*Soviet armored cars in WWII (photos of BA-10/BA-20/BA-64)

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

*Soviet armored cars in WWII (photos of BA-10/BA-20/BA-64)

Post by BIGpanzer » 06 May 2005 19:16

Does anybody know the good Internet site (of course, your own info is also very welcome!) about the Soviet armored cars of 1930s-1940s (I am a little bit interested now in their combat photos or any info about their participation in combats). As me seems the Soviets didn't use armored cars very widely during the war, nevertheless they produced many models in 1930s AFAIK.

As for the drawings and technical specifications of different Soviet armored cars were used during WWII - this info is quite easy to find in the literature and I know something about them.

P.S. I found one post here about Russian armored cars, but unfortunately it is very short and with a very few info:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &highlight

Regards, BIGpanzer
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 22 May 2005 15:21, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Post by BIGpanzer » 07 May 2005 17:56

I am trying to find good combat photos of the Soviet BA-20 light armored cars....
Could anybody help me, please?

User avatar
fault code 12
Posts: 34
Joined: 26 Feb 2005 18:09
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Post by fault code 12 » 08 May 2005 10:05

I have had a search and here are some links that might help you,
http://www.redtanks.bos.ru/gallery/galleries.htm (use the pull down menu and scroll down for BA's..)
http://www.vojska.net (no photos that I found, but use search function to get OOB for units with BA's..)
http://www.battlefield.ru/index.html (some photos in "tank development" section..)
http://pedg.org/panzer/public/website/ctpic2.htm (Achtung Panzer, a couple for captured cars..)
http://www.military.cz/panzer/index_en.htm (a few pictures, very basic information..)
also, "Camouflage of tanks of the Red Army 1930-1945" by Exprint Books, Armada-Vertical series No.5. This book has photos of BA 6/10/11/20/64 vehicles in frontline use but is quite hard to get.
Hope this helps

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Light armored car BA-20

Post by BIGpanzer » 08 May 2005 15:54

Thank you very much for the reply, fault code 12!
I know some of this links, others - no.

I also made today a small search, using different Internet search systems. What I've found about BA-20:

Some info about light armored car BA-20 (BA means bronevoj avtomobil = armored car). It was the most successful Soviet light armored car of 1930s. BA-20 was produced in 1936-1942 by Vyksa (Gorky region) factory of agricultural crushing and grinding equipment :D . 2013 were produced (1557 before June 1941). BA-20 was based on GAZ-M-1 passenger car (4 x 2), but the back axle and suspension were strengthened, also the bullet-proof tires were used.

Two modifications existed: BA-20 with welded hull similar to its predecessor FAI light armored car, some of BA-20 were equipped with radio station 71-TK-1(3) with flagpole or hand-rail (before 1938) antenna. Later production series had the conic turret. Weight 2,3 t; crew 2 men, armor 4-6 mm, speed 90 km/h, range 350 km. Also the railway variant BA-20 zhd (weight 2,78 t; railway speed 80 km/h; time, needed to change the road wheels into railway steel wheels – 30 min; road range 550 km) was produced and used together with armored trains. BA-20M had increased armor thickness (9 mm) and flagpole antenna on the left side, conic turret and additional fuel tank. BA-20M had not very good cross-country ability. Also railway variant BA-20M zhd was produced.

Also the light armored car FAI-M was produced in 1938-1941, based also on GAZ-M-1 chassis (weight 2,0 t; dimensions 4,31x1,75x2,24 m, armament 1 x 7,62mm DT MG with 1512 shells; speed 90 km/h, range 315 km). FAI-M presented the shift of armored hull from FAI armored cars (based on GAZ-A passenger car) to more powerful GAZ-M-1 passenger car chassis, that is why the hull of FAI-M was much more shorter than the new chassis. More than 300 “hybrids” FAI-M was produced that way. The majority of FAI-M was not equipped with the radio station.

Specifications (BA-20M): 4 x 2; weight 2,52 t; crew 3 men; dimensions 4,31x1,75x2,13 m; clearance 23,5 cm; armament 1 x 7,62 mm DT MG with 1386 shells (+ one reserve DT); armor 4 – 9 mm; engine 4-cyl., M-1 50 hp; speed 50 km/h; range 450 km (90 l fuel).

