Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Project Management

"To the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR, comrade Malyshev

NKTP factories are busy with design and production of new experimental prototypes and modernization of existing tanks, both by your orders and on their own initiative.

This work, as a rule, is performed without prior approval of projects by GBTU, who is only given ready prototypes for trials. During trials, many noticeable drawbacks are discovered that lower the combat quality of the vehicles, which could have been discovered by joint inspection of the technical drafts.

Monday, 16 January 2017

T-34 Prototype Mobility Trials

"4. Off-road Performance

General off-road performance characteristics of the T-34 tank:
  • Combat mass: 25.6 tons
  • Ground pressure: 0.60 kg/cm²
  • Contact surface length: 5219.3 mm
  • Grouser height: 650 mm
  • Effective power: 19.5 hp/ton

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Czechoslovakian Tank Building: First Steps

In the late 1930s, Czechoslovakia was the second largest exporter of tanks in the world. A small Eastern European country that only obtained independence in 1918 began to catch up with Great Britain, the world leader in arms exports. Of course, such impressive leaps in only 20 years of independence didn't start with nothing. The first steps were made with inspiration from the British and German tank building schools. This experience resulted in a series of experimental vehicles and the mass produced LT vz. 34 light tank.

Friday, 13 January 2017

F-39 95 mm gun

F-95 tank gun.

The project never moved past the draft stage. The same, however, cannot be said for its towed predecessor.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

NATI-D Trials

  1. The trialed experimental prototype of the "D" tractor demonstrated satisfactory average speed characteristics, good maneuverability, simplicity of service and control, and can cross the required slopes on grassy terrain while towing divisional artillery. The performance and smoothness are a significant improvement over the STZ-5 tractor.
    Tractor "D" can be accepted into service as a transport for divisional artillery.
    In order to increase off-road performance, grousers must be included for tracks.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Comparative Penetration


1. As a result of trials of D-25 (122 mm) and D-10 (100 mm) tank guns, the following penetration ranges against the upper front plate of the Panther tank were established:

Distance of complete penetration
122 mm D-25
Armour piercing
100 mm D-10
Armour piercing
German 88 mm gun (Ferdinand SPG)
Armour piercing
German 75 mm gun (Panther tank)
Armour piercing
No penetration

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Medium Tank Mk.III: Britain's Cerberus

By the middle of the 1920s, the British army received a new generation of medium tanks that served for a long time. The Medium Tank Mk.I and Medium Tank Mk.II became the first turreted medium tanks in the world. A good design and high reliability guaranteed a long life for these tanks, but by 1926, the British military was already thinking about their replacement. A Vickers design, the Medium Tank Mk.III, was suitable for the job. Even though the rather interesting design became the ancestor of a series of later tanks, including Soviet and German ones, its life in the British army was a difficult one.

Friday, 6 January 2017

TK-3 and TKS: Poland's Armoured Cockroaches

By pure numbers, Poland had an impressive amount of armoured vehicles in WWII: about 870 units (against approximately 2700 German tanks in Army Group North and South). However, three quarters of them were rather unusual vehicles: TK-3 and TKS tankettes. What were the machines that formed the backbone of the Polish armoured forces like?

Pak 43 Problems

"Experience with 88 mm Pak 43 anti-tank guns

Front line experience showed that towed 88 mm anti-tank guns are of limited usefulness in mobile warfare (counterattacks, mobile defense, and especially when covering retreats).

  • The 4.5 ton mass, 1.9 meter height, and completely unprotected prime movers limit its mobility on the battlefield.
  • As a rule, there is not enough time to organize a proper firing position.
  • The gun, due to its size, cannot be concealed from the enemy (especially from the air).
  • Due to the difficulty of turning the gun, it is difficult to defend against infantry at close range.
Conclusions: The towed 88 mm gun is only useful in positional warfare. In mobile warfare, it can only be used in the main directions of defense, for example in important sectors, control over which is especially important.

The manual 18/9 "Instructions on using the 88 mm Pak" issued on June 27th, 1943 is being revised."

CAMD RF 500-12480-24

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Experimental Night Vision

"Trials of night vision IR detection devices and IR projectors
  1. Items under trials:
    1. Night vision device type Dudka Dosug (2 units)
    2. Tokarev rifle with IR optical sight.
    3. IR projectors
      1. PP-45 spotlight (2 units)
      2. Z-15-4 AA spotlight (1 unit)
  2. Goal of trials:
    1. Determine the maximum range of vision with IR light when observing:
      1. A single moving or stationary soldier.
      2. A group of moving soldiers.
      3. Shields, dugouts, local landmarks.
    2. Determining the possibility of shooting from a sniper rifle using a nighttime IR sniper scope and determining range at various levels of light."

Monday, 2 January 2017

Teletank Development

"To Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko


I report to you on the current status of armoured telemechanics:

Various organizations (NII-10, NII-20, Red Army NIST) performed work regarding telemechanization of tanks since 1929 under the orders of Red Army US and ABTU. Experimental prototypes of Renault, T-18, T-24, T-37, T-26, T-28, T-20, T-38, and BT-7 teletanks were produced.

By 1935, the issues of automation of the suspension and chemical armament of the tank were resolved, and a commission selected the TOZ-26 T-26 teletank developed by NII-20 as the most suitable teletank out of three experimental T-26 teletanks. This prototype was accepted for mass production. In 1936-37, factory #192 produced 35 groups and another 30 groups in 1938-39, slightly modernized vehicles with the index TOZ-8. In total, 130 special tanks were built, 65 control tanks and 65 teletanks (65 groups).