Thursday, 8 December 2016

F-32 Technical Passport

Despite the stereotypes of poor Russian organization, major components of a tank (the gun, the radio, the engine, etc) all came with a technical passport that contained the data for the item in general and this specific item in particular. Here is a technical passport for a F-32 gun installed in a KV tank.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Night Vision and Mine Rollers

"To the Commander of the 5th Tank Army, Lieutenant-General comrade Romanenko
CC: Commander of the 26th Tank Corps, Major-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Rodin
September 29th, 1942

On the basis of GOKO decree #2181s issued on August 18th of this year, you are being sent 25 units of special T-34 driving devices and mine rollers that have to be tested and reviewed.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

T-44 Tractor

Since the T-34 was clearly not going to stick around on the assembly line for long, the future of the AT-45 tractor on its chassis was bleak. With the T-44 cemented as its successor, it only made sense to design a tractor on that chassis.

Monday, 5 December 2016

88 mm AA Gun in AT Role Instruction

"Actions of the 88 mm cannon in combat with tanks
  1. The saturation of a tank division with anti-tank weapons grants protection for tanks that move forward. As experience shows, the enemy uses T-34 in increasing amounts. As the 88 mm gun is suitable for combat against this type of tank, the combat group artillery commander can attach one or two 88 mm guns with a 20 mm gun each.
    If two 88 mm guns fire at ground targets, they must be subordinate to a heavy AA gun battery, as two guns cannot fire at air targets, even with a targeting device,
    Attaching an entire AA gun battery to fight tanks proved ineffective. Guns dedicated to anti-tank defense weaken anti-air defense.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Dicker Max

During WWII, the German army became the leader in the amount of SPGs produced. The most numerous armoured vehicle in the German army was not a tank, but an SPGs. The Germans were also the first to use self propelled gun mounts. These SPGs were, as a rule, made from obsolete tank chassis, usually light tanks. However, the Germans had a custom built self propelled gun mount, not converted from an already existing tank, but built from scratch. This unusual vehicle is known as the Dicker Max.

Friday, 2 December 2016

World of Tanks History Section: Lieutenant Krysov vs. Leibstandarte

In the middle of November of 1943, the Germans tried to take Kiev, recently liberated by the Red Army. A powerful strike force struck at Soviet forces in two directions on November 15th, 1943: west of Fastov and south of Zhitomir.

Among others, the 1st SS Tank Division "Leibstandarte" attacked towards the Zhitomir direction. This division included 96 Panther and PzIV tanks and 27 Tigers. The division was tasked with capturing Brusilov. The Germans circled around it and prepared for an offensive from the east. The village of Yastrebenka lay between Leibstandarte and Brusilov, and the Germans had to take it first.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Fake Minefields

"Contents: fake minefields

During the Orel operation, it was discovered that the creation of fake minefields in the main directions of the battle has significant results. Therefore, their creation is necessary. Consider the following points:
  1. Fake minefields prevent the enemy's breakthrough of the first line of defense and hinder his progress.
  2. It is necessary to create fake anti-tank and anti-infantry minefields.
  3. These minefields must go on until anti-tank trenches.
  4. Fake minefields consist of a region surrounded by wire with signs that read "Danger: Mines".
Signed, Polmann."

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

"Commander of the 3rd Tank Army
Army HQ, November 1st, 1943

Based on my observations, I came to the conclusion that a significant portion of soldiers do not understand the difficulties that we unavoidably encounter on the fifth year of this war that are caused by the situation with raw materials, production, and supplies. The following are only a few examples of violations that keep repeating, despite numerous directions on this issue:

HESH vs Spaced Armour

Soviet live fire experiments with HESH fired from a 105 mm tank gun and a 106 mm recoilless rifle were published in the Armoured Journal (Bronetankoviy Vestnik) as a part of a study on tank protection. In this study, various types of armour layouts were simulated by placing thin 2P steel or aluminium alloy plates of various types, representing skirt armour, at a distance of 330 mm away from a thicker 2P steel plate, representing the side of the tank's hull. The shots were fired from 100 meters. Here are the results.

