Thursday 29 November 2018

Finders Keepers

"To the commander of the 22nd Tank Corps
CC: Commander of the 168th Tank Brigade, commander of the 36th Tank Brigade
June 18th, 1942

In battle at Shevchenkovo, on June 11th, 1942, a T-34 tank with registration number #24-15 belonging to the 168th TBr was knocked out by enemy artillery fire and abandoned by its crew (the commander was Lieutenant Yumashev, who was wounded). An act of the brigade commission consisting of Major Stupakov, Sr. Political Chief Korotyshev, and Lieutenant Sidorin. On June 12th the tank was written off as an irreparable loss as burned up from enemy fire.

Based on the materials I possess, T-34 #24-15 was evacuated from the battlefield by the 36th TBr on June 13th, 1942 with damaged running gear and functional engine (there were no signs of fire). In the nearby forest the tank was brought back into action and drove on its own power to the 36th TBr's repair yard, where it was restored by June 17th, 1942.

Representatives of the 168th TBr, having discovered the tank is battle ready, unlawfully drove the tank from mobile repair base #80 to their own brigade.

In connection with that, I order that:
  1. The commander of the 168th TBr must conduct an investigation into the unlawful writing off of the T-34 tank #24-15, its abandonment on the battlefield, and actions regarding obtaining it from the repair yard.
  2. The commander of the 36th TBr must investigate the specifics of the evacuation of the tank and its repair.
  3. The results of investigations conducted by the commanders of the 36th and 168th Tank Brigades must be delivered to me by the end of June 20th, 1942, with the indication of a guilty party to hold it criminally responsible. 
  4. The commander of the 168th TBr must immediately turn over T-34 #24-15 to the 36th TBr and report by the end of the day of June 18th, 1942.
Deputy Commander of the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the 38th Army, Major General of the Tank Forces Novikov
ABTU Military Commissar, Battalion Commissar Ruzhanskiy"

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