Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Nomenclature Confusion

Some nuances in record keeping tend to introduce confusion into history. For instance, here we have reports from the 150th Tank Brigade of a tank called T-16 in their ranks. 

"1st Tank Battalion, consisting of 3 T-26s, 1 T-16, 2 T-40...
2nd Tank Battalion, consisting of 11 BTs, 1 T-16..."

Seems about right. With such a mishmash of vehicles in this unit, some T-16s taken out of storage don't seem too far fetched. 

Except, there's an issue. The T-16 was a prototype of the MS-1. The tank that went into production under that name had the index T-18. The two possibilities, that the prototype was used in battle and that the journal keeper confused the T-18 for its prototype, are equally unlikely. There was also only one T-16 built, which makes the appearance of two of them in battle quite unlikely. The mystery is solved a few pages down the road, where the journal keeper identifies the tanks by serial number.

Turns out that the T-16 is just a short form of HTZ-16, an armoured tractor.

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