Thursday 25 June 2020

Shopping Trip

"To the Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR


In accordance with your instructions #01924 issued on December 10th I present to you my ideas about buying tanks from abroad. These ideas were discussed with comrades Uborevich, Khalepskiy, and Berzin.

1. General objectives
It is most desirable to purchase detailed blueprints, samples, and technical aid from the same country. At the same time, inquire about buying a batch of 60-100 medium tanks.
If this purchase cannot be made, buy a tank in one country with the intention of getting aid elsewhere. The purchase of a medium tank without blueprints or technical aid does not solve the issue of building a medium tank domestically.

2. Type of tanks and nations

Medium tanks:
The most desirable type is the Vickers model 1927 with a convertible drive (England), the Christie model 1940 and Medium TS (America), both convertible drive, the last one is acceptable as tracked only. The question of buying medium tanks can be raised in America.

Small tanks:
It is necessary to purchase the convertible drive TE1 tank in America. The Renault #27 tank can be bought in France with design goals in mind. It is necessary to purchase the two-man Carden-Loyd tankette in England.
Of the large tanks, it is necessary to purchase the large Vickers tank in England. It would be desirable to purchase the all terrain tank destroyer with a speed of 30 kph and powerful armament (at least 45 mm).
In addition to tanks, it is desirable to buy one SPAAG and one 6-wheel (3 axle) armoured car.
When buying samples, pay attention to improved observation, kino-glass periscopes, and other devices (stroboscopes), and stabilization devices (naval stabilizers, gyroscopes).

3. Methods of purchase
It is impossible to determine the method of purchase at this time. The issue will have to be solved individually every time with comrade Berezin and his department.

4. Personnel
It is desirable to send comrade Khalepskiy as the responsible party, and a comrade from Supreme Soviet of the National Economy, preferably comrade Budnyak. In addition, one or two engineers. Comrade Khalepskiy prefers comrade Topilov (VKP(b) member, chief of the UNM tank department) and comrade Begunov (VKP(b) member, member of the UNK scientific-technical group).

Red Army Chief of Staff
B.M. Shaposhnikov

December 13th, 1929"

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