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One Man Tanks
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:21 pm
Post subject: One Man Tanks

I was researching One Man Tanks, and I discovered that there were only very few ever built.

The Morris Martel:

The Crossley Martel:

The Carden-Loyd Mk.I through III tankettes:

Russian T-17:

And those are the only One Man Tanks I could find, and those are in fact the only pictures I could find of them to boot! I was wondering if anyone had any other pictures of these tanks? The Carden-Loyd Mk.I through III had a turret that could traverse 200 degrees - some books make it seem like it couldn't traverse at all, just clearing that up.

Furthermore, I read this on the defunct "www.battlefield.ru" site, that originally hosted many of these pictures :

"By the mid 1920's, France paid little attention to the development of light tankettes. However, the obvious success of the English attracted their attention and compelled French engineers to start their own work on tankettes. In 1929, they developed the single-seated tankette called the "Sabat." This vehicle was intended to be transported by a truck, and in battle it ran on its tracks. The tankette was operated by a driver who was in the prone position. During a non-combat situation, the driver could operate the tankette in a sitting posture."


"In Russia, the very first tankette project was independently developed in 1919 by the Russian engineer I. Maksimov. The tankette was named "Sh'itonoska" which meant "Shield Carrier." The vehicle was armed with one machine-gun and was operated by a single crewman who was in the prone position."

So, there are two more One Man Tanks that I know absolutely nothing about!! Can anyone shed any light on the French "Sabat" one-man tankette, or the Russian "Sh'itonoska" one-man tankette ?

Any additional pictures or information on any of these tankettes would be greatly appreciated!


Last edited by BenjaminLiottel on Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:27 pm
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

Thanks for your post, Benjamin, and welcome to the Discussion Group.

The syntax for your linked pics is off by one character (I changed the first one to make sure it would work...it does)

In your links you have the latter brackets with the "slash" behind the "URL"...it needs to be in front of it for the links to go active. You should probably edit your post to move the "slash" on the other links, or folks can just cut-and-paste the URL into their URL windows to view the pics.
If you click "edit" for your post, you will see how I changed it for the first link...just do that to all of 'em. Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:47 pm
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

Very interesting post!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:53 pm
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

Thank you Doug!

Actually, I posted the message, realised that I had the slash in the wrong place, and then edited it all, and everything worked. But then I just refreshed the page, and read the replies here, and it was back to being wrong again! So I just edited it a second time - hopefully the editing stays fixed this time.


I also read that another T-17 copy was produced as a cannon variant - this I find ludicrously hard to believe. One man could possibly, if quite a good multi-tasker, run some simple tank controls aswell as a simple light machine gun. But how in all possibility could a man operate a tank, and a breach loaded cannon at the same time? If this variant did indeed exist, I presume it was intended more for an artillery-support role, never being intended to move and shoot at the same time.

Second of all, I have read elsewhere that only one prototype T-17 was ever produced - but in another place, I read that up to 3 or more T-17s were produced. Has anyone ever noticed that facts regarding Russian AFVs are often entirely contradictoy? Trying to unravel any true history of early Russian tank development is an excercise in futility.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:15 am
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

Whatever happened to "battlefield.ru" BTW?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:03 am
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

I have no idea. From the Google cached files of the website it seems like it had a fairly comprehensive ammount of data on early Russian tanks. Now it seems its totally down. The cached file for the site lists it as copyright 1998, so I really don't know.

Ok folks, I can say with certainty that the "sh'itonoska - shield carrier" one man tank from Russia is a total joke. It was a paper-project, and never got built. It's yet another one of the USSRs attempts to make it look like they've always had the upper hand tank-wise. From saying they built the first tank, to saying they built the first tankette, to all of that. Virtually everything you read in Cold War era soviet-armor-history books is totally bogus.

But we still have that 1930s one-man "Sabat" tank from France - I wonder if this was a real, actual, built vehicle? Indeed, much of the world was getting very into Tankettes and they proved wonderful on the export-market to small underfunded foreign militaries, so I could easily understand why France would invest some thought into Tankettes - but the problem is, I've never heard of the one-man "Sabat" tankette ever!! So im still looking for answers on that.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:39 am
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

Try putting the website's address into www.archive.org.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:51 pm
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

Back on topic...

Another One Man Tank.


Ok, so far the little Carden-Loyd turreted Tankettes look like by far the best bet for a viable one-man tank.

Anyone know any other One-Man Tanks ?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:35 am
Post subject: Re: One Man Tanks

My drawing abilities make me seem far younger than I am - so I am always hesitant to post my cartoonish drawings, but oh well, this thread was dead anyways.

Made up:

In the early 30's, several cash strappd Northern European countries expressed interested in Carden-Loyds one-man tank, and several copies were ordered. In the beginning years of WWII, a German paratrooper came across an abandoned Lahti L-39 20mm anti-tank rifle, found by the Russians, and used until its bulk necessitated it being left behind. The paratrooper also found it too cumbersome to haul behind him. Soon after, he found an old junk yard with a nearly functional Carden-Loyd one-man rusting away. Using parts from the yard and old paint cans found, he fixes the old toy up and drives it back to the Lahti, mounting it in the little turret instead of the now-absent machine gun.

Here we see the paratroper, standing up in his new ride, eying the horizon, with several T-26 tanks burning on a hill behind him.



EDIT: Two more paper-project tanks... I found a drawing of the French Sabathe one-man tank, and I dug up patent drawings for the 1958 Baldine one-man tank aswell. Enjoy!


Doesn't the Baldine tank really remind you of a tank version of Graham Hawkes one-man prone-position submersible, Deep Flight 1 ?

Enjoy Smile


Oh, and also.. Are we sure the St. Chamond M.21 wasn't a one man vehicle? Either this model is totally bogus, or I can't figure out how two people could squeeze in there.
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