Tuesday 10 June 2014

Start of the T-37

Names like "T-34" and "KV" are almost universally recognized in history circles. These names bring out an image of a large and powerful tank, with strong armour, capable of shrugging off blows from anti-tank guns of its time. "T-37" is not a name that evokes powerful images, but it is important nevertheless. The T-37 started a lineage of tanks, from the T-38, to the T-40, then T-60 and T-70, that would arm the Red Army with light tanks during its most difficult days. Here is how this lineage began.

RGASPI 558-2-109

"Comrade Poskrebyshev, please show the attached memo to comrade Stalin. 
May 17th, 1934, P. Postyshev

CC Ordzhonikidze and Tukhachevskiy

To the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik), comrade Postyshev
CC: Ukrainian Military District Commander Yakir


Five months ago, I reported that I was ready to develop an amphibious tank on my own initiative. Today, I report that the factory completed a technological process for thermal conditioning of armour, hull assembly, and vehicle assembly. Factory trials demonstrated high quality, both on land an on water. The factory is ready for mass production of T-37s.

I will be happy to demonstrate the amphibious vehicle once more in your presence on the Donce river, if it is possible.

Hammer and Sickle factory director, M. Grossman, May 15th, 1934"

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