Thursday 12 December 2013

End of the SU-76

"Decree of the State Committee of Defense #3530ss, June 6 7, 1943
Moscow, Kremlin

On SU-76 SPGs

The State Committee of Defense decrees that SU-76 SPGs, designed by comrade Ginzburg of the People's Commissariat of Tank Production, and accepted by GOKO decree #2559 on December 2nd, 1942, turned out to be of unsatisfactory quality. Furthermore, the NKTP (comrade Zaltsmann) and GAU KA (comrade Yakovlev) did not carry out trials with due diligence before accepting the SU-76 for production.

The modifications proposed by the NKTP (comrade Zaltsmann) and GAU KA (comrade Yakovlev), confirmed by GOKO decree #3184ss on April 14th, 1943, did not result in serious improvements and did not increase the quality of the SU-76 to satisfactory levels, which also suggests that the NKTP and GAU KA trials were executed poorly.

The State Committee of Defense decrees that:
  1. Production of SU-76 SPGs at factory #38 must cease immediately.
  2. The People's Commissar of Tank Production, comrade Zaltsmann, must be made aware of his mistakes regarding production of SU-76 SPGs at factory #38.
    The designer of the SU-76 SPG, comrade Ginzburg, must be removed from work at the NKTP, and not allowed to participate in NKTP projects further. He is to be transferred to the NKO for assignment to less critical work in the Acting Army.
    The chief of GAU KA, comrade Yakovlev, must increase the amount of control and responsibility for all experimental work on armoured vehicles, paying special attention to members of trial commissions.
    The NKTP (comrade Zaltsmann) and GAU KA (comrade Yakovlev) must find and punish guilty workers in the NKTP and GAU KA, which carelessly performed trials of the SU-76 SPG.
  3. The NKTP (comrade Zaltsmann) and factory #38 (comrade Yakovlev) must:
    1. Produce spare parts for the SU-76 SPG and T-70 tank according to attachment #1.
    2. Install, by July 15th, 1943, on all SU-76 SPGs in the armed forces, flexible couplings, additional friction clutches, reinforced idler carriers, and improved track spring stops.
      In order to complete these tasks, send factory #38 brigades into the field.
  4. The NKO (comrade Fedorenko) must, by June 30th, 1943, present the People's Commissar of Defense with his plan regarding continued use of SU-76 SPGs produced prior to June 1st, 1943, by factory #38.
  5. The Commander of the Armoured Vehicle and Tank Forces of the Red Army (comrade Fedorenko), along with the GAU KA (comrade Yakovlev) must complete trials of new 76 mm SPGs produced by factory #38. During trials, pay special attention to reliability of main assemblies.
  6. After the completion of trials, the NKTP (comrade Zaltsmann) and NKO (comrade Fedorenko) must provide the GOKO with a conclusion on the possibility of accepting a new 76 mm SPG into service in the Red Army by July 5th.
Chairman of the State Committee of Defense.
I. Stalin."
RGASPI 644-2-178

You should all know what happens next. The SU-15 and SU-16 take to the proving grounds in June, and the SU-15 goes on to become the SU-76M, the most successful light SPG used by any army of WWII.

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