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Basing on the State decision No. 667/SGKO 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



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