Friday 14 March 2014

T-50's Ancestor

All is fair in love and war, and that includes intellectual property. Parts of that one PzIII that was tested went to the Kirov factory, which made good use of them.

"To the Chief of the 3rd BTU Department, Military Engineer 1st grade, comrade Afonin

In response to your letter #144353s from January 21st, 1941, we respond that in design and production of the T-50 object, experience from the PzIII was used in the following components.

Position of the crew and armament in the turret.
As in the PzIII tank, the T-50's commander is positioned in the rear of the turret, behind the brass catcher. In order to provide circular vision, the turret had a special commander's cupola, 240 mm tall, equipped with 7 (8 in the initial batch) prismatic observation devices, covered with armour. The use of these devices instead of the triplex on the PzIII greatly improves the commander's safety.

As on the PzIII, the T-50's 45 mm gun has two coaxial machineguns. In order to reduce the size of the turret and increase the resistance of the front of the tank against shells, the T-50, unlike the PzIII, cannot aim these machineguns independently.

Additionally, the following components are installed with the PzIII as an example:
  1. Three-coloured light indicators leading from the commander to the driver.
  2. Indicator for gun moving past the sides of the tank.
  3. Mobile lightbulb with electromagnet.
  4. Individual fasteners in the ammunition racks and tools bin.
As for the transmission, despite its interesting design, neither its layout nor individual components were used on the T-50. The T-50's requirements list a rear drive wheel. As for the individual transmissions, they are of great interest. However, due to a limited amount of time allotted to design and construction of the T-50, the factory could not apply these components.

All engineers, testers, and researchers of the factory have familiarized themselves with the vehicle. A number of components, such as the spare gearbox, spare engine, and hydraulic shock absorber were disassembled and sketched. A number of components have been photographed.

Several engine parts were used in the design of a new engine at our factory.

Chief factory engineer, Zakosenko
Deputy chief designer, Ginzburg.
April 10th, 1941"

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