Tuesday 30 June 2015

Udalov at Ogledow

Oskin wasn't the only one to score a Gold Star from the first battle with King Tigers. Udalov, the commander of the IS-2 tank platoon, got one as well.

"Award Order
  1. Udalov, Vasiliy Aleksandrovich
  2. Rank: Guards Senior Lieutenant
  3. Position, unit: IS-2 platoon commander, 71st Independent Guards Heavy Tank Regiment
    is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  4. Year of birth: 1918
  5. Nationality: Russian
  6. Party affiliation: VLKSM member
  7. Participation in the civil war, subsequent action in defense of the USSR, and Patriotic War: since June 27th, 1941
  8. Wounds or concussions in the Patriotic War: none.
  9. In the Red Army since: 1937
  10. Recruited by: Intevsk recruitment office, Tambov oblast
  11. Prior awards: Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class.
Brief and specific description of heroism in battle or achievements: in battles approaching the Vistula river, the IS tank platoon commanded by Guards Senior Lieutenant Udalov allowed our forces to continue towards Vistula. He was the first in his regiment to cross the Vistula and form an ambush next to a road near Strzelce to prevent an enemy counterattack from crossing the river. Between August 11th and 13th, the enemy attempted to attack several times with newly arrived heavy tanks in the direction of Staszów. Comrade Udalov did not allow the enemy to reach Staszów, and entered battle with 27 enemy tanks on August 13th, 1944 from an ambush. As a result of a fierce tank battle and maneuvering from his ambush, Udalov's platoon deflected the enemy attack and Udalov himself destroyed 3 of the enemy Tiger B tanks. Udalov's tank travelled 955 km by then, working for 205 engine-hours compared to the warranty period of 150 engine-hours, but due to careful and skilful maintenance, Udalov's tanks are in full working order.

For crossing the Vistula and holding the foothold on the west shore, he is worthy of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union."

CAMD RF 33-793756-49


  1. Do you have any idea what the "warranty period" of 150 engine hours equates to in km? If 205 engine hours equates to 955 km, then I calculate that 150 engine hours equates to around 700 km. I'm surprised by this, because I was under the impression that the IS-2 could easily achieve 1500 km between overhauls.

    The Tigerfibel states that the Tiger I's Maybach could achieve 5000 km before overhaul as long as the air filters are maintained (which I find difficult to believe). Do you have any official confirmation of the distance between overhauls for the IS-2?

    Thanks in advance....

    1. I don't think you can convert hours to kilometres. If the tank is in low gear, it will cover less distance, if it simply running the engine at idle, it covers no distance at all. But the engine is still worn in the process.

      I suppose the "lifespan", "overhaul time" or "warranty period" is only logical to give for an engine for running hours. The durability of the suspension or drive system, could be better expressed in kilometers. Since these are separate systems, one does not necessarily last as as long as the other, i.e the track may need to be replaced before the engine.

    2. Well, there must be a theoretical optimum i.e. at high gear on good going, or on mixed going etc. This would be of more importance to operational planners than engine life in hours.

      I'm surprised that 955 km is seen as being impressive, as this is in the ball park of the Panther's (actually experienced) engine life of 700-1000 km by early 1944, which itself is extremely unimpressive.

    3. Distance between overhauls is usually limited by suspension wear, engine overhaul is based on time. You can't really convert between the two at all, it depends on how long you're idling, what terrain you're driving on, etc. Maybe the Maybach can stand 5000 km of driving on a highway at minimum load and frequent maintenance stops, I don't know, but some other component is bound to give out before then.

    4. Also 955 km isn't impressive, 205 engine hours is.

    5. No. Distance between overhauls is usually limited by what the operator concerned decides is the overhaul life. If that is an hourly rate or a distance rate is decided by the operator. If it is dependent on engine life or suspension life or transmission life or some other component is dependent on the operator.

      I would be interested to know what was the official overhaul life of the IS-2. This article suggests that the engine life was 150 hours. It could be, for example, that the IS-2's engine was so easy to replace, and spare engines so plentiful, that it was considered a "spare part". In that case the overhaul life would have been greater than the engine life.

      It should also be noted that overhaul life is related to endurance, and not necessarily to reliability. Endurance and reliability are mutually related concepts, but are not the same thing. i.e. a tank can go a long way before its major components are replaced due to wear, but those components can fail multiple times and be repaired without being replaced. Therefore a tank can be unreliable and yet have a good endurance, or vice-versa.

      However, all that being said, this article tends to suggest that the Soviets were mightily impressed by an IS-2 that could travel 955 km without breaking down. 955 km is not an impressive figure for a WW2 AFV to travel between breakdowns. My own take on this is that whatever the reliability of the IS-2, this article suggests it had poor endurance.

    6. Nobody was impressed by 955 km. The warranty distance on a KV-1 was 1500 km. The IS-2 was much better than that.

    7. Maybe Tigers complex suspension stay in service longer thanks to better spreaded weight. But I have great doubts that SMALL GASOLINE ENGINE keep longer in service in comparable conditions even if Tiger has better power to weight ratio. It has also drive the Turret so it is at least nonstop in running durring battle.

  2. Oskin and Udalov received the highest title for destruction of enemy tanks from ambush, Oskin was also supported by artillery fire. Senior Lieutenant Klimenkov played more dangerous active role when he destroyed 2 enemy tanks and he did not destroyed but allowed to capture third one to his infantry.