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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #451  
Old 16 Aug 12, 16:22
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Nah, it was one rifle for every TWO Red Army soldiers! The second guy carried the bullets! LOL!

Interestingly the welds on German Panthers declined after 1944 as more "guest" workers were used in the German factories. Sometimes American examiners found daylight showing through the welds (keep in mind the tank DID blow up). While the Germans complained of Soviet workmanship on things like welds, the welds worked. The Germans expected "prettier" work. I have seen German manufactured small arms made before 1939 and they can be beautiful!

I also wonder who had the best state of art welds?

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  #452  
Old 16 Aug 12, 16:48
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Nah, it was one rifle for every TWO Red Army soldiers! The second guy carried the bullets! LOL!
Ah, right, I've forgot that the others played the role of extras for heroic German machinegunners who went crazy with shooting so many people.

Quote:
Interestingly the welds on German Panthers declined after 1944 as more "guest" workers were used in the German factories. Sometimes American examiners found daylight showing through the welds (keep in mind the tank DID blow up). While the Germans complained of Soviet workmanship on things like welds, the welds worked. The Germans expected "prettier" work. I have seen German manufactured small arms made before 1939 and they can be beautiful!
Here's the Googletranslation on an article about Evgeny Paton, the inventor of automated welding system which was widely employed at Soviet tank factories since mid-1942.

http://translate.google.com/translat...%2Fpatony.html

Quote:
Work on the new site began with the creation of our own production facilities for the manufacture of welding heads, and the flux of electric equipment. Project Office of the Institute was engaged in designing systems for automatic welding of heavy tanks shells KB, T-34 medium and light T-60 and T-70. Specialists of the Institute of Electric Welding in the world for the first time decided to complex scientific and technical tasks associated with the automatic welding of armor, have developed advanced technology and equipment. By the end of 1941 had been installed and put into operation nine automatic welding systems for individual units of tanks, the technological process, installed and started up the installation for high-speed welding bombs prepared welders working on the machines, and the master-setters. In January 1942, two automatic welding units for welding the hull sides started the T-34. The body of the tank required a large amount of welding. Floor and podkrylok welded to the side with two powerful seams longer than 5 meters. In this work a qualified welder spends about 20 hours. The welding machine is driven by a teenage student could do the job for 2 hours.

And then came the clear frosty day, one of the first days of January 1942, when the gate assembly plant, raising clouds of snow dust, left a powerful, handsome and with the roar of tanks rushed to the factory road. Since the arrival of the Ukrainian plant before the birth of the military machine less than two months!

People stood along the road and the plant is not covered by snow people, departing from the tank tracks, created by their labor. Together with them, and I smiled, thinking about what is truly the will of steel and what a brilliant organization of work is needed to such a scale and at such time to relocate to the East hundreds of factories and so fast, fantastically fast, put them into operation! And the fact that our institution during the trials maintained itself as a solid, viable and active body, and found its place in the ranks, I saw another stroke majestic epic - epic turning the country into a single fighting camp.

Now we had to keep a stern and important exam. We - at the plant, which should give the country a thousand, maybe tens of thousands of tanks. But until we have the vaguest idea of how to weld steel armor. More recently conducted an experiment on small samples, and the factory yard is littered with piles of armor plates.

Some technology we now possess. But who will be working on it? Where can I get turners, millers, planer? Then the cry was thrown, and there were teenagers in the workshop of fifteen or sixteen years old, children of our members and employees, full of mischief, quick guys who were not, however, no idea how to even approach the machines.

This "Mechanized kindergarten" was headed by our laboratory, MN Sidorenko as a turner and other senior laboratory technician, LM Bogachek as a senior mechanic. They studied and taught the children themselves. Honored veteran machines driven teenagers, soon began to make products - for welding tanks.

I demanded to all our friends:

- First of all, we should turn away from the "civilian" look at the tank, looking from the side view of a guest at the parade. This applies to everyone, including me myself. We need to find a tank, all of the requirements for him to understand his place in battle, his "soul." What are the joints most responsible? Which of them most often take on an enemy attack? Where the most vulnerable places of the tank, when he goes on the attack or the ram? That's all we know, and need to know. All this has a direct bearing on the work of welders. We had to weld the seams, and it was important to understand what they are to meet in battle. We began to study the seams of the tank, their location, purpose, and they gradually ceased to be for us to abstract lines in the drawings. To the seams were not weaker, but even stronger armor, had to learn to cook for our armor guns submerged, fully develop the new technology. Not an easy task, because we had a very poor experience and actually get down to business for the first time.

