Wednesday 18 December 2019

Start of T-54 Development

"Order of the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR #637s
November 1st, 1944

Factory #183 (comrade Morozov) developed a new T-54 medium tank with improved armour. 

The review of the project showed that the new T-54 medium tank retains high maneuverability and mobility characteristics but has significantly better armour and more powerful armament than existing medium tanks.

The presented T-54 medium tank project should be approved and a prototype developed.

In order to develop the new T-54 medium tank, I order that:
  1. Director of factory #183 comrade Maksarev and Chief Designer of factory #183 comrade Morozov must develop blueprints of the new medium tank with a 100 mm D-10T gun with the following armour thicknesses by December 1st of this year:
    1. Upper front plate: 120 mm
    2. Lower front plate: 120 mm
    3. Sides: 90 mm
    4. Turret front: 150 mm
    5. Front section of turret sides: 150 mm
    The turret design should be similar to that of the IS-6 with a commander's observation device installed in a rotating hatch without a commander's cupola. Use high hardness armour for the turret, with a ring to be welded into the upper turret ring.
    The full weight of the tank must not be greater than 34 tons.
  2. Director of factory #183, comrade Maksarev, must produce a prototype of the T-54 by January 1st, 1945, and complete trials by January 15th."


  1. That is a surprise, I'd never realised the T54 was originally designed during WW2.

    1. First prototype was completed even before it finished, in January 1945!

    2. Yes the T-54 was really the Soviet counterpart to the Centurion. Both were designed during the last stages of the war but were only finalized after the war.

    3. Something the Wehraboos prefer to forget is that while the E-series were still little more than conceptual studies the Brits and Soviets were already putting the first protos of the "gold standard" tanks of the early Cold War era through their paces.