Basing on the State decision No.
of September 12, 1941, the Director of the plant Yu.E. Maksarev
issued an order to curtail production and evacuate the plant into
the deep of the country as soon as possible. The first train left the
territory of the plant on September 19, 1941, and picked his way to
the Uralvagonzavod Plant in Nizhnyi Tagil, Sverdlovsk region. It carried
designers of the Tank Design Bureau, drawings and technical
documentation of the tank and the most valuable equipment.
The Kharkiv Plant, evacuated to Nizhny Tagil,
and the local Uralvagonzavod Plant were united into one enterprise called Uralskiy Tank Plant No.183. In this plant
the numbering of shops and departments adopted before the war in Kharkiv
was preserved. The Tank Design Bureau was still called Department 520. The Chief Designer, as in Kharkiv,
was Alexander A. Morozov.
The first production T-34
tank was completed at the Uralskiy Tank Plant in December 1941 and in
April the following year the plant exceeded the pre-war level of production
of these fighting vehicles.
War-time situation and loss due to
various reasons of many plants which had supplied component parts,
assembling units and materials created enormous difficulties for
building-up of tank production. There was lack of rubber,
non-ferrous metals, electrical equipment, etc.
In order to prevent by all means the tank production from stopping, the Design Bureau declared mobilisation
of all efforts for saving non-ferrous metals, rubber, armour steel, wires, for making the vehicle easier to manufacture.
Absolutely all parts of the tank were revised, the designers used cast iron instead of bronze, replaced rivets by
welding, manufactured stamped parts by casting, cancelled intermediate parts. As a result of these efforts, the designers
managed to completely exclude 765 component parts, thus considerably simplifying the process of vehicle manufacturing.
This was a considerable contribution to organising volume production of the tanks. Simple design, ability to be easily
produced in large numbers and high COMBAT CHARACTERISTICS of the T-34 tank created its
excellent reputation. Later on it was considered to be what was arguably the best tank of the Second World War.
The Urals: War Years
Design Bureau evacuated to Nizhny Tagil (Urals region) during the
Second World War