Difference between revisions of "T-26"

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== External links ==
== External links ==
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* [[wikipedia:T-26|Wikipedia - T-26]]
* [https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_T26.php Tanks Encyclopedia - T-26 Light tank]
{{USSR light tanks}}
{{USSR light tanks}}

Revision as of 11:06, 24 May 2020

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GarageImage T-26.jpg

The T-26 mod. 1939 is a reserve rank I Soviet light tank with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. It is a tiny tank with rather thin armour, but with a heavy-hitting 45 mm cannon that can devastate most enemies at its battle rating.

This is one of the Soviet starter tanks. Unlike its German counterpart, the PzKpfw II Ausf.C, it has a single-shot cannon that makes it more suitable for ranged engagements. With its poor armour, it is recommended to stay at distance from autocannons and heavy machine guns (HMGs) since they can shred the T-26 pretty easily at any angle. With light armour, average mobility, and a good gun for its rank, the T-26 is frontline support. While these qualities may not be representative of later Soviet tanks, it is a good trainer nevertheless, given that it is forgiving and harder to play than later tanks.

General info

Survivability and armour

This is definitively the worst characteristic of this vehicle; armour is flat and thin on all sides. Do not expose yourself to enemy fire. Crew placement is not lined up from the front, meaning up to 3 shots of shells without HE filler can be taken before being destroyed. Beware of HMGs and autocannons, since they will be able to penetrate your armour.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 15 mm (22°) Front plate
7 mm (64-80°) Front glacis
15 mm (6-52°) Lower glacis
15 mm (21-23°) Top
15 mm (0°) Bottom
15 mm (0°) Top
15 mm (12°) Bottom
10 mm Hull
6 mm Rear
Turret 15 mm (13-15°) Turret front
15 mm (5-44°) Gun mantlet
15 mm (17-19°) 15 mm (17°) 10 mm


  • Suspension wheel is 10 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
  • Belly armour is 6 mm thick.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 34 4 9.8 141 174 14.39 17.76
Realistic 31 4 80 91 8.16 9.29

While being a light tank, the mobility of the T-26 is closer to a medium tank. It will take you where you want to be, provided you choose your route well and avoid tricky manoeuvres. Reverse speed, while not great (-6 km/h), can save you from some bad situations, provided cover is not too far behind.


Main armament

Screenshot Showing the T-26 firing its 20-K 45mm cannon.
Main article: 20-K (45 mm)

The 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 a good amount of HE filler, meaning penetrating shells will do good damage, sometimes even one-shotting enemies. In longer ranges, shells begin to lose penetration and accuracy; it is not made for sniping. Try to bring ~10-15 BR-240SP (pure AP shells) for heavier targets. 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)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 205 -6°/+22° ±180° N/A 15.23 21.08 25.60 28.31 30.12 3.77 3.34 3.07 2.90
Realistic 9.52 11.20 13.60 15.04 16.00


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
BR-240 APHEBC 70 68 59 50 42 35
BR-240SP AP 73 71 62 52 44 37
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
BR-240 APHEBC 760 1.43 1.2 9.0 29.26 48° 63° 71°
BR-240SP AP 757 1.43 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
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) (+204) No
Ammo racks of the T-26

Turret empty: 157 (+48)

Machine guns

Main article: DT (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm DT
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 1,890 (63) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The T-26 is definitely best suited to a more support role, flanking the battlefield and finding a good position to support your teammates from, the 45 mm cannon has very good characteristics with its rounds (APHEBC, AP) being able to deal fair damage to enemy vehicles from short and long range and the fast reload allowing for quick adjustment of aim between shots, this allows the T-26 to be a highly effective flanking vehicle if a good camping spot is found, however, the limited gun depression (-6°) will affect which positions are usable, keeping long range is certainly an effective way to avoid taking damage. The T-26 is also usable at closer ranges for brawling with enemy vehicles, but it should be kept in mind that the thin armour on the T-26 (≤15 mm) will leave the vital modules of your vehicle such as your crew, gun & powerplant (engine & transmission) at risk of taking damage, the mobility of the T-26 is also lesser than many of its counterparts which could potentially put it at risk in a brawling scenario, on the other hand the T-26's good reload (3.77 - 2.9s) will usually give it an upper hand if you can survive the first shots against an enemy vehicle.

