|This page is about the Soviet light tank T-26E. For other variants, see T-26 (Family).|
The T-26E was a Soviet light tank developed from the T-26 in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The T-26E (ekranirovanny, "screened") was an uparmoured version featuring appliqué armour based on the experiences gained in the Winter War, developed by Leningrad Factory No.174. The factory tests proved that the uparmoured T-26 was able to resist hits from 45 mm anti tank guns at a distance of 400 to 500 metres. The armour plates were bolted and welded onto the hull and turret, increasing the armour protection to 45 mm all around. 89 of these T-26s were made by Factory No. 174. Further field modifications inspired by this were conducted by various field workshops and factories after the German attack on Soviet Union in 1941.
The T-26E was introduced as a premium pack during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. As an up-armoured version of the T-26, it stands a better chance deflecting enemy shells off its front armour when angled correctly. However the added armour and weight decreases the already mediocre mobility of the tank even further.
The T-26E was removed from the store after the 2017 Victory Day sale but was reintroduced as a battle trophy vehicle in the Warbond shop in April 2019 until August 2019 and from the Battle Pass: Season I, 75th Anniversary of the Great Victory until the end of the Battle Pass: Season IV, "Fearless Voltigeur".
Survivability and armour
The armour of the T-26E is greatly improved over the base model with its add-on 30 mm armour plates on the hull and turret on all sides. Despite being poorly angled, this armour, when not angling the hull, is very much immune to early cannons with low penetration (e.g. Ha-Go, H.39), and when angling the hull, is capable of deflecting the most lethal rounds at this BR: the 20 mm PzGr.40. This allows the T-26E to be more of a frontline "heavy" tank. However, the armour is still very weak against a tank destroyer, (e.g. LVT(A)(4) ZiS-2) so be very careful if one is present around you. Also the add-on armour only covers the upper plates, leaving the lower front plate unprotected. Transmission can get damaged a lot.
Crew placement is overall not lined up from the front, but two out of three crew are, meaning shells that penetrate below the turret will knock out the two crew and destroy the T-26E instantly. Interior is very cramped, often a solid shell will easily knock out a crew or other component, so the T-26 cannot afford to get hit too much.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Hull|| 30 + 15 mm (22°) Front plate
7 mm (64-80°) Front glacis
15 mm (6-52°) Lower glacis
| 30 + 15 mm (24-25°) Top
15 mm Bottom
| 30 + 15 mm (1°) Top
30 + 15 mm (12°) Bottom
|Turret|| 30 + 15 mm (12-33°) Turret front
30 + 15 mm (5-44°) Gun mantlet
|30 + 15 mm (17-19°)||30 + 15 mm (17°)||10 mm|
- Suspension wheel are 10 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
- The 30 mm appliqué armour does not cover the entire area on the hull, so there are exposed areas vulnerable to enemy fire.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
While being a light tank, its mobility is one of a medium/heavy tank. The top speed is very, very low for a light tank, combined with the low power to weight ratio given by its weak engine, the T-26 has poor acceleration and speed on most surfaces. It can reach around 30 km/h only on hard, flat surface, after a long, uninterrupted acceleration period. With even a small turn the speed will drop significantly. The narrow tracks significantly reduce its off-road mobility in muddy, sandy or snowy maps. Despite the tracks being short and far apart, the T-26 still has slow hull traverse and often needs a forward/backward jerk to start turning properly. Reverse speed is also very poor (-4 km/h), which cannot save you from most bad situations.
It will eventually take you where you want to be, provided that you choose your route well and avoid tricky manoeuvres, and be very patient.
