Tsar Tank


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One of the more grotesque AFV designs of the world was Lebedenko's "Tsar Tank", sponsored by the Central Technical Comitee. In early 1915, M. Lebedenko which was heading the Experimental Laboratory of the War Ministry managed to persuade the Tsar himself to lend financial support to the development of a huge tricycle-tank with wheels measuring 10 meters in height. Alexsei Mikulin headed the development, and he was later to be famed for his aircraft engine designs. In the summer of 1915, a prototype was finished weighing 40 tons. Each of the two front wheels were powered by a 250hp Sunbeam engine. Plans were made to fit the "Tsar Tank" with machineguns on the balconies near the wheel outriggers and in the central turrets. It was soon discovered that it was very impracticable and vulnerable to enemy artillery fire, since the vehicle was only lightly armored. The "Tsar Tank" project was abandoned, and the tank was scrapped in 1923 when 250.000 roubles had been wasted.

tsar_2.JPG (12980 bytes)