Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Engine Crisis

"To the Chair of the State Committee of Defense, comrade Stalin

T-34 and KV tanks, with their powerful armament and armour, showed themselves well in combat. However, due to a lack of diesel engines which have a rather low lifespan (100 engine-hours), a number of these tanks are unsuitable for combat.

There are no engines at NKO warehouses, and it is necessary to issue 20 engines for KV tanks and 150 engines for T-34 tanks. Based on projected engine usage and the current technical condition of tanks, we will need to replace 450-500 engines in July.

In total, before the end of 1941, based on the calculations of one engine per two tanks, it's necessary to get:
  • V-2K (for KV tanks): up to 1000 engines
  • V-2-34 (for T-34 tanks): up to 2000 engines
SNK decree issued on June 26th, 1941 #1749-756 only plans for the production of 520 engines in the second half of the year. Over 1.5 years, factories shipped only 85 spare diesel engines (1 engine per 22 tanks), which is not enough to support tank repairs.

I report that this kind of supply situation risks turning our combat vehicles to a condition unsuitable for fighting.

Considering that the repairs of diesel engines aren't set up and that the number of spares is negligible, the needs of tank forces can only be met through the production of new engines. 

I ask for your permission to increase the amount of produced engines and immediate creation of a repair facility at factory #75.

Chief of the General Staff, Army General Zhukov
GABTU Chief, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, Fedorenko."

CAMD RF 38-11355-94


  1. Am i reading this wrong or did they realy only managed to get 100 houres out of a diesel engine?

    1. The warranty period for the V-2 (the minimum time the engine has to work for in order for the factory to not be penalized) was 100 hours at the start of the war, yes.

    2. Ah that explains. Thank you! Any gues about the estimated lifetime? So far the only ww2 tank engine life time i came across was from a panther and it was 1500 houres if my memory serves me well.

    3. 1500 hours is an impossibly high estimate and was only reached by tank engines decades after.

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