T-34: The first year is stately Russian

Source step towards the recognition of a long machine the best tank of the second world war

As part of a newspaper article carefully to illuminate the history of the T-34 is unrealistic. It makes sense only briefly the brakes on its core, so to speak, landmark moments. One of them, of course, are the creation of this car and Thirty combat debut in the fire fights of 1941. Biography of the T-34 began Oct. 13, 1937-th. In this day Armor Management (ABTU) Red Army issued a Bureau of Plant number 183 in Kharkov tactical and technical requirements for the development of the modern war machine — wheel-track tank BT-20. Its design and layout a year later were ABTU commission consideration. It approved the project, but with all this obliged the CB and the plant to create and make one wheel-track tank with a 45 mm cannon and two tracked tanks with 76-mm cannons. So Makar, contrary to popular beliefs no initiative of the manufacturer to establish a purely tracked tank was not, and had formulated correctly order the military.

It was planned in 2800, RECEIVED 1225

In October 1938, the factory presented drawings and models of 2-developed according to the decision of the commission ABTU options: wheel-track A-20 and A-20D crawler, which were considered the main military council of the Red Army on 9 and 10 December 1938. Consideration by the Committee of Defense of the USSR, in turn, held on February 27, 1939. Both projects have been approved, and the plant is proposed to make and test samples of experienced tank A-20 and A-32 (that of the index at the time was A-20G).

By May 1939 experienced the standards of new tanks made in metal. Until July, the two cars were held in Kharkov factory tests, and from July 17 to August 23 — polygon. September 23 at the site in a show of Kubinka Tank technology management of the Red Army. According to test results and display was expressed the view that the A-32 tank, which had in store for improving mass advisable to protect the more powerful 45-mm armor, respectively, increasing the strength of the individual parts.

In general, at this time in the experimental shop of the plant number 183 was already underway, the assembly of 2-tank, the factory designation A-34. Once in October and November passed the tests of the tank A-32, dogruzhennogo up to 24 tons of metal ingots. December 19, 1939 dogruzhenny tank A-32, and was adopted by the Red Army under the T-34.

First production programm for 1940 anticipate the release of 150 tanks. But this figure was soon increased to 600 military vehicles. The plan for 1941 ordered the release in 1800 of T-34 at the factory number 183 and 1000 — at the FTZ. But neither the one nor the other task failed. For the first six months of 1941 military representatives at the factory number 183 was 816 T-34 tanks on STZ — 294. So Makarov, both plants to 1 July 1941 passed the army tanks in 1225, with 58 of them in June were still on the ground waiting for companies to send in troops.

T-34: the first year of the Great Patriotic

From left to right: A-8 (BT-7M), A-20, T-34 mod. 1940 with a gun L-11, T-34 mod.

Do I need to Protect Motor potential?

First serial T-34 arrived in armored units of the Red Army in the late autumn of 1940. But the planned combat training began in the spring of 1941. Unfortunately, on the development of the new tank the most naughty way affected by the reorganization of numerous armored forces conducted over 2-years before the war.

For the last pre-war year was interminable reformation: some connections deployed, others were liquidated in the tank forces transferred from other parts of the armed forces, etc. All of this was accompanied by the movement of parts and connections of some locations of the other.

By the beginning of the war in relation to Russian majestically were capable of only nine mechanized corps, the formation of which began in the summer of 1940. And in their organization of combat training in a number of cases of various left much to be desired. Widely practiced sinful nature on its own system of "saving moto technique," in which the crews were training on the worn-out machines to a maximum of combat training of the park. With all of this brand new, better and often significantly different from the tanks of early editions of military equipment was stored in the garage.

