Wednesday 11 February 2015

Swedish Intel

Today's article is brought to you by Something Awful forums poster TheFluff who works with Swedish archive documents. He dug up a rather interesting instruction to the Swedish army attache in Moscow, which reveals that the Swedes had a rather high opinion of Soviet armour:

"Armored fighting vehicle development in the Soviet Union

Briefing for the army attache in Moscow, 1962-09-03, 13:00-13:50.

(Handwritten: head of the vehicle department, head of the intelligence section [both of the army ordnance administration] and Sundin [engineer at the intelligence section at the time])
  1. The Russians started committing a great deal of resources to the AFV sector as early as in the 1920's. It is a very telling fact that during the 1931-1939 period, when other great powers held trials with maybe 5-10 different tank types and took 3-4 types to series production, the Russians trialed 32 different tank designs, both foreign and domestic, and took 10 different types to significant series production runs. The Russian tanks have heavily influenced the tank and anti-tank technology of other countries ever since the late summer of 1941, when the Russians surprised the Germans with the T-34 tank. For a long time - since 1944 - our best reference manuals on armored fighting vehicle technology have been Russian works. 
  2. Our current knowledge regarding Russian AFV's is documented on a number of datasheets, which are kept at the army attache office. The general characteristics of these vehicles will be shown on the following slides:
    1. T-34-85, IS-3 (both 1945)
    2. T-54, T-10, PT-76, ASU-57 (four different chassis types)
    3. APC (8 wheels) 
    4. SU-100 - T-54 chassis
    5. ZSU-57-2 - T-54 chassis
    6. ISU-152 - T-10 (IS-3) chassis 
    7. "SU400"- T-10 (IS-3) chassis 
    8. BTR-50 - PT-76 chassis
    9. "SU-85/62" - PT-76 chassis
    10. Rocket launcher vehicle - PT-76 chassis
    11. Artillery tractor - ASU-57 chassis
  3. Regarding new AFV's, the following intelligence is of primary interest:
    1. Photos or drawings
    2. Designation 
    3. Type of armament and armament characteristics (gun bore, guided missiles, any electronics, turret or fixed casemate) (Handwritten note next to point 3) Card with this text provided to the army attache. The attache said he would request that a tank expert be sent over to be present at parades and other such events in the future.")
    4. Weight (chassis class, number of road wheels)
    5. Amphibious capability or lack of such capability
    6. Presence of external armor screens or such things (on heavier tanks and other well armored vehicles)
    7. Night fighting equipment"

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