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  • Writer's pictureJoey Baek

Christie Suspension

J. Walter Christie was a engineer who mainly made race cars before the war and shifted his vision to military vehicles during world war 1.

The Christie Suspension is a suspension system created by an American engineer J. Walter Christie. It was a unique design from the leaf spring design of that time. It provided considerably large speed differences in cross country. He believed in the doctorate of breaking through enemy lines with speed and attacking logistical and strategic locations.

The current leaf spring suspension would use a leaf like object which would compress on pressure and would bounce back kinda like a trampoline. It also served as a shock absorbers and could be seen in cars like the Ford Model T.

What J. Walter Christie developed utilizes a spring which pushes up and down depending on the wheel. Containing light and fast springs allowing vehicles to go much faster. Normally being developed to be sold to the Americans, they ultimately sold it to the Russians after the Americans could not afford to buy it as the Great Depression was about to hit. He had to sell it to the Russians as a "agricultural tractor" as he never got permission to sell it to the Russians.

But the most interesting feature of the Christie Suspension was its ability to go on road wheels after its tracks were taken out and be able to steer using a optional steering mechanism.

This would turn into the Russians BT series or fast tank series. Although interesting in concept it did not perform as well as hoped due to the situations it saw itself in. Especially in Operation Barbarossa they had to be used as defensive weapons which they were not designed to be in.

However the suspension did influence more successful tanks like the T-34. Including a Finland variant the bt-42. It will carve its name in history as the tank with the longest jump of 40 meters

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