Thursday 13 August 2020

Stuart Arrivals

"June 12th, 1942
To the Chief of the 5th Department of the BTU, Engineer-Colonel Afonin
  1. Recently arriving American M3 light tanks with a modernized turret (the commander's sub-turret is removed) had an opening on the right side of the roof 256 mm in diameter covered by a 268 mm wide cover (sketch attached).

    The cover is welded on in 3-4 spots and can be easily removed. There were cases where it fell off during motion of the tank.
    Major General of the Technical Forces comrade Lebedev inspected the modernized light tank during his last visit and ordered that the cover be rewelded across the entire perimeter.
    The purpose of this opening is still unknown. I ask you to figure out its purpose and if it is not needed ask that the cover be welded on fully or that the opening be removed. It is difficult to perform this work in wartime due to a shortage of specialists and welding equipment. The factories cannot do this work in reasonable time.
  2. When a radio is installed on the American light tank it is necessary to remove the right sponson machine gun (according to American instructions). After the machine gun is removed a 121 mm diameter hole remains. The American instruction states that a plug for this hole is obtained from the artillery supply department. Neither the acceptance department nor the warehouses have received any plugs.
    I ask you to urgently order plugs from the Americans at a ratio of 4 plugs to 10 tanks.
    As delivery from the US takes a long time, I ask you to place an urgent order for a plug of the proper size at dometic factories (sketch attached).
    At the same time, I add that the work for the 101st brigade is already complete by factory #112: the cover is welded to the roof and the 121 mm opening in the front is welded over.
    A private contract was made with the GAZ factory for 100 plugs of the appropriate type, but the factory was reluctant and there is no guarantee that the order will be filled.
Attachments on 2 pages.
Chief of Military Acceptance of Foreign Vehicles of the BTU, Engineer-Lieutenant Colonel Muravich"

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