The T-26 was a light tank used by the Soviet Union from the 1930s until World War II. It was based on the British Vickers 6-Ton tank and widely considered one of the most successful designs of the 1930s.
The T-26 made-up the majority of the Red Army's armour force until late 1941, and saw a long history in the armed forces of various different nations around the world. For almost a decade the T-26 proved to be one of the best tanks in production, with a total of around 12,000 units produced. Success and failure in the Spanish Civil War, where it served as the most widely used tank, ultimately played a major role in influencing the Soviet doctrine of tank warfare in the late 1930s. The T-26 participated in German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 as one of the most numerous tanks in service, contributing to the defense of the Soviet Union.
Although the T-26's reputation was marred by its abysmal performance during World War II, it was nevertheless the most important tank of the Spanish Civil War and played major roles during the Winter War and the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939. Between its introduction and its retirement, the T-26 saw a great deal of modernization efforts between 1932 and 1941.
The T-26 was designed to replace the obsolescent T-18, also called MS-1. It was designed in 1929, when several Soviet military officials travelled to Western Europe to choose a new tank model for indigenous production and upgrading. Originally, the Soviet Experimental Design Department attempted to produce two "pirated" prototypes of the Vickers Six-Ton—the T-19 and T-20— but neither prototype fulfilled the role required by the Red Army. Eventually the Soviets opted to simply purchase the production license. Following acquisition of the production license, production of the T-26A, a copy of the Vickers Six-Ton model A, began in 1931.
The Soviets did not simply replicate the Vickers Six-Ton: Like its British counterpart, the T-26A had a twin-turret configuration and was designed to carry two machine guns—one in each turret. The major differences between the Soviet T-26A and the British Six-Ton were the rectangular firing ports for Degtyarev machine guns, as opposed to the round ports used by the original design. After problems experienced with precipitation and snow getting into the engine compartment, a special bonnet was installed after March 1932, and was later made integral with the design of the air intake unit. The tank was also fitted with a higher turret with an observation post, while the driver was given a vision port. Around 1,627 T-26A tanks with twin turrets were produced between 1931 and 1933, and 450 were armed with the 37 mm PS-1. However, in 1933 the Soviets unveiled the T-26B, with a single cylindrical turret which carried a single 37 mm cannon and a single 7.62 mm machine gun. Ultimately, this 37 mm primary cannon was replaced by the better known 45 mm, which was based on the German Pak 35/36 cannon acquired in 1930. The 45 mm gun would be improved when the original 45 mm 19K anti-tank gun, developed at Plant No. 8, was replaced in 1935 by the 45 mm model 1934. The semi-automatic mechanism of the 19K was exchanged by an inertial operating mechanism. The T-26 could carry up to three secondary Degtyarev 7.62 mm machine guns, in coaxial, rear, and antiaircraft mounts. The majority of T-26 built were of the T-26B model, otherwise known as the T-26 Model 1933. The original purpose of the upgraded firepower was to increase lethal range to defeat dedicated anti-tank teams, as the original machine gun ordnance was found insufficient.
|T-26 single turret||-||-||712||968||1,288||1,273||550||716||1,293||1,336||-||8,136|
|T-26 Chemical Warfare||-||-||115||430||7||10||-||290||103||265||116||1,336|
The T-26 Model 1933 carried 122 rounds of hand-loaded 45 mm ammunition, firing armour-piercing 45 mm rounds with a muzzle velocity of 820 m/s, or lower-velocity high-explosive munitions. The tank was powered by a GAZ gasoline engine which gave it a top speed of almost 30 km/h. The hull had a maximum steel thickness of 16 mm, which proved enough to stop light machine gun ammunition, including German 7.92 mm armour-piercing rounds but would later prove to be too light against newer German anti-tank weapons in 1941. There would be subsequent attempts to thicken the front plate, but ultimately the T-26 would end production in favour of newer and superior tank designs, such as the T-34. In 1937 there was an effort to equip many tanks with anti-aircraft machine guns, as well as the addition of two searchlights, a new VKU-3 command system and a TPU-3 interphone. The T-26 was also given an improved carrying capacity, from 122 rounds to 147 for the main gun. In 1938 the cylindrical turret was replaced with a conical shaped turret, with the same 45 mm model 1934 gun.