In the laboratory, the Institute began intensive research work.

Much of the past practice had to revise, reject. Cracks in the armor! How to get rid of them? The naked eye, even a crack is not visible, they detect only the microscope, and then not always. Tiny, invisible snake thinner hair ... It was a seemingly unremarkable and prosaic, but very important research work. It lasted for ten or twelve hours a day, but, alas, is comforting results did not come. Persistently denigrated hated crack the weld. Dozens have already been made ​​of thin sections, but luck did not come.

Finally after a long search, we hit upon the right idea. The first experiments have brought joy and disappointment. The desired result was achieved, but the welding speed declined sharply. The latter upset us, but we still have the confidence that began on the right track. From this it was not far to the proposal made ​​by Dyatlov and Ivanov: apply filler wire. This idea turned out to be happy. Experiments with an additive, we repeated several times, first in the laboratory and then in the shop. Finally, the seams were obtained without cracks, and even increased the productivity of welding.

paton7 (20,591 bytes) Installation
Welding podpogonnogo ring
a turret

Near the town of tests carried out on the range of the tank shell. In one of its sides seams were welded in the old way by hand, on the other - automatic submerged arc welding, as well as all the seams on the bow. The tank was subjected to cruel fire of the guns with a very short range and armor-piercing high-explosive shells. The first hit in the side shell, cooked by hand, caused the destruction of solid seam. After that, the tank turned and came under fire from the second side welded machine. Shots were fired point-blank range with a negligible distance. The seven hits in a row! ..

But the seams gave way, have not succumbed, not destroyed. They were stronger than the armor itself and continued to firmly connect the mangled fire armor plates. Just brilliantly stood the test of fire in the bow of the seams, none of them passed under heavy fire. Twelve hits led to the formation of holes in the bow, but the seams are not suffered any damage.

It was a complete victory for automatic welding speed! The test under conditions equal to the most difficult tactical situation, confirmed the high quality of the machines.

To us came to faith in yourself. Along with three friends, who worked in the lab, others of our people, our young people - Makar, Root, Ostrovskaya, Voloshkevich - improved welding technology directly into the armor shop. We no longer fear for the conduct of our joints, even under the most severe fire.

We are proud of and now are proud of the fact that Soviet tank builders in the world first learned how to cook submerged armor.

Meanwhile life was hard, especially those who worked directly on the shop floor. Instructors Institute began and ended with the change of factory welders, that is, do not leave their seats for ten or twelve hours. Around them at that time still had dozens of manual welders, and from the sharp glare hurt my eyes badly. It's called "pick up the arc." Many wore dark glasses, bells and whistles were rescued from a strong infusion of tea stockpiled for the coming home from work instructors. And yet, they pursued a feeling that my eyes filled up with sand.

People have worked selflessly, very friendly and solid and tried to do even more than the demanded their already difficult duties. If something went wrong fellow at the facility, while others, unable to sleep and rest, now come back to the shop together to rectify the situation, but in their time were again in place. And with all this Institutskaya youth was always cheerful, happy, do not lose heart and do not whined, never lost the ability to humor, to jokes.

I remember a characteristic of the period the case, which I told my son Boris. By the time he had finished "training" at Sophia Ostrovskaya in the lab and began working in the shop. Boris, as well as our other electricians, with his hands doing electrical welding equipment, including all the dirty work. We had to cut the wires, mount the equipment, solder lugs and carry on their shoulders to the installation site heavy equipment and machinery.

One day, bent double under the metal "donut" of wires, Boris entered the shop, dumped their cargo near the welding machine and set to work before it was interrupted. He punched a hole in the wall to reinforce this contactor. Carried away, he noticed that stood next to a soldier.

- Boris? That's a meeting! - He cried. - What are you doing here?

Boris was standing in front of his comrade-in-the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, now a student of the tank academy, who had come here to practice.

- I work as researcher at the Institute of Electric Welding, - smiling, replied Boris.

Companion stared at him with obvious suspicion.

- Come on, Boris! Mechanic work?

- I tell thee, fellow, - Boris laughed. - We have all that work. At their backs combine science with practice. - And then added seriously: - Without it, now it is impossible. We must know how to act and head and hands. That's when you eat so that's a peck of salt factory people, just know that he is required by science.

By example, Boris saw how well he responded. It was not long, and it began to turn from the different departments for advice on serious issues of electrical engineering.

