Monday 3 December 2018

Tank Building Progress

"To the People's Commissar of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union, comrade Timoshenko

I report to you regarding the progress of carrying out Central Committee of the VKP(b) decrees ## 976-368, 973-366, and 885-330 as of August 1st, 1940.

Item 1, decree #976-368 issued on June 7th, 1940
The decree orders the People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding comrade Lihachev to produce 600 T-34 tanks in 1940, of those:
  • 500 at factory #183
  • 100 at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory
Factory #183 must deliver 10 units in June and 20 units in July.

Progress: as of August 1st, 1940, factory #183 produced 10 T-34 tanks instead of 30 ordered by the Decree. The main reason for this shortfall is the slow rate of preparation for production at factory #183 and unfulfilled orders for instruments, devices, stamps, etc. made at GAZ, ZIS, HTZ, STZ, and other factories.
The Stalingrad Tractor Factory is starting to set up T-34 production, but has not produced any tanks. With the help of factory #183 one tank was completed and breaking in is presently in progress.

Item 2, decree #973-366 issued on June 5th, 1940
The decree orders the NKO to supply the Kirov factory with T-28 tanks without need of repairs or modernization for installation of applique armour. Provide 35 vehicles by June 5th, 50 vehicles by June 25th, including 15 vehicles already present at the factory.

Progress: as of August 1st, 1940, the Kirov factory had installed applique armour on 54 vehicles. The shipment of 50 tanks had not arrived, as the Belorussian Special Military District, which was ordered to supply the tanks, did not have enough fully ready tanks in connection with increased rates of use in recent time. Orders were given to the Kiev Special Military District to supply the tanks. The tanks have not yet arrived.

Item 3, decree #885-330 issued on June 28th, 1940
To obtain final approval of blueprints and technical requirements, instruct the People's Commissar of Defense, comrade Timoshenko, and the People's Commissar of Heavy Machinebuilding, comrade Yefremov, to form a commission for trials of a KV tank with a large turret. Trials must be held in Leningrad no later than June 15th, 1940, lasting no less than 1000 km.

Progress: trials were held in Leningrad. The tank travelled 2565 km during trials, 884 on a highway, 656 on a dirt road, and 1025 off-road. trials gave mostly satisfactory results. A number of requests were made of the factory to make improvements and finish the blueprints and technical requirements for approval. An additional report will be supplied.

Assistant Chief of the ABTU, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, Fedorenko"

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