World of Tanks. History of Chinese Tanks

Uploaded by WorldOfTanksCom on 20.01.2013

The start of the 20th century was a period of revolution. Even China, which was ruled by emperors for thousands years, couldn’t resist these changes.
As a result, the Republic of China, headed by interim president, Yuan Shikai, leader of the northern Chinese provinces, appeared on political map of the world.
President Shikai didn’t mind having the imperial crown, so after coming to power he began preparations to eliminate the Republicans.
In 1912, the leader of South China, Sun Yat-sen, established Kuomintang.
In 1913 he led a rebellion against Yuan Shikai.
This rebellion, known as the “Second Revolution”, was defeated.
Sun Yat-sen emigrated to Japan and Yuan Shikai proclaimed himself emperor.
The newly appointed emperor ruled rigidly, but he had shortsighted policies. As a result, he soon lost the support of political parties
In 1916, he abdicated the throne, and shortly thereafter.
After the departure of Yuan Shikai, China split into many militarist cliques.
In 1922 the Communist Party of China was established.
Before the start of the Sino-Japanese War, the warring factions of the Middle Empire began to use armored vehicles that were created abroad.
The majority of tanks were purchased from France and Great Britain.
France produced about 50 light tanks, like the Renault FT-17, for China that were equipped with a machine gun or a canon.
The FT-17 was the first tank with a classical layout -- with the engine in the rear, a crew compartment in the middle, and a weapon mounted on a rotating turret.
In the 1920s this vehicle was one of the most advanced in the world.
Besides the standard Renault FT-17, modified NC-31 tanks were sold to the Middle Empire. These vehicles had a new suspension and a more powerful engine.
Great Britain produced many famous tanks for China, like the Vickers Mk. E that's also known as the Vickers 6 Ton.
This marvelous vehicle developed in the early 1930s didn’t interest the British army, so it was actively sold to foreign countries, including China.
About 20 "Vickers" with a modified turret design was bought by Kuomintang in 1936.
The delivery of American tanks like the Ford M1917 and the Italian Fiat 3000 were minuscule compared to the French and British tanks. The total number of
machines produced from both countries was less than twenty.
In those years, the first factories that appeared in China were developing tanks.
They were not even thinking about the creation of their own tanks. These manufactories were solely focused on repairs and maintenance of these combat vehicles.
Also there was no adequate support of spare parts.
The Chinese specialists had to make do with what was in stock.
No wonder that in China by the end of the 20s to the start of the 30s, they were using French tanks with an American engine, or British tanks with a German
gun, were struggling against enemy forces.
With the start of the Sino-Japanese War, the amount of vehicles produced in China had increased, and the Soviet Union and Germany joined the list of
countries that produced tanks.
The majority of Soviet tanks sold to China were T-26 light tanks.
Kuomintang purchased about a hundred tanks of this type.
It's also known that several BT-5s were bought.
Germany also helped China with the delivery of the Pz I.
During the war, it's typical for an enemy army to obtain captured equipment.
Throughout the confrontation with Japan, the Chi-Ha medium tanks built by Mitsubishi were fighting in the Chinese army.
These tanks were only mediums according to the Japanese classification. They were actually light 16 ton vehicles.
However, this tank was equipped with a 57 mm caliber gun -- that's a pretty amazing feature for a tank in the 1930s.
During World War II, the arsenal of Chinese tanks was replenished by the U.S. with the M5 Stuart.
This tank wasn’t good enough for the European theater of operations. However, it could effectively be used in the struggle between Japan and China.
The U.S. sold about one hundred tanks to the government of Chiang Kai-shek.
After the end of World War II the USSR and China were on such good terms, that Chinese leaders asked allies directly for help in updating the armored fleet of their country.
China received the T-34-85 medium tanks, SU-100 tank destroyers, and the IS and IS-2 heavy tanks.
After the war, the Chinese tank industry had developed a sufficient extent that the Middle Empire began to independently design tanks.
At the start of the 1950s, several interesting projects were created.
One of them was the T-34-2 medium tank.
You shouldn’t be deceived about its index.
This Chinese has nothing common with the Soviet T-34. It’s rather similar in its layout with a T-44 of the more modern design.
The creation of the T-34-2 was scheduled to start in the city of Baotou, at a military plant that was built specifically to manufacture heavy and medium tanks.
But in 1956, China received the T-54 license and technical documentation for manufacturing.
The Chinese liked the Soviet tank so much, that the military plant in Baotou was reequipped for the producing only the T-54 and the T-34-2.
Based on the T-54 design, the WZ-120 was created. It became one of the main battle vehicles of People's Liberation Army of China.
The first tanks of this type were copies of the T-54, but, eventually, the WZ-120 became an independent project.
As for other interesting experiments from Chinese engineers, we should mention the WZ-111 heavy tank.
This vehicle was developed in the early 1960s as a replacement for the IS-2 and IS-3 Soviet tanks, which were in the service of the Chinese army, but were obsolete.
Objectively speaking, the need for a heavy tank in those years was questionable.
However, the Chinese still continued the development of a vehicle that was similar to the “IS-3” in its hull layout with amazing slope frontal armor.
This tank was equipped with 122 mm gun.
However, only the development prototype was built and the project was closed.
One version of the WZ-111 with a model turret was built and it's located today in the museum of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
China started the development of its own tank building industry rather late.
However, this country began to use armored vehicles much earlier.
And almost always these vehicles were the best for their time period.
In addition, when the Chinese began to develop tanks, they didn’t just copy other vehicles. They actively modernized and upgraded these tanks to use their full power.
As a result of these upgrades, Chinese modifications made these tanks even better than to their prototypes.
Tank building in China has always shown progress.
Nowadays, the People's Republic of China manufactures combat vehicles of the highest quality, considered by many to be some of the best in the world