Categories
WWII Soviet Armored Cars

Izhorsk Improvised Armored Vehicles

Soviet Tanks Soviet Union (1941)
Improvised Armored Vehicles – Estimated 100 built

It is hard to stress how dire the situation was for the Red Army  in the summer of 1941. In as little as two months, 10,000 tanks had been lost to the German Army and her allies. Therefore, factories across the Soviet Union began to produce a myriad of improvised tanks and armored cars. The Izhorsky plant in Leningrad was one such producer, however, rather than up-armoring tanks like most other factories, Izhorsky up-armored and militarized trucks for combat, equipping some machines with a 45mm gun, and even going as far as creating a crude turreted armored car.

Izhorskiye pre-war

The Izhorskiye Zavod (Izhora Plant) was established in 1722 in Saint Petersburg under the orders of Tsar Peter I, to manufacture items for the Russian Navy. The plant had a long career manufacturing naval goods including armor plates for their ironclad and pre-dreadnought ships. In 1906, the plant was awarded its own flag. Some time in the early 1900s, the plant moved onto vehicle manufacture.
Before the war, the Izhorskiye (Iszhorky) plant was one of Leningrad’s largest producers of vehicles. Izhorsky manufactured such iconic vehicles as the FAI, BA-I, BA-3 and BA-6. Izhorsky also manufactured armor plates for tank production, these plates were mostly used in the T-37A, T-38 and T-40 tanks. Izhorsky had a long and proud history of manufacturing armored vehicles, and on the eve of WWII, the plant was producing armor plates for the T-40 amphibious tank, as well as military and commercial trucks.

Desperate measures

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union on the 22nd of June 1941, scores of Soviet tanks were lost. The Soviet Union was in desperate need for any armored vehicles that could stem the tide of the German invasion. On the 20th of July 1941, resolution 219ss was passed. This was a resolution for factories across the Soviet Union to begin manufacture of ‘bronetraktors’ (i.e. improvised tanks), and to up-armor tanks such as the T-26. This resolution did not specify that trucks should also be up-armored, however, Izhorsky proceeded with the implementation of armor on trucks.

A GAZ AA Truck. The key way to identify this truck over the ZIS-5, is the rear suspension. Notice the leaf suspension that looks as though it should have a second road wheel.
Other plants went down different routes, with the HTZ plant in Kharkov manufacturing HTZ-16 tanks on modified SkHTZ-NATI chassis (the civilian version of the STZ-3). The Odessa Ship works manufactured the ‘NI’ Odessa Tank on the STZ-5 chassis too. Other experiments were conducted in Stalingrad on another tractor tank based on the STZ-3, however these were never fully completed.

IZ trucks

On July 8th 1941, Decree of the Military Council of the Northern Front 53ss was passed. This decree was for the Izshorsky plant to manufacture 20 ZIS-5 trucks with a 45mm field gun placed on the rear of the truck with a partially armoured cab and engine compartment.
As it was, three different chassis were available for these improvised armored trucks, the GAZ-AA, the ZIS-5 and the ZIS-6. The GAZ-AA and ZIS-5 trucks were equipped with plates that are reported to have been between 3-10 mm thick, that covered the engine and crew compartments. The driver of the truck was situated on the left hand side, with a vision slit cut into the armor. To the right of the driver was a machine gun, which was most likely a DP-28 or DT-29.
The engine compartment was completely sealed in, with two small access hatches either side of the engine, along with two armored air intakes over the front grille of the truck. The suspension was unchanged despite the weight increase.

The most common variant of the IZ armored truck, with a 45mm gun placed on the stowage compartment of the truck.
The rear of the truck was built up with armored sides, however, still had an open rear and roof. The cargo portion of the truck was left unarmored, with this new armored structure placed on top of the folding wooden sides. According to the surviving records and photographs, these trucks were armed with either a 45mm gun, a quad maxim gun mount, or nothing at all, functioning more as an armored personnel carrier. The 45mm gun, when placed onto the truck, used the gun shield as part of the armor at the front of the new fighting compartment, with the gun facing forward, and the barrel extending over the engine deck. Wheels were retained on the gun.

