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Reliability and Repairs in the 2nd Tank Army

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At the beginning of the 2nd Tank Army's offensive during the Battle of Kursk, on July 16th, the army's technical services performed an inventory of their vehicles' remaining service life.

Type

Number

Of those, functional

Remaining engine hours

under 50

50-100

150-200

over 200

T-34

276

238

-

167

71

-

T-70

109

92

-

67

25

-

T-60

17

16

-

16

-

-


In the first stage of the offensive (July 16th-July 31st), 315 tanks (235 T-34s, 70 T-70s, 10 T-60s) have been knocked out, of those, 78 tanks (61 T-34s and 17 T-70s) were irreparably damaged. 100 tanks (71 T-34s, 20 T-70s, 9 T-60s) broke down during battle. There were no breakdowns on the march to the initial positions before the offensive.

These breakdowns are characterized as:

"Most technical breakdowns consisted of insignificant damage to individual components, quickly and easily reparable, not significantly impacting carrying out of the combat mission. Many units, to this day, categorize the adjustment of a tank's mechanisms after a march as the light repairs category and report that the vehicle is not available for technical reasons.

An analysis of broken down vehicles revealed that in 65% of cases, the breakdown can be attributed to factory defects, for example:
  1. Tearing of the oil manometer hose.
  2. Destruction of the internal shock absorption rubber layer in a road wheel.
  3. Broken starter.
  4. Penetration of a cylinder head by gases.
  5. Poor quality repairs of V-2 engines by repair train #48.
Only 10-12% of the overall broken down tanks can be attributed to mistakes made by tank mechanics and a lack of necessary control by officers."

During the aforementioned period, 307 tanks were repaired in the 2nd Tank Army.


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