When compared to the Vickers Six-Ton tank, the T-26A had superior maximum armour protection - 15 mm as compared to 13 mm. Although the Vickers Six-Ton B would have its armour increased to a maximum of 17 mm, this was not much superior to the 16 mm of the T-26 Model 1933. Furthermore, the T-26 would later see its armour improved. Concerning respective armaments, the Soviet 45 mm gun which equipped the majority of the T-26s produced was superior to the low velocity, short-barelled, 47 mm gun which equipped the Vickers Six-Ton B. However, the Vickers Six-Ton was slightly lighter and slightly faster than the T-26.
The majority of T-26 produced were T-26Bs carrying the 45 mm main gun. The T-26 saw wide and valuable service during the Spanish Civil War. Even as WW2 began, the T-26 continued to be the backbone of the Red Army's tank corps. Plans were made to replace the T-26 and BT tanks with a new generation of tanks such as the T-34 and T-50, but these plans were just beginning to be executed on the eve of Operation Barbarossa. Production of the T-26 was halted; readiness and maintenance standards fell, which put the Red Army at a disadvantage during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
The first shipment of T-26Bs to Spain was delivered on October 15, 1936, at the Spanish port city of Cartagena which was under government control. It was one of the first of many shipments to Spain during "Operation X" which became the Soviet Union's primary stream of aid to the Spanish Republic's cause. This first shipment, arriving on the Soviet ship SS Komsomol, provided 50 new T-26Bs to Spain under the command of General Semyon Krivoshein. This immediately sparked retaliatory German aid to Franco; the first shipment of Panzer Is arrived only weeks later. Both tanks would see their first combat during the Nationalist advance towards Madrid and during the Siege of Madrid proper. Ultimately, the Soviet Union provided a total of 281 T-26Bs, half of which would fall into Nationalist hands by the end of the war and form the crux of the Spanish Brunete armoured division until 1953. Additionally, the Soviets would provide over 50 BT-5 fast tanks.
|Date||Ship||Number of Vehicles||Additional Information|
|October 15, 1936||Komsomol||50||Led by General Krivoshein|
|November 30, 1936||Cabo Palos||37||Led by General D.G. Pavlov|
|November 30, 1936||Mar Caribe||19|
|March 6, 1937||Cabo Santo Tomé||60|
|March 8, 1937||Darro||40|
|May 7, 1937||Cabo Palos||50|
|March 13, 1938||Gravelines||25||Last shipment received|
Krivoshein only had ten days to prepare his armour for the defence of Madrid. On October 26 he was ordered to deploy at least some of his tanks to defend the Spanish capital from the nationalist advance. Krivoshein's force only numbered 15 tanks and was crewed by poorly trained Republican militia. The Republic's new armour was put under the command of Spanish Captain Paul Arman and it was used immediately in a counterstroke dedicated against the town of Torrejón de Velasco. Although the offensive saw initial success against the unprepared Nationalist infantry, poor communications resulted in Arman's tanks separating from the supporting infantry provided by Colonel Enrique Líster's infantry brigade, thus allowing Nationalist infantry to knock out at least one T-26 and force the rest to withdraw under severe pressure with the help of one of the Nationalist legion's cavalry brigade. Furthermore, while the T-26s exploited the breakthrough, Lister's infantry were pinned down fighting around the village of Seseña, making infantry support impossible. Republican armour and infantry suffered from similar cooperation problems throughout the war, ultimately shaping Stavka's and Stalin's view of the tank in war.
Stalin was also inadvertently the largest provider of tanks to the Nationalist armoured forces. Due to the superiority of the Soviet T-26 over the Italian CV-33, the Italian CV-35, and the German Panzer I, the Nationalist front would put many captured T-26s into service, using them against their previous masters. During the Republican offensive towards Torrejon three T-26s were captured, and another four taken a few days later. By the end of the Siege of Madrid there would be enough captured T-26s to create an ad-hoc armoured battalion. By the end of 1937 the Nationalist front had created and equipped a battalion of engineers solely responsible for the capture of Soviet armour, especially the T-26, and by the end of the war 178 T-26Bs had been captured by Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces. Of these, 30 were so damaged that they could not be used (although they would be scavenged for their parts) and another 50 which were captured by different bodies of the Nationalist armies and not utilized. The T-26 was the most widely used tank of the Spanish Civil War in both armies and has been referred to "the tank of the Spanish Civil War" in the title of one of Lucas Molina Franco's articles.
