Stories about weapons. ISU-152 outside and inside
We can say we finally got there! No, there are still a lot of stories about others ahead tanks, SPG and SPAAG, but this is something! ISU-152. "St. John's wort". Although I would call it differently.
If literary, then this is the weapon of Armageddon of that time. The quintessence of death, slow and calm. You can hysteria and try to beat her. Please, as they say. Successes. You can try to escape using speed. No problem. A shell is still faster.
The whole appearance of self-propelled guns speaks about one principle. Tom himself: "We will slowly descend from the hill, slowly crawling over the river, and you Khan."
Say - a lot of emotions. I agree. But even the modern "Msta", which will be discussed a little later, does not cause such feelings. Msta is modern, sophisticated, I don’t know how to say. “Hypericum” is a concentrated brutal, especially when you begin to understand its essence.
And the essence is simple. They took the most powerful howitzer cannon 152-mm (ML-20, what triviality?) And scalded it with an armored hull. And put it on the tank chassis.
The first swallow was called SU-152. The swallow weighed 45,5 tons and was made on the chassis of the KV-1s. Happened. After the removal of the KV-1s from production, the 670 of these heavy assault guns were launched, which could (partially) serve as SAUs.
The swallow successfully rolled the towers of the Tigers and the Panthers on the Kursk Bulge, and if it were not for the frankly weak KV chassis, they probably would have let them go further.
But intelligence reported on the development of new heavy tanks by the Germans (which was true) and a decision was made in a completely Soviet spirit. Higher, farther, stronger or whatever.
ISU-152 is exactly that. The base of the IS, from him and the letter "I" in the title. Due to the smaller width of the IS tank as compared to HF, it was necessary to reduce the slope of the side plates from 250 to 150 to the vertical, and the slope of the stern sheet should be completely eliminated.
At the same time, the thickness of the armor increased from 75 to 90 mm in frontal cutting and from 60 to 75 mm in airborne. Mask guns increased from 60 mm to 100 mm.
A huge advantage of the ISU-152 compared with the CU-152 was the installation of forced exhaust ventilation. When the shutter opened after firing, thick powder smoke similar in texture to sour cream slowly spread on the floor of the fighting compartment ... The crew of the Su-122 crew often lost consciousness during the battle from the accumulated powder gases after half the ammunition was consumed.
152-mm howitzer cannon ML-20C rev.1937 / 43 mounted in a cast frame, which played the role of the upper machine tool, and defended the same cast armor mask, the same as that of the SU-152.
In contrast to the field howitzer, a folding tray was installed on the ISU-152 to facilitate loading and additional thrust to the trigger mechanism, the handles of the flywheels of the lifting and turning mechanisms were at the gunner’s left along the car, the trunnions were moved forward for natural balancing.
For direct-fire shooting, the CT-10 telescopic sight was used, for firing from closed firing positions, a Hertz panorama with an extension was used, the lens of which emerged from the wheelhouse through the open left upper hatch.
Direct firing range was 3 800 m, the greatest - 6 200 m. The rate of fire - 2-3 shot per minute.
The gun had electrical and mechanical (manual) descents. The electric trigger switch was located on the handle of the lifting mechanism flywheel. On the guns of the first edition only manual descent was used.
The ammunition consisted of 21 shot of separate cartridge loading with armor-piercing tracer sharp-headed shells of the BR-540, high-explosive fragmentation gun and steel howitzer grenades OF-540 and splitting-off high-explosive gun grenades and steel howitzer grenades GF-530, how many of the fragmentary grenade grenades and grenade steel grenades Gharms of the strikeers, the campaignists, and the RH-0 shells, as well as the campaignists, and the rafists, who were in charge of them, and they were in particular;
Armor-piercing tracer shells were located in a special allotment niche on the left side in special frames, high-explosive fragmentation grenades were in the same place, shells with warheads in a niche in a special framework and in antomite. Part of the warhead shells was placed on the bottom under the gun.
The initial speed of an armor-piercing projectile with a mass of 48,78 kg was 600 m / s, at a distance of 1000 m it punched armor with a thickness of 123 mm.
