Military Review

"Gasoline leakage and spontaneous combustion are possible!" T-34 from "Red Sormov"


Assembling the T-34 in the Krasnoy Sormov workshop. Source:

"Sormovskie freaks"

Translation of production tanks T-34 to evacuated enterprises in the first year of the war seriously affected the quality of armored vehicles produced. In 1942, a situation arose when tankers often simply refused to attack with extremely carelessly assembled tanks. For example, engineer-colonel G. I. Zukher from GABTU complained about the low production level of "thirty-fours" from Uralmash. In sea trials, out of 5 participating tanks, 2 armored vehicles were out of order, not having covered 15 kilometers. One T-34 traveled 130 kilometers, after which it was repaired, and the remaining vehicles coped with the mileage at the cost of many hours of downtime to eliminate minor malfunctions. Zuher writes:

"It is impossible to make marches on such tanks, and it is impossible to go into battle without the risk of loss of people and materiel."

This история illustrates the situation at the end of 1942. On the fronts, so many complaints about the quality of the T-34 were accumulated that Stalin personally drew attention to the problem. Among the instructions to the People's Commissariat of Tank Industry on June 5, 1942 from the Supreme Commander, there were demands to improve the quality of the tank in one and a half to two months, pay attention to the impossibility of long transitions without breakdowns, and also increase the reliability of the T-34 transmission. Stalin demanded that the tank be simple, rough, tough and suitable for a medium tanker. It came to the non-interchangeability of individual large units (for example, towers) on two tanks from different factories.

Modern view of "Krasny Sormov". Source:

While the situation with most of the tank enterprises in the industry was slowly changing, there were certain difficulties with tank assembly production at plant No. 112 "Krasnoe Sormovo". By the beginning of 1943, in the unofficial quality rating of T-34 tanks, plant No. 112 from the Gorky region occupied the last line - in the first place were vehicles from plant No. 183 in Nizhny Tagil. Stalin in one of his letters to Malyshev in the middle of 1943 writes about this:

"... and in conclusion, comrade Malyshev, I really want to hope that you will finally be able to do something with the" Sormovo freak ", which our tankers are afraid to fight on."

What was wrong with the T-34 tank, which came out of the gates of one of the country's oldest shipyards? A few excerpts from the archives:

“Tanks of plant No. 112 are notable for careless assembly ... Welded seams of various thicknesses, in some cases excessively lumpy, intermittent ... long marches in the fuel system of the tank may cause a leak of gasoline and its spontaneous combustion ... "

Yes, there is no mistake: until 1942, the tanks from Krasny Sormovo were equipped with M-17T and M-17F carburetor engines due to the lack of V-2 diesels.

The date of the beginning of the work of the Krasnoye Sormovo plant as a tank-building enterprise can be considered July 1, 1941, when the decree of the State Defense Committee (GKO) of the USSR No. 1ss was signed. In two months, the factory workers needed to rebuild the production line and give the country the first tanks on September 1. Looking ahead, let us mention that the plans were adjusted (GKO decree # 81ss), and tanks were expected from Krasny Sormov in August. As a result, the first T-34s appeared only in September in a scanty amount of 5 copies, and in total 161 gasoline tanks were assembled by the end of the year, while the plan required 710 vehicles. For comparison: in 1942, 465 T-34s were assembled with carburetor engines and 2115 with V-2 diesels.

"Gasoline leakage and spontaneous combustion are possible!" T-34 from "Red Sormov"

T-34 from the "Red Sormov", knocked out near Moscow in late 1941. It is likely that they were equipped with an M-17 carburetor. Source:

The armor for the tanks was to be supplied to the factory workers by the Kulebak Metallurgical Plant, and the carburetor M-17 by the Gorky Automobile. The Engine of the Revolution plant was responsible for the supply of gearboxes, the Gorky Milling Machine Plant produced rollers and polished gears for the checkpoint, main and side clutches. At the Gudok Oktyabrya plant, the tracks were processed and the tracks were assembled, and the Murom steam locomotive repair plant No. 176 was busy with the manufacture of front and support wheels, processing and assembly of sloths. And this is not a complete list of subcontractors, on which the intensity of the T-34 assembly process depended.

