Thursday, 23 January 2020

Sore Feet

"Cipher telegram
Top secret
Do not copy
TO: 1st Baltic Front
Deputy Commander of Armoured and Mechanized Forces, Colonel Karpenko

The 21 M4A2 tanks that arrived do not have a single spare road wheel with them.

During a march between Shvibuk and Arnsvalde 24 road wheels broke due to low quality rubber. I ask you to urgently give orders to issue spare road wheels for M4A2 tanks and give us directions on where to receive them.

Chief of Armoured and Mechanized Vehicles of the 7th Guards Cavalry Corps, Guards Colonel Kravtsov

Sent: March 1st, 1945 12:30
Received: March 1st, 1945 13:00"

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Kotin's Visit

Despite being promoted to very high posts, Zh.Ya. Kotin did not restrict his work to the office and visited the front lines frequently. On October 7th, 1942, he dropped by the 1st battalion of the 3rd Guards Tank Brigade to check up on KV tanks.

"October 7th, 1942.
The battalion is in the same location, continuing to repair materiel.
At 17:00 the designer of the KV tank, Hero of Socialist Labout, Major General of the Engineering Forces Kotin arrived with the commander of the 7th Tank Corps, and the commander and commissar of the 3rd Guards Heavy Tank Brigade.

Major General Kotin talked with the crews and asked about issues of preserving and using the vehicles. He was surprised by the state of affairs where the tanks have been running for 250-300 hours and many of them are still in service.
At 18:00 the commanders left."

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Drive Me Closer

"Award Order
  1. Name: Aleksey Georgievich Lebedev
  2. Rank: Guards Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: Mechanic-driver, 1st tank battalion, 5th Guards Tank Brigade
    is nominated for the Order of the Red Star.

Monday, 20 January 2020

How to Kill a Tiger

There were many guides on how to take out Tiger tanks printed in the Red Army. I've shown two of them here, but this one is a lot more detailed.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Optimal Modernization

GKO decree #3892ss "On organization of 85 mm SPGs on the T-34 chassis at the Uralmash factory" was signed on August 8th, 1943. The first 100 vehicles of this type were ready by early September. The SU-85 ended up being the most numerous Soviet SPG of the war. However, the question of its successor was already raised at the start of its production. The cause of this was information from the Kursk salient about new German Panther tanks and Ferdinand SPGs. A program to develop a gun more powerful than the D-5 was launched in September of 1943. The result was the SU-100, the best Soviet medium SPG of the war.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Night Vision Conclusions

"Conclusions on night driving devices for the T-34

The devices for driving tanks at night did not prove themselves.
  1. The field of view is weak.
  2. Only vertical objects are well defined. Terrain and horizontal objects are nearly invisible.
  3. Vision range is short.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020


"Award Order

  1. Name: Gryazev, Vasiliy Fyodorovich
  2. Rank: Guards Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: gunner in an M4A2 tank, 1st tank battalion 5th Guards Tank Brigade
    Is nominated for the Order of the Red Star.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Guided Tour

"July 15th, 1942

To commanders of units and formations, chiefs of directorates and departments of the 5th Army

Copy for: 20th TBr

Information was received that commanders do not recognize English and American tanks used by our army and confuse them for enemy tanks. In order to avoid friendly fire, the commander orders that:
  1. The Deputy Commander of Tank Forces must organize two sessions of tank demonstrations. Demonstrate MS, MK, MK-II, MK-III tanks with a commander of each that can explain tactical-technical characteristics of each tank.

Monday, 13 January 2020

IS #1 and #2

"To the People's Commissar of Tank Production, comrade I.M. Zaltsmann

In accordance with the GOKO decree and your orders, the Kirov factory and factory #100 jointly produced two IS tanks, one with a 76 mm gun (IS-1) and one with a 122 mm gun (IS-2).

Both tanks were built in accordance with the tactical-technical characteristics outlined in the GOKO decree:

Up to 38.5 tons (37,160)
Up to 39.5 tons (37,900)
Top speed
55 kph
55 kph
8-speed gearbox, planetary turning mechanism, planetary final drives
120 mm cast front
100 mm cast turret platform, turret
90 mm rolled sides
V-2K 600 hp with electro-inertial starter
V-2K 600 hp with electro-inertial starter
76 mm F-34 gun
3 DT machine guns (coax, rear in turret, hull)
122 mm gun
2 DT machine guns (coax and hull)
80-85 76 mm rounds
32 machine gun magazines
30-35 122 mm rounds
32 machine gun magazines

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Whisper Quiet

When firearms were invented, the loud noise produced by a gunshot was more of an advantage than a drawback, especially when it was used against "old school" armies. With time, the demoralizing effect of the sound and flame of a gunshot became effective only against savages, but became very troublesome for the weapon's operator. Introduction of various types of special forces made this issue a pressing one, and by the start of the 20th century inventors began to combat it.