Artillery. Large caliber. 122 mm howitzer sample 1910 / 30's. "Outdated" war hero
The hardest thing to talk about the tools that have long been at the hearing. In the prewar period, according to this indicator, the first place must be given without hesitation, the 122-mm divisional howitzer of the 1910 / 30 model.
Probably, there is no military conflict of that time, where these howitzers would not shine. And in the frames of the chronicles of the Great Patriotic War, these tools are constant heroes of battles. And you can see them on both sides of the front. The command "fire" sounds in Russian, German, Finnish, Romanian. Opponents did not disdain to use trophies. You must admit that this is a rather important indicator of the reliability, quality and good combat characteristics of the weapon.
First of all, it should be explained historical the need for the appearance of this particular weapon. We already talked about the problems of the Red Army of that time. As well as about the problems of the entire USSR. Deterioration of guns, lack of production capabilities of high-quality spare parts, obsolescence of weapons.
Add to this the lack of engineering and design personnel in industry, the obsolescence of production technology, the absence of much of what has already been used in the defense industry of western countries.
And all this against the background of the openly hostile environment of the country. Against the background of outspoken preparation of the West for a war with the Soviet Union.
Naturally, the leadership of the Red Army and the USSR understood perfectly well that without taking urgent measures to rearm the Red Army, the country would not only be an outsider of the world artillery powers in the near future, but would also have to spend huge amounts of money on the purchase of outdated Western artillery systems. Modern artillery was needed here and now.
The Red Army in 20 had two 48-linear (1 line = 0,1 inches = 2,54 mm) field howitzers: the 1909 and 1910 samples. Developed by Krupp (Germany) and Schneider (France). In the middle of the 20-s, after the final transition to the metric system, it was these tools that became the 122-mm howitzers.
Comparison of these howitzers is not the task of the authors of this article. Therefore, the answer to the question of why exactly the howitzer of the 1910 model of the year was chosen for the modernization will be voiced with only one comment. This howitzer was more promising and had a greater potential for further modernization in terms of long-range.
With equal and sometimes better (for example, by the weight of a heavy high-explosive grenade - 23 kg versus 15-17 for Western samples), the howitzer played well in the firing range of Western models (German 10,5 cm Feldhaubitze 98 / 09 or British Royal Ordnnute inch howitzer): 4.5 km vs 7,7 km.
In the middle of the 20-s, an understanding of the imminent possible backlog of Soviet howitzer artillery transformed into a direct order to expand work in this direction. In 1928, the design bureau of the Perm Gun Factory (Motovilihinsky) was given the task of upgrading the howitzer and increasing its range to the level of the best samples. In this case, the advantage in weight of grenades must be maintained.
Vladimir Nikolaevich Sidorenko became the head of the design group.
What is the difference between the howitzer of the 1930 model of the year and the 1910 howitzer of the year?
First of all, the new howitzer is distinguished by its chamber, which was extended by boring the rifled part of the barrel by one caliber. This is done in order to ensure the safety of shooting new grenades. The required initial speed of a heavy grenade could only be obtained by increasing the charge. This, in turn, increased the length of the ammunition on the 0,64 caliber.
And then simple physics. In the standard sleeve, either there was no room for all the beams, or there was not enough volume to expand the gases generated during the combustion of gunpowder if an increased charge was used. In the latter case, an attempt at firing led to the rupture of the gun, since due to the lack of volume for expansion of gases in the chamber, their pressure and temperature greatly increased, and this led to a sharp increase in the rate of chemical reaction of the combustion of gunpowder.
The next change in the design is due to a decent increase in recoil when firing a new grenade. Enhanced recoil devices, lifting mechanism and the carriage itself. The old mechanisms could not withstand firing long-range ammunition.
From here came the next upgrade. Increasing the range required the creation of new sights. Here the designers did not reinvent the wheel. On the modernized howitzer installed the so-called normalized sight.
The same sights were installed at that time on all the upgraded guns. Differences consisted only in cutting the distance scale and fixtures. In the modern version, the scope would be called unified or unified.
As a result of all upgrades, the total mass of the gun in a combat position — 1466 kilograms — increased slightly.
Upgraded howitzers, which today are in various museums of the world, can be recognized by marking. On the trunks are obligatory embossed inscriptions: "Extended chamber". On the gun carriage - "enhanced" and "sample 1910 / 30." on the spindle, the regulating ring and the back of the rollback.
It was in this form that the howitzer was adopted by the Red Army in 1930. Produced at the same factory in Perm.
Structurally 122-mm howitzer arr. 1910 / 30 (the main series according to the "B" drawings) consisted of:
- a barrel made of a pipe fastened with a casing and a muzzle or a monoblock-barrel without a muzzle;
- the piston lock opening to the right. Closing and opening the shutter was done by turning the handle in one step;
- single-bar carriage, which included a cradle, anti-recoil devices, assembled in a sled, machine, guidance mechanisms, running gear, aiming devices and shield cover.
Towing tools carried horse (six horses) or mechanical thrust. Be sure to use the front and charging box. Transportation speed was only 6 km / h on wooden wheels. Springs and metal wheels appeared after adoption, respectively, the towing speed increased.
