Friday 4 December 2020

SU-85 Production

"Order of the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR #477ss
August 9th, 1943

On the organization of 85 mm SPGs on the T-34 chassis at the Uralmash factory

To carry out State Committee of Defense order #3892ss issued on August 8th, 1943, I order that:
  1. Uralmash factory director comrade Muzrukov must prepare for production of SU-85 SPGs designed at the Uralmash factory on the T-34 tank chassis and armed with the factory #9 D-5 gun.
  2. The following quota for SU-85 SPGs at the Uralmash factory is established:
    1. August: 100 units. Production begins on August 25th according to the daily table approved by me on August 8th.
    2. September: 150 units.
  3. Production of the SU-122 at the Uralmash factory must end due to the start of SU-85 production.
  4. The Uralmash factory is permitted to deliver 25 SU-122 SPGs in August to use up the backlog of parts.
  5. Factory #255 director comrade Moroz must produce and deliver electric triggers for the D-5 gun in the following amounts:
    1. August: 125
    2. September: 200
      Begin delivery on August 15th in even batches.
  6. Head of the 1st Department comrade Frezerov must supply the Uralmash factory with 85 mm D-5 guns and optics in August.
  7. Uralmash factory director comrade Muzrukov must provide factory #9 with blanks for 85 mm D-5 guns in the following amounts:
    1. August: 270 units starting delivery on August 7th.
    2. September: 300 units.
  8. In accordance with the decree of the Committee of Defense, the director of the Uralmash factory is allocated 500,000 rubles to issue as bonuses to workers who excel in production.
  9. Consider that the State Committee of Defense decree requires:
    1. The People's Commissariat of Armament (comrade Ryabikov) and factory #9 (comrade Gonor) to deliver the following amounts of 85 mm D-5 guns:
      1. August: 110 starting supplies on August 23rd.
      2. September: 170
    2. The NKV (comrade Ryabikov), factory #9 (comrade Gonor) and the GAU (comrade Yakovlev) to resolve defects of the 85 mm D-5 gun found by the state commission during trials.
    3. Commander of the Tank and Mechanized Forces comrade Fedorenko must perform large scale trials of two SPGs with 85 mm guns jointly with the GAU (comrade Yakovlev).
    4. Until D-5 guns begin arriving, the Uralmash factory is permitted to perform QA runs of SU-85 SPGs with ballast instead of guns. Guns must be installed prior to delivery. All defects must be corrected by the factory after company exercises.
    5. The Secretary of the Sverdlovsk VKP(b) Regional Committee (comrade Adrianov) must provide necessary assistance to the Uralmash factory and factory #9 in the organization and completion of the SU-85 SPG and D-5 gun production plan.
  10. The State Committee of Defense promised to send to the Uralmash factory and factory #9 Deputy People's Commissar of Tank Production comrade Popov, Deputy People's Commissar of Armaments comrade Mirhazanov, Member of the Military Council of Armored and Mechanized Forces comrade Biryukov, and comrade Zhevannik from the GAU. They are instructed to provide any assistance to the factory required to carry out this GOKO decree.
  11. The State Committee of Defense approved the plans for production of D-5 guns and SU-85 SPGs according to attachment #1."


  1. Hi for everyone! I created second variant of my text about T-34 tank. New variant include informations about crewmembers survivability, optical devices, steering system and gearbox.

    In terms of entry about SU-85. In my opinion that's intresting that Soviets produced far smaller number of medium SPGs (SU-85, SU-100) than Germans, despite bigger tanks production. Maybe from factors which have impact on this situation one of them that's machine gun- in classic tank we can use coaxial MG in rotating turret. In casamate-style SPG usage MG located inside turret is more problematic due... lack of turret. Generelly, in my opinion Soviet SPGs show that lack of machine gun that's not untypical situation in SPG I.E. Ferdinand criticism can be biased.

  2. BTW- in my opinion SU-85 use pretty interesting crew placement. I think so, because archetypical Soviet tank use layout "commander on left, loader on right". IIRC in SU-85 loader stay in left side of fighting compartment, behind gunner (according drawing from Polish booklet). Of course, to be fair, I have found photo of scale model which show two seats located on right side of fighting compartment (rear seat for loader?). Maybe in SU-85, during ride, loader used seat located on right side of vehicle, but during loading maybe loader used space located behind gunner?

    Also, in my opinion SU-85 use pretty strange commander's vision device, which can be described as pseudo-cupola. Generally, SU-85 use rectangular bulge with two fixed periscopes on one panoramic periscope. In my opinion that's not real cupola due small number of vision devices, but from other hand, this vision device can be described as cupola equivlent.

    In SU-85 we have two fixed periscopes located on casamate top, behind pseudo-cupola. This design suggest that loader stay in right side of fighting compartment (contrary to my thought). But (loader's?) hatch was located on left side of casamate.

    Also, IIRC SU-85 don't have loader's hatch. Pretty strange situation, but IIRC similar situation we have in KV-1S (vision cupola without hatch). Also, maybe in SPG usage unbuttoned position was les important than in tank.

    1. *In last paragraph I think about lack of commander's hatch, not loader's hatch.