"Out-gunned, out-manoeuvered, and hard-pressed, the Spanish had no effective answer to the tank", sparking several interesting developments within the context of tank design and anti-tank tactics. This was especially true regarding the T-26, given that there was no other tank on the field able to knock it out. The most widely known development would be that of the Molotov cocktail, a bottle of explosive fluid with a cloth fuse designed to splash against the hull of a tank to achieve a mobility kill. One of the most interesting Nationalist responses, however, would be the Breda upgrade on the Panzer I. This was the attempt to fit a 20 mm Breda anti-aircraft gun in a modified Panzer I turret to achieve penetration of the thickest part of the T-26B's frontal armour. Only four Panzer I 'Bredas' were built and the project would ultimately be cancelled due to the sheer number of captured T-26Bs and their reformation into Nationalist armoured units. There would also be lesser-known upgrade plans to fit both Soviet 37 mm anti-tank guns on the Panzer I and Soviet 45 mm guns (scavenged from captured unusable T-26Bs), which is a testament to the killing power of the 45 mm gun against Nationalist light tanks. Given the lack of information on the latter upgrade attempts it is possible to deduce that both projects never got off the drawing board.
Despite the T-26's success in the Spanish Civil War, the fact that it performed badly within the context of tank operations meant that its days were numbered. Its perceived success fatally influence post-Spanish Civil War Soviet military thinking as it proved ineffectual against advanced anti-tank weapons and better-armed tanks.
Of the three major tanks which saw action during the Spanish Civil War the T-26 proved itself superior to both the Panzer I and the CV-33. The T-26 was the only tank equipped with an actual cannon, as opposed to a machine gun, and although heavier, was no less maneuverable than its enemies. The T-26 was also deployed in greater numbers than the Panzer I and CV-33 combined. The Italians ultimately equipped Nationalist Spain with 155 CV-33s in 9 shipments between August 26 1936 and December 1938. The Germans provided a total of 122 Panzer Is in 5 shipments. On the other hand, Moscow provided 281 T-26Bs to the Spanish Republic by 1938, although many of these fell into the Nationalist's hands. Below is a comparison of the different tanks used during the Spanish Civil War.
|Weight||9.4 t||5.4 t||3.15 t||2.3 t|
|Gun||45 mm cannon||2× 7.92 mm MG 13||6.5 mm or 8 mm machine gun||8 mm Breda machine gun|
|Ammunition||122 rounds||2,250 rounds||3,200 8 mm or 3,800 6.5 mm||3,200|
|Road range||175 km||200 km||125 km||125 km|
|Armour||7–16 mm||7–13 mm||5–15 mm||5–13.5 mm|
Perhaps the single largest advantage the T-26B had over the Panzer I and CV-33/35 was the 45 mm cannon. Although Panzer Is were able to perforate the T-26B's front armour plate during the first clashes of the Spanish Civil War using armour piercing 7.92 mm ammunition, it was only able to do this at under 150 m. Republican and Soviet tank crews countered this by engaging at ranges of up to 1,000 m. This advantage in engagement range outweighed the fact that all tanks had similar protection levels at their thickest point, and the Italian and German tanks had slightly better mobility. It allowed the T-26B unrestricted dominance during the Spanish Civil War. The relatively high power of the 45 mm gun was one of the reasons Spanish nationalist engineers attempted to upgrade the gun of the Panzer I, (although, as stated, this would prove ultimately unsuccessful). The power of the Soviet 45 mm gun was matched by the accuracy of the gun sights, which allowed for engagement ranges of 3,000 m. Nationalist anti-tank gunners using the Pak 37 could not accurately hit at beyond 900 m, and although the Spanish did use the German 88 mm anti-aircraft cannon in the anti-tank role, they were not supplied in large enough numbers to make an impact.
The Nationalist army, under Francisco Franco, never truly found a solution to defeating the T-26B, given the inferiority of armor supplied by his Italian and German allies. Consequently, some of the most innovative answers to the T-26 were developed by Spanish infantry. For example, the molotov cocktail would be invented during the Spanish Civil War, as well as the satchel charge. Despite the unprecedented superiority of the T-26B its susceptibility to infantry and to infantry guns made a profound impact on Soviet military thinkers of the time.
