Tuesday 17 April 2018

Far East Conversions

"To the Chief of the Tank Directorate of the GBTU, Major-General of the Tank Engineering Service, comrade Afonin

RE: your letter #822338 written on May 23rd, 1944

I report that:
  1. As of June 1st, 1944, the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the Far East Front have applied applique armour to 128 BT-7 tanks, 113 of which were converted in 1942-43 and 13 in 1944.
    Since no proper quality armour was available, applique armour is only installed at factories during refurbishing. Armour of written-off tanks was used. Contoured armour for turrets is not available.
  2. As of June 1st, 1944, 130 T-37/T-38 tanks have been converted to ShVAK guns. Further work to re-arm T-37 and T-38 tanks ceased due to an absence of ShVAK guns.
  3. Repair factories #405 and #77 are converting two-turreted T-26 tanks into single turreted. As of June 1st, 1944, 35 tanks have been converted.
  4. The following is necessary to continue work on rearming and adding applique armour:
    1. Contoured armour for BT-7 turrets.
    2. ShVAK guns.
    3. TMFP-1 sights.
    4. Equipment to convert two-turreted T-26es to single turreted (turrets, turret platforms, turret rings, etc).
  5. Rearmament and installation of applique armour is not being planned due to a lack of aforementioned armament and parts.
    All BT-7s refurbished by the repair factories are being equipped with applique armour.
Acting Assistant to the Chief of the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the Far East Front, Engineer-Major Ryabov
Acting Chief of the UK ORT of the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the Far East Front, Engineer-Major Sviridov"


  1. The Far East basically became the Red Army's open-air wartime museum didn't it? Understandable enough; the West was where the important heavy fighting was, they knew the Japanese had learned their lessons and were busy in China, SEA and the Pacific to boot, and even should trouble break out in the region they wouldn't have to worry about any realistic enemy fielding first-rate AFVs.

  2. These seems like a lot of make-work. Upgunning T-38s?