NESTOR Production

ARMOR IS BOLD, AND ARE THE TANKS FAST...

ARMOR IS BOLD, AND ARE THE TANKS FAST...

 

 

EXT. 1 Our Earth, view from space. Rotates in sun beams, slowly comes  closer. Camera stops over Ural mountains. We may see some cities,  forests, rivers.

 

NARRATOR

At the beginning of the XXI­st century there were two  plants on a planet Earth ­ only two! ­ where tanks were  build on a conveyor, just like... cars.

 

EXT. 2 Camera moves closer, now it's over Nizhniy Tagil ­ city in  Sverdlovsk oblast'. We may see giant plant, it's situated on several  hectares. NARRATOR Number one ­ Ural's wagons' building plant, in Nizhniy  Tagil...

 

EXT. 3 Now camera slowly moves to the South­South­East. We are over  Tschelyabinsk ­ another Russian city on South Ural.

 
NARRATOR

The second ­ Tschelyabinsk Tractor Plant. As you may see ­  both conveyors keep working even this hour. Every hour  another tank comes from it. Another Russian technical  miracle...

 

EXT. 4 Camera moves from those giant hangars, Earth rotates and soon  enough we are over the East Coast of the United States. Camera downs  over Hoboken, NJ.  

 

NARRATOR

But it all started here. Well, Hoboken. Small sleepy city,  New Jersey. Right here, in late twenties of the XX century,  lived and worked a true American genius, John Walther  Cristie.

 

EXT. 5 Collage of archive photos, Christie's portraits, views of the  city Hoboken, his laboratory, factory ­ it's still there. We come in.  

NARRATOR

Here, in 1929, Russian trade delegation came... Its major  goal was to establish working relations and collect  necessary information and technology in order to build  Soviet tanks for coming World Revolution...

 

EXT.   6   Archive   footage   ­   steamers   arrives   into   American   port,  railroad, station. Cars, trucks, people of that distant time.  SWITH TO

EXT. 7 Testing ground, Aberdeen, MD: unique footage of the Christie's  tank ­ it's distinguished by its speed and maneuverability. It may  jump over small rivers, and even anti­tank ditch is not an obstacle  for it. Some light music sounds ­ for instance, When Johnny comes  home

 

NARRATOR

Let's keep in mind that there still were about four years  before USA and USSR established diplomatic relations. By  the way, Germany ­ where normal democratic government is  still at the helm ­ already has its embassy in Washington,  DC. And ­ via that embassy ­ asked American government to  sell Germany at least one of the so­called fast tractors  Christie. But... Government of the US categorically  declined that  request. And... with regards to the USSR...

 

EXT. 8 Archive footage of the Belomor­canal, collectivization in the  USSR, scary pictures of famine, militarization and parades, countless  hordes   of   Red   Army.   Totalitarian   demonstrations   on   Red   Square.  Marching crowds. 

 

NARRATOR 

US State Department ­ after being lobbied by two US  Senators from New Jersey ­ allowed USSR to buy from John  Walther Christie...

 

EXT. 9 Again ­ Christie's tank on a testing ground. This time it's  surrounded   by  smiling   American  military  officers,  one  of   them  ­  future General George Patton. This time tank has no turret mounted ­ but it still is not obviously an agricultural machine...

 

NARRATOR

Two of his ... TRACTORS. Well, with no turrets attached...  So...

 

EXT. 10 Port. Steamer is under embarkation. Soviet flag on its flag­ stock.  

 

NARRATOR

Nikolai Toskin, Soviet engineer working for AMTORG, was  assigned to this case. He was responsible for delivering  those two tanks ­ oh, sorry! ­ tractors, of course! ­ to  Odessa. He had to learn how to drive and maintain those  mechanisms. John Walther Christie notified US State  Department that he sold to the USSR two of his agricultural  machines. Everyone knew perfectly well what exactly  Christie is working on ­ and still, with no further delays  all the papers were duly stamped, and December 24th 1930  Soviet steamer with those "tractors" aboard left an  American port.  

