Russian Armoured Cars 1930-2000
By Jim Kinnear
Publisher: Greenhill Books 2000 336 Pages
PDF 50 MB
Before the First World War, the Russian Army utilized a combination of imported armored car designs and a small number of indigenous vehicles. The country did not, however, at this time possess the industrial base to series produce armored cars. There were several small
automotive plants in Russia, but these were restricted to the production of limited numbers of light vehicles.
Interest in armored vehicles was forced on Russia as a result of the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese war, which proved a major learning experience for Russian forces at sea and on land. The war showed the backwardness of Russian tactics and also demonstrated the value of mechanized machine gun support for breakthrough operations. As a direct result of this wartime experience, several armored car designs were developed and prototypes tested for the Russian War Ministry, but series production of Russian armored cars was still some years in the future.
The first armored car designed in Russia was developed in 1905 by the Georgian engineer M.A.Nakashidze. His design for a machine gun armed vehicle with 4-8mm of armor, combat weight of 3,000kg, and a road speed of 50km/hour was accepted by the Russian War Ministry for service with the Russian Army. However, as no Russian plant was considered capable of producing the vehicle, manufacture was subcontracted to the French company Charron, Girardot, and Voigt, which completed and delivered nine vehicles to the Russian Army. At least one other vehicle was mysteriously "lost" en route to Russia through Germany and was subsequently evaluated by the German Army.