An IZ captured by Finnish forces. This truck has had the 45mm gun removed.
These vehicles were called  “IZ”, as the factory that produced them was the Izhorsky factory. It is agreed that, after the initial 20 vehicles with 45mm guns were produced, the plant continued to manufacture armoured trucks in the layouts already described. Roughly 100 of these vehicles were produced from August until December 1941. There was little variation from vehicle to vehicle other than armament. Due to the thin armor of the IZ trucks, performance was not hindered greatly, however the weight of the truck was increased.

An IZ that was built and used as an APC. This machine was never equipped with a gun on the rear, however retained the benches on the stowage compartment. This machine has been captured by the Germans, and a division marking drawn on the cab.

ZIS-6 armoured car and other conversions

Izhorsky also briefly experimented with the manufacture of an improvised armored car based on the ZIS-6 chassis. The rear of the truck was converted into a fully fledged armored car. This had a box created on the rear of the truck, that on the top had a BA-6 turret. The engine deck was covered in the same pattern armor that the IZ trucks were plated with. It is thought to be a BA-6 turret rather than a T-26 turret due to the weight differences between the BA turrets and the T-26 turret. The thickness of the armor on a BA turret was 9mm thick, whereas a T-26 turret was 13mm thick. Only one ZIS-6 armored car seems to have been manufactured, and appears in one photograph.

In the foreground a BA-10, and behind this the Izhorsky ZIS-6 truck converted into an armored car.
In addition to the creation of a new armored car, Izhorsky also took back armored cars for repair. Some of these vehicles were themselves modified. One such conversion was done to a BA-10. After being returned to the Izhorsky plant, the car was cut down in size. The rear portion of the car, including the rear most drive wheel, was removed. In its place a simple armored cab was placed with a command cupola from what appears to be a BA-27. This vehicle was now an ambulance. It was captured intact, and actually pressed into German service as an ambulance.


Izhorsk improvized armoured car, illustration by David Bocquelet

Combat deployment

The first of these “IZ” were delivered to the defenders of Leningrad on the 15th of July 1941. It is unknown when the last example was manufactured. Estimates range from as low as 25 produced to upward of 100. These trucks were reported to have been used on the western front until early 1943. They were only issued to the Leningrad People’s Militia. Several of these vehicles fell into German hands. However, only one is known to have served in the Wehrmacht.
A still greater operator of these trucks was Finland. As these vehicles were manufactured in Leningrad, they were only available here during the siege. Large attempts were made by the Red Army to push back the Finnish forces to the north, to allow for some much needed breathing space around Leningrad. Early actions from September to November allowed a small number of IZ’s to fall into Finnish hands, who pressed them into service.
It is undeniable that these vehicles were a product of desperation. These vehicles likely performed poorly, as expectantly the trucks with 45mm guns would have been very top heavy. It is far to say that the APC version of these trucks would have been moderately more successful, however their true combat effectiveness is a mystery.
 

An APC version of an IZ being operated by the Finnish army. Notice that the door for the gunner and driver is open.

Another IZ in Finnish service. Likely the same vehicle as above.

An IZ that has been abandoned. This vehicle is likely based off the ZIS-5 chassis, as the armored cab is different to that of other IZ’s.

What is thought to be a ZIS-6 APC IZ. This photograph of the vehicle is the only known example.

IZ also experimented with a BA-10 that was cut down and converted into an ambulance. as this picture illustrates, the car was captured by the Germans and pressed into service.

Links, Resources & Further Reading

M. Kolomiets. “Armor on wheels. History of Soviet armored cars 1925-1945”
Private Conversation with M.Kolomiets
The vehicles on aviarmor.net

Categories
WWII Soviet Armored Cars

Soviet Navy Armored ADG Lorry

Soviet Union (1941) Improvised Armored Lorry – Estimated 3 built

Desperate Times

After the annexation of Estonia, the Red Army occupied the country and absorbed military equipment into the Red Army. After the bloody nose that the USSR was dealt by the Wehrmacht, the Army and Navy were desperate for armor. The Navy’s solution was to create an improvised armored lorry based on an Austrian ADG truck. It featured a large, armored crew compartment, and a small turret armed with a machine gun. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this conversion, there is very little documented evidence of its history. The vehicle doesn’t even have an official name. Some suggested are: “Soviet Naval ADG”, “ADG-R” (ADG-Russian), or perhaps simply Improvised ADG, however this article will refer it to as the “Armored ADG” for simplicity.

