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Start of T-54 Development

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"Order of the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR #637s
Moscow
November 1st, 1944

Factory #183 (comrade Morozov) developed a new T-54 medium tank with improved armour. 

The review of the project showed that the new T-54 medium tank retains high maneuverability and mobility characteristics but has significantly better armour and more powerful armament than existing medium tanks.

The presented T-54 medium tank project should be approved and a prototype developed.

In order to develop the new T-54 medium tank, I order that:
  1. Director of factory #183 comrade Maksarev and Chief Designer of factory #183 comrade Morozov must develop blueprints of the new medium tank with a 100 mm D-10T gun with the following armour thicknesses by December 1st of this year:
    1. Upper front plate: 120 mm
    2. Lower front plate: 120 mm
    3. Sides: 90 mm
    4. Turret front: 150 mm
    5. Front section of turret sides: 150 mm
    The turret design should be similar to that of the IS-6 with a commander's observation device installed in a rotating hatch without a commander's cupola. Use high hardness armour for the turret, with a ring to be welded into the upper turret ring.
    The full weight of the tank must not be greater than 34 tons.
  2. Director of factory #183, comrade Maksarev, must produce a prototype of the T-54 by January 1st, 1945, and complete trials by January 15th."

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