It was not a lot of sense from the use of tanks BT-2 for crew training BT-7, but the process is converted to a complete nonsense, when in the process of preparing driver-mechanics for the T-34 recruits were put on an old T-26. For example, to December 1, 1940 in tank units of the Red Army had only 37 tridtsatchetverok. Naturally, this amount could not provide regular training soldiers. Moreover, according to the judgments of privacy management service on the T-34 tank in some parts were not given to the hands of not only the members of the crew, but even the commanders of the units. Surprising that, for example, May 11, 1941 Headquarters 3rd Mechanized Corps Baltic especially military neighborhood asked the manufacturer's documentation for the repair and care professionals, because a third of tridtsatchetverok was put out of action during training sessions. The investigation revealed that all the tanks due to incorrect operation of the main clutches were burned. May 23, 1941 in the 6th Mechanized Corps of the West especially military neighborhood in need of repair severe 5 T-34. The reason — due to negligence (or by simple ignorance) tanks refueled with petrol.

By June 1, 1941 in the vicinity of the western military had already Thirty 832, but this number operated only 38 cars! As a result, prior to the beginning of the war for the T-34 tanks managed to get less than 150 crew members.

T-34: the first year of the Great Patriotic


There are differences in the quantification of the park tridtsatchetverok who were on June 22 in the vicinity of the border military. More uncommon number 967. But the number of tanks (well, not just tanks) or other type of day at the beginning of the war no one believed. Summaries of the presence of military vehicles in the military were fed on the first day of each month. As already mentioned, on June 1, 1941 in the western border BO (Leningrad, especially the Baltic, especially the West, especially the Kiev and Odessa) had 832 T-34 tanks. Another 68 — in the rear parts of the county (metropolitan, Kharkov and Orel). The difference between 967 and 832 is 135 combat vehicles (some sources say the number 138), which can fully enter into the border neighborhood during June.

By the beginning of the war in the western border area was stationed 19 mechanized corps, numbering 10,394 tanks of all types (according to other sources — 11, 000). In view of combat vehicles that existed in some part of the infantry, cavalry and some armored units, this figure rises to 12,782 units (as of June 1). T-34 tanks that number accounted for only 7.5%. How would a little. But by 22 June 1941, Germany and its allies launched against our western border 4753 tanks and assault guns. Only 1,405 of them were ave
rage and Pz.III Pz.IV, so tridtsatchetverok 967 (let's not forget about the 504 languid HF) were a formidable force. More precisely — could provide. But for the reasons stated above, tank units before the war have not mastered sufficiently driving military vehicles, and reduced rates of ammunition is not allowed to work one hundred percent shooting from the tanks filled with new artillery systems. Overall security mechcorps 76mm tank shots did not exceed 12%, and in some compounds was even lower.

Poor deployment of tank units and formations, understaffing of personnel and real part, the missing crew training of new tanks, lack of spare parts and repair and recovery funds have sharply reduced fighting capacity of the mechanized corps. In the process of long marches out of action not only an old car, and the new T-34. The fault of the inexperienced driver, also because of the never resolved manufacturers design flaws "burned" the main and steering clutches, broken boxes, etc. Remove many breakdowns in place did not seem likely due to the fact the complete lack of spare parts. The troops did not have a hell of evacuation equipment. Tractors, mechanized corps were provided by an average of 44%, including machines that were used as artillery tractors. But even where tractors were available, they were not always able to promote.

The main means of evacuation in tank units of the Red Army were Chelyabinsk agricultural tractors "Stalinets" C-60 and C-65 with a thrust on the hook a little more than 4 tons. They are fully managed with towing warped light tanks T-26 and BT, but when you try to move from place 26-tonne T-34, in the literal sense of the word reared. There are already required to "harness" the two, or even three of the tractor, which was not always can be.

T-34: the first year of the Great Patriotic

Masterpiece Appear

Taken together, it should be noted that the combat effectiveness of Thirty in 1941 decreased not only because of the lack of training of personnel or a bad organization of the fighting. The full impact and shortcomings in the design of the tank, many of which have been identified during the pre-war trials.

It is usually assumed that the T-34 — is a masterpiece of world tank. But it was not a masterpiece at once, and only at the end of the war. In application to 1941 can be read on this tank to a large extent as a crude, nedovedennoy design. Not the case at first in 1941 ended GABTU tridtsatchetverok acceptance by requiring manufacturers to remove all defects. Management of the plant number 183 and the Commissariat was able to "push" the resumption of production of tanks with reduced up to 1,000 km mileage warranty.