Prior to the Second World War the T-26 saw one last successful encounter against Japanese tanks at Khalkhin Gol, under the command of Soviet General Georgi Zhukov. Zhukov's offensive included 469 light tanks, most of which were T-26s. Infantry during the offensive rode on the hulls of armour and armoured cars various times to reduce the time it took to close with the enemy, which aided in co-operation between armour and infantry. Although the offensive against Japanese forces infiltrating Mongolia was an unexpected success following poor-performance by the Red Army in Poland and major set-backs in Finland, despite the ultimate Soviet victories in both cases, it became apparent that the T-26 was obsolete against newer tanks, including the Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha, the older Type 89 Chi-Ro and German tanks which were showcased in Poland, such as the Panzer III and Panzer IV. One of the largest faults of the tank was the riveted armour, which was found to be too weak to protect against direct hits. This would be corrected on the T-26S variant which replaced the riveted front plate with a thicker welded plate. The T-26S had an increase in armour thickness from 16 mm to a maximum of 25 mm at 55 degrees on the upper glacis plate. The turret featured an increase to 20 mm at 45 degrees sloping. Unlike the T-26B in Spain, the T-26S used a maximum of two machine guns, one of which was mounted in the rear.
The 1937 purges of the Red Army claimed the life of General Tukhachevsky, one of the most important theorists of armoured warfare of the inter-war period. With no major proponents of Tukhachevsky's theories in a position to implement them, the advances he had made in armoured strategy were lost. Based on observations from the Spanish Civil War it was decided that armour was too unwieldy to successfully interact and operate with infantry. Tanks moved too quickly for the infantry to accompany, and there was no clear communications doctrine between tanks and infantry. Furthermore, some infantry refused to accompany tanks and there was no clear training of Spanish soldiers to correct these tactical inefficiencies. Republican tanks frequently fell to anti-tank gunnery, due to the lack of infantry support, as there was no infantry to locate and knock out enemy anti-tank positions that were hidden from the armour. Republican tanks rarely operated on the move in Spain since the radios often broke down, and the majority of tanks simply didn't have radios. Due to these operational difficulties, many old-school Soviet military leaders believed that tanks were not a worthwhile weapon of war, and so the role of the tank was played down considerably.
It was only after the quick German success in Poland contrasted with Soviet set-backs in the same country and the debacle in Finland, that Stavka and Stalin were persuaded to introduce the T-34 into production to replace the light tanks, and to reform large mechanized formations. These provisions were both too little and too late, although not all developments between April 1, 1939, and June 22, 1941, were negative; a commission under the leadership of Soviet General Grigory Kulik oversaw a new reorganization of the Soviet armoured force in December 1939. It was found that the large mechanized corps which had been proposed by Tukhachevsky was too unwieldy and hard to coordinate due to the sheer bulk of armour and the commission emphasized using tanks for infantry support, as opposed to using them in stand-alone armoured divisions. Therefore, Kulik planned for fifteen new motorized divisions to replace the Soviet mechanized corps. By 1940, four of the fifteen had been created.
Impressed by the German campaign of 1940 against France, the Soviet NKO changed their original plans however and ordered the creation of nine mechanized corps on July 6, 1940. Between February and March 1941 another twenty would be ordered, and all larger than those intended by Tukhachevsky. Although, on paper, by 1941 the Red Army's 29 mechanized corps had no less than 29,899 tanks, this proved to be a hopelessly inaccurate account. There were actually only 17,000 tanks available at the time, meaning several of the new mechanized corps were under-strength, and the sheer majority of these were older, less capable designs, including over 10,000 T-26 tanks. By June 22, 1941 there were only 1,475 T-34s and KV series tanks available to the Red Army, and these were too dispersed along the front to provide enough mass for even local success. For example, the 3rd Mechanized Corps in Lithuania was formed up of a total of 460 tanks, 109 of these were newer KV-1s and T-34s. This division proved to be one of the lucky few with a substantial number of newer tanks. However, the whole 4th Army was composed of 520 tanks, all of which were the older T-26, compared to its authorized strength of 1,031 newer medium tanks. This problem was universal throughout the Red Army's available armour. This fact played a crucial role in the defeats of the Red Army in 1941 at the hands of the German Armed Forces.
Heavier Soviet tanks, like the T-28 easily broke through the Finnish defence on the open fields at Summa on the Karelian Isthmus, as the Finns lacked effective means of stopping them. However, lighter tanks and supporting infantry were often stopped by determined defences and therefore the heavy tank units lacked support and were forced to withdraw.
