US report on the T-34 and KV-1

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US report on the T-34 and KV-1

Joined: August 3rd, 2005, 6:52 pm

May 27th, 2012, 4:55 pm #1

Years ago I printed out a Russian report from Valera Potapov's site. This report was a Russian commentary on an American report based tests of the T-34 and Kv-1 at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Now, I wonder if any of you have the original US report at hand?
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Joined: February 19th, 2005, 4:52 pm

May 28th, 2012, 12:17 pm #2

Hi Jukka,

I was holding off replying in the hope that somebody might have a more useful reply than this one.

I've also seen the Russian commentary but not the US report. There is a rumor that it was among the several truckloads of material removed from APG in the late 1960s (?) on the orders of a federal judge and supposedly taken to NARA. At the time, there was a major rivalry going on between NARA and the Ordnance Museum. However, no-one has seen any of this material at NARA so it is probably sitting in a warehouse somewhere, uncatalogued.

Neil
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Joined: August 3rd, 2005, 6:52 pm

May 28th, 2012, 3:24 pm #3

Thanks for the reply!
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Joined: March 22nd, 2005, 10:08 pm

May 28th, 2012, 4:58 pm #4

Hi Jukka,

I was holding off replying in the hope that somebody might have a more useful reply than this one.

I've also seen the Russian commentary but not the US report. There is a rumor that it was among the several truckloads of material removed from APG in the late 1960s (?) on the orders of a federal judge and supposedly taken to NARA. At the time, there was a major rivalry going on between NARA and the Ordnance Museum. However, no-one has seen any of this material at NARA so it is probably sitting in a warehouse somewhere, uncatalogued.

Neil
There are a substantial number of evaluation reports on the KV and T-34 at NARA, mainly in RG-156 (if I remember right). I went through a lot of the KV reports a few decades ago when they were over at the Suitland depository, before College Park was opened. It was several archive boxes full. They are highly technical automotive reports. I never saw the gun or armor reports. I haven't looked for them in many years, so I don't know what Entry they are located in, and the finding aids for that RG are a bit spotty. There are probably some more in the MID's OKD files at NARA II, but that record group is problematic as there is no finding aid and there are several hundred boxes.

I think that the report that Jukka is looking for is a short summary report. I have seen it printed in a few locations (mostly in Russian), but I don't remember where.

The story about the APG files going to NARA is a bit of an urban myth. The Ordnance Museum never had a very extensive archive. The various organizations at APG probably destroyed more files than they shipped to NARA. The Icks collection that used to be at Patton Museum was obtained mostly by "dumpster diving" when various offices trashed their records back in the late 1940s.

As a more recent example, back in the 1980s, a friend of mine working in one of the closed technical libraries at APG found a post-war technical report on the Maus. A big thick thing with tipped in photos, drawings, etc. He borrowed it and showed it to me. A few months later I asked what had happened to it. He forgot to return it to the library for several months, and when he returned it, he apologized for the delay. The librarian said it wasn't any problem, as it was on the "burnlist" and was supposed to be destroyed anyway. He could keep it if he wanted. In a lot of cases, it was easier to destroy old files than to take the time to declassify them. A lot of tank stuff may be fascinating to modelers, but not to bureaucrats.
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Joined: May 6th, 2009, 4:33 pm

May 28th, 2012, 5:45 pm #5

Years ago I printed out a Russian report from Valera Potapov's site. This report was a Russian commentary on an American report based tests of the T-34 and Kv-1 at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Now, I wonder if any of you have the original US report at hand?
Well, in Central Defense Ministry Archive located report on english language, and russian translate. This report not in my high priority list
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Joined: July 12th, 2005, 8:15 pm

May 29th, 2012, 7:05 am #6

There are a substantial number of evaluation reports on the KV and T-34 at NARA, mainly in RG-156 (if I remember right). I went through a lot of the KV reports a few decades ago when they were over at the Suitland depository, before College Park was opened. It was several archive boxes full. They are highly technical automotive reports. I never saw the gun or armor reports. I haven't looked for them in many years, so I don't know what Entry they are located in, and the finding aids for that RG are a bit spotty. There are probably some more in the MID's OKD files at NARA II, but that record group is problematic as there is no finding aid and there are several hundred boxes.

I think that the report that Jukka is looking for is a short summary report. I have seen it printed in a few locations (mostly in Russian), but I don't remember where.

The story about the APG files going to NARA is a bit of an urban myth. The Ordnance Museum never had a very extensive archive. The various organizations at APG probably destroyed more files than they shipped to NARA. The Icks collection that used to be at Patton Museum was obtained mostly by "dumpster diving" when various offices trashed their records back in the late 1940s.

As a more recent example, back in the 1980s, a friend of mine working in one of the closed technical libraries at APG found a post-war technical report on the Maus. A big thick thing with tipped in photos, drawings, etc. He borrowed it and showed it to me. A few months later I asked what had happened to it. He forgot to return it to the library for several months, and when he returned it, he apologized for the delay. The librarian said it wasn't any problem, as it was on the "burnlist" and was supposed to be destroyed anyway. He could keep it if he wanted. In a lot of cases, it was easier to destroy old files than to take the time to declassify them. A lot of tank stuff may be fascinating to modelers, but not to bureaucrats.
We have a similar story to tell of boxes of tech documents being thrown out. fortunately there are individuals in the relevant departments that put aside these valuable documents and inform us at the museum from time to time to come and collect them which is great.

Stephen Tegner
senior restorer
Ditsong Museums of South Africa
National Museum of Military History
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