Wednesday 21 November 2018

T-34 Design Improvements

"Minutes of a meeting with the factory #183 director on August 29th, 1940 on the issue of design changes to the T-34

1. Issue: on the introduction of the F-32 and 45 mm gun on the T-34.

Factory's opinion: in order to prepare production in a timely manner and make the necessary order for armour at the Ilyich factory, it is necessary to install each type of system (L-11, 45 mm, F-32) in the T-34 tank in 1940. Our queries to the BTU remain unanswered.

  1. 200 L-11 systems will be delivered in 1940.
  2. Past that, it will be necessary to install the 45 mm gun in the turret designed for the F-32 with conversion parts.
  3. Factory #183 must investigate the issue of the possibility of installing the 45 mm gun and the F-32 in the L-11 turret by October 1st.
2. Issue: on the installation of the F-32 gun in the T-34 tank

Factory's opinion: in order to unify the mounts for the F-32 in the T-34 and KV tanks, the GABTU decided in the end of July of this year to accept the solution designed by factory #183 and task the Kirov factory to design blueprints of a unified mount by August 15th, 1940. Considering that according to our information the Kirov factory is not doing this, we consider it necessary to perform the work of installing the F-32 gun on the T-34 at factory #183 and send the blueprints to the GABTU by September 10th, 1940, for final approval for mass production.

Decision: agree with the proposal of factory #183 and present blueprints of the F-32 gun mount on the T-34 no later than September 10th, 1940.

3. Issue: changing the harness of final drive covers (component 34.16.003).

Factory's opinion: initially, the covers were designed with 40SG high carbon steel. Factory #183, in mastering cast armour, converted this component into armoured steel, but made both the casting and machining of the component more difficult. We consider it possible to retain the armoured final driver cover, but reduce the hardness of the material to 3.6-3.8 mm, which will allow it to be shaped with normal cutting materials. Accept component 34.16.003 based on chemical analysis only, without ballistics trials.

Decision: allow the installation of final drive covers no less than 3.7 in hardness, with 45 mm thick conical walls. Test the first cover with 37 and 45 mm guns. In case of positive results, introduce the cover into mass production. Subsequent acceptance will be based on chemical analysis and hardness tests.

4. Issue: on the T-34 spotlight.

Factory's opinion: like the A-7M, the TPP spotlight is designed for the T-34 with the ratio of one spotlight in five tanks. Since there is no tactical requirement for these spotlights, we consider it necessary to cancel it and not install it on the tanks.

Decision: do not install the spotlight.

5. Issue: on cracks in the armour.

Factory's opinion: cracks discovered in the hull and turret near welding seams can be, in each separate case with the permission of military acceptance, corrected by drilling out and welding over with austentite electrodes.

Decision: allow the correction of cracks by drilling out and subsequent welding over with austentite electrodes. Factory #183 must take all necessary measures to completely eliminate the cause of cracks forming in welded assemblies.

6. Issue: on the flamethrower device for the T-34.

Factory's opinion: the agreement with the Red Army Chemical Directorate engages factory #183 to design and install a flamethrower on one tank. Blueprints of the flamethrower were approved and the construction of a prototype authorized. The directorate has not sent us the conclusions on the examined project, which in turn delays the assembly of the prototype.

We ask for factory #183 to be given a final decision regarding the viability of the flamethrower designed for the T-34 tank.

Decision: produce one prototype based on factory #183's blueprints.

Factory #183 director Maksarev
Chief of the Red Army GABTU, Lieutenant-General Fedorenko"

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