Modifications and economy
The 45 mm 20-K is the typical Soviet rank I gun. Players should get used to it since it will be your main armament up until rank II. The APHEBC round has high penetration for this BR and a good amount of HE filler, meaning penetrating shells will do good damage, sometimes even knocking out enemies with a single shot. In longer ranges, shells begin to lose penetration and accuracy; it is not made for sniping. If you bring the T-26E to a higher BR battle, try to bring ~10-15 BR-240SP (armour-piercing shells without explosive filler) for heavier targets such as B1 ter, and M4A3 (105). Overall this gun is very forgiving to beginners, with its very fast reload speed and turret traverse.
|45 mm 20-K||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|205||202 (+3)||197 (+8)||187 (+18)||177 (+28)||167 (+38)||157 (+48)||139 (+66)|
|121 (+84)||103 (+102)||79 (+126)||61 (+144)||29 (+176)||1 (+204)||No|
- Turret empty: 157 (+48) shells.
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The main purpose of the T-26E is a diversion. In battle, when a close friendly player is attacked by an enemy, go behind a rock that has the size of the tank's hull, then shoot the target.
- When it's a tank destroyer, shoot its tracks to make it immobile and flank the enemy to penetrate the thin rear of most tank destroyers at low BR.
- When it's a medium tank (like the T-28 ), shoot its horizontal turret drive so it cannot move its turret(The ring below its turret), then shoot the tracks to immobilize it, making it very vulnerable to flanking.
One aspect of the T-26 series tank that is often ignored is that, its low top speed can limit new players from getting to the front line too quick. While experienced players will find the speed too painful, it might actually "protect" new players. Imagine if a new tanker chooses a BT-5 instead of a T-26 at the start of a match, and rushes for a capture point. What he/she will then encounter at the capture point will not be beneficial for their gaming experience: the brutal slaughter of experienced tankers driving equally fast and deadly tanks such as Sd.Kfz.234/1, Pz.II C (DAK), M22, etc. New players will die quickly like that. Whereas if they use a T-26, they will arrive at the frontline much later to avoid being destroyed in the first wave of attack, giving them enough time to analyse the battlefield and make decisions.
Apart from the low speed that somewhat protects new players, the T-26E also offers great firepower and nice protection, which can save you from badly aimed shots or be used in a hull down position effectively.. The 45 mm cannon can frontally penetrate and knock out most tanks at this beginner-friendly BR with single shot. Although lacking any stabiliser, the T-26 is still quite a stable gun platform. The add-on armour provides better protection against popular 20 mm autocannons, especially when the T-26 is angling the autocannons' APCR penetration will be greatly reduced.
Pros and cons
- High rate of fire
- Good turret armour
- Its penetration is effective against almost all enemies it will face
- Low hull armour
- A weak spot in the hull box, the driver's hatch - keep this away from enemy fire
- Slow for a scout, but agile
- Easily distinguishable Standard camouflage & shape
The T-26 light tank in Soviet service, while making up a major part of the Soviet armoured forces, proved quite under-armoured when against newer anti-tank weapons as it was an old 1931 design. The Spanish Civil War showed some of these defects in the T-26, but it wasn't until the Winter War against Finland that proved that the majority of light anti-tank weapons could destroy the T-26.
In order to remedy this, Factory No. 174 in Leningrad designed a new variant for the T-26 utilizing applique armour on the hull and turret. This variant was dubbed the T-26E (E for ekranirovanny or "screened"), which added 30-40 mm of armour to the original armour plates via bolting and welding. All of the single-turreted T-26 models made during the Winter War period was given this modification and testings proved that the additional armour made the T-26 much more resilient against light anti-tank weapons. A total of 89 T-26Es were made during and after the Winter War, with 27 single-turret models made from the factory, 27 more as flamethrower models, and 15 single-turret models were made in workshops near the front-line. After the war, 20 more single-turret variants were made and delivered for tank units. Many more modified T-26s were made during the course of World War II.
These T-26Es were used in the Winter War against Finland and the extra armour over the normal T-26 variants made it impenetrable to Finnish light anti-tank weapons. However, the extra armour added to the T-26 raised the weight from 9.6 tons to 12 tons, thus a larger strain on the chassis, engine, and suspension so the driver was advised to drive the tank in low gear and must take extra care to not overload these systems.
