Tuesday 6 September 2016

Tank Improvements

"To comrade I.V. Stalin
comrade V.I. Molotov

In accordance with State Committee of Defense decrees ##1878ss and 1879ss issued on June 5th, 1942, the Kirov factory and factory #183 completed trials of improved KV-1 and T-34 tanks.

As a result of production and trials of prototypes, the following data was obtained:

KV-1 tank (Kirov factory):
  1. The weight of the tank was reduced to 42.5 tons.
  2. The engine cooling system was improved.
  3. A new 8-speed gearbox was produced and tested successfully.
  4. A new turret with a commander's cupola was produced.
In connection with the altered KV-1 production schedule and the large amount of work being performed at the Kirov factory in connection with producing the T-34, I ask for approval to produce 100 KV-1S tanks with the old improved gearbox and suspension. The remaining 50 KV-1S tanks will be built in full compliance with the June 5th GKO decree.

T-34 tank (factory #183):
The following were produced and trialed:
  1. New 5-speed gearbox.
  2. Turret with a commander's cupola.
  3. Reinforced idler with a new adjustment mechanism.
In accordance with the conclusions of the T-34 tank test commission, the 5-speed gearbox is recommended for production.

As for the turret and the new idler, the commission requires that they be improved.

I ask you to allow the People's Commissariat of Tank Production to:
  1. Perform additional work on the T-34 turret and idler.
  2. Put the new 5-speed gearbox into production at the Kirov factory and UVZ (newly organized production line).
  3. Announce a decree on September 15th to:
    1. Put the 5-speed gearbox into production at all factories currently producing T-34 tanks.
    2. Put the turret with a commander's cupola into production at all factories currently producing T-34 tanks.
Introducing the 5-speed gearbox into production immediately would sharply reduce the amount of T-34s produced over the next two months, which would be a big blow for the front.

The GKO decree draft is attached.

People's Commissar of Tank Production. I. Zaltsmann
August 18th, 1942"

1 comment:

  1. Is there any information why not all T34 received 5-speed gearboxes? Some of the polish T34/85 received 1945 had 4-speed gearboxes and it is stated by at least one author that factory 183 didn´t fitted 4-speed gearboxes to the end of ww2.