I also would like to mention the BA-21 (1938) experimental light armored car, based on triaxial GAZ-21 (6 x 4) chassis with much more better tractive and cross-country ability and BA-20 armored hull. Armor of BA-21 was increased up to 11 mm. Also BA-21 had additional MG in the front of the hull, weight 3,24 t and range 407 km. But speed of BA-21 was decreased to 52,5 km/h, which was not enough for reconnaissance armored car.
The next experimental model LB-23 (1939), very similar to BA-21, was equipped with powerful “Dodge” engine (72 hp, later it was produced in USSR as GAZ-11) and had weight 3,5 t, dimensions 4,226x1,778x2,268 m; crew 3 men, speed 71,5 km/h and range 238 km. LB-23 was not very reliable, had bad visibility also its maneuverability was not answered the purposes of reconnaissance.

BA-20s were the most common reconnaissance, communication, staff and guard light armored cars in the Soviet army in 1936-1941 and were used during the Soviet-Japanese military conflicts, in Poland (1939) and during the Soviet-Finnish (Winter) war. They were used, of course, in 1941-1945 also. The reconnaissance sub-units of tank, cavalry and infantry units were equipped with FAI-M and BA-20 in 1936-1943. In June 1941 there were 438 BA-20 + 916 BA-20 with radio stations in Soviet army + 376 FAI and FAI-M. Many of these light armored cars, armed only with single MG, were lost during the first months of the war.

Finnish Army had 18-22 trophy FAI-M, BA-20 and BA-20M in 1943-1944. Germans captured near 100 BA-20 and BA-20M in summer 1941. They used them in police and SS units as BA 20(r) and BA 202(r), correspondingly. Many BA 202(r) were used in 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”. Also captured BA-20 zhd were used together with German armored trains at the Eastern front.

BA-20 light armored car:
http://www.war.ee/earth/ussr/armcars/ba ... fai_09.jpg (Poland, 1939)
http://mechcorps.rkka.ru/files/bepo/media/bepo_021.jpg (railway BA-20 zhd, November 1941)
http://www.modelcraft.com/mdc359011.JPG (picture of BA-20M)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20m_4.gif (good side picture)
http://www.war.ee/earth/ussr/armcars/ba ... fai_07.jpg (rare winter camouflage)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20_29.jpg (battle for Moscow, December 1941)
http://www.war.ee/earth/ussr/armcars/ba ... fai_06.jpg (battle for Moscow)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20m_21.jpg (BA-20M, 1942)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20_19.jpg (BA-20, captured by the Finns, 1942)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20_23.jpg (Soviet-Japanese conflicts, 1938)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20m_13.jpg (preserved in Finland)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba20/ba20_14.jpg (preserved in Russia)

FAI-M light armored car (1938-1941, more than 300 copies):
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_13.jpg (found in 1992 and restored!)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_17.jpg (the same preserved FAI-M, modern photo)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_5.jpg (first trials, 1938)
http://denisovets.narod.ru/brone/bronep ... /FAI11.jpg (Battle for Moscow, December 1941)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_9.jpg (Finnish FAI-M, 1942)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_2.gif (excellent blueprints!)
http://www.battlefield.ru/misc/blueprints/fai_m_01.gif (excellent blueprints!)

Photos of experimental BA-21 (6x4, 1938):
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/broneavtom ... ba21_1.jpg (trials, 1939)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/broneavtom ... ba21_4.gif (line drawing)
http://www.jagdtiger.de/SovietTanks/BA-21-02.jpg (preserved at Kubinka tank museum, Russia)

Picture of experimental LB-23 (6x4, 1939):
http://denisovets.narod.ru/brone/bronep ... s/LB23.jpg

But I couldn't find the photos of captured BA-20s by the Germans (except one of BA-20 zhd), also the photos of destroyed BA-20s (not FAI!) are also very welcome. Could anybody help me?
Also I am trying to find the info about using BA-20s in the War with Japan (1945) and the info about their amount in Soviet army in 1945. How much BA-20 and FAI-M were used in Poland (1939) and during the Winter War (1939-1940)? Please, help!

Regards, BIGpanzer.

Photo of the Soviet light armored car BA-20 (1936-1942, 2013 copies)
is from http://www.wwiivehicles.com/ussr/armore ... a20/03.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 29 Oct 2005 19:18, edited 4 times in total.

