Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Birth of the AT-45

"To member of the State Committee of Defense, comrade Beria L.P.

Currently, Voroshilovets tractors produced at factory #183 in Kharkov (375 hp engine, 35 kph maximum speed) are being used to tow heavy artillery. Since the evacuation of the factory to Nizniy Tagil in October of 1941, production of these tractors has stopped.

As a result, the Red Army lost the ability to refill its tractor park with powerful tractors, and, since 1942, does not even receive enough spare parts to support existing tractors of this type.

An increased demand in the Red Army for prime movers dictates that the production of powerful tractors must begin again. Factory #75 in Kharkov can be used for this purpose.

Since putting the Voroshilovets back into production requires redevelopment of all the tooling and will be time consuming, I propose that it is preferable to organize their production using T-34 mechanisms and components according to the "AT-45" technical project developed by factory #183 and approved by GAU in June of 1942.

I ask you to instruct the NKTP to produce an experimental batch of 5-10 AT-45 tractors by January 1st, 1944, and prepare for mass production in the first quarter of 1944 at factory #75 in Kharkov.

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

CAMD RF 81-12086-40

Six tractors were eventually built, mildly misused, and then production wrapped up in favour of the T-44.

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