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Shot-up TT-26 remotely-controlled tank (teletank) with TOZ-IV telematics equipment from 217th separate tank battalion of 30rd tank brigade. Two antenna leads on the turret roof and two-colour camouflage of the vehicle are visible. Karelian Isthmus, February 1940.

Teletanks were a series of wireless remotely controlled unmanned robotic tanks produced in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and early 1940s.[1] They saw some use in combat during early World War II, referred to as the Winter War in Russia. A teletank is controlled by radio from a control tank at a distance of 500–1,500 meters, the two constituting a telemechanical group. Teletanks were used by the Soviet Red Army in the Winter War and fielded at least two teletank battalions at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.[1]

Teletanks were equipped with DT machine guns, flamethrowers, smoke canisters,[1] and sometimes a special 200–700 kg time bomb in an armored box, dropped by the tank near the enemy's fortifications and used to destroy bunkers up to four levels below ground.[citation needed] Teletanks were also designed to be capable of using chemical weapons, although they were not used in combat. Each teletank, depending on model was able to recognize sixteen to twenty-four different commands sent via radio on two possible frequencies to avoid interference and jamming. Teletanks were built on the basis of T-18, T-26, T-38, BT-5 and BT-7 tanks.

Standard tactics were for the control tank (with radio transmitter and operator) to stay back as far as practical while the teletank (TT) approached the enemy.[1] The control tank would provide fire support as well as protection for the radio control operator. If the enemy was successful at seizing the teletank, the control tank crew was instructed to destroy it with the main gun. When not in combat the teletank was driven manually.

In addition to teletanks, there were also remotely controlled telecutters and teleplanes in the Red Army.[2][3]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Alexander Lychagin (9). "What is Teletank?" (in English from Russian) (Google translated page). Odint Soviet news. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  2. Alexey Isaev. 1942, Battle of Kharkov. Interview for Echo of Moscow radio station - (Russian with lots of cookies)
  3. (Google cache: [1]) Short essays on history of VNIIRT: development of telemechanical cutters (Russian)

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