How could I not feel a deep respect for this young scientists, especially since I never heard any complaints or requests to withdraw from the shop? Outwardly I was strict and severe, but in his heart felt a great affection for his students, who have been to me in those days even closer and more expensive.

paton2 (21,017 bytes)
In 1942 the Institute has developed for electric plants and the People's Commissariat of the Tank Industry Commissariat of 20 projects of munitions systems for automatic welding of tank shells and 8 - for welding bombs and ammunition. The use of automatic submerged arc welding for the manufacture of tanks immediately showed exceptional advantages of this method. Labour productivity in the welding units at an average of tanks increased by more than 5 times.

At the initiative of E. Paton at the factory number 183 in Nizhny Tagil has been put into operation the world's first production line production hull tanks, in which there were 19 units for automatic submerged arc welding. This has freed up 280 qualified welders (other works), which replaced the 57 workers more than unskilled. In addition to working on the automatic welding institute staff have established quality control and welding electrodes, solved a number of important problems of gas welding and cutting; proposed rapid methods of preparation of welders, developed a nozzle with a tapered channel that allowed benzorezki boost productivity while reducing the consumption of oxygen and improve the quality .. .

We investigated the processes occurring in a powerful arc welding, submerged arc burning, the development of new welding fluxes, and found the local raw materials for mass production. The discovery of self-regulation of the arc formed the basis of the new streamlined and robust welding head at a constant feed rate of electrode wire. It is widely held to find ways to multiple arc, and multi-electrode submerged arc automatic welding. Technology was developed semi-automatic submerged arc welding, and created the first welding machines.

The division of labor was: Institute designed the machines, giving the welding flux and equipment, wiring and commissioning held machines. Workshop of the Institute had already acquired a solid and modern look. Department prepared the supporting structures, fixtures and jigs.

paton1 (14,463 bytes)
Instructors no longer enough. E. Paton again revised the personnel of the institution and transferred to the shop all who came to his knowledge, temperament, ability to work not only your head but your hands. It was the first George Voloshkevich, Leah Gutman, Boris Paton, and then Daniel Rabkin, Alexander Suprun, Boris Medovar. Further mobilization of the "internal human resources" immediately affected the situation in the shops.

The plant is needed in many dozens of avtosvarschikov. In the years to come to the defense plants and visited men and women of different professions, ages and biographies of all of their native one feeling - the desire to give their labor to the Motherland at the right and difficult area.

In any weather - in a blizzard, Ural bitter cold, driving rain - EO Paton appeared in the shop at exactly 9:00 am. And be sure to first in the shop, not in the lab or in the so-called cabinet. Cabinet this room could be called only conditionally. He sat in the common room with other employees, and although this was due to lack of space, but is constant and the neighborhood had its advantages: it has never helped to separate at a difficult time from the people, always, every minute of living in a group in constant contact with him.

Comrade Paton was involved in the installation and development of each welding plant. And followed them up until all the difficulties are not eliminated by a start-up period. Where everything went well, rarely show up, where there were difficulties or planned lag, visited regularly.
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  #453  
Old 16 Aug 12, 17:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Jordan View Post
Remember that the US was fielding M3s and 37mm antitank guns until Kasserine in early 1943 - indicative of a prewar mindset that quite naturally took time to discard. Additionally, the M4 looked like it would be an appropriate fix at the time (and in many ways it was), and the USSR was quite stingy with sharing information with the western Allies, so the relative merits (based on wide combat experience) of the T34 vs. Mk. IV, Panther, Tiger, etc. were not readily available to the west - certainly early on.

A US intel report from Aug 1942:
http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/t...-red-army.html

Although it's not exactly "in-depth".
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Old 16 Aug 12, 17:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigersqn View Post
A US intel report from Aug 1942:
http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/t...-red-army.html

Although it's not exactly "in-depth".
Thanks Pierre - I had forgotten about the Intel Bulletins; it is a really great source!

While it's not in-depth, it does have basic information about the tank. Presumably some information was disclosed about the T-34's performance. I suspect the qualities of T-34 vs. M-4 would not have been as apparent in 1942 or 1943 as they were after the war, so that the production time and capacity would have been the determining factor. (Sort of like the old question, "Why didn't the Allies build an 88mm AA/AT gun?")
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  #455  
Old 16 Aug 12, 17:42
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Jon, the Allies (at least the Americans and British) had better AA guns: the 90mm and 3.7" (the 4.5" naval mount was pretty good as well, but bigger!). I am not so sure they let them up to the front to snipe at German tanks.