Posts: 8
Joined: 26 Apr 2005 18:00
Location: The Netherlands

Post by Stravers » 08 May 2005 15:58

Here u see an original press photo out of my collection, u see russian vehicles on it;




User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Post by BIGpanzer » 08 May 2005 16:07

Hi, Stravers!
Excellent original photo! But this is the photo of Russian T-34-76 medium tanks, not of armored cars, I am searching for :)

User avatar
fault code 12
Posts: 34
Joined: 26 Feb 2005 18:09
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Post by fault code 12 » 08 May 2005 18:06

Hello again BIGpanzer,
now you've got me looking!! :lol: I found these..
http://www.tdg.nu/articles/historical%2 ... Trains.htm (scroll down to near the bottom for a BA 20 photo..)
http://www.autogallery.org.ru/m/ba10.htm (this is a great site, not really about armour or military but very informative..)
http://www.war.ee/earth/ussr/armcars/ba ... hoto.shtml (another interesting site, have not fully explored it yet..)
I will continue the search, 8O
Best regards,
fault code 12

User avatar
Posts: 177
Joined: 26 Oct 2004 08:40
Location: USA

Post by VDV » 08 May 2005 22:59

Posts: 150
Joined: 08 Nov 2004 20:58
Location: Riga, Latvia

Post by RoW » 08 May 2005 23:05

Direct link is too long. http://ww-2.com Then click on Книжная полка and look at "Russian Armored Cars 1930-2000".

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Light armored cars D-8 and FAI

Post by BIGpanzer » 08 May 2005 23:22

Hi ones more fault code 12 :)
Excellent links, especially about armored trains! Thank you very much!!! I know the link http://www.autogallery.org.ru - it is really great, about cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles from all over the world!

I wrote about Soviet light armored car BA-20 above and mentioned FAI-M model.
Here is some info about the predecessors of BA-20: light armored cars D-8, D-12 and FAI.

D-8 was the first Soviet serial light armored car, designed for reconnaissance, communication and march guard in 1931. It was based on the passenger car “Ford-A” chassis (4 x 2) and later on the Soviet licensed copy of it – GAZ-A. D-8 was very light and reliable armored car and had quite good cross-country ability. “D” means Dyrenkov – the surname of the designer. D-8 didn’t have a turret, which decreased its size and weight. The armored hull had embrasures in each side for the portable MG. 25 D-8 were produced in 1932-1934 by Izora factory (Leningrad).
Specifications of D-8: 4 x 2; weight 1,58 t; armament – 1 x 7,62mm DT MG (+ 1 x 7,62mm DT as reserve MG) with 2079 shells; crew 2 men; armor 3-7 mm; engine 40 hp GAZ-A; speed 85 km/h; range 225 km; dimensions 3,54x1,705x1,68 m; clearance 22,4 cm.

Also the similar light armored car D-12 (but with welded hull) was produced in 1932-1934 by Izhora factory (25 copies). It was armed with additional AA 7,62mm “Maxim” MG on aircraft MG ring (2000 shells). The reserve MG in the back of the hull was removed; also the shape of the hull was changed.

In 1932 the modernized model of D-8 with rotating turret was developed and produced in 1933-1936 by Izhora factory (Leningrad) and Vyksa factory (Gorky region) as FAI light armored car. FAI means Ford-A Izhora. Of course, FAI had larger height and weight, but its maneuverability was the same, and fighting characteristics were much better. Its main disadvantages were the overladen suspension and quite bad cross-country ability. In addition the railway variant of FAI-zhd was serially produced (weight 1,9 t; increased ammunition – 2520 MG shells), it had the steel railway rims, put on the standard road wheels during 30 min. Unfortunately, FAI-zhd had no radio station and its reverse speed was low for the escort of armored trains - only 24 km/h. 676 FAI and FAI-M (FAI-M was based on GAZ-M-1 more powerful chassis instead of Ford-A or GAZ-A, see my previous post) were produced.
Specifications of FAI: 4x2; weight 2 – 2,28 t; crew 2 men; dimensions 3,75x1,675x2,24 m; clearance 22,4 cm; armament 1 x 7,62mm DT MG with 1323 shells; armor 3-6 mm; engine 40 hp GAZ-A; speed 80 km/h; range 200 km.

To increase the armor and armament of the light reconnaissance armored cars and equip them with the radio station Soviet engineers developed the triaxial chassis (6x4) GAZ-TK and later GAZ-AAA. In 1935 the experimental GAZ-TK light armored car with good cross-country ability was built (crew 3 men; radio station with hand-rail antenna; weight 2,62 t; armor 1 x 7,62mm DT MG + 1764 shells; armor 3-6 mm; engine 40 hp; speed 63 km/h; range 230 km). But its speed and maneuvrability were not enough for the staff and reconnaissance armored car.

