Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lend-Lease Replacement

"To the deputy chair of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, comrade Mikoyan

On the issue of American tank shipments in 1943, I report that:
  1. We received two types of tanks from America in 1942, M3 light and M3 medium.
    Additionally, caravan #19 brought 26 M4-A2 tanks into the USSR (medium type).
  2. In battle, the M3 light and M3 medium tanks demonstrate many defects, drastically reducing their combat effectiveness.
  3. The main defects are as follows:
    1. The tanks ignite easily when shot.
    2. The tanks are large, and have many vertical armour plates, which results in the tanks being vulnerable to even low caliber anti-tank guns.
    3. Low reliability of American engines of the aircraft type installed in these tanks.
    4. It is not possible to use the 75 mm howitzer on the M3 medium tank when the tank is dug in, as the cannon ends up at ground level. The front two machine guns are unusable for the same reason.
These defects were reported in July of 1942. Based on this information, I believe it to be nonsensical to continue purchasing M3 medium and M3 light tanks from America. Instead, M4-A2 tanks should be purchased in the same numbers.

The M4-A2 has the same suspension, transmission, and lower hull as the M3 medium. The top part of the hull has sloped armour. The turret contains a 75 mm cannon with a coaxial machine gun. Instead of a gasoline engine, the tank is powered by two diesel "General Motors" engines, with a combined power of 375 hp. The M4-A2 tank is the latest model of medium tank, and better matches modern requirements.

A downside of the M4-A2 tank is the scorching of the injector nozzle and cylinder pistons. The chief of the American military mission, General Faymonville and Lieutenant-Colonel Gray know of this defect. The latter considers it easily preventable with tractor type nozzles (type A), 300 of which were requested from America by airplane.

The M4-A2 tank will be delivered with a replacement engine nozzle, rubber-metal tracks, and spurs on every track link. Additionally, please purchase the following in America:
  1. Half-track M2 APCs (with armament).
  2. Half-armoured M3-A1 recon cars.
  3. Mobile tank workshops.
  4. Special high capacity cargo trucks.
Waiting for your orders.

Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, Korobkov
Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, Biryukov"
CAMD RF 38-11355-1722

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