Sunday, 7 September 2014

Tank Quotas in 1931

"Minutes of the Revolutionary War Council meeting on changes to the tank program for 1931

May 8th, 1931

Present: comrades Voroshilov, Uborevich, Triandafilov, Martinovich, Halepskiy
Secretary: comrade Litunovskiy

1. T-27 Tankettes

Due to proficiency attained in mass T-27 manufacturing and discovery of excellent combat characteristics (mobility, off-road performance, possibility of using a 37 mm gun), the transition from the T-18 to the T-26, which shortens the requirements for small tanks by 65 vehicles, and a lack of selected medium tank, it is necessary to produce 200 additional tankettes in 1931. Accept comrade Martinovich's proposal to wait until the issues of producing T-26 tanks at the Bolshevik factory and hulls at the Podolsk factory are resolved before inquiring if factories can produce additional tankettes. MPS VSHKh should investigate this issue and report to the RVSS.

Consider comrade Martinovich's claim that VSNKh is preparing to gear up the Nizhniy Novgorod and 2nd automotive factories to produce no less than 15 thousand T-27 tankettes according to the government decision from February 20th, 1931.

2. T-26

T-26 orders are proceeding on time. Retain the previous order of 300 vehicles. Remind MPS VSNKh that, according to Bolshevik factory directors, the bottleneck of production is cast iron, and its reception is still not resolved. This threatens the timely delivery of T-26es.

3. T-18

Considering that the Motoviliha factory still hasn't mastered tank production, and the order for 75 T-18 tanks is delaying important artillery orders, cancel 65 T-18 tanks, leaving only the 10 tanks that have already been started. Send no more tank orders to Motoviliha.

4. Medium tank

  1. T-24:
    1. Retain the 1931 order for 80 T-24s with the corresponding amount of spare parts (mandatory).
    2. Comrade Martinovich must immediately give HPZ this order and ensure that there is no extra produced, as we will not make any more of these vehicles.
  2. TG:
    1. Report to KO that the commission's decision on the TG medium tank cannot be realized in 1931, as the experimental prototype is still unfinished, and it is impossible to determine when it will be. As a result, there can be no standardized medium tank in 1931 for us to produce.
    2. The Vickers 12-ton tank that we purchased must be meant for colonial forces (weak armour and armament), and does not measure up to our tank armament system.
    3. Continue accelerated work on the TG experimental prototype. Take note of the schedule proposed by Leningrad region OGPU.
    4. Ask permission to purchase the new 16-ton Vickers tank, of which we have been notified, which matches our requirements for armour, speed, and armament.
  3. Christie tank:
    1. Ask for permission to adopt the Christie tank into the mechanized forces as a high speed tank destroyer (BT).
    2. Instruct comrades Martinovich and Halepskiy to calculate the maximum amount of BT tanks (existing type, with no changes) that can be produced this year at HPZ, considering that the T-24 order at that factory decreases by 220 units.
    3. Simultaneously, instruct UMM to accelerate work on modernizing the Christie tank.
5. Heavy tank:
  1. It is necessary to have at least a small number of heavy tanks in the RKKA.
  2. UMM must discover information on heavy tanks in Italy, England, and, if possible, France, with the objective of buying such a tank, or at least blueprints.
  3. Simultaneously, conduct independent work on such a tank.
6. On an engine factory for medium tanks

Ask the government to reverse its decision on February 20th, 1931, and allow construction of a factory for M-5 (Liberty) instead of the previously chosen M-6 (Hispano-Suiza).

UVVS chief Baranov must reserve 150 new M-5 engines from 1931 production and transfer them to comrade Halepskiy.

7. On armour

Report to the government that the task of cementing against armour piercing bullets is completed. The task of reducing the amount of ferrite alloys in the armour is also completed. Work on cementing steel against small caliber armour piercing shells continues. According to comrade Martinovich, a complete transfer to using cemented armour (Vibrak type) will happen in July 1931.

Keep in mind comrade Martinovich's statement that the required amount of firebrick to build 8 furnaces at the Izhor factory (for production of cemented armour) has been ordered on April 19th 1931 from abroad.

Comrades Martinovich and Halepskiy should ensure the fastest possible arrival of this order.

Chairman Voroshilov
Secretary Litunovskiy"

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