The Finnish terrain in Karelia proved unsuitable for Soviet tank tactics. Together with the poor military leadership at the time, the Soviets suffered from horrendous casualties as a result. Having to stick to available roads, the stretched out columns were vulnerable to the Finnish motti tactics. The smaller and more mobile Finnish units divided the Soviet units and defeated them one by one. The Finns simply chose where and when to fight and therefore concentrated their strengths to gain local tactical superiority, while smaller units guarded other pockets. The lack of anti-tank guns forced the Finnish defence to improvise means in order to stop Soviet armour. Often, Soviet tank crews were isolated until the crews were forced to try escaping by foot through the forests. Other times, the tanks were immobilized by Molotov cocktails or by knocking-out their tracks by using mines or simply by blocking the sprocket with a block of wood. This enabled the Finns to capture large amount of armoured vehicles and weapons almost intact - a welcomed gift for the under-armed Finnish military.
At the motti battle of Tolvajärvi, the Finns managed to capture 60 T-26s, 3 armoured cars and a number of Komsomolets armoured tractors in this way. A further 132 tanks and 12 armoured cars were captured at Lemetti. Given that the encircled unit was mostly motorized the tanks captured were mostly BT-type and turned out to be almost completely intact.
At the battles of Suomussalmi and Raate, the Soviet 163rd and 44th infantry divisions lost all of their armour consisting of 86 tanks. The Finns took more than 69 T-26 tanks and 10 armoured cars, a number equal to the entire pre-war Finnish armoured force. Far more important was the large amount of effective 45 mm anti-tank guns captured during these battles, which enabled the Finns to defend against armoured vehicles more effectively. At Pelkosenniemi and Ilomantsi the Finns would capture a further 10 tanks.
Altogether, the Finns captured around 288 tanks and thirty-five armoured cars during the battles; most tanks turned out to be T-26s, BT-5s and BT-7s. 167 captured armoured vehicles were rebuilt for use with Finnish tank units. Of these, three OT-26s and fifty T-26s were later repaired and taken into Finnish service. According to new Russian sources, the Soviet Red Army lost 3,179 tanks during the Winter War - 1,904 tanks as combat losses and 1,275 tanks as non-combat technical losses [irrecoverable losses from them were 358 tanks, others were repaired].
In 1939, the Finnish armoured forces consisted of around thirty-two obsolete Renault FT-17 tanks, some Vickers-Carden-Lloyd Mk. IVs and Model 33s, which were equipped with machine guns, and 26 Vickers Armstrongs 6-ton tanks. The latter had been re-equipped with 37 mm Bofors AT-guns after the outbreak of the war. Only 13 of these tanks managed to get to the front in time to participate in the battles.
At the Battle of Honkaniemi on February 26, 1940, the Finns employed their Vickers tanks for the first - and only - time against Soviet armour during the Winter War. The battle ended with Finnish defeat. Of the thirteen available Finnish Vickers 6-ton tanks only six were in fighting condition and able to participate in the first assault on the Soviet lines - to make matters worse, one of the tanks was forced to stop, unable to cross a wide trench. The remaining five continued onwards a few hundred meters but ran into dozens of Soviet tanks in the village of Honkaniemi. The Finnish tanks managed to knock out three Soviet tanks but were soon themselves knocked-out. In the skirmishes that followed, the Finns lost two more Vickers tanks.
However, despite the fact that the majority of the Red Army's T-26 tanks had been destroyed in the first months of the war with the Third Reich, T-26 tanks still saw combat around Leningrad until at least 1944. There would also be T-26 tanks present during Operation August Storm, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945. In this operation the T-26 tank aided in the defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army.
Many T-26s were captured by the Germans during the offensive. Most of the captured tanks were captured without serious damage, a testament to existent mechanical problems within the tank. Under German usage the T-26 was found to have severe clutch problems, a hot steering apparatus and seized bearings. Several T-26Bs were used by the German 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf" as renamed Mistbiene tanks, or 'droneflies'. The T-26B, redesignated as the T-26B 738(r.) was used extensively by the German Army. Many T-26Cs were also used on the Eastern Front during the war by the Germans. Later in the war, several T-26s of all versions were abandoned by their new German owners due to the same severe mechanical defects which had caused their original capture. Many light tanks were used as tractors to carry Pak guns and artillery guns, and there were also instances where German T-26s were used to support infantry operations as well—these vehicles were renamed the T-26 C740(r).
