Tuesday 1 September 2015

T-34 Prototype Testing

"To the Chief of the 8th Department of the RKKA ABTU, Military Engineer 1st Grade Afonin

Report on the A-32 (weighed down), preparations for testing A-20 components, and the Voroshilovets tractor
  1. The A-32 vehicle (second) weighed down to the weight of an A-34 travelled 1047 km. During the 3rd and last round of trials, the average movement speed was not higher than 20-23 kph due to the terrible condition of the terrain (mud). The vehicle could only move in second gear.
    The transmission held up well in these conditions, no defects were discovered. Testing of the suspension on a paved road is scheduled for November 10th.
  2. At present, A-20 components (reinforced components for wheel drive) are still being processed.
  3. Voroshilovets tractor components, despite our numerous demands, are not being worked on at all. Department 500 administration claims that they are overloaded with components for other objects (A-7, D-3, D-5, etc). This situation may lead to Voroshilovets not being ready for production by January 1st, 1940.
ABTU military representative, Military Engineer 3rd Grade, Baikov."

"To the Chief of the 8th Department of the RKKA ABTU, Military Engineer 1st Grade Afonin
To the Chief of the 4th Department of the RKKA ABTU, Military Engineer 1st Grade Altymov

Report on experimental work at Department 500 at the Comintern factory for November

In November of 1939, the following work was done at the experimental plant:
  1. Trials of the A-32 vehicle loaded to the weight of an A-34 vehicle.
  2. Trials of the A-7 to determine the warranty period.
  3. Trials of parts and mechanisms of the A-7.
  4. Assembly of experimental components on the Voroshilovets tractor.
  5. Production of the A-34 vehicle.
The A-32 vehicle loaded to the weight of an A-34 travelled 1534 km, 500 km of which was on a highway. Over this distance, the following data was obtained:
  1. One kilometer of travel off-road burns 1.8-3.2 kg of fuel.
  2. Same for a highway: 1.45 kg.
  3. Average speed off-road is 18-29 kph, on the highway 35 kph.
The range in speeds is caused by the condition of the terrain. No defects were found during trials. Two trial runs were made using the factory #183 servo without a differential valve. Results are satisfactory.
Condition of the A-34 vehicle as of November 28th, 1939
  1. Blueprints have been submitted to production.
  2. Development of technological processes and equipment for measuring and mechanical work is not yet complete.
  3. Out of 989 components, the mechanical plants have made 332.
  4. Assembly has not yet started.
  5. Armour is scheduled to arrive on December 2nd, 1939.
  6. Production of individual components and assemblies is slightly late.
ABTU senior military representative, Military Engineer 2nd Grade, Kozyrev
ABTU military representative, Military Engineer 3rd Grade, Baikov."

"Report of plant #540 #086, December 18th, 1939 on the factory trials of the A-32 loaded to 24 tons.

The trials established that:

  1. The A-32 tank loaded to 24 tons presented for trials mostly passed fall conditions trials satisfactorily.
  2. The stability of the tank as an artillery platform is good, oscillations die down quickly on bumpy roads.
  3. It is significantly harder to control the tank without a servo than an A-7. With the servo, controlling the tank is easy.
  4. In order to more easily turn on 1st and 2nd gear, it is reasonable to have the lever lean right, and the reverse gear, as an infrequently used one, be placed in the center.
  5. In order to more reasonably use all gears and improve the temperature of the engine, it is reasonable to reduce the top speed of the tank to 50 kph.
  6. The emergency with the gearbox is not a sign that the component is unreliable, as the replacement gearbox worked satisfactorily in even more difficult conditions.
  7. The final drives and brakes worked satisfactorily. Summertime trials are necessary for a final conclusion.
  8. The A-7M fan that replaced the broken fan worked satisfactorily, it is reasonable to make the fans interchangeable. 
  9. In order to improve the lifespan of the tilted suspension nuts, it is reasonable to increase their height.
  10. In order to prevent self-ejection of the bronze plugs in the tilted suspension, add stoppers.
  11. Reinforce the road wheels in order to increase lifespan. 
  12. Change the idlers to ease the tightening of tracks and reduce the time it takes to complete that task. Move the idler cranks outwards to increase the track lifespan.

It is reasonable to produce experimental vehicles based on the A-32 tank with increased weight to 24 tons due to thicker armour."

RGVA 31811-3-1632

A-32 tank loaded to 24 tons for trials.


  1. Thanks for the translation. Such precious history on this machine.

  2. Yeah this blog is a true treasure trove of information.