The death of the company EC-1, revenge on the EC-2 and the possibility of its high-explosive fragmentation projectile
IS-2 - Victory Tank. With these formidable vehicles, along with the modernized T-34s, our tank crews completed the Great Patriotic War. Armament tank IS-2 allowed him to hit German tanks at a distance of two - two and a half kilometers.
The first version of the heavy tank, the EC-1, was developed in the second half of the 1942. The heavy tank EC-1 with the 85-mm cannon D-5T (aka the EC-85 or “237 Object”) was created in the summer of 1943. But it soon became clear that this gun was too weak for a heavy tank. In October, the 1943 of the year was carried out to develop a variant of the IS tank with a more powerful D-25 tank gun of the 122-mm caliber. The tank was sent to the test site near Moscow, where from its gun from a distance of 1500 meters the German Panther tank was fired. The first projectile broke through the frontal armor of the Panther and, without losing its energy, pierced all the guts, struck the stern of the hull, tore it off and dropped it a few meters away. Under the brand EC-2 in October 1943, the tank was accepted into serial production, which was deployed at the beginning of 1944.
And what is the fight on the EC-1 and EC-2? How big was the loss of the crews of these powerful cars?
Captain Gmiryansky's company, destroyed in a few seconds
Boris Zakharov has fought on ISA since the beginning of 1944. In the 13-th separate guards heavy tank regiment for the post of commander of a tank platoon he was enlisted on 13 of January 1944 of the year by order number 13. Under his command was a company commander’s tank and two linear tanks. In the second platoon of the company there were two tanks. In total, the regiment consisted of 21 tank IS-1. Unfortunately, the regiment was not destined to experience the joy of full-fledged combat victories on these machines. But it is unlikely that the reasons for this should be sought in the design flaws of the EC-1. The case was quite different:
“At the beginning of 1944, our regiment was sent to the 2-th Ukrainian Front. At first, we stood on the defensive near the village of Dzhurzhentsy, and at dawn 15 February, we were taken to the position near the village of Lysyanka. During the redeployment, my tank hit a mine. The explosion knocked out the first roller, jammed gearbox. However, since the sloth remained intact, we managed to pull the caterpillar and bring the car to the designated area. Another tank of my platoon showed a leak in the gearbox (the side gearboxes on the EC-1 were very weak and quickly failed). Thus, only one effective tank remained in the platoon, and three in the company. The regiment, and with it our company, was stationed on a wooded hill in front of Lysyanka. The outskirts of the village, which was about half a kilometer away, and the embankment of the narrow-gauge railway, along which sugar was taken from the sugar plant to Potash station, were clearly visible from it. She walked parallel to the settlement, and she needed to cross to get to the town. The next morning, the regimental commander, having received the task of attacking the village of Lysyanka, decided to use the first company, in which all five tanks were operational. Captain Gmiryansky commanded her ... The first attack I had to see left a heavy impression. Heavy, because later, having a certain combat experience, I estimated the actions of the regimental command as ill-conceived. Without any intelligence, without fire support, the company was thrown at the enemy. Turning into a line, five tanks went ahead, and when they began to climb this embankment, the German anti-aircraft guns, installed on the outskirts of Lysyanka, literally destroyed them within a few seconds. Some tanks continued to roll until they got stuck in the snow, some caught fire. The whole company died. "
How much blood cost not only tank crews, but also the entire Red Army, a considerable manner, alas, the number of bosses to throw troops into the attack without reconnaissance and artillery preparation.
The most annoying thing is that the terrain completely allowed the company of captain Gmiryansky to attack differently:
“In the 1974 year, when the 30 anniversary of the liberation of the region was celebrated, we went with regimental veterans to places of military glory. We stopped in Lysyanka, visited the site of this battle. When they passed a little to the right from the location of our regiment, they saw a small ravine. If reconnaissance had been carried out, it would probably be possible to bypass this Lysyanka in the lower reaches and go to the Germans in the rear. In addition, our tanks, which remained in reserve, could support the attack with fire, but no tank mission task was set. The question is why? The expectation was that these new tanks were invulnerable, that they could pass through any fire. ”
There was no luck further: “Having reached the middle of the bridge, the tank collapsed on its left side, turned over and fell into the river, having gone under water so that only the right caterpillar stuck on the surface. I sat in front of the driver’s hatch, carrying the road carrying light (we did not turn on the lights, fearing a German attack aviation) I was thrown into the water, but I easily got out first to the tank, and from it to the remains of the bridge, and the crew remained in the tank ... The regiment, crossing in another place, went ahead, and I remained to wait for the evacuation to pull out the tank, bury the crew . I caught up with the regiment already in Moldova somewhere in early May. There were practically no materiel in the regiment: they lost a lot for technical reasons, as well as as a result of hostilities. ”
It was a slaughter. The Germans did not have time to make a single shot!