History of the ADG lorry

What is known about this truck however, is that it is of Austrian heritage. In 1911, the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft absorbed the Austrian Motor company Osterreichishe Automobil Gesellschaft. Under this partnership, the company began to produce trucks for civilian use and Imperial Army use. In 1932, Austro-Daimler (AD) began work on a new 4×6 three axle design truck. This truck had many modern features including a longitudinal sprung rear suspension with two wishbones. this meant that the truck was very maneuverable over rough terrain. This new truck was powered by a 6-cylinder petrol engine that produced 65 hp, and boasted seven forward and three reverse gears.
An ADG truck. Note the placement of the spare tire with the arched cab side guard. This was a defining feature of the ADG series. Also note the single wheel per rear axle shaft. The ADGR had two wheels per axle shaft.
An ADG truck. Note the placement of the spare tire with the arched cab side guard. This was a defining feature of the ADG series. Also note the single wheel per rear axle shaft. The ADGR had two wheels per axle shaft.
It was called the ADG, however after 1936, the design was reworked slightly to become the ADGR. The ADGR is discernible by the twin sets of rear wheels, rather than one. Other variants include the ADGK and the ADGT, the latter being a fuel truck. In all, 185 ADGs and 361 ADGRs were built between 1932 and 1940. After the German occupation of Austria, the AD company was merged with Steyr. The Steyr variant of the ADG was called the Steyr-640. Photographs of this truck exist in operation with Wehrmacht units, mainly on the Russian front, and one survives today in the Austrian Military Museum.
ADGR with the protective tarpaulin deployed
ADGR with the protective tarpaulin deployed. 
Unfortunately this is where the the story becomes hard to trace. The only available records seem to show that the only foreign nation to purchase ADGs was Romania.

Context: Estonian SSR

After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the USSR was given free reign to administer authority over Estonia, so the Soviets invaded on 16th June, 1940. Much of the Estonian military surrendered immediately and much of the Estonian military hardware was put into storage. Only the Estonian Independent Signal Battalion stationed in Tallinn at Raua Street were resistant.
The German invasion of the USSR a year later, on June 22nd 1941, was a massive surprise to the Red Army. Scores of vehicles were lost, all of which were needed desperately for defense. It was at this time that the Estonian people rose up against the NKVD, in an Estonian nationalist group known as “The Forest Brothers”.

Theory – Soviet Vehicle

One source claims that the “Zagradotryad” Shipyard in Tallinn created at least two “police” vehicles to suppress the uprising. It is likely that this vehicle is that police vehicle, seeing as though Russian letters can be seen on the side of the lorry. From the relevant photographs of this “Armored ADG” it can be seen that it was probably operated by Soviet Naval personnel – one photograph in particular appears to have dead naval troops hanging from the entry hatch of the vehicle, their black uniforms and helmets fairly clear. The vehicle is believed to have been operated in June, 1941.

Other Theories

In the writing of the article, two other theories have surfaced as to the vehicle’s origin. Originally, it was thought that this vehicle might belong to the Forest Brothers – partisans operating in Latvia and Estonia. The suggestion was that the German 18th Army, which fought alongside these partisans, might have donated the ADG truck to the partisans, who then armored it up.
Similarly, it was also thought that there is a possibility of the armored lorry belonging to the Estonian Independent Signal Battalion stationed in Tallinn at Raua Street. However, this particular theory was speculative at best.

Design of the improvised lorry

It is evident from the photos that the rear section of the truck was built up into an armored superstructure, probably about 7 mm (0.28 in) thick. The new superstructure also featured a four-six sided turret with a Maxim machine gun, of which there were two different shapes, tall and thin, or short and wide. It is unclear how many were produced, but according to photos, possibly two (or three). The suspension appears slightly stressed due to the new superstructure, but it may be the case that the superstructure was just poorly fitted to the chassis, thus giving the illusion of the broken suspension.

