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T-43, Take One

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"For further development and improvement of medium tanks, permit the NKTP and factory #183 to produce two experimental prototypes of T-44 tanks with the following tactical-technical requirements by September 1st [1942]:
  1. Mass: under 32 tons
  2. Armour:
    1. Sides: 60 mm
    2. Front: 60-75 mm
    3. Rear: 60 mm rolled, 75 mm cast
    4. Turret (cast): 80-85 mm
      The turret must have a commander's cupola.
  3. Speed:
    1. Top speed on a highway: 45-50 kph
    2. Off-road: 20-25 kph.
  4. Armament: one 76.2 mm gun.
  5. Ammunition:
    1. 76.2 mm rounds: 60-65
    2. DT rounds: 2000-2500
  6. Crew: 4 (commander/radio operator, loader, gunner, driver).
  7. Engine: 
    1. At a weight of under 30 tons: V2-34 500 hp engine.
    2. At a weight of over 30 tons: V2-K 600 hp engine.
  8. Range: 250-300 km on a highway.
  9. Suspension: torsion bars
Other tactical-technical requirements will be set by the NKTP and GABTU.

The NKTP (comrade Malyshev) and director of factory #183 (comrade Maksarev) must perform trials of the T-44 tank jointly with the GABTU by October 1st of this year, and present a report on the trials to the GOKO by October 10th.

The People's Commissar of Finance is to issue 5 million roubles from the reserve of the Council of People's Commissars to develop and produce the T-44 tank and five-speed gearbox, as well as awards for outstanding employees."

However, the first draft of the T-43 was not to be. Stalin famously struck this entire section out of the draft decree, instructing tank designers to improve existing models instead of chasing after new ones.


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