Friday 5 November 2021

American Review

 "Materials from the USA War Department describing Soviet T-70, T-34, KV-1, and KV-2 tanks

To the Chief of Staff of the Armoured and Motorized Forces, Major General of the Tank Forces comrade Salminov

I present to you materials received from the USA War Department describing Soviet T-70, T-34, KV-1, and KV-2 tanks.

This material was composed by the training department of the US Army Air Force to familiarize American personnel with identifying foreign tanks.

Attachment: the aforementioned on 5 pages
For your eyes only

Chief of the 2nd Directorate of Red Army Main Intelligence Directorate, Major General Khlopov
October 15th, 1943

Russian T-40 tank

This is a three man tank weighing 12.5 tons. The turret of the tank is not large, compact, with highly sloped sides, flat roof, small truncation in the bustle, and sloped front plate.

A 47 mm gun is installed with a coaxial machine gun in a large curved mantlet that covers almost the whole turret front.

The hull of the tank rises far above the tracks and has a highly sloped front, flat central part, and characteristically sloped rear.

The rear of the tank protrudes past the tracks slightly, then slopes down suddenly towards the floor of the tank.

The running gear has five evenly spaced bogies and three return rollers that support the track.

Length: 13'8", width: 7'5", height: 6'6"

This excellent tank is the latest Russian light tank. The Russians experimented with light tanks for a long time and developed several types stemming from an earlier model amphibious tank.

The design is modern and simple, specially designed for mass production. The hull is fully welded. The T-40 offers a very low silhouette for the enemy's anti-tank gun fire.

This tank is one of the fastest tracked carriages in operational use and is stable at high speed.

The tank has been criticized due to the noise its engines make. Two Ford V-8 engines are coupled sequentially with no mufflers, making a lot of noise.

The tank uses a skillfully designed steel track that on one hand adds to the engine noise, but has good pull and is resistant to wear.

The design of the T-40 is very interesting since it has a front drive. All other Russian tanks currently in use have a rear drive.

The tank is well armed and protected. Thick steel plates are installed at an angle, which increases their ricocheting force.

The visibility is excellent for the commander and the driver.

The modern tendency to place the turret of the tank closer to the front is observed in this tank as well. The turret hatch is hinged at the front to offer some protection to the commander when open.

The main gun thickens noticeably at the base of the barrel. There are only two hatches in the tank: one in the front for the driver and one in the turret for the turret crew.

The small and fast T-40 tank gives the impression of complete effectiveness.

Equipped with two Ford V-8 liquid cooled 85 hp engines, the tank has a top speed of 55 miles per hour and a cruising range of 200 miles.

The main armament consists of one 47 mm gun with a coaxial 7.6 mm machine gun in a large curved mantlet. There is no other protruding armament.

The armour thickness ranges from 1/2" to 1 1/4".

Russian T-34 tank

Crew: 4, weight: 30.5 tons. The turret is small and aerodynamic with highly sloped sides, truncated front corners, flat roof, and sloped rear.

The 76.2 mm gun is mounted in a thick protruding gun mantlet. The turret is located in the front of the hull, which has a flat roof and sloped sides. Five large bogeys fully fill very wide unprotected tracks.

Length: 19'6", width: 9'10", height: 7'11"

The T-34 tank is the most powerful weapon in the hands of the Red Army. This is one of the most wonderful tanks in operational use and offers a surprise for other nations.

It appeared in large amounts to overcome the German invasion and earned unprecedented praise from German commanders. Its effective gun, skillfully sloped powerful armour, stunning speed, and high mobility make it a difficult opponent to fight.

The metallic plate armour is excellent in strength and design. Its position at high slopes results in frequent ricochets. The tank's low profile allows it to be used from ambush. It makes for a small target for enemy anti-tank fire.

The 76.2 mm Russian gun is one of the best tank guns in the world. It is positioned in the front of the T-34 tank.

The cast turret is made in the form of a shell that appears to be leaning forward to strike at the enemy. The low hull with its slanted lines, wide tracks, and five enormous bogeys create the impression that the T-34 tank spells disaster for German Panzer divisions.

The tank is equipped with one V-12 V-2 liquid cooled diesel engine that develops up to 500 hp. The tank has a top speed of 30 miles per hour and a cruising range of 185 miles.

The main armament of the T-34 tank is one 76.2 mm gun with a coaxial 7.6 mm machine gun. The gun mantlet protrudes with the gun and has a massive impressive profile.

Auxiliary armament consist of a 7.6 mm machine gun in the front on the right side. There is also a 7.6 mm machine gun carried inside the tank.

The armour thickness ranges from 3/4" to 2 3/4".