You can learn more about how the management process was organized at the enterprises of the defense industry in the historical series “Bulletin of Voronezh State University”. In one of the materials, the authors E.I. Podrepny and P.V. Pustyrev quote the words of veterans of the Vyksa plant of crushing and grinding equipment, which is engaged in processing the shoulder straps of the towers:

“At the beginning of July 1941 the Deputy People's Commissar of the Tank Industry came to the plant. Gathered all the plant managers in the director's office. He sat down at the director's table. He took a pistol out of his trouser pocket, put it on the table, and covered it with a sheet of paper. I read the decree of the State Defense Committee of 01.07.41/34/34 on organizing the production of T-28 tanks at the Krasnoe Sormovo plant and gave the task: to organize the serial production of turret shoulder straps for the T-450 tank, the term is a month for development. He warned that if during this time the task is not completed, then the leaders guilty of the disruption will be held accountable as for sabotage under the laws of wartime. The director of the plant, N. Ye. Volkov, immediately ordered all managers to put folding beds in their offices, and not a single manager had the right to leave the territory of the plant without the personal permission of the director of the plant. As a result of hard work on the 1942th day, the first set of shoulder straps was made, and by the end of the year 2140 shoulder straps were produced, and in XNUMX - XNUMX sets. "

Nevertheless, none of the suppliers of the Krasnoye Sormovo plant was able to cope with the assigned tasks - the parts were sent to the plant either at the wrong time or not in full.

Time of hard decisions

The Krasnoye Sormovo plant was not 100% a tank enterprise. In early July 1941, the plant was instructed to increase the number of submarines delivered (main production) to 23 units. The GKO decree of July 13, 1941 obliged plant No. 112 to organize the production of tools, forgings, finished products and assemblies for the 76-mm divisional gun and supply them to plant No. 92 "on time according to the schedule of plant No. 92", as well as transfer to the system The People's Commissariat of Armament is a new open-hearth shop. In general, with such a load on the enterprise, an understandable wide degree of tank cooperation with local factories in the Gorky Region becomes understandable: otherwise it was impossible to organize production.

The Krasnoye Sormovo plant until 1943 suffered from a shortage of almost all resources and raw materials. Suppliers and subcontractors treated the plant like an ugly duckling and chronically sent the company illiquid assets. The aforementioned "Gudok Oktyabrya" stopped the assembly of tanks several times, not delivering tracks on time. As a result, in November 1941, the Sormovites themselves began to cast track links, which were also in short supply. At one of the moments of the plant's work, a situation arose when seventy T-34s without tracks stood on the site of finished products. The situation was reversed only by organizing stamping production of track links following the example of the Stalingrad Tank Plant.

T-34 of the Polish Army with shielded armor. This technique was produced in small batches at Krasny Sormovo. Source:

The real disaster was the lack of labor: by the end of 1941, an additional 2400 workers were required! Over the next six months, only 964 specialists were trained on their own on a very truncated program. The reaction of the People's Commissar of the Tank Industry VA Malyshev on February 1, 1942, who was indignant: "... in the People's Commissariat for Tank Industry, the cooperation of tank factories among themselves is unsatisfactory" is indicative. Interestingly, in order to solve this problem, V.A.Malyshev allowed to book 8 thousand tons of fuel oil and immediately organize the shipment of 1 sets of quilted trousers, quilted jackets and leather boots, 000 thousand packs of tobacco, 45 thousand packs of tobacco, 30 boxes of matches and 100 tons of soap for "Red Sormov". On February 25, 13, the Council of People's Commissars allowed to borrow from the mobilization reserve of plant number 1942 for the production of tanks 112 kg will be victorious with a return during 50.

Somewhat earlier, at the end of 1941, VA Malyshev resolved issues of the plant's lag behind plans in a completely different way. When the order of the People's Commissar of State Control No. 10ss "On the unsatisfactory state of production of T-708 tanks at the plant No. 34 of the Narkomtankoprom" was issued on October 112, Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich dismissed GI Kuzmin as chief engineer. Later, a military tribunal and imprisonment awaited the engineer. Plant director D. V. Mikhalev, due to the actual disruption of plans for the production of T-34, was also dismissed and tried. He was more fortunate - he did not receive a real term and remained at Krasny Sormovo as chief engineer. In May 1942, Efim Emmanuilovich Rubinchik became the director of Plant No. 112, whose name is associated with an increase in the production of T-34 tanks.

