Friday 26 February 2016

Tank Autobiography

To directors, chief engineers, and chief designers of factories:
  • Kirov: comrades Zaltsmann, Makhonin, Dukhov, Trashutin
  • #183: comrades Maksarev, Korduner, Morozov
  • UZTM: comrades Muzrukov, Kizime, Gorlitskiy
  • #112: comrades Rubinchik, Kuzmin, Krylov
  • #100: comrades Kotin, Belyakov, Yermolayev
  • #174: comrades Zadorozhniy, Vasilyev, Gudkov
  • #185: comrades Puzerev, Bronnikov, Sychev
  • STZ: comrades Prosvirov, Makoyed, Kargapolov
  • #50: comrades Lisin, Barskiy, Tkachenko
  • #76: comrades Savelyev, Demyanovich, Chupakhin
  • #77: comrades Tolmachev, Lev, Arsenyev
  • #200: comrades Sherbakov, Nitsenko, Drabkin
  • #75: comrades Yakovlev, Nevyazhskiy, Shukin
  • #255: comrades Moroz, Yakovenko, Sergeev
  • #37: comrades Myaskovskiy, Kozyrev
To chiefs and chief engineers of commissariats: comrades Stepanov, Podduvniy, Habahpashev, Kanevskiy
  • NII-48: comrades Zavyalov and Kapyrin
  • Copy: GAZ: comrades Loskutov, Vlasov, Lipgard, Astrov
Tank technology and production, the youngest branch of military technology, has no written history. Existing publicly available works of literature are either textbooks written by middlemen or privately commissioned studies of individual issues.

Our domestic tank technology and production has a brief (12-15 years), but bright and informative history. The end result of where this path led is something we can be proud of.

Our engineers created progressive, first class vehicles, and firmly retain their hold on this lead. Our tank production is a powerful and leading branch of military production. We survived the difficult times of evacuation and organization of new tank, hull, and engine factories. Our workers hold the experience of creating new types of tanks and engines, organizing mass production, lessons from life.

This rich experience that we gathered over the years is easy to lose. Additionally, many things need to be critically analyzed to extract lessons from previous work so we do not repeat the mistakes we made.

The People's Commissariat of Tank Production considers it necessary to urgently gather all materials regarding Soviet tank building and write a book titled "Tanks and Production in the Soviet Union" in two volumes, 40-50 printer's sheets each. The first volume would be titled "Tanks" and the second "Tank Production".

Briefly, the goal of the book would be as follows:
  1. The book is classified, with a limited run (100-200 units), meant for senior staff of tank production.
  2. The book must summarize the many years of rich experience of domestic tank technology and experience of setting up a powerful manufacturing base, as well as critically analyze this experience.
  3. The book must not just be a chronological record of events and a set of descriptions of designs, but must also be filled with a large amount of statistical materials.
  4. The book must illustrate the role of comrade Stalin in the creation of leading tank technologies and tank manufacturing.
  5. The book must illustrate and criticize our mistakes and drawbacks (especially in the period of the Patriotic War), both in the process of tank design and development of tank production.
  6. The book needs to carefully investigate and evaluate Soviet tank technology, original solutions, and technical supremacy.
  7. The book must illustrate the race in tank technology between us and fascist Germany and our victory.
  8. Demonstrate the advantages for the army and factories of releasing a limited amount of tank types compared to the many types used by our enemies and, especially, our allies.
  9. Illustrate the role of artillery engineers in the process of designing powerful tank guns and the close cooperation between tank and artillery engineers.
  10. Remark on the superiority of our armament over the armament of our allies and enemies (large calibers).
  11. Remark that the armour of our tanks remained at the top of scientific progress, the hull of the T-34 was a perfect specimen, that our allies and enemies strived to replicate. Describe the history of hull production.
  12. Demonstrate the enormous scale of development of tank production after the start of the Patriotic War, especially that no country aside from ours had such a well organized structure.
  13. Show the basis (leading machinery-building factories) and conditions of fast development of tank production in the period of the Patriotic War (leading production technology, prior experience, human resources, help from the entire country).
  14. Illustrate in detail the issues of evacuation of tank factories, and its creation and development in the East (show organization and partitioning of tank production).
  15. Show that tank factories were created as powerful self-reliant factories without significant cooperation (conditions in our country: large spaces, weak transportation network, etc).
  16. Show the connection between tank manufacturing and the army, the study of tank experience in combat, and the influence on tank design and on numeric ratios of tanks.
  17. Discuss restoration of destroyed factories.
  18. Show the role of subcontractors in tank production, especially armour, electronics, rubber, ball bearings, and artillery.
  19. Show the role of tank production in equipping the army with spare parts and organizing repairs.
  20. Show the future of development of tank technology and manufacturing in our country.
The People's Commissariat hopes that its proposal will be met with support at the factories, and proposes the following order of work:
  1. Each factory creates an editing committee of 5-7 people, consisting of the editor-in-chief (factory director), chief engineer, chief designer, and two or three more engineering or technical workers from the factory, at the director's decision. Inform the People's Commissariat of the composition of this committee.
  2. Each factory writes a book about themselves following the plan above.
  3. As each chapter is written, it is sent to the People's Commissariat.
  4. All material must be sent to the editor's office no later than July 1st of this year.
Proposed time for sending the book to print: 4th quarter of 1945.

The People's Commissariat is certain that factories will actively take up this task and the result will be a useful and interesting book.

People's Commissar of Tank Production, V. Malyshev.
March 17th, 1945"

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