Thursday, 13 February 2014

SU-76I Production Problems

"To the chief of the 1st Department, USA GBTU KA
Engineer-Major comrade Pestov
June 7th, 1943
On the topic of repair stock at factory #37

Report on the general condition of the repair stock at factory #37. In total, from February 1943 to June 5th 1943, 127 captured PzIII tanks and StuG SPGs on the PzIII chassis were delivered to the factory. Of the 127, 27 were delivered by factory #40, 27 from repair base #85, 15 from repair factory #8, 7 from the Kalinin Front, 35 from the South-Western Front, the remaining 15 from the SPG training center. Of those:
  1. 24 must be written off.
  2. 41 were repaired and converted to SU-76I.
  3. 30 are in the process of being converted.
Therefore, as of June 5th, 1943, 32 units are in stock and ready for repairs. Additionally, on June 5th, 1943, a transport arrived from Cherkizovo with 26 additional units. A quick inspection revealed that about 15 vehicles are suitable for repairs, the rest were burnt out and missing parts.

Most vehicles that arrive are either missing parts or have damaged components that cannot be repaired. The issue of drive wheels, magneto generators, gears, brake system gaskets, and others. Due to the incomplete vehicles and the inability to manufacture these parts locally, workers use parts from newly arrived vehicles. As a result, the 32 existing vehicles are "undressed" and missing important parts. In practice, from two vehicles, only one can be built. 

In the first months of production, when the vehicles came primarily from factory #40, repair base #82, and repair factory #8, there was no need to "undress" existing stock for assembly, and the stock was preserved. Currently, most stock comes from the South-West Front in poor condition, completeness, and suitability for repair. "Undressing" factory vehicles means delaying production. I think that the factory cannot meet the quotas assigned to it by the government with its current stock and its condition, unless it is urgently refilled. Additionally, the factory is soon going to have to provide regimental parts kits and repair kits, which will require an increased amount of stock.

Acting Military Representative at factory #37, Engineer-Captain Shitov."

A handwritten note at the bottom of the file reads "Measures to increase delivery of PzIIIs have been taken"

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