FAI light armored cars participated in all military conflicts of 1930s, which USSR took part in: Civil war in Spain, Soviet-Japanese conflicts, Winter war and WWII (till 1943). D-8, D-12 and FAI were used as reconnaissance, communication and stuff armored cars during the first period of WWII and the majority of them was lost. In June 1941 Soviet Army had 45 D-8 + D-12 and 419 FAI and FAI-M (mainly in mechanized corps in Ukraine and Byelorussia as staff and reconnaissance cars).

Probably, only two FAI (FAI-M) survived: one damaged example of FAI now haused in the Warsaw (Poland) military museum, another (FAI-M) was found in 1992 in a swamp near Novgorod, completely restored and used by the "Club of Military History of RKKA" in Moscow (Russia).

Photos of light armored car D-8:
http://www.redtanks.bos.ru/gallery/d8/d8_5.jpg (one D-8 was captured by the Finns)
http://www.redtanks.bos.ru/gallery/d8/d8_4.jpg (under TB-3 heavy bomber - landing from the low altitude)
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Base/ ... redcar.jpg (again - the airborne D-8!)
http://www.redtanks.bos.ru/gallery/d8/d8_1.jpg (colour picture)

Photos of FAI (4x2, 676 copies with FAI-M):
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_14.jpg (military parade, Moscow)
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/fai/fai_3.jpg (FAI destroyed in Spain, 1936)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai_24.jpg (FAI in Spain?)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai-m_4.jpg (Kiev manoeuvres, 1935)
http://www.war.ee/earth/ussr/armcars/ba ... fai_01.jpg
http://www.jagdtiger.de/SovietTanks/FAI-01.jpg (preserved turret of FAI, Moscow)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/fai/fai_23.gif (good colour picture!)

Could anybody help me with the info about the use of FAI during the Spanish Civil war (AFAIK both sides used it)?
Also I couldn't find any WWII photos of D-8 or D-12 light armored cars...

Regards, BIGpanzer

Photo of the Soviet light armored car D-8 (1932-1934, 25 copies + 25 copies of D-12)
is from http://www.museum.ru/museum/bronem/d8.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 29 Oct 2005 19:27, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Post by BIGpanzer » 09 May 2005 13:03

Hello, VDV!
Thank you very much for the link!
I'll try to buy some of these Russian journals about AFVs!

Thanks for the very interesting link! I found there several excellent encyclopedias about WWII weapons and uniform in .pdf format!

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Light armored car BA-64

Post by BIGpanzer » 10 May 2005 22:00

To finish the topic about Soviet light armored cars; of course BA-64 should be mentioned.
That was the most WWII popular and the single serial 4x4 Soviet armored car. It was produced in 1942-1946 by Gorky Car Factory, 9110 copies were produced. Army received 8174 during WWII, including 3390 with radio stations.

Two modifications existed: BA-64 (3901 copies, including 1352 with radio stations) based on GAZ-64 4x4 army car chassis with welded armor hull and open turret (closed with metal net on first models and tarpaulin awning) and BA-64B (5209 copies, including 4273 were produced during WWII and 2038 with radio station) based on GAZ-67 4x4 army car chassis with more broad gauge, more thick armor, more powerful engine (54 hp) with better cooling and additional shock-absorbers in the front suspension.
Many armored cars were equipped with radio stations. Also the railway variant BA-64zhd (2586 kg weight) was produced as small serial, but it had low reverse speed. Light armored car BA-64 was much more modern design than previous Soviet armored cars, having armor plates with big slope angles and MG in open turret for AA defense. Also its cross-country ability was excellent.

BA-64 saw the service at first near Bryansk, Voronezh in 1942, in Stalingrad. Later it was used in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Austia and Germany in 1944-1945. 81 BA-64 had Polish, and 10- Czechoslovakian troops in Soviet service during WWII.
BA-64s were used very widely as reconnaissance cars in tank and mechanized units, in cavalry and motorcycle regiments, also as communication armored cars and staff guard till the end of 1940s-beginning of 1950s. Also it was used for the defense of truck and tank columns against enemy infantry and aircrafts.
I found several mentions in the literature that Soviet commandos used BA-64 for the raids into German and Japanese hinterlands, and captured enemy staff officers with the help of light and fast BA-64.

