Monday 7 September 2020

Christie Progess

"New York
September 15th, 1930

Innokentiy Andreevich,

I consider it necessary to report to you on the progress of work on the Christie contract and my work here.

The work is in the following state. In addition to the progress described in my previous report (where I evaluated the completion as 40% at most) the following has been completed.
  • The springs are assembled and installed.
  • The gearbox is assembled.
  • The bulkheads and joints are installed in the hull.
  • The driver's port is cut.
The following parts are not installed but present at the workshop:
  • Radiators
  • Fuel tanks
  • Wheel hubs
  • Track links (unfinished)
The steering wheel controls are not installed (some of the parts are being worked on), the road wheel tires are absent, the armour is absent, overall the completion is to 60-65%. The Polish tank is in the same state. Until now, assembly of the American tank was expedited (its design was closer to the previous model and has a different wheel drive), but is no longer expedited. The Ordnance Department is not very interested in Christie's vehicle. Christie says that the Ordnance Department hasn't signed a contract with him and isn't giving him any money.

The Ordnance Department representative noted the following drawbacks (in the words of Christie's engineer):
  • Insufficient cooling
  • High turn radius on wheels
  • The driver's port is uncomfortable to use
Christie refused to correct these defects and claimed that everything will be fine.
I pointed out these defects in my first report. I will also add the fact that the steel disks of the main and final drive clutches aren't lubricated. I think that they will burn in practice. It's too late to change the design, as the dimensions won't allow it. The driver and gunner's compartments are not ventilated, I assume that the conditions in the tank will be very difficult. Christie doesn't provide any muffler, and this engine will be heard 10 km away. The wheel drive has a very complicated gear linkage and the transmission has a low efficiency, about 55%. The Ordnance Department rejected this linkage and uses a chain, the previous Christie design.

The Poles visited the factory. I was warned in advance and was not present. One worker told me that Poland is very upset that Christie sold us the tanks. Either Persians or Greeks visited the factory and negotiated the building of a vehicle. I am not aware of the results.

I took blueprints of the amphibious vehicle from Christie. I also attach diagrams of two other vehicles.

I couldn't make it into the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Amtorg has not helped me at all in this, even though I asked comrade Petrov for tickets many times.

I ask for your directions whether or not I should go with him when the vehicles are done or inspect a few more factories. I consider it necessary for me (if time permits) to familiarize myself with the tractor production here. I have recommendation letters for the following factories:
  • Caterpillar tractor Co. Peoria Illinois
  • John Deere Co. Moline Illinois
  • Case Rocine Wisconsin
  • International Harvester Export Chicago
  • Cleveland Track Co. Ohio
  • Allis Chalmers Milwaukee Wisconsin
I would also like to visit the Trakson tractor accessories factory.

My letter of credit expires on October 1st, 1930. I ask for your orders.


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