Wednesday 31 August 2016

Beginning of the KV-1S

"Preliminary conclusions on the KV-1S tank, equipped with the 8-speed gearbox, new turret with a commander's cupola, and reduced mass of 42.5 tons.

The objective of raising the average speed and improving handling with the KV-1S was achieved.

The 8-speed gearbox works normally and provides reliable operation of the KV tank.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

RES Anti-Tank Rifle Cost

"Calculations regarding the cost of development of the 14.5 mm anti-tank rifle for GAU
Order #40
Code 73-P

Direct spending

Main materials
Steel, other materials
Purchased parts
3 barrels, 500 rub. Each

1650 man-hours*3.01
650 man-hours*3.10
350 man-hours*2.50
50 man-hours*3.00
1400 man-hours*3.15
500 man-hours*3.57
Auxiliary plant workers
100 man-hours*3.30

Engineering-Technician works

Lead Designer
5.5 man-months*2000
3 man-months*1000
1.5 man-months*1200
Senior Engineers
2 man-months*1200
0.5 man-months*1000

Design Department Workers

3 man-months*400
2 man-months*300
Total salaries

Total direct spending

Additional spending

Work at the plants

General factory spending

Special spending

Instruments and devices

Proving grounds and transport costs

Ammunition for preliminary trials
1000 * 25 rubles
Trips to trials

External services


Total additional spending

Total factory spending

3% interest

Total cost


Lead designer Rashkov
Chief of the Planning and Production Department, Rodin"

Monday 29 August 2016

Improved T-34-85 Armour

"To: comrade I.V. Stalin

In order to increase the robustness of T-34-85 turrets, factory #183 developed a new turret design with thicker front and sides (90 and 75 mm vs 52 mm).

The weight of the new turret is equal to 4800-4900 kg, as opposed to 4500 kg weight of the turret with 52 mm thick sides produced at factory #112. As a result, the mass of the T-34-85 tank with thickened armour is 32.3-32.4 tons as opposed to 32.0 tons for a T-34-85 tank with 52 mm thick turret armour.

Friday 26 August 2016

World of Tanks History Section: Battle at Lukhanino

The Voronezh Front, protector of the south flank of the Kursk salient, found itself in the way of a powerful German offensive. However, this scenario played out quite unlike what German commanders expected. Most problems were faced by the 48th Tank Corps, which got stuck at the first Soviet line of defense on July 5th, 1943. Even 200 Panthers, thrown into battle near Cherkasskoye where Grossdeutschland division was spinning its wheels did not improve the situation.

Only late in the evening, having joined forces with the 3rd Tank Division, the German unit managed to enter Cherkasskoye. Soviet forces were fully expelled only by the next morning. The offensive had to be developed further, along the Belgorod-Oboyan highway, right through Lukhanino.

Thursday 25 August 2016

New Shells

"State Committee of Defense Decree #6434s
August 21st, 1944
Moscow, Kremlin

The People's Commissar of Armament (comrade Vannikov) must:
  1. Produce a trial batch of 10,000 45 mm incendiary shells for the People's Commissar of the Navy according to NKV blueprints by November 1st, 1944.
  2. Complete development of 100 mm incendiary and HE-I shells and perform trials before October 1st, 1944.
  3. After satisfactory results with the 100 mm shells, develop 130 mm incendiary and HE-I shells by a deadline negotiated with the People's Commissar of the Navy.
Deputy Chair of the Committee of Defense, L. Beria"

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Self Propelled Heavy Howitzer

"Tactical-Technical Requirements for Supreme Command Reserve Self Propelled Artillery
  1. The main purpose of Supreme Command Reserve Self Propelled Artillery is the destruction of pillboxes and dugouts with direct and indirect fire, destruction of fortifications in settlements and railway stations, destruction of headquarters and concentrations of enemy personnel and vehicles.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

IS-2 #1

"Shipment act #2
March 28th, 1943, Chelyabinsk

We the undersigned, Military Representative of the GBTU TU Engineer-Major I.P. Skriptsov on one side and OP-2 plant foreman of factory #100 Nosov and factory #100 OTK chief A.N. Kubintsev on the other side compose the current act to accept the IS-2 tank by the military representative of the GBTU TU and the surrender of the tank by factory #100 after factory trials.

Monday 22 August 2016

76 mm Regimental Gun Penetration

"To the People's Commissar of Defense, comrade I.V. Stalin.

I report that HEAT shells for the 76 mm mod. 1927  regimental cannon developed by the GAU Artkom on the basis of captured German shells were tried on May 23rd at the Sofrino proving grounds.

During trials against a 50 mm cemented plate, half of all fired shots resulted in complete penetrations with a diameter of 30 mm against both a flat plates and plates angled at 30 degrees.

Saturday 20 August 2016

Schwere Panzerbüchse 41

In 1942, the Allies captured an interesting anti-tank weapon designed for the German army and actively used on all fronts of WWII since 1941. Its distinguishing feature from other anti-tank rifles and cannons was its conical barrel, the caliber of which was larger at the breech than at the muzzle.