From October 1944 of the year, on the rotating chase of the commander's hatch, an anti-aircraft turret with a 12,7-mm DShK machine gun was installed. Ammunition for the machine gun was 250 ammunition.
In addition, as a personal weapons the crew had two PPSh submachine guns (later PPS), 20 disks with cartridges and 20 hand grenades F-1.
Since the spring of 1944, heavy self-propelled artillery regiments armed with SU-152 have been reequipped with installations IMS-152 and IMS-122. They were transferred to new states and were given the title of Guards to everyone. In total, until the end of the war, 56 of such regiments was formed, each had an 21 machine ISU-152 or ISU-122 (or both those and others, such shelves were called mixed).
What else can you show?
From my point of view, the most unfortunate person in a carriage is a driver. This is the plan in its place. There, down there, where the dashboard ... It is very difficult to climb, it is even more difficult to get out, plus there is not very much space.
Devices minimum. There is no speedometer, but there is not much speed here. Yes, and not very necessary, in principle.
Crew hatches are all equipped with periscopes.
Appeared personal lights for mechvod.
Summarizing a certain result for ISU-152, it can be said that the self-propelled gun was a successful example of a universal heavy self-propelled artillery installation. The best confirmation of this is its service life, which lasted until the 70s of the last century. And participation is not in one local conflict.
A well-armored monster with a cannon, against which there was no armor then, and also reliable and unpretentious - what more could you want?
There were, of course, flaws. The most significant, I would call a small ammunition. Total 20 shots. Large shells, moreover, caused a long time for loading ammunition, about 40 minutes. Well, the artillerymen did not take the wimps, nevertheless, the force was required.
The second minus - optics. Well, it has become a classic. The CT-10 telescopic sight was calibrated for firing at a distance of up to 900 m, although the gun allowed firing at direct distance at a distance of up to 3,5 km. Yes, there was a panoramic sight, but just the opposite was true; at long range, a telescopic one was needed.
I read in my memoirs that in 45, our gunners practiced such a method as firing at one point in several SPGs. In this situation, the lack of accuracy was somewhat offset.
Hit by a high-explosive fragmentation projectile alongside the target would often disable it even without penetrating the armor. The blast wave and debris could damage any tank and self-propelled gun system, undercarriage, sights.
Shooting high-explosive fragmentation projectiles of the ISU-152 at armored vehicles was quite common, since 13 20 shots from 7 were precisely high-explosive fragmentation. The remaining 152 were armor-piercing (or, much less often, concrete-concrete). But again, the XNUMX-mm RP-projectile was enough to do things.
You know what's funny in our stories? There is really no one to compare ISU-152. I wanted to hold a couple of analogies, but nothing. If we take the criteria for performance characteristics, armament and use, then it must be admitted: there were no analogues.
There were guns of large calibers (150-155-mm) on a self-propelled basis from the Germans and Americans. But that the “Hummel” from the Germans, that the M12 from the Americans were very lightly armored howitzers on the basis of medium tanks. And in no case were neither anti-tank ACS, nor assault guns.
Heavy tank destroyer "Jagdpantera"? Yes, it is similar in TTX, but purely anti-tank machine.
The Germans had assault guns that could fight with tanks. StuG III and StuG IV. But both self-propelled guns were significantly lighter than the ISU-152 in terms of armament and mass, and also weaker armored.
SAU StuPz IV "Brummbär" ... Caliber yes, the rest - no.
The self-propelled gun was also lighter in weight, and its short-barreled howitzer of the caliber 150-mm was rather an overgrown mortar than a full-fledged gun.
Jagdtigr. It looks like the truth.
The gun caliber 128 mm and booking at the level of ISU-152, and sometimes more abruptly. But the weight is almost 2 times more than our self-propelled gun. Plus, again, a clear anti-tanker.
And, the main thing. Amount. That is something that could make a real contribution. 79 “Jagdtigrav” and 340 “Brumbarov” - in comparison with more than three thousand only ISU-152 ...
The best? The best. Maybe not the most, here it will be necessary to compare with ISU-122, but nevertheless.
We thank the administration of the Museum of Domestic Military History in Padikovo for providing a copy of ISU-152.
- Roman Skomorokhov
- Roman Skomorokhov, Roman Krivov
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