contrary to popular belief, putting together enough info for an actual World of Tanks branch is a slow and annoying process – like 70-80 percent can be put together from books and published photographs – no problem. It’s the 20-30 percent that is annoying, as it involves looking for information about some pretty obscure stuff. This includes the proposed tier 5 for my medium branch, the T-24. It also nicely illustrates the way some of the historical projects are assembled together.
A quick summary: the T-24 was the “lighter” design competing with the T-25. It got cancelled pretty early on during the war with only the (relatively well-documented) T-25 remaining. Regarding the T-24 itself, only one drawing is known, the reconstruction of its looks by Ivo Pejčoch.
Now, the thing about T-24 is, there are no “complete assembly” drawings. Many possible reasons for that really, the most likely one is that the paperwork simply got lost over the decades. A lot of documents actually ended up lost for two notable reasons – a part of the archive was moved to Slovakia (ZTS Martin) where it disappeared god knows where. Second reasons were the floods in Prague, that heavily damaged parts of the military archive. There’s nothing much on the T-24 in the Škoda archive either except for one drawing (we’ll get to that).
The main source for the T-24 project is Ivo Pejčoch. He’s a famous Czech military historian, who wrote MANY books and articles (he sure loves to write) and his “Obrněná Technika” series is probably the best source of info on armored vehicles in Czech language (apart from V.Francev’s books and of course M.Dubánek) – they are usually reliable, but they are also written for general public and contain sketches that are not always very accurate. But, there are few better books on German tanks for example available in Czech.
Anyway, back to the T-24. Ivo Pejčoch reconstructed the drawing above and here’s how I believe he did it (I can’t be sure unless I ask him personally and he tells me of course). There are basically two sources of info on the T-24. The first one is the text description, that contains dimensions, armor thicknesses and other such data. These are historical documents, either a factory description or correspondence between Škoda and OKW (example). Second source is the Am 2029-S drawing. Here a lowres excerpt of it, so you have an idea what I am talking about.
This is a drawing from May 1942, depicting a what I think is an early version of T-25 proposal. Note the two turrets.. There’s a problem with the hull though. The dimensions do not match neither T-24 (too long) or T-25 (too short). The smaller turret obviously resembles the T-24 and since the documents only ever mention the short 75mm for T-24, it can be assumed that this is a T-24 turret proposal indeed. The hull on the other hand has marked armor thicknesses, that correspond to the T-25, so what this tells us is – T-24 and T-25 turrets are not only compatible, but they are historically considered for one vehicle as well.
This was one of the very annoying parts of brainstorming the T-24 and T-25 existence in World of Tanks, as each tank only ever had one turret. So, now T-25 can historically get both. But wait, it gets better. Not only the T-24 turret on that drawing is not identical to Pejčoch’s drawing (I have to find out how on earth did he do his drawing in the first place), but the T-25 turret is not identical to the “advanced” T-25 turret (from October 1942 drawing) either. So basically, now we have two turrets for T-24 and two turrets for T-25.
What I THINK Ivo Pejčoch did: he took the hull from the Am 2029 drawing above and added the T-24 documentary properties to it (length and such). Then he took the smaller turret and used it to recreate somehow the T-24 turret itself (unclear on that part because obviously they are a bit different). And he added values to it from the documentation. I mean… it’s valid (the hull above could very well be identical to some stage of T-24 project), it’s just interesting to find out how these things came to be.
The conclusion is, it’s well possible to actually reconstruct the T-24 even from the original drawings now. That’s good, one less obstacle gone.