"July 29th, 1944
Experience in combat showed that the amount of ammunition carried in the T-34-85 (56 rounds) and IS-2 (28 rounds) is insufficient.
The NIBT Proving Grounds determined that it is possible to extend the T-34-85's ammunition racks by 15 rounds and the IS-2's by 3 rounds.
To check the additional ammunition storage in battle, I ask you to instruct factory director #183 comrade Maksarev and Kirov factory director comrade Zaltsman to produce 150 T-34-85 and IS-2 tanks in July with additional ammunition according to the attached diagram.
I ask you to reply with your decision.
Attachment: diagrams on two pages
Deputy Chief of the GBTU, Lieutenant General of the Tank Engineering Service, Lebedev
[Attachment not reproduced]
Conclusions regarding the additional ammunition racks in the T-34-85 and IS-2 tanks proposed by the NIBT Proving Grounds
The NIBT Proving Grounds proposed increasing the ammunition storage on the T-34-85 by 15 rounds (from 56 to 71 rounds) and on the IS-2 by 3 rounds (from 28 to 31 rounds).
Additional ammunition in the T-34-85 tank is stored on the floor of the fighting compartment (on top of the ammunition crates).
In the IS-2 the additional ammunition is stored in the following way: 3 shells and one propellant casing are located on the floor of the fighting compartment (on top of the ammunition crates), one casing in the front left corner of the fighting compartment, one case in the rear pannier.
Additional ammunition stored as suggested by the NIBT Proving Grounds will not be protected from dirt, which can then cause a stoppage when loading and ruin the weapons. The NIBT Proving Grounds also didn't test the additional ammunition storage in a tank with the crew's personal belongings and a 5 day supply of rations.
We consider it necessary to test the ammunition racks proposed by the NIBT Proving Grounds on 150 T-34-85 tanks and 150 IS-2 tanks and make the decision on mass production as a result of these trials.
Equipment for these additional racks should be installed at the Kirov factory and factory #183.
Chief of the GBTU SPG Directorate, Major General of the Tank Engineering Service, Alymov
Chief of the GBTU Tank Directorate, Engineer-Colonel Muravich"
CAMD RF F.38 Op.11355 D.2218 L.72-73