Tuesday 29 October 2019

Night Rider

"To the Deputy Chair of the State Committee of Defense of the USSR, comrade Molotov
August 2nd, 1942

According to GOKO decree #175ss issued on May 15th, 1942, the Special Design Bureau of the All-Union Electrotechnical Institute produced and presented by July 15th, 1942, one sample of a device for driving tanks at night.

The device was installed on a T-34 tank and tested at the Research Proving Grounds of the Main Auto-Armour Directorate of the Red Army..

The results of the trials showed that the tank can be driven at night with a closed hatch on a highway or on a dirt road at a speed of 10-12 kph.

The sensitivity of the fiberoptic elements in the prototype is insufficient and the IR lights (headlights) do not proving a sufficiently wide beam which does not offer sufficient visibility through the device.

The night driving device based on the principle of transforming IR light into visible light has one significant drawback in that the light from signal lights (stoplights) can only be seen in one colour.

All colours (red, yellow, blue, white) can be seen through the device from a long distance away, but only as bright green dots.

These drawbacks limit the usefulness of this device for driving tanks.

In order to read a final judgement regarding the use of this device in the military it is necessary to produce a trial batch of the devices with the aforementioned defects corrected. 

Attached is a draft GOKO decree to order the production of a trial batch of devices for night driving. I ask you to approve it.

GABTU Military Commissar, Army Commissar 2nd Class, Biryukov"


  1. The simple truth is even in the IR driving scopes used in the 1980s was less than desirable. I found it easier to just unhook the IR driving scope and open the hatch and drive by whatever light the moon and stars provided. Not to mention driving around closed up looking at a green/black screen sort of puts one in a hypnotic form of sleep. Perhaps if we are talking about a battle with a steady supply of illumination rounds were in the sky, I would use the IR driving scope.

    1. They do occasionally mention driving with ambient light, but the majority of the time the trials rely on artificial illumination, usually from the vehicle's headlights.

    2. They have these caps which fit over thee headlights with just a slit to let a tiny amount of light through. If it is a moonless night, this is ones best bet. But after four hours of looking at a IR scope, ones eyes are shot. I don't know if it's the lack of depth or the lack of colors. Your eyes just hurt.