Possible Combat Performance

The “Armored ADG” seems to have been armed with a Maxim gun, with armor that was between 7-10 mm (0.28-0.4 in). If it was fighting against infantry, it is safe to assume that it would have performed relatively well, with “bullet proof” armor. It was armed with a machine gun, meaning this truck could have been an able opponent. However, against any form of tank or well-armed tankette, this machine would have been an abject failure because the armor would be insufficient against weapons of a caliber of 12.7 mm (0.5 in) or more. Indeed, one photograph of the “Armored ADG” appears to shows a penetration in the turret. The biggest drawback of this vehicle were its high silhouette, thin armor, and apparently crude construction. That being the case, it is safe to assume that this lorry was a true product of desperate times.
It has been suggested that at least one of the vehicles was destroyed on the Peterhof Highway. It is fair to surmise that perhaps one was able to retreat with other Red Army units before the encirclement of Tallinn.
It is reasonable to estimate that the truck would have been close to its load bearing capability with the additional armor and the improvised turret. Therefore, the “Armored ADG” would have been a very clumsy truck. While we have no definitive information on this improvisation, however the regular ADG’s were in themselves very good vehicles. With their double wishbone suspension, the rear drive wheels could move interdependently of each other, making terrain traversal very easy. It is unknown whether the extra armor on the side impeded the swing of each wheel arm, although it does look as though it was the case.

Links/sources

Forum.axishistory.com
Trucksplanet.com
aviarmor.net
Estonia in WWII on Wikipedia
“Improvised Tanks and Armored Cars of WW2”, a Youtube compilation video by user “jamntime”
krasnoselmuseum.narod.ru
Rare pictures from Tallinn
ww2 soviet armour
All ww2 Soviet Tanks Posters

The tall-turret Armored ADG Lorry
The tall-turret Armored ADG Lorry.
One of the Armored ADG lorries. This is not the official name as the truck conversion has no name
One of the “Armored ADG” lorries. This is not the official name as the truck conversion has no name. it is evident that the original chassis is under the armor plates. Note the curved pieces of armor that cover the tires, and the turret with four sides with a Maxim machine gun. Also note the two letters “дн” on the hull.
The same Armored ADG as in the previous photo. Note the German soldier who is probably from the 18th Army. Also visible is a coating of white paint around the top of the turret.
The same “Armored ADG” as in the previous photo. Note the German soldier who is probably from the 18th Army. Also visible is a coating of white paint around the top of the turret. This would have been applied as an identification with friendly Russian units. It is this “Armored ADG” that would appear to have been on the Peterhof Highway.
An Armored ADG with no turret. It is unclear whether the truck was issued without one or whether it was blown off. Note the driver's vision slit in the cab and the air intakes on the nose
 An “Armored ADG” with no turret. It is unclear whether the truck was issued without one or whether it was blown off. Note the driver’s vision slit in the cab and the air intakes on the nose.

Showing its improvisation, this “Armored ADG” differs from the other two photographed by having a far more squat turret with 5 sides. This photo also clearly demonstrates the type of access that the truck had. There is a door on the right side of the truck and one at the rear. It looks as though it was hit with at least three 37mm shells in the upper hull, and once or twice in the turret. It is likely that the lorry was set on fire, as the tires appear to have been burnt out, and the hull appears charred. In this photograph we can clearly see the Soviet Naval troops who have been killed. Source: Francis Pulham Collection
This Armored ADG is the same lorry as above. It is evident that this example was knocked out due to enemy action. Evident with corroboration with the above photograph that the hull suffered no less than three hits
This “Armored ADG” is the same lorry as above. It is evident that this example was knocked out due to enemy action. Evident with corroboration with the above photograph that the hull suffered no less than three hits. Also note the damage to the turret. The engine appears to have small hits too, possibly one 37mm hit, and some heavy machine gun fire. This photograph appears to show the above “Armored ADG” moved to the side of the road to allow traffic to pass.

Another photograph of the Styer/ ADGR conversion. Take note of the shape of the main turret. Source: Francis Pulham Collection.

Sidenote: Other Conversions in Estonia

In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that Red Army forces also improvised other vehicles in Tallinn, such as a tractor tank based on the STZ-5. However, its history remains as unclear as this armored lorry, as there are only two known photos.
A rear view of what appears to be a tractor tank based on an STZ-5 next to an Estonian Arsenal Crossley armored car. The Arsenal Crossely armored car was considered obsolete, but was possibly taken out of storage to fight in the war and was given to the Estonian 22nd Territorial Rifle Corps, and one was sent to storage in Dvinsk.
A rear view of what appears to be a tractor tank based on an STZ-5 next to an Estonian Arsenal Crossley armored car. The Arsenal Crossely armored car was considered obsolete, but was possibly taken out of storage to fight in the war and was given to the Estonian 22nd Territorial Rifle Corps, and one was sent to storage in Dvinsk. There are rumors of one serving at Leningrad. Seeing as though information is scarce, this leads only to speculation. It is rumored that this is a photo taken on Saaremaa Island, Estonian SSR, and a handful of improvised tanks based on the STZ-5 were built. It is also rumored that this photograph was taken at Leningrad. It is, however, much more likely that this was another policing vehicle made by the Soviet Navy at Tallinn and was deployed in the same manner to the Armored ADG. However, due to the lack of clear sources, none of the three claims mentioned can be totally substantiated.

