Monday, 8 March 2021

Spaced Armour

I previously posted some photos from trials of the armour skirts of a captured Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.N tank. It turned out that the skirts themselves were not very difficult to penetrate, but they destabilized small projectiles enough to prevent penetration of the main armour, as well as offer a few other benefits. Here are some more results from that same test.

"RPG at close range. Photo #3. Penetration in the spaced armour plate (the main armour does not have damage."

Friday, 5 March 2021

85 mm for Dummies

 "To Commanders of Army Artillery and Commanders of Tank Armies

Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army
Artillery Committee
December 25th, 1943


The Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army learned that troops do not always correctly use ammunition for 85 mm tank and SPG guns. I ask you to explain the following to the troops:

85 mm tank and SPG guns are equipped with ammunition from the 85 mm AA gun:

  1. BR-365 armour piercing-tracer rounds
  2. O-365K steel cased HE rounds with KTM-1 fuses.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Extended Magazines

Commander of Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the Red ARmy
July 19th, 1944

Trials were held to establish the possibility of increasing the amount of ammunition carried in SPGs, which increases the ammunition capacity of the ISU-152 and ISU-122 by 7 rounds and the SU-85 by 5 rounds if necessary.
Additional ammunition is to be carried in the following ways:

Monday, 1 March 2021

The USSR's Hungriest Tank

Comparative trials of four Soviet tanks were conducted in the summer and fall of 1976 according to order of the Minister of Defense of the USSR D.F. Ustinov titled "On military trials of tanks" issued on July 20th, 1976. In September, a summary titled "Minutes of trials results" was composed. This article will discuss the contents of these documents.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Eight Years of Tank Archives

Today, this blog turns eight years old! Over the years I've made 2345 posts which received 5,747,840 views, almost a million of which came in the last year alone. Unfortunately, changes to the Blogger stats tab don't let me compare my visitors directly with last year's results, but according to Google Analytics most of my readers by far are still from the United States, with the UK a distant second and Germany third. However, over the past year Canada has overtaken Germany for third place, although they still have ways to go before getting into the top 3 for all time readers.

Of course, Tank Archives is no longer just a blog and there were plenty of achievements in other areas over the last year.

Friday, 26 February 2021

One Piece

 "To the People's Commissar of Ammunition of the USSR, comrade Vannikov
Chief of the Red Army GAU, comrade Yakovlev
Deputy Chief of Armoured and Motorized Vehicles of the Red Army, comrade Korobkov

In accordance with GOKO decree #6868s issued on February 4th, 1944, the People's Commissar of Tank Production instructed the Kirov factory to study the issue of single piece ammunition for the 122 mm D-25 gun.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

75 mm Gun vs KV-1

"Secret, copy #1

On the organization of enemy anti-tank defenses in the sector ahead of the 178th Tank Brigade and type of damage dealt to knocked out and burned KV tanks.

The enemy organized active anti-tank defenses in front of the 178th Tank Brigade with the use of terrain. Anti-tank minefields were placed in directions where tanks can be used (see diagram). There were no passive anti-tank obstacles (dragon's teeth, anti-tank trenches, barricades, scarps or countescarps) detected along the front or in the depth of enemy defenses.

Monday, 22 February 2021

ISU-122 Frontline Impressions

The Soviet ISU-122 heavy SPG is often overshadowed by its more famous siblings, the IS-2 tank and ISU-152 SPG. The similarity in the designs gave birth to the myth that the ISU-122 was an ersatz ISU-152 built due to a shortage of 152 mm guns. That is far from the truth. Let us try and figure out what crews of these tank destroyers valued the most, and what they would rather have changed.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Warspot Article: Voroshilov Abroad

The KV-1 tank was a mystery even to the USSR's allies, but it didn't remain this way forever. Both the US and UK received a sample to study and both made some conclusions from the tanks that inspired their own designs. Read about their findings in my latest article on

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Muzzle Brake Requirements

Tank Usage Directorate
July 4th, 1944

To Assistant Commanders in charge of Armoured and Mechanized Warfare of Fronts
Copy for the Assistant Commanders in charge of Armoured and Mechanized Warfare of the 1st Baltic Front

A report by the Usage Department of the Armoured and Mechanized Warfare of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in February and a report of the NKTP inspector's group at the 1st Belorussian Front in May indicated vases where the gearbox of the T-34 tank with an 85 mm gun broke when the gun was fired on the move.