Due to the top speed of the T-26 being less than many other vehicles at its BR (30 km/h), it will usually arrive to the battlefield after the fighting has already begun, this has the advantage of arriving after your team has already identified many targets, and also meaning that you will not be in the front line of attack, this will usually allow for you to last a bit longer than players who rushed the centre of the battlefield, alternatively it is also less likely that you will reach capture points before they are capped by your faster teammates although there are cases where you can help capture a contested point.

The lack of armour is really something to be kept in mind, even some machine guns (8 mm, 12.7 mm) will be able to go through you thickest pieces of armour (15 mm), due to this you want to be trying your best to avoid enemy vehicles getting the first shot, driving in cover is advisable to avoid being spotted and if you spot an enemy vehicle it would be best to engage and destroy them as soon as possible to avoid them becoming a threat, due to the lack of effective armour, aircraft can also be a risk, again, staying in cover will make it more difficult for enemy vehicles to spot and engage your T-26.

In terms of the T-26's gun there are 2 round options, the APHEBC round has 70 mm best effective penetration as well as 29.26 g of TNT equivalent explosive, this will allow for this round to penetrate most armour at this BR and also have good post pen damage if the fuse is set off. Second round type is an AP round, this has 73mm best effective penetration but lacks any explosive filler, this makes its post pen damage less effective than the APHEBC round. More info on both these rounds can be found in the "ammunition" section above.

It is also worth keeping in mind that the reverse speed is only 3 km/h, so you will have to be careful when driving out into potential enemy fire.

Screenshot showing the T-26


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive BR-240SP
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support

Pros and cons


  • Good penetration even at a distance
  • Post penetration damage is excellent
  • Decent reload time
  • Fast turret rotation speed
  • Good gun depression
  • The ammo rack is difficult to destroy
  • Can carry huge amount of ammo (over 200 shells)
  • Free repairs and main ammo
  • Forgiving tank for new players


  • Thin armour compared to the PzKpfw II Ausf.C
  • Tall profile compared to the PzKpfw II Ausf.C
  • Very weak roof armour, vulnerable to machine-gun fire from airplanes
  • Poor top speed, woeful reverse
  • .50 cal is enough to penetrate this vehicle
  • Very slow at scaling hills due to weak engine power
  • Only 3 crew members
  • One shot from the side can easily knock out all the crew



The T-26 light tank design is derived from the British Vickers 6-ton tank. In early 1930s, a Soviet buying committee traveled to Britain and purchased tanks, tractors, and cars for use in the Soviet Union, of which the Vickers tank was chosen. Fifteen Twin-turreted Vickers tank arrived into the Soviet Union in May 1930, equipped with only machine guns. Four more Vickers were delivered at the end of 1930, these being the single-turret variants with a 47 mm gun, and the deliveries were finished by 1932. The Vickers-produced tanks were designated as the V-26.

The Vickers 6-ton tank competed with several Soviet designs for the "most suitable" tank design for Soviet use. One such competitor was the Soviet T-19 light tank, which had advantages over the Vickers design, but also disadvantages. The T-19 designer, S. Ginzburg, suggested for a "hybrid" tank to be built off the features of the T-19 and the Vickers tank. But in January 1931, intelligence picked up that Poland bought up many foreign tanks from Britain and France with license to mass-produce them. This information pressured the Soviet military council to adopt the foreign tanks into Soviet usage, thus the Vickers 6-ton tank, under the designation as the T-26, was accepted into service in February 13, 1931 as the main-stay of the Red Army's armoured forces.

T-26 screenshot 3.jpg

Although outclassed later in the war, it was considered one of the more successful and widely produced tank model in the 1930s. It, along with the BT light tanks, composed of the majority of Russia's armoured forces in late 1930s. It weighed just a little under 10 tons, had 15 mm thick armour in front, with a 45 mm 20K gun, and had a crew of three people. The Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad was the first factory to start producing the T-26 from June 1931, and production of the tank lasted from then until 1941.