For the perfect shape of the hull and turret, borrowed from the light A-20 without any dimensional configurations, it was necessary to pay down the booked amount, which is the T-34 was minimal in comparison with the other medium tanks of the 2nd World War. The sleek, beautiful on the outside, even a stylish tower Thirty proved to be very small to accommodate the 76-mm artillery system caliber. Inherited by the legacy of the A-20, it initially intended to install a 45 mm cannon. The same as the A-20, and remained in the turret ring diameter of the light — 1420 mm, only 100 mm longer than that of a light tank BT-7.

The limited volume of the tower is not allowed to place her third crew member, and the gunner duties cooperated with the obligations of the tank commander, and sometimes the unit commander. I had to choose: either to conduct fire or control the battle. The tightness of the tower and the crew compartment as a whole have significantly reduced all the advantages of strong 76-mm cannon, maintain that it was just awkward. Very unsuccessfully in vertical tape-positioned ammunition bags, making it difficult to access for shells and reduced rate of fire.

Back in 1940 and was awarded such a significant shortcoming of the tank, as the unfortunate placement of surveillance devices and their poor quality. So, for example, the observation unit radial angle was set right, back to the tank commander in the turret hatch cover. Limited field of view, a complete inability to follow the rest of the sector is also an awkward position under the supervision of the head made the observation unit completely unusable for work. Awkwardly placed and monitoring devices in the sides of the tower. In battle, all this led to the loss of visual connection between the machines and the failure to notice the opponent.

The fundamental and undeniable virtue of T-34 — the use of massive and economical diesel engine. But he worked in a tank in a very over-voltage mode, and it is because of the system air supply and air cleaning. Very poor construction contributed to the air cleaner outlet Hassle engine failure. So, for example, during the Thirty trials in the U.S. in 1942, it came out after 343 km. In motor crammed a lot of mud and dust, which led to the tragedy. As a result, the pistons and cylinders have collapsed to such an extent that it was impossible to repair them!

The biggest problem of the T-34 for a long time remained the case with the so-referred to as slip-on gear. Are switching gears in motion with it was not easy. Interfere with this process and not a very successful design cerebral clutch, which is almost never turned off at one hundred percent. At the same nevyklyuchennom main clutch "stick" appropriate gear could only experienced of the driver.

Summarizing the above, it can be concluded that in 1941, the main shortcomings of the T-34 was cramped crew compartment, bad optics and inefficient or practically inoperative engine and gearbox. According to the no small loss and bolshennomu number of abandoned tanks, failures of T-34 in 1941 took over its advantages.

T-34: the first year of the Great Patriotic


How much more valuable to us every fact of the successful implementation tridtsatchetverok at the difficult time. Most of these episodes is fighting the battle for Moscow. It should be noted that, unlike the 1941 summer fighting with their straightforward strategy massing tanks, armored operations and units of the Red Army in this period were only agile character. Armored brigades their counterattacks were putting the enemy's in force along the main roads, and were pressing him on the road. It is here that for the first time began to tell the advantage of the T-34 in the cross-over German war machines.

In the battle for Moscow, Russian commanders-tankers for the first time applied the principle of so-called mobile defense on a broad front — 15-20 km per team. On the actions of one of the teams — 18th Tank — can be seen in the subsequent report: "The team began to form 5 September 1941 in the town of Vladimir, Ivanovo Region (Vladimir region was formed in August 1944. — Ed.). Formation completed by October 4. On the front arrived on October 7-8, acted in Uvarovo — Mozhaisk.

In the battle came on October 9, having the composition of a tank regiment: T-34 — 29, BT-7 — 3, BT-5 — 24, BT-2 — 5, T-26 — 1 BA — 7. In the fighting on October 9-10, the brigade destroyed 10 tanks, 2 PTO, and 400 enemy fighter. Its loss amounted to 10 tanks were destroyed and burnt and two PTO on tractors. "