The surviving tankers were loaded into the echelon and sent to Tesnitsky camps under Tula to receive new EC-2 tanks with an 122-mm gun. On these tanks, the fighting looked different. The regiment was more than able to pay for the company of Gmiryansky: “As part of the advanced detachment of the 6 mechanized corps, we went to the Charn Nida river. Approached the bridge that was located near the mill. The bridge was weak, and our scouts went upstream in search of a ford, and we dispersed, hiding the tanks behind a stone fence. It was the end of the day, when on a high-rise in our rear we noticed the appearance of either an armored personnel carrier or a tank. We did not shoot at him - far away. Apparently, not finding us, the reconnaissance vehicle, and it was she who gave the command to the convoy of German tanks and armored personnel carriers to move forward. When the first car hit the bridge, we opened fire from an ambush. It was a slaughter. The Germans did not have time to make a single shot! A few minutes later, two dozen fires were burning on the road. ”
During the fighting, it turned out that even the high-explosive fragmentation projectile of the EC-2 cannon is deadly for German armored vehicles:
“The regiment moved along a local asphalt road (there was little left after passing the tank column from the asphalt). The Germans on the road made piles of fir trees growing next to the road, and anti-tank mines were placed in the crown of a fallen tree. My tank went first. I, in order to protect myself, shot the crowns of the trees with fragmentation shells, and I let the tank on the butt, bare part of the trunk. So we moved along this road, when in front about three hundred meters I saw that the road was coming out of the forest to a T-shaped intersection. The gun commander, Misha Kozak, an excellent shooter, noticed some stir in the bushes that grew right near the intersection.
As it turned out, there was a self-propelled artillery installation "Artsturm", which, apparently, had to turn around slightly, in order to take us into the sight. Our high-explosive fragmentation projectile was loaded in our gun, and we had no choice but to shoot them. Self-propelled gun caught fire from the very first shot! Leaving the intersection, I turned left. The driver of the tank that was following me lost control, the tank fell into a ravine that was on the right side of the road, and was stuck. I got out of the car, leaving the commander of the driver, and he went to see and organize the pulling. Approaching the tank, I gave the command to the crew of the third vehicle to make a bundle of cables, hook the tank and pull it back up. At this time, the loader came running with a shout: “Tanks !!!” I ordered the crews of the two cars to evacuate, and he ran to the car, sat down and gave the order to move forward to turn the road. Coming to its middle, I saw that the enemy pillar was moving about eight hundred meters away from me. Only the front tank was visible, the rest were covered with dust. The commander of the gun was burnt by the first fragmentation shell ”.
Of course, the IS-2 fragmentation projectile was not always able to hit a German tank: “Suddenly, a German tank was pulled out of the village, covered with human figures, so that the tower was not visible at all. He was like a hedgehog! I say to the gun commander: “Do you see the target?” - “No, I do not see” - “Come on, turn the turret to the left”. And the tank is already leaving. Still, the gunner noticed this tank and broke the fragmentation shell. He did not destroy the tank, but he was already completely naked, he was completely swept away by the whole human mass. ”
But the powerful IC-2, of course, were not an invulnerable miracle - weapons. Until the very end of the war the regiment, where Zakharov served, suffered heavy losses: “Under Berlin, our regiment took part in mastering small settlements, in particular the town of Lyukenvalde. My company, in which there were only a half dozen tankers, by that time was left without tanks. At the end of April, we were ordered, armed with small arms and captured faust bullets, to cover the intersection of roads near the village of Ennikendorf. ”
An ideal super-weapon that allows you to destroy an enemy without loss, never in stories did not exist. And the formidable "Joseph Stalin" in the version of EC-1, and in the version of EC-2 was not an exception to this rule ...
- Maxim Kustov