Tuesday 27 March 2018

Upgunned T-38 Trials

"Results of trials of a T-38 tank armed with a ShVAK gun from March 15th to 29th, 1944

T-38 tank #4216 armed with a ShVAK gun converted at factory #105 on January 13th 1944 was presented for trials. The engine ran for 2 hours since the last medium repairs.

After arming it with the ShVAK gun, the tank's weight increased by 400 kg. The tank was tested at 100% of combat weight with a crew of 2 men.

The route and trial conditions are described in the attached journal. 910 km were travelled during the trials (402 km on a highway, 508 km on a dirt road, off-road, and over obstacles). The engine worked for 48 hours and 40 minutes.

As a result of the trials, it was concluded that:
  1. The tank has a range of 220 km on a highway with one load of fuel (90 kg).
  2. Due to the increase in mass, it takes a greater number of engine revolutions to begin moving in first gear, especially on uneven dirt roads.
  3. The running temperature of the transmission and suspension was normal during a 2 hour nonstop march and a 100 km march over 5 hours with three stops for inspection.
  4. Duel consumption while driving on paved roads, dirt roads, and cross-country at an air temperature of -10 degrees did not exceed the existing norm of 6 kg/hour.
  5. The increased mass of the turret negatively impacts the hand traverse. Due to the weight, it is no longer possible to turn the turret by hand when it is driving across terrain with a large amount of pits and bumps.
  6. The installation of the ShVAK gun did not impact the T-38 tank's ability to cross natural or artificial obstacles.
  7. Exterior inspection of the tank and disassembly of transmission and suspension components revealed complete technical function of the hull, transmission, and suspension. See the post-trial technical act.
Conclusions: trials of a T-38 tank armed with a ShVAK cannon showed that the increase in the turret weight did not impact the tank's combat or technical characteristics, aside from turret traverse. The T-38 tank is a combat-capable vehicle, useful in combat on cross-country terrain and firing from short stops. To fire on the move, a turret traverse motor must be installed.

Conversion of tanks to use the ShVAK gun continues.

Chief of the Usage Department of the UK of the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the Far East Front, Engineer-Major Poletskiy"

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