The ending should ...
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  1. svp67
    svp67 30 October 2020 15: 34
    T-34 from "Krasny Sormov", knocked out near Moscow at the end of 1941.
    And from where is the data that this is a "Sormovo" tank. This machine lacks the main features of the "Sormovskaya" machine - two handrails for the landing on the sides of the tower and box-shaped fuel tanks at the stern as on this machine.
    1. Evgeny Fedorov
      30 October 2020 15: 53
      Box-shaped outer tanks for 270 liters on the T-34 from "Krasnoe Sormov" appeared only at the end of 1942 (order No. 64 of EE Rubinchik mentioned in the article of 22.09.1942). In this case, you have to believe the information of the resource On the site, in turn, there is a link to the source S. Bylinin, Battle for Moscow, Series "Military Art Fund" - M., Exprint, 2004 (p. 26)
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 30 October 2020 16: 27
        -13 qualifying.
        "Gasoline leakage and spontaneous combustion are possible!" T-34 from "Red Sormov"

        Wasn't there a diesel engine on the T-34? hi
        1. Evgeny Fedorov
          30 October 2020 16: 33
          Not at all. The cars from Krasnoye Sormovo were partially equipped with M-17 carburetor engines. This article is written about. Read)))
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 30 October 2020 18: 41
            Thank you, Eugene, I will be more attentive. hi
          2. hohol95
            hohol95 30 October 2020 23: 36
            "Medium tank T-34-76. The first year of the war"
      2. Mister X
        Mister X 30 October 2020 23: 04
        Quote: Evgeny Fedorov
        In this case, you have to believe the information of the resource

        At one time I was looking for information on engines for T34.
        Vladimir Gorbunov, head of the exposition department, helped me
    2. Livonetc
      Livonetc 30 October 2020 15: 58
      Baseless assumption.
      "It is likely they were equipped with an M-17 carburetor. Source."
    3. Asad
      Asad 30 October 2020 15: 59
      Yes, like everything you listed is there!
    4. Jager
      Jager 31 October 2020 14: 56
      Tank from the Vyksa Metallurgist column.
    5. Incvizitor
      Incvizitor 1 November 2020 00: 36
      Can you tell me if there is an accurate infa on the Internet about the percentage deterioration in the armor of German tanks of the end of the Second World War due to problems with the quality of steel? I would like to know how much the quality of the armor has fallen relative to the equipment of other parties to the conflict, but I cannot find the exact information.
  2. antivirus
    antivirus 30 October 2020 15: 54
    about fires:
    May 9, 82 g after the relay, in honor of Victory Day, at Victory Square (where the start and finish) go to school.
    To meet me, not an old man, in a nice linen suit, 3 rows of planks, gray-haired, with a black and gray-haired mustache: "Stalin had Georgians' favorites, they were sent to tank troops, so many were burned out"
    not literally.
    I remembered now - a photo with tumbled out of the hatch, charred


    and the personnel and culture of production from the level of paddle steamers still rose to modern (then) requirements, brutal study
  3. yriuv62
    yriuv62 30 October 2020 17: 49
    -22 qualifying.
    Without a gun, then you couldn't do it well? It was necessary to put those chiefs in their tanks and send them to the attack, and things would be better right away!
    1. Revolver
      Revolver 30 October 2020 18: 53
      Quote: yriuv62
      It was necessary to put those chiefs in their tanks and send to the attack

      They would have burned down uselessly, and who should replace them? This worker can be trained in six months, and even then it is very conditional:
      Over the next six months, only 964 specialists were trained on their own on a very truncated program.

