning turret,armed with a rapid fire 57 mm gun ,no gun depression. Not bad at all ,guys!

  2. I don’t see any reason why it should be a tier higher than the ELC AMX! Doesn’t make any sense! Its 90 mm D 914 has a penetration of 170/248/45 and an alpha of 240/240/320. The Soviet 76.2 mm S-54 has a penetration of 109/156/39 and an alpha of 115/110/165, not even comparable between two flying pancakes.

    • except that this thing has a turret… which makes it possible to circle-strafe slower tanks till kingdom come

      • Well to be fair the ELC AMX also had a 360 degree turret as well, but it could only turn when stopped, the Soviets in this case found a pretty ingenious solution to that problem though

  3. BTW SS, I think the word you’re looking for is “contra-rotating” – “stabilisation” tends to mean something different. Didn’t the early and rather out-there concept drafts for the T110E3 have something similar…?

    • I think so, yes. And yea, I know I am sometimes using “russisms” (russian words translated the way Russians use it) in English, sorry for that.

  4. Given the URL of the article, was this a real project? Or something made up to support a neat looking model….

  5. My goodness! Stop posting shit.
    “Effectively, the driver was sitting on the turret axis and the whole thing rotated around him. The driver was also sitting above the rest of the crewmembers, looking out via a roof-mounted periscope, which was also stabilized. ”
    This is completely mistranslated and besides of that fully ridiculous. The part when the driver sits on the axis of the turret. You might have noticed, there is actually a TOP VIEW of the tank, and in the middle of the turret there is clealy THE GUN! The driver sits an the front right side of the turret. His seat, along the the periscope mounted in the hatch/cupola is indeed rotated contrary to turret rotation, so that the driver always faces forward.