Much more sensibly described the actions of those days the head of
the political department Brigade Senior Battalion Commissar Zakharov, "9/10/1941, the 18th Armored Brigade in the tank and mechanized infantry battalion of the regiment joined the meeting engagement with portions of the enemy, reinforced by tanks and motorized infantry, consisting of SS ( of motorized SS Division "Das Reich." — Approx. creator). In this battle tanks and mechanized infantry brigade with the gunners 509 th Artillery Regiment killed 400 enemy soldiers and officers, 10 tanks and 4 anti-tank guns, two mortar batteries, several armored vehicles …

Caterpillars of our tanks when they returned from the battle were almost packed clumps of ammunition, the remains of the physical layer exterminated fascist bastards … "

Another distinguished himself in the battle for Moscow armored brigade — the 4th (from November 11, 1941 — 1st Guards) was formed in September 1941 in Stalingrad, including in its 49 tanks (out of 16 — T-34 production STZ) . This connection is under the command of Misha Katukova successfully fought under the Falcon and Mtsensk against the 2nd Panzer Group, General Heinz Guderian. The brigade was well organized intelligence, skillfully used camouflage. During the eight days of fighting compound 6 times changed the position of his fighters shot down 133 tanks, two armored vehicles, seven languid guns, 15 trucks, nine aircraft, anti-aircraft battery was killed and many other combat materiel. Acts of the 4th Tank Brigade is a shining example of doing active defense in the criteria of the enemy is capable of significant advantages and facilities.

T-34: the first year of the Great Patriotic

The most effective

Specifically, acted as commander of a separate tank group lieutenant Dmitry Lavrynenko, reflecting the October 6, 1941 attack German tanks in the area Naryshkino — 1st Soldier. The enemy tanks, smashed our anti-tank defenses, broke through to the positions of the 4th Brigade, and began to "ironing" infantry trenches. Thirty four Lavrynenko jumped out of the woods to intercept the enemy and opened fire. The Germans did not expect of a Russian military vehicles. Once lit 6 Pz.III, they braked, and then started to retreat. Tanks Lavrynenko gone the same way at one point, as they appeared, but after a couple of minutes seemed to the left because of the hill and again deliberately opened fire. As a result, several similar fast attacks on the battlefield left 15 shot down German tanks. Our group had no losses.

On the 27-year-old senior lieutenant Dmitry Lavrynenko deserves mention. He fought 28 fights. Three of the T-34, in which he fought the war, burned down. In the day of his own death, December 17, 1941, near Volokolamsk Lavrynenko knocked out 52 th in a row the enemy tank and was the most effective Russian tanker of the second world war. But the title of Hero of the Russian Union of him then and not appropriated. December 22, 1941, he was posthumously awarded the Order of Lenin.

In the postwar years, this outrageous injustice tried to remove Marshal Mike Katukov and Army General Dmitry Lelyushenko, but only after 50 years, they were able to overcome the bureaucratic routine. Decree of the President of the USSR on May 5, 1990 for their courage and heroism in battle against the Nazi invaders, Lavrynenko Dmitry Fedorovich was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union posthumously. His family was awarded the Order of Lenin and medal "Gold Star» (№ 11615). Naming Hero named school number 28 in the village of Fearless, the streets in his native village, Volokolamsk and Krasnodar.

Speaking of combat activity Dmitry Lavrynenko, I would like to direct your attention to the strategy he used. In general, it was framed in the strategy which used the 4th Tank Brigade — a combination of actions from ambushes with small surprise attacks strike group with excellent exploration set.

All available descriptions of battles with the role Lavrynenko show that before the collapse on the enemy, he intently studied the terrain. This allowed the right to elect and direction of attack, and to determine the next step. Taking advantage of the T-34 tanks in front of the German cross in the criteria for autumn floods, Lavrynenko intense and confident maneuvering on the battlefield, hiding behind terrain. After changing the position, he has stormed back with a new direction, creating the enemy in the memory of a few groups of Russian tanks.

With all of this, according to colleagues, artillery fire from a tank Lavrynenko conducted professionally. But even being a good marksman, he aspired to the highest speed close with the enemy at a distance of 150-400 m and peel probably.

To summarize it all, it can be argued that Mr Lavrynenko, on the one hand, there was a good, cold-blooded tactician, and on the other — into account both the perceived shortcomings of Thirty, and its advantages, and that allowed him to pursue of success.

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