Thursday 25 June 2015

Lend Lease Complaints

"To the GABTU BTU chief, Major General of Tank Forces, comrade Korobkov

The poor state of American and Canadian tank shipments is causing difficulty for units that receive these vehicles. A lack of armament, parts, instruments, and tools leads to units being formed without having all the necessities for battle. This happens because tanks are being shipped from America, without proper attention paid to equipping them. This is the only thing that can explain the following facts:
  1. Canadian Valentine tanks: unlike the English tanks of this model, these tanks have Browning machineguns. Spare fuel tanks, jumper cables, headlights, track tightening tools, are shipped separately, and often arrive when tanks have already been sent to the front. Radios also come separately. Instead of #19 radios that come with English tanks, Canadian tanks get #11 radios. The radios do not come in full sets. Antennas and tools come separately from the radios. All of this cargo comes in pieces and asynchronously, and there is always something missing when we need to equip tanks.
  2. American M3 light tanks: arrive without machineguns. There are no wrenches for fuel tank nuts, oil tanks, final drive casings, and sparkplugs. Other tools are also often missing. As with Canadian vehicles, radios for M3 light tanks come separately and not in full. Their arrival is not in any way tied to formation of tank units.
    In order to install a radio on an M3 light tank, one Browning machinegun must be removed. According to the manual, the opening for the machinegun must be closed with a special cover, but not one single cover has arrived. After installation of a radio, 40% of all M3 light tanks have a hole in the front armour that is 121 mm in diameter. For tanks of the 101st Brigade, this opening was welded over with a patch, under contract with factory #112 QA. I took measures to weld over the holes in other tanks, but the factories refuse to do this work and things are going slowly. 
  3. American M3 medium tanks: these tanks are equipped in a completely unsatisfactory manner. Tanks often come with no machineguns or spare parts. There are no tools in the tanks. The tools that are shipped separately to warehouse #37 are enough to equip no more than 30% of the tanks, and all of it has been given to units that departed to the front lines.
    Units that have yet to depart or have yet to form have no spare parts or tools.
    The situation with spare parts is so serious that they need to be obtained at any cost. There is not a single tool for tightening tracks available, no spark plug wrenches. There are no simple wrenches to tighten or unscrew a nut.
    These tanks are not combat-ready. The smallest miscalibration, and they will be useless, and the crews helpless to fix them.
    16 M3 medium tanks recently arrived with no commander's cupola. According to reports from the 5th department of the BTU, 29 more arrived with no turrets. I inquired at warehouses #37 and #60, but they have not received any turrets. These 45 medium tanks are also not combat ready. The turrets must be received immediately, same as with the tools.
    There is not a single spare battery for any American tank. The 190th Tank Brigade has 3 completely functional M3 medium tanks with no batteries. These tanks are needed to form a new tank unit, but the brigade cannot issue them.
    English medium and light tanks also have inconsistent loadouts. Most tanks don't have a full set of tools and equipment. No shipping manifest is provided, so it is impossible to know which tools were not sent and which were lost along the way.
Having reported the above, I feel that it is necessary to do the following:
  1. Tanks should be loaded onto ships in America and England fully equipped, with armament, tools, parts, instruments, and equipment. Each tank needs to include a list of armament, parts, and instruments in Russian.
  2. The radios must ship with tanks. The radio part and tool sets should accompany the radios.
  3. Immediately send covers for M3 light tank machinegun openings. Until they arrive, manufacture 200 of them at some factory in Gorkiy according to sketches.
  4. Insist that Canadian and English Valentine tanks are equipped consistently.
  5. Immediately obtain commander's cupolas and turrets for M3 medium tanks from America and do not send any more tanks without turrets.
  6. Immediately send 200 spare oil radiators for the M3 medium and 100 for the M3 light and the same amount of batteries.
Chief of foreign vehicle acceptance, Engineer-Lieutenant-Colonel, Muravich"


  1. Is there a date for this report?

    Thanks in advance....

    1. The document is dated June 10th, 1942, there are no dates of the shipments in question.

  2. Jeez, they want tanks to come with turrets? What a bunch of whiners.