      And an engineer needs 5 years of institute, and then 3 years in production or at the drawing board, so that he can work independently.
      And you can't train a tanker at once, even from an engineer who somehow knows the materiel. "At least somehow" because it is one thing to look at a drawing, but to turn the nuts in the field is quite another, and firing from a tank gun is a skill that depends to a very small extent on knowledge of the tank design.
      Everyone must do their job.
      1. DemikSPb
        DemikSPb 31 October 2020 12: 44
        We must also take into account the fact that the workers were either over 60 years old or under 16 years old. The bulk was called up. Some were then returned to the workshops.
    2. uncle Vlad
      uncle Vlad 11 November 2020 22: 50
      The entire Russian Empire graduated 1914 engineers in 1200, although they could design and build a railway bridge in one person. True doubts about our graduates
  4. Siberian54
    Siberian54 30 October 2020 20: 28
    A tough time for the country, cruel measures to overcome it ... a peasant in the workshop, the horror of a master! HERE HEROVA WELDING AND UNLASTING NUTS AND BOLTS ... But overcame these diseases and won
  5. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 30 October 2020 22: 36
    Good article. Showed how difficult the delivery of our tank power was. This is not for you to add the commander's turret to the tower where, in principle, there is no place for it. Thanks to the author!
  6. Alien From
    Alien From 30 October 2020 22: 47
    Thanks to the author! Interesting topic. Regarding what was written: already a great feat, that the production worked, in spite of everything, the factory workers are great!
  7. crabkiller
    crabkiller 30 October 2020 22: 57
    The man in the center of the frame has a hand drill?
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. beeper
      beeper 31 October 2020 09: 37
      Quote: crabkiller
      The man in the center of the frame has a hand drill?

      hi Pneumatic wrench! A pneumatic line hose is visible, going up the armor up and around the worker's body, under the left arm, suitable for the corner fitting at the top of this pneumatic tool. yes
      A hand drill (by the way, a pneumatic drilling machine, too) is much more compact and simpler in design, and it is not very easy to drill with it the surface-hardened armor steel used for the armored hulls of T-34 tanks! wink
      The pneumatic tool is still the main one at repair enterprises, since it is simple in design, relatively (in relation to electric and hydro-tools) cheap to buy and operate, unpretentious to the roughest use, overloads, even in wet-oil (power tools are much more vulnerable and more "fraught" with electrical injuries of workers) environment-dirt and very maintainable.
    3. uncle Vlad
      uncle Vlad 11 November 2020 22: 52
      I bought the first eldrel in 1990. A cell phone in 1998 or something. It was not before. Young people simply do not understand this.
  8. hohol95
    hohol95 30 October 2020 23: 34
    "Gasoline leakage and spontaneous combustion are possible!"

