Wednesday 2 November 2016

Airborne Tank

"To the Chief of the Red Army Air Force Airborne Troops, Guards Lieutenant-General Zatevakhin
January 9th, 1945

RE: your letter sent on December 15th, 1944, with a plan for an experimental tank for armoured forces.
  1. Building a light tank to your requirements would result in the kind of tank that we already rejected, as it is weak in armament and armour. In addition, it is doubtful that designers would fit into the 6 ton weight limit. In our opinion, the tank would be heavier.
    The situation with an SPG on that tank's chassis is the same.
    For your goals, it is reasonable to test existing light OSU-76 SPG that weighs 4.5 tons and uses the ZiS-3 gun and the 76 mm ZiS-3 on the GAZ-63 car chassis.
    These prototypes were tested at the NIBT proving grounds and were deemed too weak for ground forces. We can show you the prototypes and perform additional trials if you deem it necessary.
    This will allow us to finally resolve the question of their suitability for airborne forces.
  2. On installing a high caliber machinegun into a BA-64 armoured car, I report that we are currently planning on producing turretless armoured cars, prototypes of these armoured cars are ready.
    After your inspection, we can make a decision regarding armament.
  3. Your request regarding the M-72 motorcycle is already in production. M-72s are being built with 2-disk clutches and a gear ratio increased from 3.89 to 4.62.
  4. Experimental prototypes of airborne carts are not included in the Armoured Forces nomenclature and you must order them yourself.
Please respond regarding the questions raised.

Deputy Commander of the Armoured Forces, Colonel-General of the Tank Forces, Korobkov
Member of the Military Council of the Armoured Forces, Colonel-General of the Tank Forces, N. Biryukov"

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