Thursday 8 May 2014

T-50's Case Part 4: Conclusions and Recommendations

Continued from part 3.

"Part 5: Conclusions and recommendations

Voroshilov factory #174, despite difficulties with production equipment and supplies, started production of singular (for now) T-50 tanks in December of 1941. The good combat qualities of the T-50 mean that it is necessary to maintain it in production and increase output.

Significant effort was undertaken at factories #174 and #180 to produce this tank, and highly qualified workers and engineers will ensure, despite all difficulties, increase in T-50 production. Removing the T-50 from production will tear this collective apart and ensure losses not only of all that was achieved, but of upcoming production. It is imperative that the T-50 tank be saved.

In order to provide for the necessary number of tanks, it is necessary to:
  1. Boost the output of engines at Kirov factory, factory #76, and STZ by improving technologies.
  2. Use the full potential of the casting and forging facilities at the Kirov factory by improving production and technological organization, and using this power to produce the KV tank, as well as other tanks.
  3. Revise the cooperation with half-manufactured parts between factories, creating fully operational metallurgical bases at factories ##183, 37, 174, and 173.
  4. Revise the distribution of equipment between factories, filling up incomplete bases (largely, restore the production power of factory #174 by returning 70 machines from Kirov factory).
  5. Revise the use of tools factories, first and foremost directing them to equip tank factories, and only then to produce tank components. Revise the attachment of tools factories to tank factories.
  6. Accelerate the completion of tank factories under construction. 
  7. Accelerate the construction of new tank and engine factories for the T-50 tank, with the following corrections:
    1. Built the engine factory at the Stroysem grounds in Chelyabinsk (next to the main engine factory and a huge metallurgical base) instead of in Barnaul. Expand its production to 60 engines at full power.
    2. Built a tank factory at Barnaul with the power to produce 30 T-50s.
  8. Concentrate the production of spare parts at Omsk factory #173, only tasking it to produce parts that cannot be built in sufficiently large numbers at tank factories. Order tank factories to not only give blueprints to Omsk, but also production documentation, as well as all equipment and unused special tools for old T-26 and BT parts.
  9. Aside from parts, organize a full production line for T-50 hulls at Omsk (the space for this exists and organization is already underway), at the cost of the manufacturing base at Saratov factories #180 and #181 (the latter is the most unfortunate due to its location away from large metallurgical production bases).
The best location for manufacturing will be as follows: all parts that tank factories cannot produce themselves should be outsourced to smaller tools factories. These factories, only tasked with a few parts each, will rapidly set up production in such a way that it will not impact their output of tools. Re-designate Omsk factory #173 as a tank factory for producing the T-50 tank.

Comrade Stalin, I send you this note attempting to explain my position with objectively correct factual information. Of course, as the chief engineer of the T-50, this is a difficult task, since I must watch one of the best tanks we have go to its grave due to incorrect conclusions made by some individuals. I cannot calmly see my child be buried and watch my factory and its wonderful collective be destroyed.

If I agree with baseless and incorrect conclusions made by my influential comrades, then I ignore the needs of my Motherland and lose face as a specialist trained by the Bolshevik party and its leader, comrade Stalin. 
The Party, and you, comrade Stalin, gave me very much. From an ordinary engineer in 1931, I became a leader of the best engineers. I had my orders, and I executed them, producing T-26 tanks (factory #174), BT (factory #183), T-37, T-28, T-35, and others, ending with, finally, the T-50.

By your recommendation, I earned the Order of Lenin as the T-28's engineer, and the Mark of Distinction in 1936 for SPGs. Recently, I was recalled from factory #174 where I was working as the chief engineer with direct connections to the chief of the technical department of the NKTP. 

I was always proud to be a Soviet tank engineer, and always refused to trade this job for a higher post which would take me away from this useful and rewarding career.

Now, when the issues of tank production are being explored, I hope that the T-50 will be restored to production. I ask that the question of my placement be revisited, and I am placed in any important production role.

Military Engineer 1st grade, Chief engineer of the T-50 tank, S.A. Ginzburg.
January 21st, 1942, Chelyabinsk"


  1. Interesting. Ginzburg makes a nice-sounding case for his tank. Can you see if you can find the report(s) that *killed* the T-50 as comparison?


      A T-50 was still obscenely expensive and complicated for a light tank.

    2. I remember that one, but if I believe Ginzburg, while T-50 would of course never be as cheap as the crumb that's the T-60, it should be significantly less (say 50%) of the T-34's price, or should be once the kinks get worked out.

      So what's eating up the money - that's what interests me and so I'm seeing if there's another report that might say something.