BA-64 had weak armament, so it didn’t use often in direct combat. But some crews of BA-64 equipped the armored car with 14,5mm AT rifle in addition to standard MG, sometimes even removed the turret.
Those light armored cars were used also in 1950s in the armies of Warsaw pact countries and China, participated in Korean War.

Specifications of BA-64: 4x4; weight 2,36 t; crew 2 men; dimensions 3,66x1,53x1,9 m; clearance 21 cm; armament 1 x 7,62mm DT MG with 1260 shells; armor 4-15 mm; engine 50 hp GAZ-MM; speed 80 km/h; range 560-600 km.

Many experimental variants of BA-64 existed:
BA-64g (1942, 3 copies) – railway model with normal road wheels, but with additional small steel rollers at the front and behind the hull for railway movement. Changing the road/railway movement took near one minute (rollers lifting) instead of the standard BA-64zhd, where crew needed 30 min to replace road tires on steel railway rims.
BA-64d (1943, 1 copy) - with 12,7mm powerful DShK MG in enlarged turret.
BA-64e (1943, 8 copies in several modifications) – troop-carrier (1 + 4-6 men) without turret, equipped with the door in the rear. Armament – 1 x 7,62mm DT MG or 37mm cannon (planned). Three BA-64e were used at the front, but they were cramped for the crews.
BA-64z (1943, 1 copy) – winter half-track variant with caterpillars instead of rear wheels and skis on the front wheels. Weight 2,98 t; speed 28 km/h. Low maneuverability.
BA-64b (1944, 2 copies) – staff armored car without turret, equipped with powerful radio station.

Photos and pictures of BA-64:
http://ign1111.narod.ru/vit/broneavtomo ... a64_10.jpg (blueprints)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_2.jpg (good colour picture)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_46.gif (one more colour picture)
http://battles.h1.ru/bm07.jpg (3 view colour picture)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_28.jpg (BA-64B photo)
http://armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/WWII/BA64/BA64_7.jpg (BA-64 with 14,5mm anti-tank rifle)
http://denisovets.narod.ru/brone/bronep ... A64_18.jpg (self-made staff car, Romania, 1944)
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/ba64/ba64_17.jpg (BA-64B, Romania, 1944)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_38.jpg (Berlin, 1945)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_45.jpg (in USA service - trophy Korean)

http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_40.jpg (preserved in Russia, N. Novgorod)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_12.jpg (preserved in Russia, Moscow)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_52.jpg (another BA-64B, preserved in Moscow)
http://www.autogallery.org.ru/k/ga/ba64_inbox.jpg (during restoration)
http://www.armybook.com/im/big/r44-03.jpg (preserved somewhere :) )

Experimental modifications of BA-64:
http://armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/WWII/BA64/BA64_8.jpg (railway BA-64g)
http://armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/WWII/BA64/BA64_16.jpg (BA-64d with 12,7mm DShK MG)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_13.jpg (BA-64e troop-carrier)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba64/ba64_14.jpg (BA-64z winter half-track)

Regards, BIGpanzer

P.S. Some sources report that there was no serial production of the railway variant BA-64zhd and it was an experimental model (~ 3 copies called BA-64v), another - that it was produced. Does anybody know the real info?

Photo of the Soviet light armored car BA-64 (1942-1946, 9110 copies)
is from http://rustrana.ru/articles/3533/ba64.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 29 Oct 2005 19:32, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Medium armored car BA-27

Post by BIGpanzer » 12 May 2005 09:31

BA-27 was the first Soviet serial armored car. It was based on AMO-F-15 truck chassis (4 x 2), quite reliable and with good cross-country ability. Armored car had strengthened suspension and tires, additional fuel tank and electric starter. Medium armored car BA-27 was produced in 1928-1931 by Izhora factory (Leningrad) – 195 was produced. Early models had the stern steering wheel, later it was rejected and the crew became 3 men. Later models were based on Ford-AA truck chassis (weight 4,1 t; engine 40 hp; speed 50 km/h; range 300 km). The turret was identical with MS-1 light tank turret. In 1931 the railway variant of BA-27 was developed.

