Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Weakest Link

"To comrade Stalin

I ask for your help with the following issue:

The People's Commissariat of Ammunition, without my consent, changed the design and technical requirements for the link to the 20 mm ShVAK gun, as a result of which 20 mm guns now jam due to a fault in the link.

In addition, without knowledge of the NKV or myself, the People's Commissariat of Ammunition changed the production technology and design of the 20 mm AP-I shell.

These changes are technologically incorrect as firstly they decrease the robustness of the complete shell, and secondly they make precise quality control impossible. The weakening of the shell and absence of quality control leads to accidents during shooting, as a result of which the 20 mm gun will break down.

As I could not convince the NKV or NKA to stop ruining ammunition for 20 mm ShVAK guns, I ask you to order the NKA to do the following:
  1. Produce a quality link for the ShVAK gun in strict accordance with technical requirements by which the link was previously made at factory #2.
  2. Have all changes to the design of 20 mm ShVAK rounds be approved by OKB-15.
Engineer Shpitalniy.
September 4th, 1941"

Shpitalniy brought the letter to Stalin himself, spending an hour and 45 minutes in his office according to the sign-in book. On the same day, a decree was issued on this subject.

"Decree of the State Committee of Defense #627ss
Moscow, Kremlin
September 4th, 1941

In order to cease nonsystematic and unapproved changes to the designs of ammunition and armament, the GKO decrees that:
  1. Technological and design changes to mass produced ammunition and armament are forbidden without the approval of the NKV and the designer.
  2. The People's Commissariats and directors of factories that produce armament or ammunition must be made aware of this decree immediately.
Chair of the State Committee of Defense, I Stalin."

At first, there was a third point to the decree regarding the 20 mm belt links specifically, but it was crossed out. 

Via gistory.

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