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Small Arms

"August 8th, 1942To the artillery quartermasters of the 124th and 125th Tank BattalionsI report to you the supply of 7.62 mm rifle cartridges and F-1 grenades carried in KV, T-34, T-60, and T-40 tanks...

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Pistol Power

Conservative elements within the tank corps favoured the Nagant M1895 revolver. It was relatively simple and could be fired out of a smaller pistol port than the TT. However, the Nagant took much...

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A Barrel Too Long

Rapid growth in power of tank and SPG guns continued throughout WWII. Designers of some nations achieved the increase in firepower through a harmonious increase of gun caliber and barrel length. Other...

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Experimental Work at Factory #183 March 1941

"To the Chief of the 3rd Department of the BTU, Military Engineer 1st Class comrade AfoninSummary report of experimental work performed at factory #183 in March 1941Trials of cooling fans: three types...

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Detailed Trials

"Approved by the Commander of Artillery of the 38th Army, Major-General of Artillery LikhachevJune 31st, 1944Plan of firing trials demonstrating penetration ability against enemy T-4 and Panther tanks...

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Industrial Accident

"Unscheduled report of an extraordinary eventUnit: GBTU Scientific Research Proving GroundsRegion: MVOEvent: wound during trialsTime: 10:00 August 8th, 1944Location: shooting range of the NIBT Proving...

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Staples

Checking for tiny inaccuracies to detect forged documents is a pretty common phenomenon. Soviet counterintelligence had it down to an art. Forged documents confiscated from captured spies were analyzed...

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Long Awaited Tank Destroyer

History often moves in a spiral. The story of Soviet medium SPGs illustrates this fact well. In the summer of 1940, when development of SPGs on the T-34 chassis began, a tank destroyer was one of them....

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Tanks Review

"Exchange of experience in using tank weapons in the Patriotic WarThe use of tanks in battle, especially in the winter offensive of 1943, showed several peculiarities of using tanks in battle, their...

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British Demo

By the summer of 1941 the British were still struggling to equip their army with modern anti-tank weapons in the face of a German invasion, which was considered all but a certainty. This rush resulted...

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Situational Awareness

"Instructions for tank watchersTank watchers are selected from each battery to warn about the approach of tanks. They are placed in important directions no closer than 800-1000 meters to their...

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Up-Armoured T-34s

"Changes and simplifications of the hull and turretOn November 25th, 1941, the factory moved to a simplified hull. The mechanical cutting of the rabbets was simplified. The stamping of the lower rear...

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From Medium Assault Gun to Medium Tank Destroyer

Development of armoured vehicles in many nations proceeds in parallel. A clear example of this is the creation of German and Soviet medium SPGs. Initially, Soviet SPGs were built as tank destroyers....

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Heavy Tanks vs Heavy Guns

Valeriy Lisyutin posted an interesting set of photos recently, one of which was a knocked out Tiger. These aren't particularly interesting on their own, but it had two things that are usually hard to...

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What's in a Name?

"Order of the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR #51ssMoscowOctober 6th, 1941In carrying out the GKO decree #743ss issued on October 4th, 1941, I order that:The following are...

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Soviet Zimmerit

"Instructions on combat against German magnetic HEAT minesOver the last two months of fighting on the Belorussian Front there were many cases of our tanks blowing up when attacked by the enemy.It was...

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More Power

"State Committee of Defense Decree #6679sOctober 10th, 1944Moscow, KremlinOn the installation of 520 hp V-11 engines into IS tanks and SPGsThe State Committee of Defense orders that:The People's...

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Kotin's Bobtail

In early 1943 the Red Army Main Armoured Vehicle Directorate (GBTU) and People's Commissariat of Tank Production (NKTP) agreed that the age of the KV-1S is coming to an end. Instead, the IS-1 (233), a...

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Wishlist Response

"To the Marshal of the Armoured Forces, comrade FedorenkoThe tactical-technical characteristics that you sent are viewed by us as a task to develop new prospective types of heavy tanks that are not yet...

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Leningrad People's Militia

I've previously looked into the effectiveness of the Leningrad People's Militia units hurriedly raised in the summer of 1941. The popular narrative is that they were composed of semi-unarmed expendable...

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