Thursday, January 13, 2011
North Front August 30th, 1946 By MM
From the Personal Diary of General Helge Jung,
Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces.
Today’s briefing was rather up beat. The British and the Americans have decided to trade coal for our iron ore so we will be able to heat our homes that winter. The news from the Finnish Front is good. Our aircraft are making it difficult for the Russians to move fuel forward, which is slowing there advance to a crawl.
The Russians learned a hard lesson last night. Two of Russian destroyers came within range of our coastal heavy artillery on the skane coast. Both were sunk, from what I am told 21cm and 15cm guns do not leave much left of a ship that size. The Navy thinks they were moving to the harbor in Copenhagen.
The British supplied early warning radar network goes on line next week. I hope this will allow us to counter the Russian bomber raids on Stockholm and Gothenburg. The new American antiaircraft guns are helping, but we need more warning.
The new m/40 pistols have been a disaster; close 100 officers injured before the report reach my desk. I have ordered all of them removed for service until the reasons for the failures can be found. We will have to make do with the old m/07 pistols for now. Who owns the rights to the P38 now that the Walther is no longer in business?
Look into this week.
The government still will not officially join the Americans and British in NATO. But the new Scandinavian defense union treaty is a first step. Every day more and more refugees arrive on our shores. We now have camps full of Germans, Poles, Danes, and people from the Baltic States. I worry about our ability to feed and house then this winter. The Americans have agreed to send us food for them but I still wish for a better solution. The Danish Government in Exile has now moved from London to Stockholm to be closer to the large number of Danish refugees fleeing here.
The Army is now at full strength: 10 Infantry Divisions, 2 motorized brigades, 3 armored brigades. The 1 bicycle brigade is being converted to another motorized brigade. Also we have 1 brigade of Danes, 1 brigade of Poles, and 2 brigades of Germans trained. Most importantly the equipment across the whole Army is now much more modern. We have replaced all the Strv m/42 tanks with modern British 77mm Comet and 75mm Churchill tanks. The 37mm anti-tank guns have been replaced by British 17 pdr Guns. Most importantly the Americans have sent large numbers of fine radios.
The Americans have delivered all 200 J 26 fighters. That type has now reequipped most of the front line fighter units. I am pushing for further order of 100 aircraft. The 3 new bomber units are fully trained on the new American Flying Fortress bombers. The British have agreed to the sell us 20 of their new Vampire jets, also they have agreed to a sell us a production license for the engine.
The Navy has largely solved the problems integrating the new ships into the fleet. So far we have received 1 American cruiser, 6 American destroyers, 3 British frigates, and 30 American torpedo boats. All are ready.
The King has approved the operations today. 3 Army Corp is ready. God willing we go next week.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
August 30th, 1946
Well Colonel, What do you think? That beast is the final complete test vehicle of the new T50 Patton tank. If all goes well this tank will be standardized as the M50 Patton medium tank early next month.
My God, I thought they were kidding about naming it after Patton. So this is the answer to the Russian Stalin tanks, huh? I’m not seeing anything much different from the M26 tanks. Give me the run down on it.
Yes, Sir. We made great strides with this project. Once the President made up his mind we got straight to work. That turned out to be a very important, because the Centurion isn’t nearly as good as what Mr. Churchill said it was. It’s a maintenance nightmare. Hell it took us 15 hour to get the engine out of the first English tank we received. I thought we were doing something wrong, but the 2 English engineers that came over with the drawings said that it normally takes them 12 hours to pull an engine. And it’s a gas hog. The very best range we got with the English test tank was 45 miles. Once we took it off road the range dropped to around 30 miles. The turret is a real piece of work also; luckily we never planned on using the English turret anyways.
Major this isn’t making me feel any better. Give me the positives of switching tanks mid war.
Well Sir, I think the T50 is going to make you happy. It’s more of an improved version of the English tank, than just a copy. First we kept the 4 man crew. The turret is a new design made of cast armor, with a very narrow forward profile. The main armament is the 90mm M3 gun fitted with a muzzle break and bore evacuator. The secondary armament is a coaxial mounted .30 caliber Browning, and a .50 caliber Browning mounted before the tank commanders hatch for use as an anti-aircraft weapons. We replaced the English made engine with a Ford V12 GAC engine from the T29 heavy tank project. That engine is rated at about 770 hp, which is 120 more horse power than the English engine. That makes the T50 a little faster than the Centurion. We had to do a major redesign of the hull to fit the Ford engine, which allowed us also to increase fuel capacity, and make maintenance much easier. The test hulls got around 160 miles with the sheet steel mock up turrets. We got around 100 to 110 mile range once we put a full combat load in the complete tanks.
Well it sure sounds impressive. What’s the planned production? When will we have some for the Armor School at Fort Knox?
Right now, 20 tanks ready. 10 of those are going to Fort Knox, 10 to one of the new Armored Divisions. We have the Detroit and Fisher Tank Arsenals tooling up for full production and they should be on line by the end of next month. Also production contracts have been given to 4 civilian companies. We hope to have close to 2000 ready by March.
Alright, what’s next?
Yes, Sir. Follow me please; the M38 Wolfhound armored car is next.