 

EXT. 11 Again ­ testing ground in Aberdeen, MD. Christie's  tanks  there  ­ still  in  a  perfect  workable  order.  We drive  them for a  camera. Still mechanical wonder they are!

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INT. 1 Museum in Aberdeen. Close­up to the original documents ­ bill  of sale of those tanks to the USSR.  

 

NARRATOR Well, at the beginning of 1941, Soviet Union already had  about twenty three thousand tanks, and all of them were  created implementing brilliant design of John Walther  Christie. And all of them were built on a base of  Christie's prototypes, on Soviet tank plants... designed  and built by American engineers and technicians, based on  American technology. As of June 21th, 1941 ­ day before the  Nazis invaded Soviet Union ­ Red Army had 1,363 of the very  best tanks of the World War Two ­ T­34. And they also had  unique heavy tanks KV­1 and KV­2 ­ no one in the world had  similar! ­ 677 of them. And countless hordes of lighter and  fast tanks ­ BT­7, BT­10...

 

EXT. 12 Archive footage of those Soviet tanks ­ on testing ground,  and in Spain, Mongolia, Poland...

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EXT. 13 American tanks of the same period. All three hundreds of them  ­ M4A4. Just a slow­moving, totally unreliable target on tracks.  

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EXT.   14   Soviet   tanks   storming   through   mud,   snow   ­   absolutely  unstoppable attack of the armored pure power.  SWITCH TO

EXT. 15 Again ­ Sherman tanks. France ­ or is it already Belgium?  They're stocked in a mud. Pitiful view...

 

NARRATOR

And what about the US? United States Government didn't  accept Christie's tanks, and ordered ... this. That's how  the major tanks of the US looked like. Meet M4A4 ­ a.k.a.  Sherman. Five truck's engines inside ­ how these things  worked together over there I cannot even imagine... Let  alone its very low speed, high pressure on ground, weak  tracks and high silhouette...

 

EXT. 16 And again ­ Soviet tanks in World War II. And here they are ­  in Berlin, Victory Day parade ­ the best tanks of that time: IS­2.  And here  are the  footage of revolution in  Budapest, 1956. Soviet  tanks slaughter demonstration. Korea, Prague ­ 1968. Sound track ­  Karol  Kryl's   song  Close  the  gates,  Brother  ­  song  of  the  Czech  resistance. Afghanistan, Africa, Vietnam... Finally ­ Iraq. Desert  Storm.  

 

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EXT. 17 CLOSE­UP ­ tank's suspension, tracks of the Soviet tank BT­7  and those  of  an  American M1931  ­  Christie's  prototype. They  are  practically identical.  

 

NARRATOR

Two basic revolutionary elements: an original Christie's  suspension with absolutely unique low pressure on a ground,  and his idea of an internal layout when transmission and an  engine are placed together, in a back compartment ­ that  allowed to build a very low­silhouette of an armored body ­  distinguished those outstanding machines. Soviet  constructors designed brilliant by their technological solution and simplicity armored bodies and turrets, placed  inside cast­in­one­block the very best long­barreled gun;  and first in the world mass­produced diesels of the  original Soviet design. When everywhere in the world tanks  used high­octane gasoline... Soviet tanks ran on diesel  fuel ­ what made them more safe and effective... And all  others? They shone like matches. According to one German  panzer­grenadier... "... Fortunately, noise of the flame in  a burning tank, usually muffled screams of the crew..."

 

EXT. 18 Burning German tank ­ and next to it fast and deadly Soviet  T­34. Probably, Kursk battle...

 

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EXT. 19 Camera is moving from the Earth, now it's again just a planet  in space.

 

NARRATOR We told you a story of a great American invention,  unrecognized at home ­ and with a glory implemented in a  far­away land... At the beginning of the XXI century,  Christie's suspension assembled in Russia, still is the  most reliable and the most mass­produced in the world...