Sunday, 19 January 2014

Rough Handling at Aberdeen

I talked about the summaries of tests at Aberdeen, but this document should shine more light on the proceedings, as it was written specifically from an engineer's standpoint.

"To the People's Commissar of External Trade, comrade Mikoyan
July 14th, 1943

I report the following on the report of engineer comrade Prishepenko from the Tank Department and his discussion with Robert Pollack:
  1. One KV-1 and one T-34 were sent to the USA through Arkhangelsk in the end of August, 1942.
  2. The KV-1 was produced at the Kirov factory in Chelyabinsk. The T-34 was produced at factory #183 in Nizhniy Tagil.
  3. The tanks were assembled under closer supervision than usual, and tested more carefully than for mass production tanks.
  4. Their designs were not different from mass production models.
  5. In July 1942, before the tanks were sent to the US, BTU GABTU KA sent blueprints, instructions, and manuals on the tanks, as well as lists of design changes made in 1942 compared to the tanks described in the manuals to comrade Krutikov, to give to US general Famoville. 
  6. Since general Famonville wanted these items shipped by plane, they would have arrived in America before the tanks.
    Since then, we received no further requests for manuals of explanations.
  7. Our manuals are much more detailed than the American or English ones. They contain instructions on the calibration and service of individual mechanisms.
  8. Because of this, the complains that Robert Pollack made in the discussion with comrade Prishepenko about certain components in the KV differing from those in the instructions are unfounded, as they were told this, and given necessary errata.
  9. The KV and T-34 had R-9 radios and not 71TK-3 radios (obsolete models removed from production). This fact was also communicated through the errata.
  10. Our tanks were sent with a large amount of spare parts, unlike American and English tanks. After their request, we sent them a new KV friction clutch.
  11. How they managed to destroy the KV final drives is unknown. It is a very strong component of the vehicle, and very rarely breaks in practice. It is very likely that they adjusted them very incorrectly.
All of these complaints are due to the American command refusing help from our engineers working in America at this time, and never requested service instruments for our tanks.

Attachment on five pages.
Deputy chief of the Mechanized and Armoured Forces of the Red Army, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, Korobkov.
Deputy GBTU Chief, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Engineering Forces, Lebedev"
CAMD RF 38-11355-1377


  1. Why does the T-34 sent to Aberdeen look like it was made in the summer of 1941 but the one sent to Bovington look like it was made in the summer of 1942?

    1. Because the Americans ended up with a refurbished vehicle while the British got a new one.

  2. Sounds like the usual charming mix of American stupidity and arrogance...

    1. If these were the same T-34 and KV-1 that consistently broke down during testing, had turret traverse problems and other lovely features, I wouldn't be bitching about "American stupidity and arrogance" if I were you.

    2. Tanks tend to do that when you don't read the manual.