The object 279 looks like a speedboat on chains with a turret. But the sharp-edged tub of this battle tank was not plate-shaped for the reason that the vehicle could swim. The bizarre form rather provided protection from explosion waves generated by A-bombs, the portal writes.
For every other threat there was the powerful armor: 319 millimeters on the turret and 269 millimeters at the thickest point of the pan. This is significantly more than the T-72, which was introduced two decades later, writes "The National Interest" (NI). A stabilized 130 mm gun with a drawn barrel and a MG in 14.5 mm caliber provided the armament.
60 tons weighed the whole; 1000 horsepower was needed to move the beast – and the four tracks 2 x 2 (two each on one side). This allowed the heavy KPz to run on softer soils. It is impossible to imagine how much effort was made to repair the two chains below the bottom of the tank – not to mention the complicated drive train, according to "NI".
The prehistory: During the Second World War, the Soviets had perfected the tank construction, writes the portal. The result was not only the legendary T-34, but also the heavy KPz IS-2: an impressive vehicle introduced in 1944.
The IS-2 was the spearhead of the Red Army in the storm on Berlin. The German "Tiger" had little chance against the colossus. Even heavily fortified positions put the heavy tank from the USSR to rubble and ashes, so "NI".
But from the mid-1950s classic heavy tanks make no sense. In order to win the wars of the future, the battle tanks had to become faster, more agile and more reliable – and they needed high-performance guns.
Crucial was also that gradually guided missiles were introduced in the armed forces, which could also penetrate through thick armor. Nikita Khrushchev, a rocket fan, saw no future for the tanks and ordered: "No more heavy battle tanks," writes the portal.
That was the end for the object 279. It is noticeable, however, that today's battle tanks the "Moving armor plate" at least equal in weight, engine power, protection and armament.