In order to increase the robustness of T-34-85 turrets, factory #183 developed a new turret design with thicker front and sides (90 and 75 mm vs 52 mm).
The weight of the new turret is equal to 4800-4900 kg, as opposed to 4500 kg weight of the turret with 52 mm thick sides produced at factory #112. As a result, the mass of the T-34-85 tank with thickened armour is 32.3-32.4 tons as opposed to 32.0 tons for a T-34-85 tank with 52 mm thick turret armour.
The mass of the tank with thickened turret armour (32.3-32.4 tons) is within the tactical-technical characteristics approved by the State Committee of Defense on December 15th, 1943, for T-34-85 tanks (32.0-32.5 tons).
We deem it necessary for factories #183, #112, and #174 to begin producing T-34-85 tanks with the new turret with thickened walls.
The new turret with thickened walls requires the use of 71-L type steel with a higher nickel content than the currently used 8S steel.
The attached decree draft contains a schedule for gradually changing production to T-34-85 tanks with a thickened turret and transfer of 100 tons of nickel to the NKTP in the 2nd quarter from state reserves.
We ask you for your decision.
"State Committee of Defense Decree #5690s
April 20th, 1944
On improvement of T-34-85 turret armour
In order to improve the robustness of T-34-85 turret armour, the State Committee of Defense decrees that:
- The People's Commissariat of Tank Production (comrade Malyshev) must produce T-34-85 tanks with front and side turret armour thickened to 90-75 mm.
- At factory #183: beginning on April 1st, 1944
- At factory #112: beginning on July 1st, 1944
- At factory #174: beginning on October 1st, 1944
- Order the Main Directorate of State Material Reserves (comrade Danchenko) to free up and release to the NKTP 100 tons of nickel by April 25th, 1944.
Central Planning will reimburse the Main Directorate of State Material Reserves the requested amount of nickel in the 3rd quarter of 1944.
Chair of the State Committee of Defense, I. Stalin"