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PLN-200104 Polygon N4 2001 magazine
The Black Sea Fleet at the defense of Constance
The participation of Russian Black Sea Fleet in the defense of Constance in the autumn of 1916 and navy's cooperation with the land forces at Dobrudj remain one of the blank spots of the Great War. Mr. D.Kozlov, PhD(History), provides in his article the description of operations on this theater, paying special attention to the experience of Russian Navy cooperation with the fleet of a foreign power.
A lot has been written about a German jet fighter. It has been mentioned many times that it was created in the final stages of war as a mass-producible, cheap plane with good flying qualities, which was intended to help Luftwaffe win back the air superiority.
But this article doesn't deal with commonly-known facts, but rather tells about practically unknown design variants of this aircraft (of which there was not less than 20), describes their peculiarities (which were specially emphasized in Soviet reports and dispatches), and deals with the results of the trials of two He. 162 in the USSR on III NKAP airfield in Ramenskoe (near Moscow).
The life story of T-43 tank
In the postwar history of Soviet tank design, T-43 tank keeps being pushed to the background. It was often referred to as "up-armored T-34" and hence awkward and sluggish. The author demonstrates that this is not the case. He shows that it was none other than T-43 that introduced 5-speed gearbox, and it was thanks to T-43 that T-44 and T-34-85 could appear.
The history of T-43 began after evacuation of plant #183 from Kharkov to Nizhny Tagil. Still lacking normal working conditions the Design Bureau under the leadership of A. Morozov has completed in March 1942 the design of T-34M tank that had compact layout, which allowed, without increasing the weight of a medium tank too much, allowed to drastically increase its armor protection. However in spring of 1942 the People's Commissariat of Tank Building didn't become interested in T-34M, perhaps waiting for the completion of KV-13 design efforts.
In autumn of 1942 the Morozov's Bureau petitioned I. Stalin to allow them to design an improved T-34. The ruler personally issued the order to begin the design efforts. This was the very tank that got the designation T-43.
While the preparative work was carried out, various prospective components were trailed out on a serial T-34 tank, because the Design Bureau didn't have any test benches. The five-speed gearbox and 3-man turret were tried out. But as the preparation of a test bed tank neared completion it became clear that its properties could no longer be considered superior. The time has come for a new vehicle.
A failed "Bantam"
The official history of a birth of a pride of American industry - the jeep - is very simple and explains the appearance of a huge number of "Willises" in the allied armies to be the result of the victory of this company in a tender for a small-capacity all-terrain car. The reality rather resembled the tale of an ugly duckling. Or to be more precise - ugly chicken.
The author describes the history of creation by a Bantam company the first American jeep BRC and the intrigues around it, that ended up in this vehicle, after the first batch of 1500, to never be serially produced again until the dissolution of "American Bantam Car" company in 1953.
Artillery tank, finnisg style
We have already described the history of turreted artillery tanks in Red Army on the pages of our magazine (see "Poligon" #2/2001). But USSR was not the only place where such vehicles were being developed. The vehicles along the lines of BT-7A and even on the base of the same track/wheel BT-7 tanks were being built in the beginning of 1940s in Finland. For this the Finnish VTT Company increased the size of the turret on captured BT-7 tanks and armed it with a British 4.5-inch (114mm) howitzer. A total of 18 tanks were produced under the designation of BT-42, and formed an artillery assault battalion. However the vehicle turned out to be poor and since autumn 1943 they started being replaced with German StuG III, while BT-42 were transferred to an independent tank company where they didn't show any particular prowess and aged peacefully. One BT-42 was brought to USSR for trials at Leningrad Artillery Range. Another tank of this type is currently at Parola museum in Finland.
Artillery armament of german tanks and self-propelled guns
Presented is a copy of the article fro "Tank industry review" magazine #4/1944. The author gives a short description of German armored vehicles' armament and speculates on the possible development paths for 1944. The article is accompanied by calculations, graphs, pictures and photographs.
Actions of artillery units in great patriotic war
Presented are the extracts from the 1947 manual for artillery academy students, dealing with selecting the observation post, choosing the fire position and rules of engaging "Tiger" tanks with 45mm guns. Pictures and drawings from the book are supplied.
Svirin Nikolay Sergeevich
A short account of the military career of Nickolai Sergeevich Svirin, who was born on May 28, 1925 and was thus just 16 at the outbreak of war. He was conscripted in 1943 and sent to the machine-gunners school, but because of a critical situation at Kharkov passed only a crash course and in the rank of Sergeant participated in his first combat in March 1943. He then commanded the foot recon detachment of 55th Guards tank brigade, and after being wounded on Bukrin bridgehead became an artillery piece commander in 91st Guards artillery regiment, where he served until the end of the war. His last battle took place May 10, 1945 in Czechoslovakia. He was Guards Master Sergeant at the end of the war and was decorated with the Order of Glory 3rd rank and two Medals for Valor. Demobilized in 1955.
1. He.162, nummber 02, on LII NKAP airfilld. Winter 1945-46
2. He.162, nummber 02, on LII NKAP airfilld. Notise LII enblem on the tail, Winter 1945-46
3. T-34 tank with first variant T-43 turret. Kubinka testing grounds, summer 1942
4. The finsl Bantam jeep variant that received the designation 40BRC, on Camp Hollabird testing grounds, June 1941
5. A captured BT-42. Vyborg line of advance, summer 1944