Specifications of BA-27: weight 4,4 t; crew 3-4 men; dimensions 4,617x1,710x2,520 m; engine AMO 35 hp; armament 1x37mm Hotchkiss cannon + 1 x 7,62mm DT MG (40 + 2016 shells); armor 4-7 mm; speed 30-40 km/h; range 150 km.

In 1931 the modernized model BA-27M, based on Ford-Timken truck chassis (6 x 4), was produced. BA-27M had new suspension and gearbox. The spare wheels were fixed at the sides of the hull and could rotate freely, helping the armored car to overcome trenches. Also removable caterpillars for the second and third axles were used for better cross-country ability.
Specifications: weight 4,5 t; crew 4 men; armament similar to BA-27; armor 4-8 mm; engine 40 hp; speed 48 km/h; range 415 km.

BA-27 participated in the battles with insurgents in the deserts of Central Asia (1929-1930s) and in the military conflict with China (1929). In 1929 the first Soviet mechanized regiment was formed with MS-1 light tanks battalion, BA-27 armored cars battalion, mobile infantry battalion and air detachment. In 1930 that regiment was re-formed as the 1st mechanized brigade.
BA-27M was used during Soviet-Japanese military conflicts (1938) and during the "liberation" of Poland (1939)
In June 1941 the Soviet army still have those obsolete armored cars, mainly at training schools. They were used in combats with Germans in summer 1941 and almost all were lost.

Photos of BA-27:
http://jagdtiger.de/SovietTanks/BA-27m-01.jpg (BA-27M preserved at Kubinka, Russia)
http://jagdtiger.de/SovietTanks/BA-27m-03.jpg (the same preserved BA-27M)

http://redtanks.bos.ru/gallery/wiev/ba27_2.jpg (excellent colour picture of BA-27)

http://armoredzone.by.ru/CCCP/ba-27.gif (picture of BA-27)
http://armoredzone.by.ru/CCCP/ba-27m.gif (picture of BA-27M)

Have anybody got the combat photos of BA-27 (mutinies in Central Asia 1928-1938, conflict with China in 1929 or WWII - 1941)? It will be very interesting.

Regards, BIGpanzer

The photo of the Soviet medium armored car BA-27 (1928-1931, 195 copies)
is from http://armoredzone.by.ru/CCCP/BA-27.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 02 Nov 2005 18:39, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Post by BIGpanzer » 13 May 2005 18:09

Sorry, today no info about Soviet armored cars :D No time to make search, unfortunately.

RoW advised me an excellent site, I found there an electronic variant of "The Encyclopedia of weapons of WWII".
Here is the page 39 with the identical photo of the commander of T-34-76, Stravers've shown us already above:
http://ww-2.com/modules/Static_Docs/dat ... /index.htm

The Russians never think about copyright, scan many excellent books (old and modern) and place them on their Internet sites - I found also the very informative guide of the all world navies, ed. 1940! Unfortunately, on Russian, but with excellent specifications and drawings.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 16 May 2005 14:54, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 2812
Joined: 12 Dec 2004 22:51
Location: Central Europe

Soviet medium armored cars: BA-10 and others

Post by BIGpanzer » 15 May 2005 22:58

So what I found about Soviet medium armored cars:

During 1930s the Soviets developed and produced many quite similar models of medium armored cars, armed with tank guns. They were designed for infantry support, destroying enemy light fortifications and AFVs, also for the guard of communications. Those medium armored cars had almost the same armor and armament as light tanks; but was cheaper in production, more light and had better range. Nevertheless they had mediocre cross-country ability.

The first Soviet models of medium armored cars were BA-27 (4x2) and BA-27M (6x4), I mentioned above. Later Soviet engineers used only 6x4 chassis for medium armored cars.
In 1931 the small series (15 copies) of 6x4 D-13 was produced by Izhora factory (Leningrad). D-13 had the turret from MS-1 light tank, additional stern steering control (but reverse speed was only 9 km/h) and spare wheels, fixed on the sides and rotated freely, which helped to overcome obstacles (this idea was used in all further models).
Specifications of D-13: Ford-Timken 6x4 chassis; weight 4,14 t; crew 3 men; armor 4-8 mm; armament 37mm Hotchkiss gun + 2x7,62mm DT MG + 1x7,62mm Maxim AA MG; ammunition 100 shells + 5040 MG shells; engine Ford-AA (GAZ-AA) 40 hp; speed 55 km/h; range 130 km.

