T-70

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The T-70 is a Soviet light reconnaissance tank, built by Tank Yards.

History

The Soviets were quick to realize the shortcomings of the T-60 - its thin armor and inadequate armament. Additionally, the limited-production T-50 infantry support tank proved too complicated for rapid production. Overall the Soviets believed that light tanks had lost their battlefield utility, but still desired to bolster their forces with a tank that could be produced by smaller arms plants that could not accommodate T-34 production. Put into production alongside the T-60 in March 1942, the T-70 completely replaced its older counterpart on the production lines that September. Despite the improvement over the T-60, the T-70 was still handicapped by poor mechanical reliability and the one-man turret which made it nearly impossible to coordinate a tank platoon. In October 1943 production was capped at 8,226 tanks, as the Soviets decided to re-equip their light tank units with T-34s. The T-70 still served in a reconnaissance role with some self-propelled artillery units until 1948; perhaps its greatest contribution to the Soviet war effort was providing the chassis for the highly successful SU-76 light assault gun.

Combat Performance

The T-70 is an improvement in every category over its predecessor, mounting a 45mm gun that offers more offensive punch as well as thicker armor. Nevertheless, it is still vastly inferior to the German Pzkw. III and any medium tank. Although it has slightly more armor than the American M5A1 Stuart, its 45mm gun is less effective against armor than the Stuart's 37mm. The T-70 is best used for scouting and attacks on infantry and light vehicles. In the infantry support role it replaces the SU-76 due to lower costs and better armor.

It is easy to mass produce these tanks, as such they can carry out distraction roles for enemy AT weaponry, as well as hunt down lone lightly armored targets. In some situations, they can replace the T-34 in defencive value, as they have similar front armor (relativly poor for both)