Wednesday 13 July 2022

T-34 Commander's Cupolas

 "Order of the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR #338
June 9th, 1943

On installation of commander's cupolas in T-34 tanks

In carrying out State Committee of Defense decree #3531ss, I order to:

  1. Approve a commander's cupola with the following specifications for installation on T-34 tanks:
    1. The commander's cupola is installed in the existing two-hatch turret instead of the commander's hatch.
    2. The commander's cupola has five vision slits covered in triplex bulletproof glass and a MK-4 periscope (English type) in the rotating lid of the cupola that allow for 360 degree observation.
    3. The lid of the cupola consists of two separate halves and must allow the crew to enter and exit the tank turret.
  2. Deputy Chief of the Department of the Chief Designer (comrade Ber) must present production blueprints for the cupola produced by factory #183 by June 10th. 
    The blueprints must be approved by the GBTU.
  3. Factory directors (#183, comrade Maksarev, Kirov factory, comrade Dlugach, #112, comrade Rubinchik, Uralmash, comrade Muzrukov, #174, comrade Zadorozhniy) must begin production of T-34 tanks with commander's cupolas meeting the aforementioned technical requirements in the following amounts:


    Number of tanks with commander’s cupolas








    All T-34 tanks must have commander’s cupolas as of August 1st, 1943











    All T-34 tanks must have commander’s cupolas as of September 1st, 1943





    Until the People's Commissariat of Armament begins supplying MK-4 observation devices, the People's Commissariat of Tank Production is permitted to produce cupolas without them, provided that it is possible to install them in the field.
  4. Chief of Supply comrade Rozin must consider this decree and aid organization of production of MK-4 observation devices (English type) for T-34 tanks by People's Commissar of Armaments comrade Ustinov and Chief of the 2nd Main Directorate comrade Dobrovolskiy in the following amounts:
    • In July of 1943: 150
    • August: 700
    • September: 1500
    • October: 2000
      and 4000 monthly starting in November of 1943.
      Observation devices are to be distributed among the factories in accordance with the tank production program.
  5. All tank factory directors must immediately take measures and plan steps to implement production of tanks with commander's cupolas in the deadlines specified by the GOKO.
People's Commissar of Tank Production, I. Zaltsman"

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