Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Kubinka

The Kubinka tank museum is home to not only a large number of rare (and sometimes unique) exhibits, but a large amount of them are fully equipped and in working order. This has been the goal of the museum since its inception. Here are the conclusions of a commission regarding some unique exhibits from April 1st, 1941.

"T-100 #810.
Condition:
  1. The vehicle is completely unprepared for storage. All transmission, motor, turret, and electric components are covered in rust.
  2. The vehicle is stored on pallets. Tracks and rims of road wheels are covered in rust.
Commission conclusions: perform technical inspection #3 and keep in the museum.

T-100Y #1352
Condition:
  1. Fighting compartment, gun, engine, and transmission parts are covered in rust.
  2.  The vehicle is not stored on pallets, and is not prepared for long term storage.
Commission conclusions: perform technical inspection #3 and transfer to the Artillery Directorate.

T-29
Condition:
  1. The rubber tires on five road wheels have come off.
  2. Most track links are damaged.
  3. The left front frame is missing the roller nut.
  4. The vehicle arrived from the factory recently, is completely painted, and in a satisfactory condition.
Commission conclusions: keep in the museum.

T-46
Condition:
  1. The turret is not fully equipped. There are no ball mounts in the turret, protective cups for the PT-1, right turret hatch, gun port caps, gun mantlet, frame, or periscope glass.
  2. The crew seats and electric turret motor are missing.
  3. The vehicle arrived from the factory recently, is completely painted, and in a satisfactory condition.
Commission conclusions: re-equip the vehicle and keep in the museum.

T-111
Condition: 
  1. The vehicle is fully equipped, arrived from the factory recently, is completely painted, and in a satisfactory condition.
Commission conclusions: keep in the museum.

SU-14 #23547
Condition:
  1. Currently being repaired at the workshop, needs repairs for both side friction clutches, main friction clutch, and technical inspection #3. It is being prepared for trials.
Commission conclusions: return to Artillery Directorate upon completion of trials.

Ricardo #15200
Condition:
  1. The right half-turret is in pieces, has been removed from its place and kept in the bay.
  2. The gun is missing, and the gun carrier on the left is missing.
  3. The artillery crew seats are missing.
  4. The leather from seats and cushions in the driver's compartment is missing.
  5. Both magnetos and all sparkplugs are missing, wires are torn throughout the vehicle.
  6. The track has frozen into the ice, the vehicle is rusted inside and outside, and not painted.
Commission conclusions: re-equip the vehicle, correct defects, and keep in the museum.

Vickers 12-ton
Condition:
  1. 4 sockets and ball mounts are missing from the fighting compartment.
  2. The gun and mantlet are missing.
  3. The lever cap for the engine grille is missing.
  4. The vehicle was not placed on a pallet, the tracks have frozen into the ice. Oil is pooling under the engine.
  5. The vehicle is clean and in a satisfactory condition.
Commission conclusion: re-equip the vehicle and keep in the museum."

The "Ricardo" vehicle mentioned is a British MkV, one of the initial exhibits at the museum. The sparkplugs from that tank were stolen in early 2000s and sold to a Western collector. Such a shame they weren't originals.

Here's the story of another exhibit. See if you can guess what it was.

"To the deputy chief of the Armoured and Motorized Forces HQ, Guards Major-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Markov

On the issue of: obtaining a transport for the transportation of the SU-380 to the NIBT proving grounds.

One 380 mm self-propelled howitzer on the Tiger-H hull was discovered at Kirchmeiser's factory (Germany). The deputy chief of the Armoured and Motorized Group of the Soviet Occupation Force in Germany, Guards Engineer-Colonel comrade Karpenko responded to the inquiry from the GBTU chief, stating that the SU-380 will be sent to the NIBT proving grounds after receiving transport.

Since it is imperative that the SPG be delivered to the proving grounds urgently, I ask for you to order the allotment of one railroad platform for the transport of the SU-380 to the NIBT proving grounds (Kubinka railroad station, West railroad).

USA BTU KA Chief, Major-General of the Tank Engineering Forces, Demyanenko"
CAMD RF 38-11369-709

The SPG in question, is, of course, the Sturmtiger. 

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