In 1932 the new medium armored car BAI (D-13 with new shape of the welded hull) was developed in Izhora and produced in 1933 (90 copies).
Specifications of BAI: Ford-Timken 6x4 chassis (later models GAZ-AAA chassis); weight 5 t; crew 3 men; dimensions 4,775x2,016x2,350 m; armor 4-8 mm; armament 37mm Hotchkiss gun + 2x7,62mm DT MG; ammunition 34 shells + 3024 MG shells; engine Ford-AA (GAZ-AA) 40 hp; speed 48-63 km/h; range 150 km.
For better cross-country ability it was possible to use light removable (10-15 min) caterpillars on the back wheels (the same were used in all later models). Some BAI had radio stations with handrail antenna. Also the railway model was produced. In 1933 the experimental BAI with 37mm recoilless gun (20 shells) was built.

In 1934 BA-3 appeared as the modification of BAI, which had better armament (turret from the light tank T-26 with reduced armor). It was the first mass production medium armored car of the Red Army.
Specifications of BA-3: Ford-Timken 6x4 chassis; weight 5,82 t; crew 4 men; dimensions 4,825x1,963x2,494 m; clearance 25 cm; armor 4-9 mm; armament 45mm gun 20K mod. 1932 + 2x7,62mm DT MG; ammunition 60 shells + 3402 MG shells; engine Ford-AA (GAZ-AA) 40 hp; speed 45-70 km/h; range 248 km.
But BA-3 was over weighted and had quite bad cross-country ability.

In 1935 BA-6 (modification of BA-3) was developed, using new native GAZ-AAA 6x4 chassis with strengthen suspension.
Specifications of BA-6: GAZ-AAA 6x4 chassis; weight 5,12 t; dimensions 4,9x2,07x2,36 m; clearance 24 cm; crew 4 men; armor 4-8 mm; armament 45mm gun 20K mod. 1932 + 2x7,62mm DT MG; ammunition 60 shells + 3402 MG shells; engine GAZ-AA 40 hp; speed 43 km/h; range 140-265 km.
BA-6 had good shape of the hull (without the rear door) and the turret, and new bullet-proof tires GK from sponge rubber. In 1936 BA-6 was modernized (conic turret, more powerful 50 hp engine, 10mm armor, radio station) and called as BA-6M. Also the railway variant of BA-6zhd with removable steel railway wheels existed and used with armored trains (5,9 t; railway speed 55 km/h; range 150 km).
Specifications of BA-6M: weight 4,8 t; ammunition 50 shells + 2520 MG shells; engine GAZ-M-1 50 hp; speed 52 km/h; range 170-287 km.
In 1934-1938 554 copies of BA-3/BA-6 were produced by Izhora and Vyksa factories: 168 BA-3 in 1934-1935 and 386 BA-6 in 1936-1938.
Also the experimental light-weight (4,5 t) and maneuverable (50 hp, 55 km/h, 230 km) BA-9 was built in 1936. It was similar to BA-3, but armed with 12,7 mm DK MG instead 45mm gun. Near 100 BA-9 was planned to produce for the cavalry units, but that plan was abandoned because of shortage of DK heavy MG.

But the most famous and successful of the Soviet medium armored cars was BA-10 (produced in 1938-1941 by Gorky factory, 3311 copies). BA-10 was the further development of BAI, BA-3 and BA-6 armored cars. BA-10 had strengthen suspension, engine with better cooling and conic turret. Many of BA-10 had radio station. Its cross-country ability was also better than of previous models, especially with removable caterpillars on the back wheels. Also the railway variant of BA-10zhd (5,8 t) with removable railway steel tires (for the 1st and 3rd axles) and hydraulic lifting jack in the bottom was produced for armored train units.
Specifications of BA-10: short-cut GAZ-AAA 6x4 chassis; weight 5,12 t; dimensions 4,655x2,070x2,190m; clearance 22,5 cm; armor 6-10 mm; crew 4 men; armament 45mm gun 20K mod. 1934 + 2x7,62mm DT MG; ammunition 49 shells + 2079 MG shells; engine GAZ M-1 50-52hp; speed 53 km/h; range 260-305 km.
Since 1939 the modernized BA-10M (5,36 t) was produced with better steering control, additional front armor, external fuel tanks and the new radio station 71-TK-3.

