Monday, 11 February 2019

Getting Ahead

"To the People's Commissar of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union comrade Timoshenko
CC: Chief of the GABTU, Lieutenant-General Fedorenko
November 27th

RE: acceptance of 143 T-34 tanks with 25 degrees of gun elevation

The Ilyich Mariupol factory began producing armoured parts for the T-34 before mass production blueprints were approved, and  built a batch of turrets using the experimental blueprints with the GABTU's permission, i.e. with 25 degrees of gun elevation.

Upon receiving mass production blueprints with 30 degrees of gun elevation, the Ilyich factory did not consider the necessity of changing the gun port blank, as a result of which 143 turrets with 25 degrees of gun elevation were built. A large number of these turrets are already installed in tanks by factory #183.

Considering that fact that the elevation change does not make a significant difference and recutting the parts to meet the 30 degree elevation requirement will slow down production, especially as a number of vehicles will have to be rebuilt, I ask your instructions regarding accepting 143 T-34 tanks with 25 degrees of gun elevation.

On behalf of the Deputy People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding, Goreglyad"


"To the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR, Marshal of the USSR comrade Kulik

I report regarding the letter of Deputy People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding, Goreglyad, regarding the acceptance of 143 T-34 tanks with 25 degrees of gun elevation.
  1. In the initial decision made by the Committee of Defense (#45 on February 2nd, 1939) the gun elevation angle of 25-30 degrees was approved. The first two experimental T-34 tanks were made with 25 degrees of gun elevation. The military trials commission requested the increase of gun elevation to 30 degrees, which was approved by the People's Commissar of Defense on May 31st, 1940.
  2. Factories #183 and Ilyich did not complete the requested changes in time, and as a result of this 143 turrets were built with a gun port that limits gun elevation to 25 degrees.
  3. Committee of Defense decree #428ss issued on November 19th, 1940, approves the gun elevation angle of 30 degrees, which the factories implemented.
  4. In order to increase the gun elevation angle to 30 degrees on the aforementioned turrets, it will be necessary to grind away 20 mm of armour, which will be a significant expenditure of funds and time.
  5. I consider it possible to agree with comrade Goreglyad's proposal and accept 143 turrets with no changes, as it does not make a significant different.
Deputy Chief of the GABTU, Major-General of the Technical Forces, Lebedev"


"To the Chief of the Directorate of Affairs, Major-General comrade Dratvin
December 6th, 1940

Marshal of the Soviet Union Kulik permitted the acceptance of 143 T-34 tanks with a gun elevation angle of 25 instead of 30 degrees. This has been communicated to Deputy People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding comrade Goreglyad and the GABTU military representative at factory #183.

Deputy Chief of the BTU, Military Engineer 1st Class, Korobkov
Chief of the 3rd Department of the BTU, Military Engineer 1st Class, Afonin."

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