Tsar Tank
The Tsar Tank also known as the Netopyr' (Нетопырь) which stands for pipistrellus
Pipistrellus is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae and subfamily Vespertilioninae. The name of the genus is derived from the Italian word Pipistrello, meaning "bat"....

 (a bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

, Летучая мышь) or Lebedenko Tank (танк Лебеденко), was an unusual Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n armoured vehicle developed by Nikolai Lebedenko
Nikolai Lebedenko
Nikolay Lebedenko was a Russian military engineer, mostly known as the main developer of the Lebedenko Tank, or the Tsar Tank, which was the largest armored vehicle in history, constructed in 1916–1917. Lebedenko was employed in a private firm, that worked for the Russian War Department, designing...

 (Николай Лебеденко), Nikolai Zhukovsky (Николай Жуковский), Boris Stechkin
Boris Stechkin
Boris Sergeyevich Stechkin was Russian scientist, engineer and inventor. He developed a theory of heat engines and was involved in construction of many Soviet aircraft engines...

 (Борис Стечкин), and Alexander Mikulin (Александер Микулин). The project was scrapped after initial tests deemed the vehicle to be underpowered and vulnerable to artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...


It differed from modern tanks in that it did not use caterpillar tracks—rather, it used a tricycle
A tricycle is a three-wheeled vehicle. While tricycles are often associated with the small three-wheeled vehicles used by pre-school-age children, they are also used by adults for a variety of purposes. In the United States and Canada, adult-sized tricycles are used primarily by older persons for...

 design. The two front spoked wheels were nearly 9 metres (27 feet) in diameter; the back wheel was smaller, only 1.5 metres (5 feet) high, triple wheel, to ensure maneuverability. The upper cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

In architecture, a turret is a small tower that projects vertically from the wall of a building such as a medieval castle. Turrets were used to provide a projecting defensive position allowing covering fire to the adjacent wall in the days of military fortification...

 reached nearly 8 metres high. The hull was 12 metres wide with two more cannons in the sponson
Sponsons are projections from the sides of a watercraft, for protection, stability, or the mounting of equipment such as armaments or lifeboats, etc...

s. Additional weapons were also planned under the belly. Each wheel was powered by a 250 hp Sunbeam engine.

The vehicle received its nickname because its model, when carried by the back wheel, resembled a bat hanging asleep.

The huge wheels were intended to cross significant obstacles. However, due to miscalculations of the weight, the back wheel was prone to be stuck in soft ground and ditches, and the front wheels were sometimes insufficient to pull it out. This led to a fiasco of tests before the high commission in August 1915. The tank remained in the location where it was tested, some 60 kilometres from Moscow until 1923 when it was finally taken apart for scrap.

See also

  • Tsar Bomba
    Tsar Bomba
    Tsar Bomba is the nickname for the AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. It was also referred to as Kuz'kina Mat , in this usage meaning "something that has not been seen before"....

  • Tsar Cannon
    Tsar Cannon
    The Tsar Cannon is a huge cannon on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. It was cast in 1586 in Moscow, by the Russian master bronze caster Andrey Chokhov. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never fired in war...

  • Tsar Bell
  • Father of all bombs
  • Mother of all bombs
    GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb
    The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb is a large-yield conventional bomb developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed...

External links

  • http://www.landships.freeservers.com/lebedenko_info.htm
  • http://web.archive.org/web/20080419052234/panzermodelkit.valka.cz/lebedaj.htm
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