Friday 19 June 2015

Pre-War Night Vision

"Information on the IR devices "Dudka" and "Ochki"
  1. On March 19th, 1940, a letter arrived from the ABTU chief to the LVO Armoured Forces chief, on the topic of army trials of the "Dudka" device, with the conclusions of the commission from the 7th Army.
  2. The materials that arrived were sent to the department chief, who reported to the ABTU chief, based on which a "Dudka" device and materials on it were requested by ABTU.
  3. The chief of the 5th department of Supply Directorate sent all materials and a "Dudka" device to ABTU (see letter from April 11th, 1940).
  4. The "Dudka" device was demonstrated to ABTU command and Committee of Defense representatives, after which it was sent to the GABTU proving grounds for testing.
  5. After trials, conclusions were composed on May 15th, 1940. The following participated in the trials:
    1. Military engineer 2nd grade Kravtsev (BTU)
    2. Military engineer 2nd grade Malyavin (proving grounds)
    3. Military engineer 1st grade Rybalko (NIIST)
  6. After trials, the 3rd BTU department chief, military engineer 1st grade Afonin, wrote his conclusions and sent them to GABTU chief, Lieutenant-General Fedorenko.
  7. All materials on testing (aside from 3rd department conclusions) were sent to the Supply Directorate deputy chief, military engineer 1st grade Malkov, advising against ordering a batch of "Dudka" devices. At the same time, they asked for removal of defects discovered in the device and presentation of the new device for trials.
  8. In May of 1940, the director and secretary of the party bureau of factory #211 visited ABTU, bringing with them a letter from their engineers proposing the construction of the "Ochki" device. The letter was left with the BTU deputy chief, military engineer 1st grade comrade Alymov.
  9. By order from the ABTU chief, the department chief, comrade Kravtsev, prepared a letter addressed to the People's Commissar of Defense, Marshal Timoshenko, with a request for producing "Ochki". The project was attached.
  10. The Affairs Directorate of the People's Commissariat of Defense sent a letter to the ABTU chief, approving the production of "Ochki".
  11. The "Ochki" project was assigned to Lieutenant Colonel Dorofeev, who composed the requirements, which were approved by the BTU chief.
  12. On June 25th, 1940, a decree by the Committee of Defense was issued to approve the assembly of 10 "Ochki" (5 pairs). The deadline for these units was October 15th, 1940.
  13. "Ochki" were finished in December. After factory trials, they were sent to the GABTU proving grounds for trials. At the same time, factory #211 produced other night vision devices for trials.An order was given to test "Ochki" in winter conditions.
  14. Trials took place in January-February of 1940 and the following conclusions were made:
    1. Winter trials showed that it was possible to use IR illumination to drive tanks.
    2. Improved night vision devices can completely solve this problem.
    3. The tested designs need to be improved and simplified.
    4. Summer time trials are necessary.
  15. The results of the trials were delivered to the Committee of Defense.
  16. At a meeting between factory #221 and Lieutenant-Colonel Dorofeev, the former agreed to sign a new contract for improvements to "Ochki".
  17. BU produced a contract for factory #221. Technical requirements were approved by Major-General of Technical Forces, comrade Lebedev, and signed by BTU chief comrade Korobkov and 3rd department chief, comrade Afonin."

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