There is another merit of the modernized 122 mm howitzer. She became the "mother" of the Soviet self-propelled howitzer SU-5-2. The machine was created as part of the design of triplex division artillery. Based on the chassis tank T-26 SU-5 installations were created.
SU-5-1 - self-propelled mount with 76-mm gun.
SU-5-2 - self-propelled installation with 122-mm howitzer.
SU-5-3 - self-propelled unit with 152-mm mortar.
The machine was created at the plant of an experienced mechanical engineering plant named after S. M. Kirov (Plant No. XXUMX). Passed factory and state tests. It was recommended for adoption. It was built 185 self-propelled guns. However, they were used to solve completely unusual tasks.
Light tanks were intended for offensive operations. This means that tank units do not need howitzers, but assault guns. SU-5-2 was used as an artillery support weapon. And in this case, the need for fast movements disappeared. Mounted howitzers were preferable.
Nevertheless, these machines, even with such a small number, are fighting. In 1938, five self-propelled howitzers fought with the Japanese at Lake Hassan as part of the 2 mechanized brigade, the feedback from the brigade command was positive.
SU-1939-5 also took part in the campaign 2 of Poland. But information about the fighting has not been preserved. Most likely (considering that the machines were part of the 32-th tank brigade), before the battle it did not come.
But in the first period of the Patriotic War, SU-5-2 fought, but did not make any special weather. In total, western districts had 17 machines, 9 in the Kiev district and 8 in the Western special. It is clear that by the autumn of 1941, most of them were destroyed, or taken as trophies by the Wehrmacht.
And how did the "classic" howitzers fight? It is clear that any weapon is best tested in combat.
In 1939, upgraded 122-mm howitzers were used during the events at Khalkhin Gol. Moreover, the number of guns is constantly increasing. This is due in many respects to the excellent results of the work of the Soviet gunners. According to estimates by Japanese officers, Soviet howitzers exceeded everything they had met before.
Naturally, the new Soviet system became the subject of "hunting" of the Japanese. The barrage of Soviet howitzers completely discouraged Japanese soldiers from attacking. The result of such a "hunt" became quite noticeable losses of the Red Army. The 31 gun was damaged or lost forever. Moreover, the Japanese managed to capture a fairly large number of trophies.
So, during the night attack positions 149 rifle regiment, in the night from 7 to 8 in July, the Japanese seized the battery of Lieutenant Aleshkin (6-I battery 175 artillery regiment). While trying to recapture the battery, the battery commander died, and the personnel suffered significant losses. In the future, the Japanese used this battery in their own army.
The Soviet-Finnish war was the high point of the 122-mm howitzer of the 1910 / 30 model. For various reasons, it was these weapons that showed howitzer artillery of the Red Army. According to some information, the number of howitzers only in the 7 Army (first echelon) then reached almost 700 (in other 624) units.
Just as it happened at Khalkhin Gol, howitzers became a "tidbit" for the Finnish army. Losses of the Red Army in Karelia, according to various estimates, ranged from 44 to 56 guns. Some of these howitzers also became part of the Finnish army and later were used by the Finns rather effectively.
By the beginning of World War II, the guns we described were the most common howitzers in the Red Army. According to various estimates, the total number of such systems reached 5900 (5578) guns. And the completeness of the parts and connections was from 90 to 100%!
At the beginning of the war, 2752 122-mm howitzer of the 1910 / 30 type was located only in the western districts. But at the beginning of 1942, they were fewer than 2000 pieces (by some estimates, 1900; no exact data).
Such monstrous losses played a negative role in the fate of these honored veterans. Naturally, the new production created a more sophisticated tools. Such systems were M-30. They became the main howitzers already in 1942 year.
But all the same, at the beginning of 1943, howitzers of the 1910 / 30 model made up more than 20% (1400 pieces) of the total number of such weapons and continued their combat path. And they came to Berlin! Outdated, broken by shrapnel, repaired many times, but reached! Although to see them on the winning chronicle is difficult. And then they lit up on the Soviet-Japanese front.
Many authors claim that the 122-mm howitzer model 1910 / 30's outdated by the year 1941. And used the Red Army "poverty". But a simple, but logical question arises: what criteria are used to determine old age?
Yes, these howitzers could not compete with the same M-30, which will be our next story. But the gun performed the tasks well enough. There is such a term - the necessary sufficiency.
So, these howitzers had exactly the necessary efficiency. And in many ways the heroic work of these old but powerful howitzers contributed to the possibility of increasing the M-30 park in the Red Army.
TTX 122-mm howitzer sample 1910 / 30's:
Caliber, mm: 122 (121,92)
Maximum range of fire with grenade OF-462, m: 8 875
Mass of gun
in the stowed position, kg: 2510 (with front end)
in a combat position, kg: 1466
Time of transfer to the firing position, sec: 30-40
Angles of fire, hail.
- elevations (max): 45
- reductions (min): -3
- horizontal: 4,74
Calculation persons: 8
Rate of fire, rds / min: 5-6
We express our gratitude to the Museum of Russian Military History in Padikovo for the information provided.
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