Wednesday 13 August 2014

Tank Shopping

"A note from the RKKA HQ Chief comrade Shaposhnikov to the People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs of the USSR and Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the USSR, K.E. Voroshilov on purchasing tanks abroad.

December 13th, 1929

According to your task #01924 from December 10th of this year, I propose these thoughts on purchasing tanks abroad. I discussed them with comrades Uborevich, Halepskiy, and Berezin.

1. Overall desires

It is desirable to buy prototypes, blueprints, and technical aid from one country. At the same time, investigate the possibility of buying 60-100 medium tanks.

If this is not possible, consider purchasing a tank in one country and technical aid in another. Buying a medium tank without blueprints or technical aid does not resolve the issue of building a medium tank.

2. Types of tanks and countries

Medium tank: The most desirable is the model 1927 Vickers tank with a convertible drive (England). In America, the 1940 Christie and Medium TS (model 1927), both with a convertible drive, or at least the latter with tracks only.

Small tanks: Purchase the American TE-1 convertible drive tank. It is desirable to purchase the Renault #27 tank in France and the two-person Carden-Lloyd tankette in England.

Large tanks: It is necessary to purchase the large Vickers tank in England. It is also desirable to purchase an all terrain tank destroyer with a speed of up to 30 kph and a powerful gun (at least 45 mm).

Aside from tanks, it is desirable to purchase at least one AA SPG and one six-wheel (three axle) armoured car.

When purchasing, pay attention to improved visibility systems, periscopes, and observation devices, as well as methods of maintaining accuracy when the tank is shaking (naval type gyroscopes).

3. Methods of purchase

It is impossible to determine methods of purchase precisely. Each case should be solved separately by comrade Berezin and his staff.

4. Staff

It is desirable to put Halepskiy in charge of the purchasing. With him, send a comrade from VSNKh, preferably Budnyak. In addition, one or two engineers. Halepskiy recommends comrade Topilov (VKP(b) member, UNM tank department chief), and comrade Begunov (VKP(b) member, member of the scientific-technical department of UNM).

RKKA HQ Chief, B. Shaposhnikov"

RGVA 31811-1-38

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