Thursday, 15 January 2015

AA T-70

"To the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR, Lieutenant-General of Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko

The trials of the T-70 equipped with Shpitalniy's 37 mm automatic AA gun demonstrate its unsuitability for service. The main drawbacks are:
  1. Unsatisfactory precision of the weapon.
  2. The position of the gunner makes firing on the move impossible. Additionally, the gunner sits in an unnatural position when firing, since he must lean to the left and look through the sight with his left eye.
  3. The reload time is long. It takes about 4 minutes to reload the gun. Even if one neglects the amount of time required to make 20 shots from the drum, the practical rate of fire of this gun does not surpass 5 RPM. This reload time is too long to keep the gun constantly ready for battle.
  4. The smoke from firing obscures the sight. Even after firing 1-2 rounds, one must wait until the smoke clears before the gun can be aimed again.
  5. The sight is not robustly attached, which means it must be periodically checked and recalibrated.
  6. The gun elevation is insufficient. The greatest gun elevation is 72 degrees, meaning the vehicle has a large dead zone, which limits its usefulness against enemy ground attack aircraft.
  7. The hydraulic recoil brake is exposed and can be destroyed by bullets or shrapnel.
Additionally, trials were performed in insufficiently harsh conditions, namely little practical firing and a lack of marches. There is no basis for conclusions on the reliability of the gun or its installation in the T-70.

Therefore, this vehicle does not meet the requirements of an AA SPG used to cover tank and mechanized forces during a march or in battle.

The hope of fixing Shpitalniy's gun and its mounting in the T-70 only delays the mass production  of the AA SPG designed by factory #37 on the basis of T-60 and T-70 components. This SPG has the following qualities:
  1. Satisfactory precision.
  2. Ability to fire on the move at airborne or ground targets.
  3. Constant readiness to open fire.
  4. The ability to fire continuously until the magazine is empty.
  5. Can carry 320 rounds, or 1.5 ammunition loads.
  6. The gun is easy to service.
  7. The engine and chassis ensures that the SPG is reliable.
I deem that it is necessary for you to be aware of the above information.

GAU KA Chief, Colonel-General of Artillery, Yakovlev."

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