"To deputy commander of the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the Red Army, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Korobkov
According to your orders, in addition to the conclusions of the trial commission at factory #183, I report that:
As stated by the commission, the T-44 is superior to the T-34 in its main tactical-technical characteristics. However, the commission did not think it possible to recommend the tank for adoption until the removal of detected defects and subsequent re-trials.
In addition, in order to recommend the T-44, the commission thinks that it is necessary to perform gunnery trials in order to test some of its components, such as the driver's cupola, rear, and lower front plate, the design of which may be questionable from the point of view of shell resistance.
The commission may only make the recommendation for adoption of this tank after these trials.
Commission chair, Guards Colonel Kulchitskiy
March 10th, 1944"
And so, to the firing range!
The driver's cupola was indeed vulnerable.
"Damage to the driver's hatch after being hit by shell #7.
Photo #15: The hatch opened. The hatch latch was torn off.
The commission was right about the design of the rear plate, too. After a half a dozen hits to the side, the rear plate peeled off.
"Photo #9. Incomplete weld connecting the side and the upper rear plate."
This was only the first iteration of the T-44 hull. Its future contained a lot more redesigns, gradually flowing into the T-54.