Monday 23 December 2019

T-43 Power Up

"To the Deputy Commander of the Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the Red Army, Lieutenant General of the Tank Forces comrade Korobkov
October 20th, 1943

According to your order given on October 4th of this year, a meeting was called regarding the issue of the T-43 tank and the possibility of creating a new medium tank. The meeting was attended by specialists from the Red Army BTU. The meeting came to the following conclusions:
  1. Due to new tanks used by the enemy (Panther, Tiger) with more powerful armour and a higher amount of 75 and 88 mm anti-tank guns, the T-43 would no longer be capable of fully completing its objectives.
  2. The creation of a new medium tank with more powerful armour, more powerful armament, and modern mechanisms in a short time is impossible for our industry.
  3. The prototypes of the T-43 tank produced by factory #183, while not of a tank that includes the latest achievements of armoured vehicle technology. However, the T-43 with several changes will meet the goal of improving the combat capability of the T-34.
    Proving grounds trials show that the T-43, due to a change in layout and the use of a torsion bar suspension, has significantly more powerful protection (armour is 66% thicker) with a negligible increase in weight (2.7 tons or 9%), as a result of which the difference in mobility is not much different than the T-34.
  4. To improve the combat qualities of the T-43 tank, perform the following changes:
    1. Install the 85 mm D-5 gun in the T-43 tank.
    2. Increase the thickness of the front armour to 90 mm, the roof and floor to 20 mm, the rear to 60 mm.
    3. Install road wheels with rims made from 120s rubber without ventilation openings that showed satisfactory results at the proving grounds.
The realization of all requirements will not overload the tank and can be done without increasing the mass of the tank, or maybe even lowering it.

Based on the above, I consider it necessary to agree with the NKTP about performing the aforementioned changes, organizing a 500 km long trial of the T-43 tanks, and asking the government about production of the T-43 tank at factory #183.

I have given the Tank Directorate the order to perpare tactical-technical requirements for a new medium tank that includes the latest achievements of armoured vehicle technology. However, I think it would be reasonable to present them to the NKTP only after the start of production.

Chief of the GBTU, Lieutenant General of the Tank Forces, Vershinin
Acting Chief of the Tank Directorate of the GBTU, Engineer-Colonel Muravich"

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