Seemingly another Izhora Bronetraktor in the above photograph. It appears to have toppled over into a ditch and is being inspected by Germans and locals. The turret is facing the rear, and it is possible that it was trying to flee before it fell over.
Seemingly another tractor tank, as in the above photograph. As mentioned, this is more than likely a Soviet Navy policing vehicle in Tallinn. It appears to have toppled over into a ditch and is being inspected by Germans and locals. The turret is facing the rear, and it is possible that it was trying to flee before it fell over.

Categories
WWII Soviet Armored Cars

BA-10

Soviet Union Soviet Union (1938-1941) Heavy armored car – 3,311 built

The most prolific pre-war armored car

The BA-10 was the result of continued development of the BA series. A new chassis was used, and instead of out-rightly adding more armor, the designers actually reduced it, whilst at the same time sloping it, thus giving better effective protection. As a fighting vehicle, it was sophisticated and reliable compared even to international standards, not just other Soviet designs. Despite this, there were developments that would lead to it being replaced with the BA-11. However, this new vehicle was cancelled with the outbreak of war. The BA-10 was in use until 1945.
A Soviet officer wields a signal pistol next to a BA-10M
A Soviet officer wields a signal pistol next to a BA-10M.

Design process

From the late 1930s, Soviet armored fighting vehicle designers decided to use sloped armor in new designs, and redesigned some already made vehicles to take advantage of it. The BA-10 armored car was built on the GAZ-AAA six-wheeled truck chassis, which was a near copy of the Ford Timken design, albeit with an extra axle. It had been modified and reinforced to cope with the extra weight that an armored car would require. The use of a front-engined chassis placed the driver behind the engine, and there was a co-driver’s machine-gun position beside him, which would be useful for frontal engagements.
Power was provided by a 50 hp GAZ-M1 4-cylinder water-cooled petrol engine that gave a maximum speed of 55 km/h (34 mph), and a range of 300 km (185 mi), which was highly useful for the heavy scout role. Being a heavy armored car, the vehicle was not always best suited for off-road, but a pair of tracks for the rear wheels was given for crossing bad terrain. The BA-10 used a slightly thinner, better-sloped armor layout than that of the BA-6. This improved protection whilst saving weight, as the sloping increased the effective armor.
The majority of BA-10s seen in photos are actually BA-10Ms. The original BA-10 (aka BA-6M) only saw very limited production (if any, aside from the prototype) at the Izhora Factory in April, 1937. However, it seems as though when being serially produced, a number of changes were made. There were plenty of internal wiring changes, and other unseen differences, such as the engine spark plugs being placed in a shielded box, fuel tanks were placed under the roof, ammunition capacity was reduced, and a new whip antenna was added.
A column of BA-10Ms in winter camouflage
A column of BA-10Ms in winter camouflage.

Variants

BA-10 (2 axles) – This was a strange variant produced by plant No. 189 in Leningrad in late October – November 1941 because of a lack of GAZ-AAA chassis. BA-10M armored hulls were installed on GAZ-AA and ZIS-5 chassis. At least six were produced. There are no photos of the vehicle based on a ZIS-5 chassis, but the GAZ-AA ones have been photographed.


Hello dear reader! This article is in need of some care and attention and may contain errors or inaccuracies. If you spot anything out of place, please let us know!


