Short Cut: Book Review: SAMSONOV; Designing the T-34

Rezension zum Thema Krieg/Krieger

von  TrekanBelluvitsh

SAMSONOV, Peter;  Designing the T-34, [/b]Genesis of a revolutionary tank; Gattantry Books 2019

The book is an easy and good read. The introduction is well done, shows that the soviet  tank production was based on foreign models, first copied them,  slowly began to implement their own ideas in new tank designs based on the Red Army's own needes and wishes.

Then, when it comes to the T-34, its planning and its prototypes, the book becomes problematic.

It lists the meetings of the responsible actors in chronological order. Usually these end with "satisfactory decisions" in the book. In vain looks the reader for an analysis of the planning processes or the demands on the vehicle. In particular, the responsible factory 183 in Kharkov is under constant protection by Samsonov for nearly every issue. All problems are blamed on the suppliers.

If there were changes to be made, the desired changes are evaluated - usually as good - and not their implementation. For example, Samsonov describes for pages the struggle to move the radio from the turret to the hull. This presentation may be correct. Nevertheless, on page 67, the reader is surprised to find out that of the first 280 T-34 production tanks, only about 100 were equipped with radios. Why? The author does not tell. As if that dosn't matter.

This example shows what Samsonov writes is not wrong. But he stops halfway dealing with any subject. Most of the time it comes to a total standstill if the T-34 looks "revolutionary". In vain the reader looks for context. Why was the T-34 revolutionary?

What the author actually wants to say is only revealed in the penultimate paragraph of the penultimate chapter:

"The report was full of complains about the design and production quality of various parts of the tank. Since the T-34 (...) was a hug revolutionary leap (sic!) (...) such growing pains were to be expected "(74)

Samsonov's book is supposed to be a response to KAVALERCHIK's "Tanks of Operation Barbarossa", which - contrary to it's title - also deals with the development of the T-34 and its starting production up to the German invasion in 1941 mainly . It seems that Samsonov is trying to wash the T-34 clean from Kavalerchik's criticism. Because this is not possible, Samsonov is  listing the meetings and the changes made without analyzing them, without putting them in context. The one sentence I quoted is all that Samsonov has to say when it comes to criticizing the development and production of the early T-34: an uninspired commonplace.

CONCLUSION: This book is useful as a reference work on who made which decision during development and when. It isn't useful for anything else.

Kommentare zu diesem Text


 Teichhüpfer (19.09.21)
moin Trekan, bei mir war in der Zwischenprüfung der Mitentwickler von der Technik im Tornado Kampflieger. Ich hatte erst vor kurzer Zeit ein Gespräch über 68 er Prag. Die Piloten bekamen ein Grundstück und Haus mit der Aussage, Absturz sicher. Yo, die fielen wie die Tauben vom Himmel, und die Soldaten bekamen fünfzig Pfennig.

Kommentar geändert am 19.09.2021 um 05:56 Uhr

Kommentar geändert am 19.09.2021 um 06:18 Uhr
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