Missile Jet War Launcher
S u m m a r y
|Contents:||179 parts; 100 in green styrene, 79 in black styrene|
|Price:||price around US$16.95|
|Advantages:||Only kit of this subject available; base kit not bad; rocket launcher well done|
|Disadvantages:||Thick fins on rockets; no hard evidence of this vehicle ever being used.|
|Recommendation:||For those who want something completely different!|
F i r s t L o o k
(Note: The actual vehicle is a BM-8-24 82mm rocket launcher mounted on the chassis of a T-40 light amphibious tank. Some terminology does not translate well into English when translated verbatim!)
From the kit's direction sheet:
"The creation of combat rocket launcher mounts based on the T-40 (T-60) light tank was done in order to provide higher mobility to these combat vehicles under off-road conditions.
"Therefore, the working plans for the BM-8-24 were drawn up by the chief designer of the "Kompressor" Factory, V.P. Barmin, on 13 October 1941, and by October of that year prototype models had been built and were undergoing testing; the vehicle was accepted for service under the designator of 52-TR-392. Series production took place at the "Kompressor" Factory as well as at the Gor'kiy Refrigeration Installation Factory.
"The BM-8-24 combat mount based on the T-40 (T-60) consisted of an artillery component mounted on the hull of the tank and designed to fire the M8 82mm unguided rocket projectile.
" The artillery component consisted of twelve two-meter long guidance "rails". The breech end of the rail contained a pyrotechnic pistol, which was loaded with pyrotechnic cartridges for igniting the rocket motor via its nozzle.
"The guidance rails were aimed as a package and were firmly combined into a skeleton frame, which had the capability of being elevated from -5 to +45 degrees and had -5 to +5 degrees traverse.
"Aiming the mount at the target was accomplished by using a sight with a special blade. Fire was conducted by using a firing switch connected to the vehicle's electrical system. The power source was provided by special storage batteries. The combat mount excelled in its good mobility, provided cover for the firing crew inside the tank, and also permitted direct laying and firing.
"The BM-8-24 mount on the T-40 (T-60) was used with distinction before Moscow, in the Crimean, in the battle for Stalingrad, on the Southwest and Volkov Fronts, where it was found as the weapon of the Guards Mortar battalions and regiments during the first half of the war."
This is a neat little model, but for the life of me I cannot find out if the T-40 based version was ever used in combat. Most of the reports, and the official handbooks, all comment on the later, T-60 based hulls. There were less than 710 T-40 types (including the T-30 and T-40S) built, and many of them were quickly knocked out right after the German invasion. Some did survive, but the combat reports indicate that they were used for their amphibious tank qualities, not converted to anything else.
Still, it is one way to get a T-40 and still have parts left over to convert a T-60 to a BM-8-24, or use the rails on a Jeep or GAZ-67 to make the more common BM-8-8 version of the "hip pocket artillery."
Thanks to Bill Miley of Chesapeake Model Designs for the review sample.
Back to Reviews Page