From September 3rd to September 5th, Lieutenant-Colonel Demyanenko, Engineer Sorvin, and Engineer Prishipenko visited the Chrysler tank factory. The goal of the visit were:
- Familiarization with the design of the Chrysler gasoline tank engine and collection of data on its performance, especially in winter.
- Familiarization with the Chrysler tank factory for evaluation of its production capacity.
- Personal driving of the M4A4 medium tanks on a proving grounds to obtain necessary data for comparison with M3 and M4A2 medium tanks.
- The amount of turret base production machinery was counted.
- The amount of turret ring teeth cutting machines was counted.
Based on our estimates, this is the bottleneck in the production.
Note: turrets arrive at the factory already cast, in need of mechanical finishing.
- By asking the factory direction (a real enthusiast of his craft), an chief engineer, we learned the time it takes to finish the bottom of the turret and the turret ring teeth.
- The M4A4 is undoubtedly superior to the M3, and has superior mobility and acceleration.
- The 40 degree grade coming out of the stream can be traversed by the M4A4 tank in second gear, while the M3 tank can only traverse it in first gear.
- The M4A4 tank has a more comfortable driver's compartment than the M3.
- Both tanks are definitely worse compared to our T-34, and possibly even the KV.
- The Chrysler tank factory is the one of the newest and largest tank factories not only in the US, but in the world. All factory equipment (machines, devices, cutting and measuring tools, valves, and internal transportation) is new, mostly produced in 1939-1942.
- The factory is currently capable of releasing 1000 tanks monthly. This capacity is guaranteed by the company engine plant, which produces 35 tank engines daily.
- The factory produces the M4A4 medium tank with a gasoline engine. This tank is used by the American army and is mass produced at all American tank factories capable of producing medium tanks.
Note: the M4 medium tank is available in four modifications:
- M4A1 with a Wright air-cooled gasoline engine.
- M4A2 with two General Motors water-cooled diesel engines.
- M4A3 with a special 6-cylinder Ford water-cooled gasoline engine.
- M4A4 with a 30-cylinder Chrysler water-cooled engine.
- The M4A4 tank is identical to the M4A2 (as well as other M4 modifications) in hull design, suspension, armament, observation devices, and communications devices.
The M4A2 is well known in the Soviet Union from previously sent documents, and all of its drawbacks are repeated on the M4A4 (high ground pressure, height, insufficient amount of vision devices, difficulty in installation and removal of components, difficulty in service, etc)
The tank's mobility (speed, maneuverability), ability to cross obstacles, and hp/ton is nearly identical to the M4A2 tank with the General Motors engine.
The M4A4 is superior to the M3, both in the engine, which works on much lower octane gas (65-70) and is water-cooled, and the mobility.
- Overall, thanks to a lack of experienced tank designers, the Chrysler factory is building tanks whose design and combat performance does not measure up to the potential of such a first-class tank building giant.