Officially, the gun was called 2,8 cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 (2,8 cm s.Pz.B. 41). German nomenclature placed it into the small arms category, but both the Red Army GAU and the military ministries of Great Britain and the United States classified it as artillery. The difference in classification comes from the fact that this weapon has all the characteristics of a cannon: carriage (upper and lower), shield, mount with a recoil brake, but the aiming was done by hand, by moving the gunner's body and moving the barrel up and down.

Friday 19 August 2016

Easy Modernization: T-45 and Others

GABTU had to reach a compromise on many issues when it accepted the T-60 tank for service. It was obvious that this tank is inferior to the T-50 in nearly all characteristics, but its production could be set up very quickly and it could be produced by the thousands. However, GABTU was seriously worried about the tank's armament. Trials of the 20 mm TNSh gun showed that its penetration was equal to the DShK high caliber machinegun. It is not surprising that the issue of improving its armament was raised even before the first prototype was built. This modernization went in several directions, one of which resulted in the T-45 tank.

Thursday 18 August 2016

Faster, Better, Longer

"April 13th, 1939

To: Director of the Kirov factory, comrade Zaltsmann
CC: Military Representative of the AU at the Kirov Factory, Military Engineer 2nd Grade Buglak

Work on producing an experimental prototype of a tank gun 30 calibers in length is, for some unknown reason, lagging behind all reasonable timeframes, despite being a relatively simple job.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

T-50 Problems

"To the People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding, comrade Malyshev

I report that the proving grounds trials of the T-50 produced at factory #174 cannot be completed in the timeframe allotted by your order #009ss issued on January 7th, 1941, due to a series of design defects discovered in the trials process.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

TsKB-50 Aerosan Trials

"Central Committee of the VKP(b) decree II23/174 issued on December 10th, 1940, states that:
  1. TsKB-50: In accordance with the tactical-technical characteristics approved by the Committee of Defense of the SNK on December 11th, 1940, an experimental armoured aerosan must be developed, similar to the Tunguska sleds.
  2. NKVD factory #5:
    1. Assemble a full sized model in parallel with the design process, due on December 25th, 1940.
    2. Assemble a prototype by January 25th, 1941.
The assigned due dates for the model and prototype were met.

The experimental armoured aerosan consists of a Tunguska style two-skid sled 7.7 meters in length, 1.9 meters wide, with 0.4 meter wide skids (in the middle). The skis are wooden and the lower part is covered by 2 mm thick stainless steel. The skids are connected with a welded frame made from thin aircraft pipes. The frame cross-section resembled an arc with 400 mm clearance.

Monday 15 August 2016

Iron Discipline

"Translated from German
2nd Tank Army HQ
April 19th, 1942

Daily Army Orders #22

Transfer orders

Transfer orders between types of forces and units purely out of personal interest reached unacceptably high levels.
I ask units to strictly check all such requests and consider if they reflect the interests of the army. Decline any requests for transfers that are unfounded and arise from personal gain for specific individuals. Only elevate requests for further review if it is clear that the transfer is in the interest of the armed forces.
Voluntary transfers into active units are exempt from this order.

German from Iberia

The Spanish Civil War began on July 17th, 1936. By the end of the month, the rebels gained the support of Italy and Germany, who promised, among other things, supplies of military hardware. In mid-August, Italian L3/35 tankettes arrived in Spain. German tanks arrived much later: 32 PzKpfw I Ausf. A tanks and one command vehicle were received in October of 1936. At approximately the same time, the first Soviet T-26es arrived in Spain and became the main opponents of the rebel tanks. As for the "Spanish" PzKpfw I Ausf. A, one of them became a Soviet trophy and was run through a whole spectrum of trials. What did the Soviet testers discover and what conclusions did they make?

Saturday 13 August 2016

PzKpfw I: Panzerwaffe's First

German generals often call PzKpfw I and PzKpfw II tanks "training" tanks in their memoirs. This is true in some way, as many converted PzKpfw I tanks were used to train crews. However, during the development of these tanks, there wasn't a word uttered about training as their main function. The Wehrmacht's first tanks were created as typical light tanks of the early 1930s, which mostly had machinegun armament. With this design, the Germans aimed towards the ideal concept of a German tank, setting the foundation for all subsequent vehicles of the Third Reich. The first member in the family that would become the weapons of blitzkrieg was the PzKpfw I Ausf. A.

Thursday 11 August 2016

Night Driving

"To the Chief of the 3rd Department of the GABTU BTU, Engineer-Lieutenant-Colonel comrade Ivanov

Research into night vision devices based on passive IR started in about 1927-28. Until 1940, only the Red Army NIIST worked on this subject, but in 1940 BTU began to test night vision devices to drive cars at night on the suggestion of "Svetlana" factory staff.