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  #456  
Old 16 Aug 12, 18:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The gunners seat welded to the hull did not help when you turned the turret! You had to stand and walk with turret, but avoid seats and spent cartridge cases.

Pruitt
Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
The gunner and commander's seats were welded to the turret - they turned with it.
Well done, brod, somebody is awake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Brod,

Not in the books I read! Why would the Gunner and Commander have to walk with turret as it turned if the seats also turned? The Israelis had to put in a turret basket on T-54 and T-55's they captured. The T-34 did not have a basket either!

Pruitt
Richard, brod is correct, the gunner and commander did not have to 'walk around' with the turret, they had seats fixed within the turret and turning with it.

Not wishing to be rude but this nonsense has come up on these forums time and time again and each time I kill it off; only to see it spewed forth another time.

The gunner's seat on the T-34 was not, repeat NOT fixed to the hull. It was fixed to the inside of the turret and rotated with the turret.

My patience is repeatedly tested here!

... oh, and btw, if you have books telling you that sort of rubbish you'll be doing yourself a favour to bin them because even a half-decent reference will clearly show otherwise.
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  #457  
Old 16 Aug 12, 18:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
The gunner's seat on the T-34 was not, repeat NOT fixed to the hull. It was fixed to the inside of the turret and rotated with the turret.
I thought the turret was welded to the hull> Are you sure about this.

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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
My patience is repeatedly tested here!
You will tell us if your head is about to explode, won't you.
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Old 16 Aug 12, 22:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
... Assuming that the T34/76 was the best tank available to anybody in 1941(Debatable,still.) Does anyone seriously think that Jo would hand over his trump card willingly to the hated "Western imperialist warmongers"...
He did in 1942, a version of both the T-34 and KV were sent to the Aberdeen proving grounds for evaluation:

http://english.battlefield.ru/evalua...nd-kv-dp1.html
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Old 16 Aug 12, 22:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The gunners seat welded to the hull did not help when you turned the turret! You had to stand and walk with turret, but avoid seats and spent cartridge cases.

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Old 16 Aug 12, 22:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Well done, brod, somebody is awake.


Richard, brod is correct, the gunner and commander did not have to 'walk around' with the turret, they had seats fixed within the turret and turning with it.

Not wishing to be rude but this nonsense has come up on these forums time and time again and each time I kill it off; only to see it spewed forth another time.

The gunner's seat on the T-34 was not, repeat NOT fixed to the hull. It was fixed to the inside of the turret and rotated with the turret.

My patience is repeatedly tested here!

... oh, and btw, if you have books telling you that sort of rubbish you'll be doing yourself a favour to bin them because even a half-decent reference will clearly show otherwise.


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Old 17 Aug 12, 18:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
The gunner's seat on the T-34 was not, repeat NOT fixed to the hull. It was fixed to the inside of the turret and rotated with the turret.
If you look carefully you can see where the seats are attached above the turret ring. Love the ammo racks on the hull wall (they stayed for the rest of the war.)
Attached Images
File Type: bmp turret interior.bmp (153.6 KB, 20 views)
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  #462  
Old 17 Aug 12, 23:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
If you look carefully you can see where the seats are attached above the turret ring. Love the ammo racks on the hull wall (they stayed for the rest of the war.)
My point exactly. The correct information is not all that hard to find.
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  #463  
Old 18 Aug 12, 04:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post

My patience is repeatedly tested here!
Ach...ahem...

Offensive tank destroyers.

Bear poking complete.
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  #464  
Old 18 Aug 12, 04:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llkinak View Post
Ach...ahem...

Offensive tank destroyers.

Bear poking complete.
Yeah, but that one hasn't been repeated as often as the T-34 seat thingy. At least, not in front of me.
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  #465  
Old 18 Aug 12, 07:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
If you look carefully you can see where the seats are attached above the turret ring. Love the ammo racks on the hull wall (they stayed for the rest of the war.)
Nice picture

Unfortunately a bitmap so opening it directly wouldn't let me re-size it

The fancy wooden floor in shot is the ammo boxes for the bulk of the ammo. I'm not sure if I was seeing everything clearly, but the ammo only came a certain distance up the hull walls, beyond which were the Christie suspension, another layer of plate and then the roadwheels. Effectively a double hull, but I can't recall how thick that inner wall was (even Soviet designers eliminated the dangers of big, fast moving springs). Pretty certain the Crusader and its relatives had a similar armour layout.
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