There would be several replacement programs for the T-26 throughout the Second World War. The original replacement light tank would be the T-50, adopted for the Red Army in February 1941. Despite the fact that mass production was to start in the Leningrad Plant No. 174 on January 1, 1941 the sophisticated T-50 saw several production problems. Ultimately 50 T-50 tanks were assembled in Leningrad prior to the plant's removal and movement to Omsk in August 1941. Efforts to renew production in Moscow failed, although Plant No. 174 in Omsk managed to produce another 15 tanks before production was switched to T-34s only. The T-50's production failure at Moscow Plant No. 37 led to the design of the T-60 light tank, an austere version of the T-50 heavily based on the T-40 amphibious tank. Between July 1941 and early 1943, 5,839 T-60s were delivered to the Red Army, of which 5,796 were accepted into active service. Yet another replacement was manifested as the T-70 tank which saw its beginnings in October 1941 as a project of the GAZ plant design bureau. The T-70 was largely based on the T-60 to keep the two as similar as possible. Later, the T-70 would see a modernization effort, known as the T-70M. 8,226 T-70s of all types would be constructed. The final replacement light tank was known as the T-80 light tank which was a new manifestation of the T-70 with a thickened armor plate and a three-man crew. Eighty-five T-80s were produced between late 1942 and early 1943.
During the Continuation War, the Finns captured a further 76 T-26 tanks, besides a large number of other types. Of these, 35 were fully repaired and sent to the armoured units, 21 were stored for later refurbishment, while 20 were scrapped. The T-26 remained the main tank of the Finnish Armoured Division throughout the war, although it was started to be replaced by German StuG IIIs from 1943. As noted above, 94 T-26 tanks remained in service with the Finnish Army by 1945. Peak numbers in Finnish service occurred during the summer of 1944, when the Finns kept up to 126 various T-26s, including 22 T-26Es, 2 T-26 m 1931s, 1 OT-26, 63 T-26 m 1933s, 32 T-26 m 1937s and 1939s, and 1 T-26 T. Some of these tanks were kept as training tanks until 1959, when they were finally phased out and replaced by newer British and Soviet tanks.
Additionally, Franco's Spain kept captured T-26Bs as the backbone of the new Spanish armoured division, the Brunete. After the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spain received additional T-26 tanks from France which had been taken from retreating Popular forces and interned in French warehouses. In 1942 the Spanish Army had 139 T-26Bs in service. After the end of the Second World War Spain had at least 116 T-26Bs in active service, along with 20 Panzer IVs, 93 Panzer Is, 10 StuG IIIs, 60 CV-33s and another 80 assorted machine gun carriers. The T-26s were organized into two battalions of 30 tanks each, along with a single Panzer I command tank, six other Panzer I Ausf. As and a CV-33 for reconnaissance in each battalion. The T-26 were not be replaced until 1953 when Spain and the United States signed an agreement for open shipments of new military matériel to Spain. The first twelve M47 Patton tanks, dedicated to replace the T-26, arrived at Cartagena in February 1954.
60 T-26 light tanks were sold to Turkey in 1935, along with five T-27 tankettes, about 60 BA-6 armoured cars, and two T-28 medium tanks, to form the 1st Tank Regiment of the 2nd Cavalry Division at Luleburgaz. An unknown number, consisting of at least 2 T-26s of the first model, were sold to Afghanistan during the same time period.
In November 1937, Ji Yang, the official delegate of Chinese government negotiated with Stalin to try for military aid for the the War of China's Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945). The Soviet Union sold about 88 T-26 (1933 model) tanks and additional 20 BT-5 or BA-serie combat vehicles to China, as the part of totalling some $250 million of credits in munitions and supplies. These tanks and vehicles were shipped to Guangzhou habor in the Spring of 1938, and used to set up the 200th Infantry Division of the National Revolutionary Army of China. The 200th Infantry Division was actually a mechanized division consisting of four regiments, including the combat vehicle regiment equipped 70-80 T-26 tanks, the armored vehicle region equipped 50 BA-serial armored cars, the motorized infantry region equipped with trucks, and the artillery region with 122mm howitzers, 45mm anti-tank guns, 76 fieldguns. This equipment was manufactured in the Soviet Union. The T-26 tanks in Chinese army involved the Battle of Lanfeng in 1938, Battle of Kunlun Pass in the end of 1939, and the Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road in the Burma campaign in 1942. After World War II, the remaining T-26 tanks equipped the First Armored Region of the Army of Chinese Kuomingtang government, involved the Chinese Civil War (1946-1950) in East China battlefield. At last, the remain several T-26s were destroyed or captured by the People's Liberation Army during the Huaihai Campaign in 1949.
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