BA-3. BA-6 and BA-10 were used during the Soviet-Japanese military conflicts (7, 8, 9th Soviet motorized armor brigades were armed with those armed cars), “liberation” of Poland in 1939, Winter War and the WWII (BA-3/BA-6 were used till the end of 1942, BA-10 - till 1944-1945). They were used mainly in reconnaissance units of tank, cavalry and infantry regiments and divisions, in mechanized regiments.
In 1935 60 BA-6 were sold to Turkey, also some were sold to Mongolia (used by 6th and 8th cavalry divisions during the Soviet-Japanese conflicts), China and Afghanistan. Near 100 BAI/BA-3/BA-6 were used in Spain during the Civil War, especially during the battle for Madrid against light tanks, several BA-6 were used by Spanish Army till 1950s.

In June 1941 the Red Army had: 9 D-13, 83 BAI, 144 BA-3, 190 BA-6 + 58 BA-6 with radio station, 1407 BA-10 + 1203 BA-10 with radio station, 15 BA-11.

During WWII BA-10s were used as scout cars, for close support of infantry and cavalry, safeguarding and very often – as armored troop carriers. In 1944 Finnish Army had 1 trophy BA-3 (was used till 1954), 10 trophy BA-6 (were used till 1956) and 13-24 trophy BA-10 (also were used till 1950s). Finns reequipped BA-10 with more powerful Ford V8 85 hp engines. Three BA-10 were sold to Sweden (m/31F). Germans used trophy BA-10 (BAF 203r) for infantry and military police support.
Battalions of BA-10 were used very successfully against German defense in January 1943 during the running the blockade of Leningrad by attacking Soviet troops.
There were many mentions in the literature that BA-10s with experienced crews were used quite successfully even in the combats with German tanks, especially in 1941-1942. Thus one BA-10 from the 1st Guard tank brigade destroyed three tanks in one combat during the battle for Moscow in 1941. In 1939-1941 BA-3/BA-6/BA-10 were the most well armed medium armored cars in the world, but their cross-country ability and armor was not sufficient for the offensive battles.

Several BA-3/BA-6/BA-10 are preserved in Russian and Finnish museums.

P.S. Soviets built also experimental BA-5 heavy armored car in 1935 (ZiS-6 6x4 chassis; 8 t; crew 5-6 men; 4-9 mm armor; 45mm gun + 3 MG; 114 shells + 3000 MG shells; ZiS-6 engine 73 hp; 50 km/h; 260 km). It should be mentioned also the Soviet heavy armored car BA-11 based on strengthens ZIS-6k 6x4 chassis (1940-1941, 16-18 copies). It had the similar design as medium armored cars, conic turret, radio station and stern steering control. BA-11 intended for the support of attacking infantry, cavalry and medium armored cars. BA-11 had better armor, armament, speed and range than the light tanks T-26 and BT! But it was over weighted. BA-11s were used during 1941-1942 on the Leningrad Front.
Specifications of BA-11: ZiS-6k 6x4 chassis; weight 8,13-8,6 t; crew 4 men; dimensions 5,295x2,490x2,390m; clearance 26,5 cm; armor 8-13 mm; armament 45mm gun 20K mod. 1934 + 2x7,62mm DT MG; ammunition 104-114 shells + 3014-3087 MG shells; engine ZiS-16 93 hp (one BA-11 had diesel ZiS-D-7 99 hp); speed 64 km/h; range 178-316 km (420 km with diesel).

Pictures of D-13:

Photos and pictures of BAI:
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/ba3/bai_1.jpg (military parade in Moscow, 1934)
http://www.ee-group.ru/cat/new_pics/35124.jpg (good colour picture)
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/ba3/bai_2.jpg (BAI and FAI armored cars)

Photos and pictures of BA-3:
http://www.hobbyshop.ru/umc/umc72320.jpg (good colour picture)
http://www.aviapress.com/engl/est/est35125.jpg (another picture)
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/ba3/ba3_1.jpg (photo)
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/finland/BA3.jpg (Finnish BA-3)
http://bronetehnika.narod.ru/ba3_ba9/ba3_3.jpg (preserved in Russia, Kubinka)
http://www.aviapress.com/engl/est/est35125_1.jpg (camouflage picture)

To be continued...........
Regards, BIGpanzer

Photo of the Soviet medium armored car BA-10 (1938-1941, 3311 copies)
is from http://www.smallafv.nn.ru/pics/museum_ba10_slide09.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 02 Nov 2005 18:44, edited 4 times in total.

Return to “The Soviet Union at War 1917-1945”