March 3rd, 1942
A. On single-shot gunpowder flamethrowers.
- Single-shot flamethrowers were developed according to the SNK decree #5830 from July 26th, 1941. Kirov factory, on its own initiative, promised to produce and install 250 flamethrowers on KV tanks in August of 1941 (military representative Shpitalov's report #703 file 9 p.25 1941).
- Trials of single-shot flamethrowers on KV tanks (file 14 p.11 1940) were executed according to orders from Lieutenant-General comrade Fedorenko (file 120-2 p.13 1940 to #063 on August 5th, 1941). Trials commissions found the flamethrowers satisfactory and recommended their immediate production and installation on KV and T-34 tanks.
In the first days of October of 1941, a document was addressed to Deputy Chair of the SNK, comrade Malyshev, saying that due to increase in automatic ATO-41, the need for single-shot tank flamethrowers waned. The document was shown to Major-General comrade Lebedev, and he agreed that the need for single-shot flamethrowers has passed.
- As a temporary measure before the production of flamethrower tanks, high explosive flamethrowers on T-34 tanks and single-shot flamethrowers on trawls are used.
- As the production of ATO-41 flamethrowers is delayed and HE flamethrowers mounted on T-34 tanks are heavy, clumsy, and uncomfortable to use, single-shot flamethrowers must be converted to be used on regular T-34 tanks. For this it is necessary to:
- Remove the defects of single-shot flamethrowers mentioned in the trials acts.
- Instruct the People's Commissariat of Tank Production to install 400 single shot flamethrowers on T-34 tanks in the second quarter of this year, specifically 150 tanks at factory #183, 150 tanks at STZ, and 100 tanks at factory #112.
- No less than a month is needed for production of single-shot flamethrowers to ramp up.
- The automatic flamethrower design proposed by comrade Novikov is not novel. The proposed design is not worked out and is incomplete. For example, it lacks a receiver, air reductor, and valves.
- The flamethrower pistol produced at GVHU KA is already mastered by production lines.
- The weakest link of the system is the consumption of diesel vapours from the engine cylinders. The use of these vapours to reach a pressure of 30-40 atmospheres is complicated. These vapours contain oil and incompletely combusted fuel, which will reduce the reliability of the valve. Factory #183 engineers are at work on this issue, but no satisfactory answer has been found. The author proposes a diagram, and not a solution. He has no valve blueprints.
- The production of a prototype using comrade Novikov's designs is premature. It is necessary to instruct the People's Commissariat of Tank Production to develop and test such a valve that would regulate the collection of vapour in order to produce the pressure of 30-40 atmospheres in a reservoir."