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Tachanka

The tachanka was a horse-driven fighting vehicle, usually a cart or an open wagon with a stationary submachine gun installed in the back. It had a crew of 2 or 3 (one driver and a gun crew).

A regular civilian horse cart could be easily converted to military use and back. This made the tachanka very popular during the Russian Civil War (1917-1920s), particularly in the peasant regions of Southern Russia and Ukraine. An improved version had struts and shock absorbers, which increased the maximum speed of the vehicle and allowed the crew to better aim shots while moving.

The tactics of tachanka are similar to that of the technical. It could approach the target pretending to be a civilian vehicle and then open up with well aimed fire. Or else it could spray a target area while moving at high speed. Both methods are well suited for use in guerilla warfare. In addition, because the fire power was concentrated in the rear hemisphere, a tachanka was well defended when leaving after a raid.

The name of tachanka appears to be a Ukrainian version of an endearing form of the word tachka (a cart). The Russian word in Cyrillic is тачанка.

Tachankas can be seen in the classical Soviet movie Chapaev.

Compare to: chariot, technical, Humvee.



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