Tuesday 9 December 2014

Museum at a Repair Base

As tank units receive reinforcements, they tend to get rid of incompatible vehicles when possible. Early on in the war, tank units seldom had the luxury to send off their junk, and often became very heterogeneous. In 1944, however, the situation was a little better, and all the notable outliers have been shuffled off to repair bases in the rear. Let's take a look at one, repair station #66 in Tbilisi.

CAMD RF 38-11355-2268

The columns are as follows. To the left of the page break is the data for the month, The first column is items remaining since from the previous month, the second is items scheduled for shipment, and the third is items actually shipped. Both are blank, so that's good. Naturally, the 4th column, items currently present, is equal to the first. The next two columns are vehicles that completed repairs and vehicles that have been QA'd and approved by the army representative. The column after that, which is partially cut off, shows the amount of vehicles that were shipped out. 

The next group of columns is the same thing, but for the previous 12 months. An extra column is tacked on to that, percent completion (although the numbers from it don't look to be percentages). 

The next block of columns lists the vehicles left at the base for the next month: total, currently undergoing repairs, waiting for repairs, and those waiting for shipment. A note to the side reads "of 58 vehicles present at the repair base, 37 cannot be repaired until the delivery of main components such as measurement devices, optics, etc"

Now that we're done with the columns, let's look at the vehicles. T-34s are to be expected, but a whopping 10 T-50s are present here! One has already been sent off earlier this year, but all 10 remain for the next month. It's likely they cannot be repaired due to a lack of parts, as the T-50 has not been in production for quite some time now.

Next we have the finely aged pre-war amphibians, one T-37 and five T-38s at the beginning of the month, with just as many left over at the end. It's likely that they are in the same position as the T-50s, but their numbers for the year are more promising: 4 and 8 received, respectively, so at least some got fixed up.

Next, some BT-5s and BT-7s. There aren't any BT-2s here, even though they pop up a bit from time to time on the front lines. After that, a single T-26T (T-26 tractor) passed through here during the previous year, two BA-64 armoured cars, one SU-76. 

Then we have a full array of Lend Lease vehicles: American (15 Lees, a Sherman, 24 Stuarts, 1 tractor) and British (62 Churchills, a Matilda, 34 "MK-1 tractors", and 6 of something called MK-7 which might be Tetrarchs). 

After this, we get to captured tanks, and there is a good number of those: 10 PzIVs, 61 PzIIIs, 8 StuGs, 18 PzIIs, 35 Renault tractors, 8 Hanomag halftracks, 9 SPGs (with 50, 75, 76, and 150 mm guns),  12 various tanks, and 10 various tractors and APCs, and 7 various armoured cars. 

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