Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Kharkov Slackers

"To the Central Committee of the VKP(b), comrade Malenkov
To the People's Commissar of Quality Control, comrade Mekhlis

According to GKO decree #219ss issued on July 20th, 1941, the Kharkov Tractor Factory was supposed to produce and send to the NKO 2000 armoured STZ-NATI with a 45 mm gun and coaxial DT machinegun: 50 in July, 850 in August, and 1100 in September.

As of September 9th, 1941, only 31 tractors are ready, of them 28 are made from mild steel for training units and 3 have armoured hulls. The GKO assignment was not completed in time.

Trials of the experimental tractor showed the following results:
  1. Maximum speed: 19 kph
  2. Off-road speed: 8 kph
  3. Range: 119 km
  4. Range off-road: 60 km
    In difficult conditions, the speed may be as low as 4.5 kph.
At the same time, the Kharkov Tractor Factory was supposed to begin production of T-60 tanks, producing 50 tanks in August, 500 tanks in September, and switching all production to T-60 tanks starting on October 1st, producing 3500 tanks before the end of the year. 

As of now, the factory has not built a single T-60 tank.

In order to completely fill the program for armoured tractors, the factory must produce 2000 tractors in September, which is impossible and will certainly throw off the T-60 production schedule.

With this situation at the factory where two new types of vehicles have to be built in large numbers, I consider it reasonable to use up whatever tractor hulls were already produced as of October 1st, 1941. At the same time, speed up preparations for the T-60 to start mass production on October 1st.

Send your instructions to the People's Commissariats.

Deputy Chief of GABTU, Major-General of the Technical Forces, Lebedev
Military Commissar of GABTU, Army Commissar Biryukov"

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