Tuesday, 23 August 2016

IS-2 #1

"Shipment act #2
March 28th, 1943, Chelyabinsk

We the undersigned, Military Representative of the GBTU TU Engineer-Major I.P. Skriptsov on one side and OP-2 plant foreman of factory #100 Nosov and factory #100 OTK chief A.N. Kubintsev on the other side compose the current act to accept the IS-2 tank by the military representative of the GBTU TU and the surrender of the tank by factory #100 after factory trials.

Monday, 22 August 2016

76 mm Regimental Gun Penetration

"To the People's Commissar of Defense, comrade I.V. Stalin.

I report that HEAT shells for the 76 mm mod. 1927  regimental cannon developed by the GAU Artkom on the basis of captured German shells were tried on May 23rd at the Sofrino proving grounds.

During trials against a 50 mm cemented plate, half of all fired shots resulted in complete penetrations with a diameter of 30 mm against both a flat plates and plates angled at 30 degrees.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Schwere Panzerbüchse 41

In 1942, the Allies captured an interesting anti-tank weapon designed for the German army and actively used on all fronts of WWII since 1914. Its distinguishing feature from other anti-tank rifles and cannons was its conical barrel, the caliber of which was larger at the breech than at the muzzle.

Officially, the gun was called 2,8 cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 (2,8 cm s.Pz.B. 41). German nomenclature placed it into the small arms category, but both the Red Army GAU and the military ministries of Great Britain and the United States classified it as artillery. The difference in classification comes from the fact that this weapon has all the characteristics of a cannon: carriage (upper and lower), shield, mount with a recoil brake, but the aiming was done by hand, by moving the gunner's body and moving the barrel up and down.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Easy Modernization: T-45 and Others

GABTU had to reach a compromise on many issues when it accepted the T-60 tank for service. It was obvious that this tank is inferior to the T-50 in nearly all characteristics, but its production could be set up very quickly and it could be produced by the thousands. However, GABTU was seriously worried about the tank's armament. Trials of the 20 mm TNSh gun showed that its penetration was equal to the DShK high caliber machinegun. It is not surprising that the issue of improving its armament was raised even before the first prototype was built. This modernization went in several directions, one of which resulted in the T-45 tank.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Faster, Better, Longer

"April 13th, 1939

To: Director of the Kirov factory, comrade Zaltsmann
CC: Military Representative of the AU at the Kirov Factory, Military Engineer 2nd Grade Buglak

Work on producing an experimental prototype of a tank gun 30 calibers in length is, for some unknown reason, lagging behind all reasonable timeframes, despite being a relatively simple job.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

T-50 Problems

"To the People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding, comrade Malyshev

I report that the proving grounds trials of the T-50 produced at factory #174 cannot be completed in the timeframe allotted by your order #009ss issued on January 7th, 1941, due to a series of design defects discovered in the trials process.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

TsKB-50 Aerosan Trials

"Central Committee of the VKP(b) decree II23/174 issued on December 10th, 1940, states that:
  1. TsKB-50: In accordance with the tactical-technical characteristics approved by the Committee of Defense of the SNK on December 11th, 1940, an experimental armoured aerosan must be developed, similar to the Tunguska sleds.
  2. NKVD factory #5:
    1. Assemble a full sized model in parallel with the design process, due on December 25th, 1940.
    2. Assemble a prototype by January 25th, 1941.
The assigned due dates for the model and prototype were met.

The experimental armoured aerosan consists of a Tunguska style two-skid sled 7.7 meters in length, 1.9 meters wide, with 0.4 meter wide skids (in the middle). The skis are wooden and the lower part is covered by 2 mm thick stainless steel. The skids are connected with a welded frame made from thin aircraft pipes. The frame cross-section resembled an arc with 400 mm clearance.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Iron Discipline

"Translated from German
2nd Tank Army HQ
April 19th, 1942

Daily Army Orders #22

Transfer orders

Transfer orders between types of forces and units purely out of personal interest reached unacceptably high levels.
I ask units to strictly check all such requests and consider if they reflect the interests of the army. Decline any requests for transfers that are unfounded and arise from personal gain for specific individuals. Only elevate requests for further review if it is clear that the transfer is in the interest of the armed forces.
Voluntary transfers into active units are exempt from this order.

German from Iberia

The Spanish Civil War began on July 17th, 1936. By the end of the month, the rebels gained the support of Italy and Germany, who promised, among other things, supplies of military hardware. In mid-August, Italian L3/35 tankettes arrived in Spain. German tanks arrived much later: 32 PzKpfw I Ausf. A tanks and one command vehicle were received in October of 1936. At approximately the same time, the first Soviet T-26es arrived in Spain and became the main opponents of the rebel tanks. As for the "Spanish" PzKpfw I Ausf. A, one of them became a Soviet trophy and was run through a whole spectrum of trials. What did the Soviet testers discover and what conclusions did they make?

Saturday, 13 August 2016

PzKpfw I: Panzerwaffe's First

German generals often call PzKpfw I and PzKpfw II tanks "training" tanks in their memoirs. This is true in some way, as many converted PzKpfw I tanks were used to train crews. However, during the development of these tanks, there wasn't a word uttered about training as their main function. The Wehrmacht's first tanks were created as typical light tanks of the early 1930s, which mostly had machinegun armament. With this design, the Germans aimed towards the ideal concept of a German tank, setting the foundation for all subsequent vehicles of the Third Reich. The first member in the family that would become the weapons of blitzkrieg was the PzKpfw I Ausf. A.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Night Driving

"To the Chief of the 3rd Department of the GABTU BTU, Engineer-Lieutenant-Colonel comrade Ivanov

Research into night vision devices based on passive IR started in about 1927-28. Until 1940, only the Red Army NIIST worked on this subject, but in 1940 BTU began to test night vision devices to drive cars at night on the suggestion of "Svetlana" factory staff.

As a result, spectacle-shaped night vision devices were produces and tested at the "Svetlana" factory and GABTU proving grounds.