    In reports on the use of "Tigers", German tankers also pointed to problems with fuel lines and fuel leaks inside the hull.
    Also, oil was leaking from the transmission, and the clamps on the radiator supply hoses were not tightened.
    And this was done in a specialized tank factory by professional workers! Which were not sent to the front!
    What can be demanded from the factory workers who have never encountered the production of tanks.
    And it is not realistic to determine the manufacturer from the photographs of the burning tanks!
  9. stalkerwalker
    stalkerwalker 31 October 2020 02: 42
    I still hope that in the continuation promised by the author, an objective assessment of the production capacity of plant 112 will be given, in terms of technological capabilities (and more - impossibilities) in assembling the T-34 at the plant sites.
    P. S
    I would also like to understand - how it was possible "... As a result of hard work on the 28th day, the first set of shoulder straps was made, and by the end of the year 450 shoulder straps were manufactured, and in 1942 - 2140 sets..."
    Only "the compression stored in a bucket" comes to mind, or the attempts of the salami to sharpen the anchor paws with a file ...
    1. uncle Vlad
      uncle Vlad 11 November 2020 23: 01
      Actually, even now not everyone can make a shoulder strap. The turret strap is a ring with a toothed rim with a diameter of 1.5-2.0 meters and an accuracy of 0,2-0,1 mm per 2 radians and a purity of 0,8. If that tells you something.
      If you want to understand, look at the excavator pivot unit (Kat or Japanese) This ring gear is a turret shoulder strap inside out. The Germans make a shoulder strap 1.5 meters in 90 days
  10. Reader 2013
    Reader 2013 31 October 2020 09: 11
    It's wonderful, of course, in "decaying" America, enterprises fought to get military orders, and here they threatened with a pestle
    1. demiurg
      demiurg 31 October 2020 10: 35
      A very direct comparison.
      On the one hand, an enterprise with limited resources (and all of them), part of the staff is mobilized. And the plant was fully loaded before the war.
      On the other hand, factories with ready personnel, resources, idle because of the Great Depression, have been that way since 1930.
      One to one situation.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  11. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 31 October 2020 11: 56
    Specialism and the fact that most of the Soviet leadership of high ranks did not have the necessary engineering education, they did their job mercilessly. The factories simply lacked internal organization. However, the USSR's biggest problem lay at the intersection of technology, ideology and psychology. And the problem was precisely in psychology!
    Technologies - supply of components is required for production. It is wild and strange to blame those who have received less components of the required quality.
    Ideology - socialism was built in the USSR. That is, production had to go according to plan. The plan must be a) scientifically and technically justified b) implemented. Whoever did not fulfill it is to blame.
    Psychology. The most ambush. Clear work on the implementation and control of the first two positions without any problems made the USSR the first in the world, the undisputed leader. But. BUT. The fulfillment of these conditions almost completely blocked the advancement of careerists along the vertical of power! Power lovers have no place in socialist production systems. They are undoubtedly a destructive force that destroys all and all production and technological chains. And the power then consists entirely of them!
    As a result, technology and ideology were broken and forgotten. Power-lovers waved pistols, beat muzzles, moved huge volumes of resources aimlessly and senselessly, destroying, spoiling and spoiling everything around them, just to present themselves as tough and victorious leaders. Worthy of an unconditional promotion.
    It is possible to adjust the technological process by precisely adjusting - accurate and painstaking work to eliminate problem areas. But first of all you need to be able to! Lots of things to know! And the Deputy People's Commissar for his position was not skill and knowledge. And then what? And then you have to pull out the trunk, plant several people, shoot someone. The method of power-hungry - let these suckers who spent time on all sorts of institutions there and other "abstruse books" somehow do FOR HIS HIS WORK.
    True, this despicable technological trifle does not have its capabilities. And really, as it should, they also cannot cope with the work, because the Boss may notice that the work was not done by the deputy commissar! So everything SHOULD be bad, bad, but by a miracle, with a barrel and a shot, in the hands of a promising boss, we managed to do at least something. We need to give the boss even more power, and he already then ...
    In general, it should be recognized. In the USSR, the building of socialism did not succeed. For the reason I described. It's a shame, but ...
    1. Old Michael
      Old Michael 2 November 2020 15: 41
      It is a pity that you can only put one plus.
      Although I do not agree with you on everything, on the whole I agree.
      1. Mikhail3
        Mikhail3 2 November 2020 16: 12
        Thanks. Please try to formulate what you do not agree with. Very interesting. Only if it's not at the level of feeling "well, everything could not be so bad"))
    2. uncle Vlad
      uncle Vlad 11 November 2020 23: 13
      There is one problem. Socialism in the USSR is only the first social experiment. Yes, there are failures, but not everything is correct. But they learn from mistakes. Capitalism is actually 450 years old, plus the era of experiments. (Venetian Republic) Someone wants, they don't want to, but as Zhvanetsky said, "We are crawling stubbornly into the cemetery." We are stubbornly moving towards socialism. And the funny thing is that rabid imperialists are pushing us there. People are afraid of the word "socialism" - there will be a welfare state. Read Karl Marx's "Capital" better
      1. Mikhail3
        Mikhail3 12 November 2020 09: 06
        I read) Marx stuck there ... However, for a severe beer alcoholic it is forgivable. The most amusing question that immediately comes to mind is the difference between labor and labor. One person makes a thing out of material in two working hours. And the other, in the same two hours, from the same materials - junk. Try to fit this obvious thing into Marx's formulas.
        Regarding the fact that socialism AGAIN will succeed in building on lies, vile nonsense and deceit of peoples - is one time not enough for you? What did the propaganda, lies and deception lead to for the first time, you do not understand? Or is there no desire to understand? The top of the USSR could not tell people the truth and lead the economy according to it.
        This is true for a socialist economy - the only way to exist. And for the top - the recognition that they did not occupy their places by right. And to lie, to trick, to lie - the only way for them to gain a foothold in power. This, and the mess created by lies and chaos. In a normally functioning system of socialist industrial and social relations, there is no place for careerists, liars and dodgers. Means - will be abnormal!
        So she collapsed to hell. That's why. And your dear belief that people just need to talk differently, to put it mildly, will not work ...))
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. irontom
    irontom 31 October 2020 13: 42
    KrasnoSormovskaya T-34, my old model was made in the late 90s.
    Screening and characteristic handrails above the MTO rear hatch.