Russian KV-1 tank

This is a heavy tank. Crew: 5, weight: 55 tons. The turret is very large and has a low and powerful profile, characterized by slanted lines and a noticeably truncated bustle.

The top of the turret is flat and hexagonal if viewed from above. The rear of the turret is square. The front of the turret is sloped with a curved gun mantlet that has a 76.2 mm gun and a coaxial machine gun.

The turret is installed in the center of a long hull with a flat roof. Six large tightly packed bogeys and three large return rollers support the very wide track.

Size: length: 21'11", width: 10'11", height: 9'2"

The KV-1 tank is a modern Russian tank. Its clean silhouette is distinctive from any enemy tank of the same size.

It has the same engine as the T-34 tank (V-12 diesel) but the engine is highly regulated and the gearing is reduced. The gears can only be changed when the tank is stopped due to its enormous weight.

Initially it was criticized for its weak clutch, but new KB-1 tanks have a more powerful clutch that overcomes the tank's initial weaknesses. Clutch and gearbox weaknesses can show themselves in the future due to incredibly high demand on the engine due to the tank's weight, but any drawback is compensated by the tank's combat features.

The tank's thick armour allows it to overcome any enemy artillery fire. Aside from a direct hit by a high caliber weapon, this tank is very difficult to disable.

Even if disabled, the tank can maintain heavy fire until reinforcements chase the Germans back. One of these KV-1 tanks had six German Tigers to its credit during the July 1943 German offensive.

Variants with reinforced armour can be distinguished by protruding bolt heads that hold the additional armour on to the main armour.

Two or three cylindrical fuel tanks are often located on each side of the tank on top of the fenders.

The very wide tracks and smooth design give the tank a neat and reliable look.

The tank is equipped with a 600 hp liquid cooled V-12 V-2K engine. Its top speed is 21 miles per hour and cruising range is 140 miles.

The KV-1's main armament consists of one 76.2 mm gun with a coaxial 7.6 mm machine gun mounted in a highly curved mantlet.

Auxiliary armament consists of a 7.6 mm machine gun in the rear and 7.6 mm machine gun in the front to the left of the hull. There are also two spare machine guns carried inside in case the tank breaks down in enemy territory.

The thickness of the KV-1's armour ranges from 1" to 3".

KV-2 Russian tank

The KV-2 tank is a heavy tank. Crew: 5. Weight: 57 tons. The tank's turret is large and massive. The turret has a box-like shape when viewed from any side and is quite original.

A large long barreled 152 mm gun is installed in a giant curved mantlet that fills the upper part of the turret.

The turret is installed in the middle of a long hull with a flat top that is sloped in the front. Six small tightly packed bogeys support a wide unprotected track.

Size: length: 23"7', width: 10'11", height: 10'10"

The KV-2 tank is a variant of the KV-1 tank with more powerful armament. The same chassis as the KV-1 was adapted for the KV-2 tank with its enormous cubic turret that mounts either a 122 or 152 mm gun. 

Usually the KV-2 mounts a 152 mm gun, giving it the most powerful armament of all modern tanks. Thanks to its heavy weight, it can only cross the strongest bridges. There are many reports of damaged bridges.

The tank's turret weighs 10 tons. Because of this it is usually removed in transit and moved separately.

One drawback of the tank is its inability to rotate the turret if it's tilted. The large gun does not use fixed ammunition, but has a separate charge for each shell. As a result the rate of fire is relatively low.

These drawbacks are largely compensated by thick armour which makes the tank difficult to disable.

The KV-2 tank is usually used as a self propelled howitzer, firing from concealed positions.

Many features of the KV-2 tank point to foreign influence. For instance, the torsion bar suspension with no visible shock absorbers are a characteristic of German tanks, while the small button-like periscopes are copied from Swedish designs.

Overall, the KV-2 tank is an original tank among modern fighting vehicles, and its cubic turret and powerful gun are symbols of Russian might and decisiveness. 

The tank is equipped with a 600 hp liquid cooled V-12 V-2K engine. Its top speed is 16 miles per hour and cruising range is 125 miles.

The main armament of the KV-2 tank consists of a 152 mm gun mounted in a massive mantlet. Auxiliary armament consists of a 7.6 mm machine gun in the front to the left of the hull and sometimes a 7.6 mm machine gun in the rear of the turret. A spare machine gun is carried inside in case of unforeseen circumstances.

The thickness of the KV-2's armour ranges from 1" to 4".

CAMD RF F.38 Op.11355a D.360r L.138-143
Printed in Glavnoye Bronetankovoye Upravleniye Lyudi, Sobytiya, Fakty v dokumentakh, 1943-1944 p.410

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