A rare 2 axle BA-10 used as mobile check-point
A rare 2 axle BA-10 used as mobile check-point at the 1st Byelorussian Front, autumn, 1944.
BA-10 ZhD – This vehicle was also very similar to the BA-10, but it also featured set of steel wheels which could be installed, allowing it to travel on road or on railway tracks. When not in use, its steel flanged rail wheels were stowed two at the rear of the vehicle and one on each stub axle located on the engine compartment sides. The BA-10 ZhD had a combat weight of 5.8 tonnes due to the weight of the steel wheels and additional ammunition load carried.
A BA-10 ZhD - notice how the wheels fit onto the rail tracks
A BA-10 ZhD – notice how the wheels fit onto the rail tracks.
BA-22 – An attempt at making an ambulance / APC based on the BA-10. It seems as though this never left the prototype stage.
PB-4 – This was an amphibious variant based on the GAZ-AAA chassis, thus making it hardly a variant of the BA-10, and more of a totally different vehicle. Soviet engineers at the Izhora Factory had had issues with making amphibious armored cars, leading to at least four failed prototypes. They could not climb river banks, as the wheels got stuck in the soft mud.

In action

According to an article entitled “Soviet and German advisors: Put Doctrine to the Test: Tanks in the Siege of Madrid” by Dr. John Daley, the BA-10 was reportedly first seen in the Spanish Civil War in service with the Commune de Paris battalion against Panzergruppe Thoma, which had Panzer Is. This is false. He refers to the BA-10s having short 37 mm (1.46 in) guns, when in reality, the BA-10 had a 45 mm (1.77 in) gun. Daley is probably referring to the earlier BAI, or the AAC-1937 (Chevrolet 6×4) which was produced by Spain as a near copy of the BAI.
The BA-10 was perhaps first seen at Khalkhin Gol, 1939, where roughly 80 saw active service. However, a number of them were lost, and many photographs of these knocked out vehicles exist.
They saw action in all Soviet military operations 1939-1940, such as the invasion of Latvia. The BA-10 was also deployed on the Eastern Front during WWII, but was rarely seen after the winter of 1941-1942. It was usually used as a heavy scout, but it began to lose its role by 1942 to Lend Lease vehicles, as well as the T-60 and T-70. These vehicles had lost their original role to the T-34 (which was now produced in vast numbers), and could therefore be relegated to minor roles such as heavy scout. Some BA-10s were, however, seen in Leningrad as late as 1943.
Despite its weight, the BA-10 was a reasonably reliable vehicle and, despite the limitations of its 6×4 drive, served the Red Army well until the German invasion of 1941. After 1941, few Soviet armored cars survived the early battles with the German Wehrmacht.  Those that remained in Soviet hands were withdrawn from front line service after 1942, although many would be stripped down to be used as armored personnel carriers.
A BA-10M knocked out at Khalkhin Gol
A BA-10M knocked out at Khalkhin Gol.

The BA-10 in foreign service

Finland – The Finnish army captured BA-10Ms during the Winter War and Continuation War, and they were designated the BAF C. Detailed information on inventory before June 1944 is scarce, but it appears that roughly 13 were captured and saw service in the Continuation War. In 1941, they were issued to separate platoons, but were later given to the Finnish Armored Division (Ps.D), and they were used as command, supply and signal vehicles. The Finns actually considered the engine and maneuverability too poor, and replaced the engines with Ford V8 95hp engines.
One BAF C was lost in summer, 1944. After WWII, the remaining twelve BAF Cs were used as recon vehicles by different battalions. By 1958, only four remained in service, and were finally taken out of service in 1959. One is on display at the Finnish Armour Museum in Parola. One BAF C was modified as a crane vehicle in 1961 by removing its turret and most of armored hull, it remained in use with the Finnish Army until 1978.
A BAF C (left) next to a BAF A (right). The BAF A is the Finnish designation for captured BA-3s.
A BAF C (left) next to a BAF A (right). The BAF A is the Finnish designation for captured BA-3s.
Sweden – In 1942, Sweden requested Finland to send them some captured Soviet heavy armored cars for testing. The Finns sold to the Swedish three damaged BAF Cs and delivered them in October, 1942. They were without engines, tires, and transmission boxes at the cost of 5000 Kronas. They were repaired, and were given Swedish weapons, such as a Kulspruta M/39 machine gun next to the driver, but it did not feature a main gun in the turret. They also had improved radios, with a new antenna atop the turret. These were designated Pansarbil M/13F, and remained in service until the 1950s as command vehicles. One remains at the Swedish Tank Museum in Skövde.
Germany – Large numbers of these vehicles were captured, and the Germans used them for anti-partisan duties both in the USSR and in the Balkans; a role in which these vehicles excelled. The German-allied ROA was reported to have used some against the Red Army during the liberation of Prague.
Nationalist China – After the heavy losses in 1937 at the Battle of Shanghai and the Battle of Nanjing, the KMT appealed to the USSR for arms sales. As a result of the Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, signed in August, 1937, the USSR began supplying the KMT’s newly formed 200th Division with Soviet equipment. 83 T-26s were sold, along with small, but unknown numbers of BT-5s (at least 4), BA-27s (at least 4), BA-3/6s (unclear which model, at least two), BA-20s (unclear which model), and possibly some BA-10Ms (which are possibly misidentified BA-3/6s).
Manchukuo – The Imperial Japanese Army captured many Soviet weapons at the Battle of Khalkin Gol. Among them was at least one BA-10M, which was transferred to the Manchukuo Imperial Army, as proven by a photo showing one with a military star version of the ‘Five Races Under One Union’ flag.