Caliber (mm)
Angle
(deg)
Impact velocity
(m/s)
Armour thickness (mm)
Damage
Normaliza-tion angle of fragments
First plate
Second plate
105
0
634
5+20 (Steel)
Breach 650x400 mm
Breach 240x300 mm*
0
105
0
615
5+80 (Steel)
Breach 500x550 mm
Dents from fragments up to 12 mm deep over 350x400 mm
0
105
0
605
5+20 (Steel)
Breach 650x480 mm
Dents from fragments 10-12 mm deep over 500x550 mm
0
105
0
614
10+20(Steel)
Breach 600x600 mm
Plate cracked, two penetrations, dents from fragments over
0
105
0
722
10+20(Steel)
Breach 500x400 mm
Three penetrations, dents from fragments over 350x370 mm.
0
105
0
617
10+30(Steel)
Breach 550x600 mm
Dents up to 7 mm deep over 370x400 mm.
0
105
0
607
30 (ABT-101) + 20 (Steel)
Plate cracked
Dents up to 8 mm deep over 450x400 mm, 706 mm long crack.
0
105
0
615
5 (AMG-6) + 80 (Steel at a 60 deg angle)
Penetration 170x110 mm
Plate cracked**
-
105
45
606
5+20 (Steel)
Breach 780x350 mm
Plate cracked. Dents from fragments up to 10 mm deep over 550x500 mm
15-25
105
50
606
5+20(Steel)
Breach 650x290 mm
Plate cracked. Dents up to 11 mm deep over 550x500 mm
20-25
105
60
640
5+20(Steel)
Breach 550x340 mm
Dents up to 13 mm deep over 500x620 mm.
20-30
105
60
635
10+20(Steel)
Plate cracked
40x40 mm penetration, dents from fragments over 350x500 mm.
-
105
60
599
13(ABT-101) + 20 (Steel)
Breach 500x480 mm
Dents up to 100 [sic] mm deep over 500x490 mm.
20-30
105
0
489
5+45(Steel)
Breach 620x480 mm
Dents up to 5 mm deep over 600x560 mm.
0
106
60
489
10+20(Steel)
Plate cracked
Breach 310x170 mm, dents from fragments over 430x400 mm.
35-40
106
60
489
20+45(Steel)
Breach 800x550 mm with spall fragment
Dents up to 15 mm deep from fragments over 360x380. 20 mm dent from spall fragment.
30-40

*The shell did not explode upon striking the first layer, but deformed slightly.
**The shell penetrated the spaced armour and exploded upon hitting the main armour.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Firewall

"Instructions on Setting Up Anti-Tank and Anti-Personnel Fire Obstructions: Fire Walls and Bottle Fields

1. General concept

Fire walls and bottle fields are used in anti-tank and anti-personnel engineering obstruction systems. Their purpose is to delay the advance of tanks and infantry and upset the enemy's fighting order to guarantee success for our counterattacks.

Fire obstructions are built on tank-accessible directions and are echeloned in depth, covered by rifle/machinegun and artillery/mortar fire from defending units.

Tank destroyer groups are located close to the fire obstructions, completing the destruction of enemy tanks when they are forced to stop.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

T-70: Growing Up

On July 20th, 1941, the Red Army adopted the T-60 small tank into service. This was a necessary measure, as incredible losses of tanks in the first month of the Great Patriotic War had to be replenished, and mass production of the T-50 wasn't getting off the ground. Even if the goal of producing 10,000 tanks in 1941 was not met, large amounts of T-60 tanks entered service in October, playing an important part in the defeat of the Germans at Moscow. At the same time, an idea to modernize the T-60 was tossed around as early August, resulting in a heavier tank that was indexed T-70. What is the history of this tank?

Friday, 25 November 2016

Tractor Harvest

"Information on the amount of captured tractors by front as of May 1st, 1943

Front
In use
In warehouses
On the battlefield (not recovered)
Total
Foreign
Domestic
Total
Foreign
Domestic
Karelian







Leningrad







Volkhov







N. West.
2



36
18
18
Kalinin
17
3
3

35
2
33
Central




160
58
102
Voronezh
12



437
416
21
South

7
4
3
96
63
33
Former Donetsk

8
3
5
467
347
120
Bryansk
6



98

98
North Caucasus
11



56


Transcaucasus







Total
92
239
10
229
1806
1245
561

UMT 1st Department Chief, Engineer-Lieutenant-Colonel Evstratyev"