During World War II, applique armour of varying thickness from 15–40 mm was added onto many different T-26s in large quantities ranging to hundreds in the front lines to fight back the German invasion. Such areas where these modifications took place in Leningrad, Odessa, Moscow, and Sevastopol in the period of 1941–1942 during battles and sieges taking place in or near these cities. However, compared to the modifications made during the Winter War, the World War II T-26Es were more crude and rough that the gun mask on the tank was unable to move, and the applique armour was only added on the front.
No known combat records exist for these modified T-26s in World War II and may have been simply been added as performances done by regular T-26s, but due to the obsolesce of the T-26 models compared to the German Panzer III and Panzer IV, many can be presumed to be lost in combat if not due to mechanical failures.
The Spanish Civil War showed that the T-26 tank's armour no longer protected it from new low-calibre anti-tank weapons. So in 1937-1938, strengthening the tank's armour became an immediate concern. Designers at factory No. 174 decided to simply introduce a conical-shaped turret and to slope the armour plates on the underturret box. The armour's thickness remained unchanged, as the undercarriage structure, already pushed to its limits as it was, prevented the tank's mass from being increased. The issue of increasing the light tank's armour became a prominent concern again by the Winter War beginning on 30 November 1939.
The first battles showed that Finland's anti-tank weapons easily destroyed the tanks. On the 20th of December, work began on up-armouring T-26 tanks with 30-40 mm thick armour plates at factory No. 174. On 30 December 1939, firing tests were carried out on the first up-armoured T-26 at the factory's ballistic range, with positive results. The vehicle withstood fire from a 45 mm anti-tank cannon at a distance of 400-500 m.
Having successfully passed testing, the up-armoured design was accepted as a success and the Leningrad Kirovsk factory equipped around 70 tanks with the additional armour. The additional armour was attached to the turret, underturret box, side and front of the tank with screw rivets and electric arc welds. The gun mantlet was also up-armoured. The tank's mass increased to 12 tonnes, which meant the engine and suspension were overloaded. The tank could now only move in low gear and had an increased risk of breaking down.
T-26Es were used at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. Several vehicles remained in service on the Leningrad front until 1943. Captured light tanks of this type were used by the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS in 1941-1942.
- Related development
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|T-26||T-26 · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-26-4|
|T-50||T-50 · T-126|
|Tank Destroyers||SU-5-1 · SU-100Y|
|T-26||␗T-26 · T-26 No.531|
|See Also||Omsk Transport Engineering Plant|
|USSR light tanks|
|T-26||T-26 · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26-4 · T-26E|
|BT||BT-5 · RBT-5 · BT-7 · BT-7 TD · BT-7M · BT-7A (F-32)|
|T-50||T-126 · T-50|
|T-70||T-70 · T-80|
|PT-76||PT-76B · PT-76-57 · Object 906|
|BMP||BMP-1 · BMP-2 · BMP-2M · BMP-3|
|2S25||2S25 · 2S25M|
|Wheeled||BA-11 · BTR-80A|
|Other||T-60 · Object 685 · 2S38|
|USSR premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||BA-11 · RBT-5 · BT-7A (F-32) · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-126 · PT-76-57 · 2S38|
|Medium tanks||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34E · T-34-57 (1943) · T-34-85E · T-34-100 · T-44-122 · TO-55 · T-55AM-1 · T-72AV (TURMS-T)|
|▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|Heavy tanks||SMK · T-35 · ▂MK-II "Matilda" · KV-1E · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6) · KV-122 · KV-220 · IS-2 "Revenge" · Object 248 · IS-6 · T-10A|
|Tank destroyers||BM-8-24 · BM-13N · BM-31-12|
|SU-57 · SU-76D · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A · SU-100Y · SU-122P · Object 120|
|SPAA||▂Phòng không T-34 · ZUT-37|