As a result, spectacle-shaped night vision devices were produces and tested at the "Svetlana" factory and GABTU proving grounds.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Tanks at Lake Hasan: Technical Improvements

"Independent complaints and suggestions by commanders and soldiers after the battle.
  1. On improving tank designs
    1. Have identical looking tanks, either antennas on all of them or none of them, otherwise the enemy aims to knock out commanders' tanks first.
    2. Redesign the T-26 suspension, as the tracks slip off often. Increase the size of the track teeth, increase the diameter of the road wheels, affix the rubber tires. Reduce the tank's ground pressure by widening the tracks. Convert the ventilator to move the air parallel to the tank, with ventilation in the turret to avoid concentration of gases and reduce heat. Add observation slits with triplex glass in the rear of the turret and in the turret roof.
    3. Set the front of the tank hull at an angle, improve the effective armour, improve its quality. Make the turret aerodynamic. Make the floor of the tank thicker.
    4. Make reverse grilles for the oil radiator so it cannot be destroyed by a bayonet or a pickax.
    5. Introduce a side hatch near the driver for crew evacuation.
    6. Add pistol ports next to the driver and a machinegun for the driver.
    7. Increase the gun depression angle, as it was not always possible to fire while hull down.
    8. The turret mounting is insufficient. There were cases where turrets fell off. Improve the turret mount.
    9. Angle the vertical armour.
    10. Strengthen and improve the hatch latches.
    11. The tank needs to have a set amount of hand grenades.

Monday 8 August 2016

Tanks at Lake Hasan: Tactics

  1. In battles for the Socialist Motherland, our tankers fearlessly and bravely went into battle, demonstrating bravery, courage, tenacity, and dedication to the Party and Motherland until their death. There was not one case where tankers faltered in battle. Crews that were trapped in a hopeless situation fired upon the enemy until their end, struck the samurai down with their fire, and died in their burning or knocked out tank, but did not surrender.
  2. In battle for Zaozernaya hill, the tanks showed their power and high combat quality. The Japanese fear of our tanks was demonstrated in the fact that all enemy firepower was directed against them: all artillery fired at tanks, all AT guns, all infantry, and finally, samurai charges at tanks by tank destroyer teams. The Japanese hated and feared tanks, opened artillery fire at individual tankers the moment they saw anyone in blue overalls.

Saturday 6 August 2016

17-Pounder: Britain's Long Arm

The development of anti-tank artillery followed more or less the same process in many countries. This resulted in the USSR creating a 100 mm BS-3 gun in 1944 and the Germans with the 88 mm Pak 43 gun, a weapon with excellent characteristics that forced Soviet tank designers to rethink their requirements for armour protection. However, the British arrived at the best solution, creating the Ordnance Quick-Firing 17-pounder, which had the most balanced characteristics. You can familiarize yourself with the gun in detail by viewing these photos and read about its creation and trials in the Soviet Union here.

Friday 5 August 2016

World of Tanks History Section: Nina Bondar

Flying was all the rage among Soviet youth in the few years preceding the Great Patriotic War. "Komsomol, to the skies!" the slogans called. Among the many young men and women who answered the call was a citizen of the city of Biysk named Nina Ilyinichna Bondar. In the late 1930s, while still in school, she joined and aero club and learned to fly the light U-2 biplane.

A month after the start of the Great Patriotic War, Nina came to the Biysk military commissariat and volunteered to join the Red Army. It was hard to refuse an officer's daughter, and one who could fly a plane at that. The young woman was directed to the Moscow Anti-Air Defense, where her familiar U-2 became a weapon of war. However, history clipped her wings.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Russian PIAT

While Soviet attempts to make a Panzerfaust may have not gone well, there was also an attempt at a domestic PIAT. The name rolls off the tongue almost as easily as Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank: Silent Projector of Bottles and Grenades.

The projector consists of a 950 mm pipe with a spring inside. The spring is wound by grasping two handles next to the muzzle and pulling backwards, and is fired by an "ordinary trigger mechanism". The bottle or grenade being thrown is positioned unprotected above the pipe. The projector is equipped with a sight that has three rather optimistic settings: 50, 75, and 100 meters. In order to stabilize the projector, a monopod is provided. 

The design is signed by Military Technician 1st Class Dugil. 

Via kris_reid.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

400 mm KV-1

Remember this project to install a 400 mm mortar on a KV-1S tank? Turns out that GABTU received it, but their reaction wasn't exactly positive.

"To director of factory #92, comrade Elyan
In response to letter #202/4571
RE: 400 mm self propelled mortar

Here are the characteristics of KV tanks you requested:

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Fuel for Foreign Tanks

"To armoured forces chiefs and armoured centers

American tanks in service with the Red Army use aircraft gasoline:
  1. The M3 Medium Tank uses 91 octane gasoline.
  2. The M3 Light Tank uses 80 octane gasoline.
When using these tanks, use the following types of domestic gasoline in its pure form or with addition of tetraethyl lead (product R-9).

Monday 1 August 2016

High Caliber

"To the Deputy Chair of the Council of People's Commissars, comrade L.P. Beria

RE: 122 mm HEAT and 152 mm AP-T rounds

I report that in accordance with GOKO decree #3187ss, GAU tested a 122 mm HEAT shell with a V-229 fuse developed by NKV on May 5-7th and a 152 mm AP-T shell with a MD-5 fuse on May 9-10th.