Thursday 11 September 2014

Preparation of the Aberdeen T-34

"To the GABTU district engineer at factory #183, Engineer-Lieutenant Colonel comrade Kozyrev
June 3rd, 1942

Prepare three T-34 tanks for shipment immediately. One of these tanks will be sent to America in early July of this year. You will receive further instructions on where to send the two other tanks. Tanks should be from the latest batch, with all newest changes and R-9 radios. Each tank should be completely equipped with required spare parts and tools. The list of required spare components, parts, and materials is attached.

Carefully prepare each tank for shipment, protecting it from corrosion when being transported by sea. In order to achieve this, do the following:
  1. Carefully prepare the tank for painting. Paint the inside and outside, no less than 3 layers.
  2. Drain the oil from the engine, clean the tanks, and fill them with fresh oil.
  3. Change the oil in the gearbox and final drives.
  4. Completely fill all fuel tanks.
  5. Clean the tank on the inside and outside.
  6. Fill up the air starter tanks.
  7. Take off the current batteries and install batteries without electrolyte.
  8. Take off all tools carried on the outside of the tank and place them inside the fighting compartment.
  9. Take off all machineguns, oil them, and put them inside the tank.
  10. All components of the suspension that water can seep through should be covered in a thick layer of grease. Cover all bottom hatches in grease.
  11. Hang several calcium chloride pouches inside the tank.
  12. Cover the following in cloth or lacquered tracing paper:
    1. Driver's hatch
    2. Air exhaust and intake openings
    3. Observation devices and periscope cap slits
    4. Turret ring
    5. Machinegun ball
    6. Gun and gun mantlet
    7. Exit hatch, transmission hatch, engine hatch
  13. Each tank should include:
    1. Tank manual
    2. Engine manual
    3. Tank use and maintenance instructions
    4. Gun, machinegun, and radio manuals
    5. Blueprints (external and assembly only)
    6. Spare parts, as listed.
Attachment: list of spare parts on 4 pages

Deputy Chief of GABTU, Major-General of Technical Forces, Lebedev
GABTU Military Commissar, Regimental Commissar, Vorobyev"


  1. One needs to keep in mind that the actual air purification rate of the Pomon type T34 air filters were capable of only 79.6% air purification with an particle level of 1g /m^3 (Tsamo D.1712,p.100).

    In addition to cause premature engine wear and breakdown, it clocked the filters requiring gimping every 10 hours in summer and 25 hours in winter. When the air was dust laden, the filters needed to be cleaned every 2-3hours.

    The conception that the air filters of the US sent T34 were not operated according to spec is belied by the fact that the soviets sent engeneerer Matvejev with the delegation accompanying the T34 and KV1 to the US APG. His responsibility was to teach the americans how to use the T34 and KV1.

    Cylcone air filters appeared in the end of 1942 in the Chelyabinsk Kirov plant and were installed in a number of (not all) T34. They provided 99.4% purification but still needed maintenance every 3-4 hours in dusty air. Multi-cyclone air filters provided 100% air purification at 3g/m^3 particle density and maintenance intervals of 8 hours in very dusty conditions but these were designed for IS series and only appeared with the T34/85 in 1944.

  2. Ah yes, the phantom "Engineer Matveyev". Let's take a look at what the Soviets write about this character.
    "All of these complaints are due to the American command refusing help from our engineers working in America at this time, and never requested service instruments for our tanks."

    Oops, looks like he vanished. People don't even know what his name and rank allegedly were.