Today we have begun to publish a Soviet-period document collection (39 in all) titled "Collection of Materials on the Experience of Combat Activities of the Naval Forces of the USSR" The original documents were classified SECRET or TOP SECRET when they were first published between 1943 and 1950, and were declassified around the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union. The translator has divided and arranged the documents into 15 volumes, three of which have been translated. We plan to release a volume approximately every 120-150 days (as they are translated) until the project is complete.
The story of the appearance of aerosleds in USSR country begins in Tsarist Russia. Indeed, the first aerosleds were designed and built even at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, soon after the development of relatively compact internal combustion engines. These machines were hardly intended for military purposes, but rather as light, all-terrain transport and recreational means. The enormous expanse of Russia, coupled with a weakly developed road network and the harsh climatic conditions of the Far North long ago challenged designers with the task of creating a reliable and rapid means of winter transportation. Therefore, in 1912, shortly before World War I, mass production of transport aerosleds was begun in the Russo-Balt (Russian-Baltic Plant). Despite this fact, aerosleds were seldom used in the war (the believed first use occurred in 1915). In any case, this author was unable to find any significant number of facts regarding the military employment of aerosleds.
Meanwhile, seven King Tigers attacked the Soviet positions from Hill 272.1. Waiting in an ambush near Mokre, Guards Lieutenant Udalov in his IS-2 tank (with number 98, and fitted with the D-25 cannon) let the German tanks to approach to a distance of 700-800 metres and started firing. After a few hits, the first tank was set on fire, and the second tank was knocked out. The German tanks shifted into reverse. Udalov drove towards the enemy and...
Before the start of the Great Patriotic War the armored forces - "avtobronetankovyje vojska" - of the Red Army, (it should be noted that this name was changed to 'armored and mechanized forces - "bronetankovyje i mekhanizirovannyje vojska" - at the end of 1942), consisted of the mechanized corps, several tank divisions, and the tank regiments assigned to cavalry divisions. The army tank formations and detachments as well as tank formations of the Reserve of the High Command (RGK) that existed prior to mid-1940 were used to raise the mechanized corps. At the start of the war there were 29 mechanized corps in different stages of formation. They consisted of 1 mechanized division, 2 tank divisions, a motorcycle regiment, an independent signal battalion, an independent engineer battalion, and other corps auxiliary units.
In order to obtain an objective evaluation of the tank's armor protection, it was decided to subject to shell fire the hull and turret of the captured vehicle with turret number 502. Most of the systems and assemblies were removed for further study. The tank's armament was sent to the ANIOP for study.