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          Friday, 3 September 2021

          New Gun for the KV-2

           "To the Director of the Kirov Factory, comrade Zaltsman
          CC: Chief of the GABTU, Lieutenant General of the Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko
          CC: Chief of the GAU, Colonel General of Artillery, comrade Yakovlev

          Following government decree, we produced two experimental prototypes of 107 mm ZIS-6 tank guns and began mass production. According to the decree, we installed one of the two prototypes into a KV-2 tank and conducted trials, the second prototype is to be installed in a KV-3 tank.

          Due to a delay in the mass production of the KV-3, we propose installing ZIS-6 guns into the KV-2 tank.

          In order to reduce the time spent on developing the mount, we send out blueprints for the frame and mantlet developed by our factory for the ZIS-6 prototype.

          Attachments: blueprints and specifications on 4 pages (only on the copy sent to the Kirov factory).

          Factory Director Elyan
          Chief Designer Grabin

          July 22nd, 1941"

          Via Padikovo Museum.

          Wednesday, 1 September 2021

          Arty Intel

           "To the Chairman of the GAU Artillery Committee, Major General of Artillery, comrade Hohlov

          There are three captured weapons at army trophy warehouse #2375 (Budka Chichakovo railroad junction) belonging to the 31st Army that are of interest for study at the Artillery Committee, namely:

          1. A 57 mm anti-tank gun with a conical barrel, presumably designed according to the Gerlich principle. The barrel length is 65 calibers. The gun has a muzzle brake and split trails.

          Monday, 30 August 2021

          Evolution and Revolution

          March 29th, 1945, was an important date for Soviet tank building. The IS-3 tank, the result of a deep modernization of the IS-2 launched in April of 1944, was accepted into service on that day. The IS-3 had a complex fate. The army did not initially want to mass produce it, although the decision to do so later proved correct. The IS-3 was the last Soviet tank to be accepted into service during the Great Patriotic War. It did not reach the battlefield, but it worked flawlessly on the ideological front. The appearance of IS-3 tanks at the Victory Parade in Berlin was a true shock for the Western Allies, and this tank remained the gold standard for a modern fighting vehicle for seven years.

          Friday, 27 August 2021

          Fine Vintage


          1. The amount of artillery systems held at warehouse #727 that are fully equipped (sans breech blocks) is as follows:
            1. 107 mm model 1877: 32 units or 8 batteries
            2. 152 mm 2 tonners: 68 units or 17 batteries
            3. 120 mm French guns: 12 units or 3 batteries
              Other systems including 127 and 152 mm British guns and 2-pood guns cannot be used as there are no shells or sights for them.

          Wednesday, 25 August 2021

          T-34 Experience

           "On the use of tanks in the 229th Tank Regiment of the 70th Proskurov Order of the Red Banner Order of Suvorov Order of Kutuzov 2nd class Mechanized Brigade during the Patriotic War

          During the Patriotic War of 1941-1945 most of the materiel supplied to the regiment was the same in quality. In early parts of the war the regiment received T-34 tanks with the 75 mm [sic] gun. With the introduction of the T-34-85 tanks, the regiment received T-34-85 tanks until the end of the war, primarily from the Tagil factory.

          Monday, 23 August 2021

          Temperamental Columbina

          Even though the Red Army understood the need for a light SPG even before the war, the SU-76's road to the battlefield was long and difficult. Despite popular belief he USSR's manufacturing capabilities were not as great as those of the Western Allies, who didn't need to move their factories thousands of kilometers and set up in an empty field. The front line troops would have been happy to have light tanks, SPAAGs, and tracked APCs, and captured or Lend Lease vehicles of this type were happily used. However, only the SU-76 could be had in sufficient amounts, a vehicle that received mixed impressions.

          Friday, 20 August 2021

          Winter Camo

           "GABTU Scientific Research Proving Grounds

          Proving Grounds Chief Colonel Romanov, December 15th, 1941

          Proving Grounds Commissar, Regimental Commissar Dolgov, December 16th, 1941

          Conclusions regarding experimental winter camouflage of armoured vehicles


          On orders from the GABTU, T-34, T-50, BT, T-26, and T-40 tanks were painted in winter camouflage patterns between September 19th and October 2nd, 1941. The trials were performed at the GABTU proving grounds.

          The goal of the trials was to:

          1. Establish the pattern that was the most effective at breaking up the outline and shape of the tanks.
          2. Establish the shade of colours that blend together with the surroundings in winter.
          3. Develop a formula for paint that is sufficiently resilient and easy to produce.
          After the pattern, colour, and formula are selected, the proving grounds will apply it to samples of all vehicles used by the Red Army. After experimental camouflage is applied, an instruction manual on winter painting will be composed and requirements will be distributed to factories.

          Wednesday, 18 August 2021

          New Amphibious Tank

           "January 9th, 1938
          1st Department of factory #37

          To the Chief of the ABTU, Corps Commander Pavlov
          CC: Chief of the 8th Main Directorate of the NKOP, Brigade Engineer Sviridov

          RE: engine and armour for the amphibious tank

          ABTU letters #184910s dated December 11th, 1937 and #183939s dated October 26th, 1937, state that the 6-cylinder Dodge engine must be used in the amphibious tank that is under development and the armour should be made in two layers, 3+7 mm, preferably at an angle. 

          Monday, 16 August 2021

          Object 140: A Promising Loser

          Soviet tank building appeared as one straight continuous line. The opening of the archives showed that there were many deviations from it, small and large branches leading to dead ends. The story of Nizhniy Tagil's "new medium tank" indexed Object 140 is well known today. The label "unfortunate" firmly stuck to it, given by the tank's creator himself.

          Friday, 13 August 2021

          85 mm Gun for the KV-1

           "Order for  the People's Commissariat of Tank Production of the USSR
          November 11th, 1941

          In order to widely use artillery systems that are being mass produced at the factories of the People's Commissariat of Tank Production, design and install the M-30 system and the 85 mm AA gun into the KV tank. To do this:

          1. Director of the Izhora factory, comrade Muzrukov, must:
            1. Provide detailed blueprints for mounting the M-30 gun in the KV tank no later than November 15th and produce a prototype, install it in a turret, and send it to the Kirov factory for trials no later than December 15th.
            2. Develop a draft project for installing the 85 mm AA gun in a KV tank and send to me for approval by November 20th.
            3. When developing detailed blueprints for the M-30 and draft blueprints for the 85 mm gun use components that are already being produced by the Izhora factory wherever possible.
          2. Chief Engineer comrade Ryzhkov and Chief of the 5th Department comrade Bulyshev at the Izhora factory are responsible for the completion of this work.
          3. Chief of the Ammunition Department comrade Levshin must resolve the issue of armour piercing ammunition for the M-30 and 85 mm gun by November 20th of this year.
          4. Chief of the Ammunition Department comrade Levshin is responsible for ensuring the completion of this order.
          Deputy People's Commissar of Tank Production, Kotin"

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