Thursday 30 April 2020

Slippery Slope

"Award Order
  1. Name: Popov, Semyon Yakovlevich
  2. Rank: Guards Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: assistant driver, 83rd Guards Tank Regiment, 18th Dniester Guards Mechanized Brigate, 9th Dniester-Rymninskiy Guards Order of the Red Banner Mechanized Corps
    is nominated for the Order of Glory 3rd Class.
  4. Year of birth: 1901
  5. Nationality: Russian
  6. Party affiliation: none
  7. Participation in the Civil War, subsequent actions in defense of the USSR, Patriotic War: since February 1945 to present, 2nd Ukrainian Front.
  8. Wounds and contusions in the Patriotic War: none
  9. In the Red Army since: November 1941
  10. Recruited by: Chimkent recruitment office, south Kazakhstan
  11. Prior awards: none
Brief and specific description of personal heroism or achievements:

On the approach to the city of Banská Štiavnica, our tanks could not climb up an iced over slope. Tankers had to exit their tanks and lay branches or loge underneath the tracks. Ignoring the constant threat of enemy fire, he walked in front of the tank for 600 meters laying everything he could find underneath the tracks, thanks to which the tank was the first to enter the city and the first to reach the opposite outskirts. The combined actions of the crew led to the destruction of 2 SPGs, 5 machine gun nests, and up to 20 fascists.

For courage, bravery, and tenacity displayed in battle with German invaders, comrade Popov is worthy of the government award of the Order of Glory 3rd Class.

Commander of the 83rd Guards Tank Regiment, Guards Major Nemchenko"

It doesn't say what kind of tank Popov served in, but the mention of an assistant driver gives a hint. At the time the 9th Guards Mechanized Corps primarily used M4A2(76)W tanks.


  1. Peter, sorry if this is unrelated to the post, but I wanted to ask if you knew about the issues with transmission vibration in the SU-76M. In one of the contemporary documents it describes that the SU-76M was limited to a maximum road speed of only 30 km/h, even though it was capable of 41 km/h, due to this issue. Do you know if this was ever fixed?

    1. I'm not aware of this specific problem. The SU-12 (SU-76) had some pretty well known transmission problems, but I haven't read anything like this about the SU-76M.

    2. It can be found on Page 8 of this manual:

      More specifically, here is the description:

    3. In his article on the SU-76M Yuri Pasholok says that the top speed attained in trials was actually 43 kph, but later it was officially reduced to 30 kph. He doesn't say why, but I guess this is the reason.

    4. Oh okay, I presume that means it was never fixed then?

    5. Not that I've read about.