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Ansaldo tank designs from the 30s & other heavies

I'm not 100 percent sure yet if these are the actual drawings, but during the 1930s Ansaldo designed a series of super heavy tanks for the Russians that were the inspiration for the Russian T-39. A Russian gaming company called Wargaming had the blueprints for several years but nobody really knew what they looked like. I believe these are those drawings from this coming attraction/preview dated Dec. 2019:


IIRC, those should be 107, 152 and 203mm guns with smaller turrets ranging from 45mm to 76mm.





The project apparently started at an estimated 65-70 tons and was projected to increase to 90 tons as the armament and turret size grew. Anyway, the super heavy designs, although outrageous, influenced soviet tank suspensions for years to come and have been kind of a missing link to Italian heavy tank development. I think this leaves only the odd GL-4 as the least known out of the bunch.


" That something else can only be the Ansaldo heavy tank project, which later inspired the T-39. In 1932, a 70-ton tank was designed for the USSR with a Char 2C-like electric motor, 30 kph top speed, and an impressive 152 mm or 203 mm main gun. Secondary guns included 76 and 45 mm turrets. The tank was never built, but its blueprints went on to inspire Soviet tank design for many years later, so odds are they are somewhere. Perhaps WG researchers will dig it up and reveal the wonders of the early super-heavy tank designs. Meanwhile, all we can do is dream. "

A short mention in this Warspot article:

"Grote’s services were either refused or returned to cooperation with him. The reason for this was the backlog of the USSR in the program for creating its own breakthrough tank. Not the most famous fact is that the breakthrough tanks were thought out by the Red Army command back in the 20s, and they were inspired there not by anything, but by the French FCM 2C . It was assumed that this would be a 65-ton combat vehicle with bulletproof armor and a gun of at least 76 mm caliber. Due to the lag in work on the breakthrough tank, negotiations began with the Italian company Ansaldo from the late 1920s. This cooperation continued in the early 30s - it was no coincidence that a trip to Italy became S.A. 's only overseas trip . Ginzburg, at that time the chief designer of OKMO plant "Bolshevik". By order of the Soviet side, the Italians developed a project for a 65-ton tank, which went into the development of OKMO - the T-39 heavy tank. By that time, the requirements were tightened: the combat weight grew to 90 tons, the armor became thicker, while the requirements for armaments also increased. At the same time, alternative options for a breakthrough tank were also being worked out. The 85-ton tank was developed under the leadership of K.K. Sirken at the Bolshevik factory. Finally, in 1933, the project of a 100-ton tank (T-42 index) was developed by Grote. However, this car was a mere trifle in comparison with what Grote worked out in 1932-1933."
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I haven't found any additional info about the 3 Ansaldo designs posted above. They could just be fan made. It's a dead end until I find out otherwise.
Yep. That's 3 Ansaldo versions which the T39s are based.
The GL series is separate and 4 versions supposedly similar to the GL-4 but might be different. Information on the other 3 versions is lacking.

That's a total of 7 heavy/superheavy designs.

Materials were reportedly gathered for the construction of the Ansaldo 65 70ton but the materials were instead used for the T-35.

Another link
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Info from secret projects forum:

Russian magazine Frontline Illustration series. The T-39 was a heavy tank project designed to the late 1920's standards for a heavy tank intended for breaking through permanent fortification lines. Such a vehicle was to be armed with a 107 mm gun or a 152 mm howitzer, was to be capable of firing at at least two targets at one time and have an armour protecting from divisional guns. Six variants were designed in 1933, and - after comparison with Grote and Ansaldo projects - three more were created and built as 1:10 scale mock-ups (known from the photographs). It's hard to say which version is which, as they are mixed again and again by different authors, but it seems the version no. 8 was chosen for further development - it was to be armed with one 152 mm howitzer and three 45 mm guns in four separate turrets. The tank was to be some 90 t heavy, have 70-75 mm armour and reach 24-33 km/h with a 970-1300 hp engine (a steam engine was even concerned). What's interesting, the T-35 heavy tank (favoured by Voroshilov) wasn't actually a heavy tank as far as its armament was concerned, but - along with the high cost of the prototype - it was probably one of the reasons of cancellation of the T-39 project in early 1934.
I'll finish this thread with a timeline and later a few pics and sources. Any further info on the Ansaldo designs will be edited into previous posts.

1912- Signorni Longobardi Autofortezza
1915- Corazzata prime mover & Magrini Matapan
1916- Testuggine Corazzata (LF)
1917-1918 Fiat 2000
1925- Fiat 3000 tipo 'II'
1933- GL series
1933- Ansaldo designs (T-39)
1940-1943 P75- P43bis
1958-1968 OTO Centauro autoloader 1972- MBT/ KPZ-70 autoloader (120 & 152mm)
M-47 upgrades engine & maingun (date?) M-60 reactive kit added (Somalia)
1980s-90s MBTs OF-40Mk3, Ariete, etc... 2010+ Leonardo M60

KPZ -70 OTO turret from
Vollketten WOT Forum
OTO Centauro from Raptor Fulcrum EU WOT Forum
The Autofortezza is from the cover of Nicola Pignato's Vol 1 book. ( I have to dig for that one.)



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I wanted to make a quick correction to an earlier post.
The 65t ton Ansaldo was originally the French Char C So the French definitely had some influence. At this stage IIRC Ansaldo helped the Russians with the engine ( electro magnetic?) then worked with them on the T39 like projects.

This info is buried somewhere in Yuri blog comments from his livejournal.