During its production life, many variants of it was made for different purposes, up to 53 different ones to fit different roles, though only 23 would see service in production. Such designs included changes like a twin-turreted version (some with only machine guns and some with cannons), command tanks, added armour, artillery tanks (such as the T-26-4), flamethrower tanks, remote-controlled tanks, or just armoured carriers to tow artillery and such. Others were simply modified variants of the normal variants such as the T-26E, which was the base single-turreted T-26 design with 30-40 mm applique armour made during the Winter War, which made them more resilient to the Finnish anti-tank weapons.

All these tanks produced in the span of 1931 to 1941 made up a total 10,300 tanks, and 1,701 other variants of it, for a total of 12,001 units produced.

Combat usage

The T-26 first saw combat in the Spanish Civil War, where it showed its superiority over the current tanks of the period fielded by Italy and Germany. Then it saw combat against the Japanese in the Soviet-Japanese border conflicts at Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Gol, which exposed some of the design defects such as poor armour welding and the disadvantages of riveted constructions (the rivet would break off and could harm the crew inside). After that, the T-26 saw service in the Invasion of Poland and the Winter War against Finland. The Winter War effectively showed the Soviets that the T-26 was obsolete, as the 37 mm guns and anti-tank rifles and Finnish have could penetrate the light armour of the T-26. When World War II for Russia finally broke out in Operation Barbarossa, the T-26 proved inferior to the German's Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs, plus the air supremacy of the Luftwaffe ensured many tanks were lost in the opening stages of Barbarossa.

The T-26 at this point also were breaking down and the lack of spare parts made repairs hard, resulting in multiple T-26 units also being knocked out for being irrecoverable. The T-26 was gradually phased from service by the new, venerable T-34 medium tanks, which gave Germany a run for their money. The T-26 still saw service in the war as a second-line unit, as it was still fighting in the Battle of Moscow of 1941, Stalingrad of 1942, and in Manchuria in 1945.


A number of survivors exist today in different museums, about 45 of them are still intact. A majority of them are in Russia, Spain, and Finland, where they saw most of their services.

In-game description

In 1940, the T-26 light tank was modernised for the last time. The vehicle's underturret box was equipped with homogenous armour with sloping plates and its thickness was increased to 15 mm. The frontal section of the turret was welded. A distinctive feature of the tank was the special defensive cover over its radiator grille. An extra DT machine gun was mounted on the turret's roof and was used as an anti-aircraft gun.

All these changes led to the T-26's mass exceeding 10 tonnes. In spite of its strengthened construction, its undercarriage was pushed to the limit. Often, particularly when turning, the tank started losing its tracks. Test results showed that the tank's armour did not meet modern requirements, and there was no weight allowance for increasing its armament. Other flaws in the tank's design included its low speed, poor weight distribution and low reliability.

However, the tank was easy to control, simple to service and did not require much effort in the field. Although the tank had an engine with horizontally placed cylinders, the tank's profile remained low, which made it harder to hit. Many technical solutions applied to the T-26 were used later on other tanks. When used correctly and in the hands of an experienced crew, the light tank could cause serious damage to the enemy forces. The T-26 made a significant contribution to routing the enemy at Moscow, and took part in practically all combat operations right up to 1944.

A significant number of these tanks, after being captured and modified in various ways, served in the German and Finnish armies. Some of them were used by Finland until the beginning of the 50s.


See also

Vehicles of the same family
Vehicles with a similar configuration
  • M2A4 - Comparable vehicle in USA tech tree.
  • Pz.35(t) - Comparable vehicle in German tech tree
  • A13 Mk I - Comparable vehicle in British tech tree.
  • Ha-Go - Comparable vehicle in Japanese tech tree.
  • M13/40 (I) - Comparable vehicle in Italian tech tree.
  • AMC.34 YR - Comparable vehicle in French tech tree.
  • M13/40 (I) - Comparable vehicle in Swedish tech tree.

External links

USSR light tanks
T-26  T-26 · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-26-4
BT  BT-5 · RBT-5 · BT-7 · BT-7 TD · BT-7 (F-32) · BT-7M
BMP  BMP-1 · BMP-2 · BMP-2M · BMP-3
Other  T-50 · T-60 · T-70 · T-80 · T-126
  BA-11 · PT-76B · Object 685 · Object 906
China  ▂Type 62