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Trial and Error

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"To the Chair of the Committee of Defense of the Council of Commissars, Marshal of the Soviet Union, comrade Voroshilov
November 6th, 1940

Experimental exercises held by tank and mechanized units and formations show that issues of controlling tank units are quite complicated. After the first stage of battle, cooperation and communication between tank units and individual tanks breaks down.

Results of lengthy marches and trials of tanks, as well as studies of foreign tanks show that tactical-technical requirements of the SP, T-34, and KV tanks need some corrections.

Commanders of individual tanks and up require the ability to fully and constantly observe the battlefield, the situation, and subordinate tanks, being freed of the requirement to also be the gunner or loader. Presently, observation devices and observation methods for the commander are limited, and there is a need to increase 360 degree vision for individual tanks.

At the same time, it is necessary to reduce the effort on levers and pedals of the tank.

In order to increase the combat quality of the SP, T-34, and KV tanks, add the following items to the list of tactical-technical requirements:
  1. Install 360 degree vision cupolas on the SP, T-34, and KV tanks
  2. Revise the number of crewmen.
  3. Clarify the armament and amount of onboard ammunition.
  4. Install the KRSTB radio for external communication, as it is smaller and simpler to set up than the 71-TK-3.
  5. Use throat microphones instead of bulky microphones for internal communication.
  6. Replace the observation devices of the driver and radio operator with improved ones. The driver also needs an optical observation device.
  7. Demand that the warranty period of a tank be 600 hours before refurbishment.
  8. Replace the T-34's suspension with individual torsion bars, which will free up room inside the tank used up by suspension springs.
  9. In the first half of 1941, factories must develop and prepare for production a planetary transmission for the SP, T-34, and KV tanks. This will increase the average speed of tanks and make turning easier.
Authorized by Marshal of the Soviet Union S. Timoshenko"


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