BA-10M of Manchukuo Imperial Army, February, 1940. On the crew door is a military star version of the ‘Five Races Under One Union’ flag. This vehicle was captured by the IJA at Khalkin Gol.

BA-10M specification

Dimensions (L-w-h) 4.65 x 2 x 2.2 m (15.3 x 6.56 x 7.2ft)
Total weight, battle ready 5.1 tonnes
Crew 4
Propulsion GAZ-M1 4-cylinder water-cooled petrol engine, 50hp
Speed (road) 55 km/h (34 mph)
Range 300 km (185 miles)
Armament 45 mm (1.77 in) 20-K
2 x DT 7.62 mm (0.3 in) machine-guns
Armor 6-15 mm (0.23 – 0.59 in)
Total production 3,311

BA-6M, testing the newly developed sloped turret in 1937
BA-6M, testing the newly developed sloped turret in 1937. Only a handful entered service before the production was shifted on the BA-10.
BA-10M in regular olive green livery upon entering service in 1939
BA-10M in regular olive green livery upon entering service in 1939.
BA-10, winter camouflage and tracks
BA-10M, winter camouflage and tracks (Finland, 1939)
BA-10M, winter camouflage with green vermicels, Finland 1939-40
BA-10M, winter camouflage with green vermicels, Finland 1939-40
Camouflaged BA-10M, Leningrad Front, summer 1942
Camouflaged BA-10M, Leningrad Front, summer 1942
BA-10M with tracks on the rear axle, winter 1942
BA-10M with tracks on the rear axle, winter 1942
BA-10 with two axles used as mobile check-point
BA-10 with two axles used as mobile check-point, 1st Bielorussian front, October 1944.
Panzerspähwagen BA 203(r)
Panzerspähwagen BA 203(r), 402 Bicycle Batallion, winter 1941-42
BA-10A, Leningrad Front, winter 1943
BA-10A, Leningrad Front, winter 1943
BA-10ZhD, the rail conversion variant
BA-10ZhD, the rail conversion variant.
BA-10M of Vlasov's Russian Legion
BA-10M of Vlasov’s Russian Legion, 1942.

BA-10M, reportedly in service with the Chinese Nationalist 200th Division, in 1938. Speculative colors only, as this is likely a mis-identification of a BA-3/6.

BA-10M of the Manchukuo Imperial Army, circa February, 1940. This vehicle was originally captured at the Battle of Khalkin Gol by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Gallery

Some BA-10Ms in Romania
Some BA-10Ms in Romania. A few T-26 M1931s, and seemingly an OT-26 can be seen behind them.

A BA-10M with a British column in Iran
A BA-10M with a British column in Iran.
A Pansarbil M/13F in Stockholm, Sweden
A Pansarbil M/13F in Stockholm, Sweden.
A German captured BA-10M
A German captured BA-10M.

A knocked-out BA-10A (from the first lot of 60 vehicles) next to a T-38 light amphibious tank somewhere in a Soviet city. Source: Bronson, British Collectors of Arms & Militaria Forum.

Sources and further reading

“Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of WWII” by Steven Zaloga and James Grandsen
“Отечественные бронеавтомобили 1905-1941” by A. G. Solyankin
Armchairgeneral.com
Statusreport blog
Jaegerplatoon.net
ww2 soviet armour
ww2 Soviet Tanks Poster