    1. hohol95
      hohol95 1 November 2020 23: 21
      Was your model called a T-34 tank repaired at factory # 112?
      Rollers with internal shock absorption were not used at Krasnoye Sormovo.
      More like tanks produced by UVZ or ChTZ.
      1. irontom
        irontom 2 November 2020 19: 46
        It was a long time ago, there was a Star, there were Tamiev spare parts (screen, tanks, rollers), you can say, yes, that this is a repair tank.
        1. hohol95
          hohol95 4 November 2020 00: 09
          "T-34. The first complete encyclopedia". Maxim Kolomiets
          This book contains data and photographs about the repair of the T-34 at repair plants and the difficulties arising from this.
    2. uncle Vlad
      uncle Vlad 11 November 2020 23: 15
      The 76 mm barrel is too long. This is not F-22
      1. irontom
        irontom 13 November 2020 12: 59
        Not a standard F-34, model T-34 from Zvezda.
  14. Azimuth
    Azimuth 31 October 2020 14: 18
    Quote: Citelle 2013
    It's wonderful, of course, in "decaying" America, enterprises fought to get military orders, and here they threatened with a pestle

    In decaying America, such a share of men as in the USSR was not mobilized, the territory was not under blows and occupation, enterprises and infrastructure were not transferred a thousand kilometers, or were not re-profiled so much.
    At most in the States, women stood at the machines, and not half-starved children who worked in two shifts ... God would be afraid, since the memory does not give a damn.
    1. Reader 2013
      Reader 2013 31 October 2020 15: 37
      You about the economy, and you throw slogans, you might think before the war the plan in the USSR was carried out by other methods
  15. Azimuth
    Azimuth 31 October 2020 16: 29
    Quote: Citelle 2013
    You about the economy, and you throw slogans, you might think before the war the plan in the USSR was carried out by other methods
    Not an ounce of slogans, not a supporter of lies to the grief of ideologists of the times of the USSR, or those who like to banish everything now. I separate the dedication and feat of many of our people from the husks and slops of both.

    So just the economy. Labor resources are part of the economy. Mobilization plans are also economics. The evacuation and relocation of hundreds of industries, taking into account the logistics capabilities of that time and the level of development of railway and waterways, deployment often in an open field, establishing cooperation are the most difficult measures to implement even today, but there were specialists who coped without computers and software, on the accounts and a pencil. Mentally put the current government of the Russian Federation in the chairs of the people's commissars of that time and think about whether they will cope with such a task. And this is all ECONOMY. Count the resources, notice the limited ones, process, distribute, produce products in accordance with plans at the front and keeping the population in the rear, etc., etc. The economy is clean, not slogans.

    Before the war, preparations were underway for it. The war does not start in a year or two, and it is impossible to hide the military preparations, all sides perfectly understood who, where and approximately when the war would start. And before the war and during it, ANY state takes action and applies measures in essence of wartime.
    Read about the methods used in the UK, for example, in planning agricultural production and how they dealt with farmers who dared not follow them
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 2 November 2020 15: 07
      Quote: Azimuth
      Read about the methods used in the UK, for example, in planning agricultural production and how they dealt with farmers who dared not follow them

      Not only with farmers and not only during the war. Orwell drew his 1984 exactly from the British realities - at the time when Clement Attlee was actually building angsots.
      In agricultural Britain, there was: centralized production planning in farms, fixed purchase prices and commissions for determining "economic efficiency" (farmers recognized as ineffective owners received time to correct identified deficiencies, if not corrected, they could lose land).
      The same parsley was used in light industry after the war: production was controlled by efficiency commissions.
      1. uncle Vlad
        uncle Vlad 11 November 2020 23: 18
        In fact, after the war, England was on the cards until the 53rd Look at Discovery "Edwardian Farm"
  16. TechPriest
    TechPriest 9 November 2020 07: 31
    "Murom steam locomotive repair plant No. 176 was engaged in the manufacture of front and support wheels"
    But there are no support rollers on the T-34
  17. Dwarfking
    Dwarfking 10 November 2020 16: 32
    my grandfather collected tanks at this plant throughout the war, then drove