Military Review

Project SAU coastal defense A.A. Tolochkova

In the early 1930s, Soviet specialists began to work on the appearance of promising self-propelled artillery systems. Various variants of such equipment were proposed, reviewed and verified, and some of them, having confirmed their potential, found application in practice. The rest were considered unsuccessful, and they were abandoned. One of the examples of the most interesting, but unpromising development in the field of self-propelled artillery can be considered the coastal ACS project, developed at the suggestion of A.A. Tolochkova.

One of the urgent problems of that time was the organization of antiamphibious defense on the numerous sea coasts of the Soviet Union. In 1932, the Artillery Research Institute proposed a new concept for building coastal defense. According to her, for effective countering the ships and the landing craft of the enemy required sufficiently powerful weapons on self-propelled platforms. In the event of a threat of attack, they could promptly advance to coastal positions, meet the enemy with powerful fire and not allow him to even get close to the coastline.

Already at the end of 1932, the Red Army formed the requirements for a promising SPG for coastal defense. A few months later, experts reviewed proposals from a number of leading defense enterprises. The most successful was the proposal of the Experimental Design Machine-Building Department (OKMO) of the plant No. XXUMX them. Voroshilov. The project, developed under the leadership of Alexei Alexandrovich Tolochkov and Pyotr Nikolayevich Syachintov, needed some improvements, but still was of interest to the army.

Project SAU coastal defense A.A. Tolochkova
Scheme of coastal SAU A.A. Tolochkova in the traveling position

As far as we know, a promising project has not received its own name. In all documents and sources the self-propelled gun is referred to as coastal self-propelled guns of the AA design Tolochkova or otherwise. A development organization is usually not mentioned in such names. It is noteworthy that in the latter case there could be some confusion. The fact is that in September 1933, the OKMO plant No. 174 was removed from the latter and became the Experimental Plant of Spetsmashrest. Development of self-propelled guns for coastal defense began even before such transformations, and ended a few months after them.

The first OKMO project, proposed in early 1933, generally satisfied the customer, but he submitted an additional requirement. Self-propelled guns should be based on the chassis of one of the serial medium or heavy tanks or have the maximum degree of unification with serial equipment. The most convenient source of units was considered the latest T-28 tank. They decided to borrow a power plant, elements of the chassis, etc.

It took a lot of time to rework an existing project using T-28 units. The Experimental Plant of Spetsmashtresta could present the new version of Tolochkova's ACS only in March of the next 1934 of the year. In the improved project, the main ideas proposed earlier were preserved. At the same time, it was reworked taking into account the wishes of the customer and the availability of the units. In an updated form, the self-propelled gun corresponded to the technical requirements of the army and could count on mass production, acceptance for service and further operation.

As conceived by the designers Tolochkov and Syachintov, the new self-propelled gun was supposed to be an armored vehicle, literally built around the 152-mm long-range gun. SAU was proposed to equip tracked chassis of high maneuverability, based on the units of the serial tank. In this case, the selected gun differed in excessive recoil power, and therefore in the design of the self-propelled gun had to provide special means for deployment to the position. It was suggested to shoot not from the tracks, but from a special base plate.

The project provided for the construction of an armored corps with differentiated protection. Frontal and side projections were to be covered with 20-mm sheets. The roof, bottom and stern could be made of 8 mm thick sheets. The corps had to have a special shape, due to the need to deploy a large and heavy artillery installation. Its front part was smaller and had to include elements of the power plant and transmission. All other volumes were a large fighting compartment in which the gun carriage with a weapon was placed.

According to the preserved diagrams, the frontal part of the body was to receive a semicircular lower part, above which the inclined upper sheet was placed. At the level of the front engine compartment, the height of the vertical sides increased sharply, which ensured the formation of a fighting compartment. The hull feed could have a simple shape. An interesting feature of the new ACS was a large window in the bottom, which is required for the withdrawal of the artillery support devices.

The engine of the T-28 tank was considered not powerful enough, and therefore the Tolochkova SAU should have received the engine of the BN-1 Kharkov design. Motor power 800 HP placed in front of the hull, directly behind the transmission. In the front compartment were supposed to be the main friction dry friction, five-speed gearbox, dry multi-disc side clutches and two-row side gears with band brakes. The transmission was fully borrowed from the serial tank, but was modified to be installed in front of the hull.

The ACS should have received an original undercarriage based on the details of the T-28. On each board it was proposed to install 12 in pairs of interlocked small-diameter road wheels. Each pair of rollers had its own shock absorber based on a vertical spring. In front of the car were driving wheels, in the stern - guides. Also provided for the use of six supporting rollers on each side.

The shock absorber bodies, wheels and rollers should be fixed on a strong longitudinal beam. In its front part, the installation of an additional skating rink was envisaged, and the stern parts of the two beams were connected to each other, forming a “tail”. With the help of hydraulic drives, the beams could move up and down, which made it possible to hang the car on the support plate of the gun mount. In a combat position, the tracks had to rise to the level of the hull and not touch the ground. According to calculations, it took only 2-3 minutes to transfer to the combat position.

Self-propelled gun in the fighting position: the base plate is lowered to the ground, the chassis is raised, the gun is at zero elevation angle

Most of the corps, according to the project of Tolochkov and Syachintov, was occupied by an artillery installation. Under the bottom of the hull placed a base plate with a roller shoulder strap, on which was supported the rotating part of the mast. The latter was connected to the body and could rotate with it in the horizontal plane. On a massive carriage were placed gun with recoil devices, sighting devices and means of dismantling.

The long-range gun B-10 caliber 152,4 mm, developed by the Bolshevik plant, was chosen as a tool for coastal self-propelled guns. This gun had a barrel length 47 calibers with a constant slope of the rifling. Used piston valve with manual control. In the basic configuration, the B-10 cannon was mounted on a towed carriage with a tracked course. The latter provided horizontal guidance within 3 ° to the right and to the left and vertical from -5 ° to + 55 °. In combat, the gun weighed 14,15 t. The calculation included a 15 man.

The gun B-10 used 152-mm separate loading shots with projectiles of several types. The initial velocity of the projectile, depending on its type, reached 940 m / s. The maximum firing range is about 30 km. The rate of fire was within 1-2 shots per minute.

In the design of the OKMO plant No. XXUMX / Experimental Plant of Spetsmashtrest, the body of such an instrument was to be mounted on a new carriage inside the hull. With the help of the base plate and the corresponding drives provided a circular aiming horizontally. However, a full revolution around the axis should take about 174 minutes. The angles of the vertical pickup almost did not change in comparison with the towed carriage. New installation received hydraulic drives. It was also possible to install electric drives. Probably, reserve manual mechanisms could be applied.

It should be recalled that the gun B-10 had a serious drawback in the form of low rate of fire, due to the need to return the barrel to the angle of spreading. In the new project, this problem was solved with the help of lifting mechanisms and an automatic rammer.

The designers managed to reduce the required number of gunners. The crew of the new ACS could consist of just 6-8 people - half the size of the towed gun. Behind the engine compartment inside the hull was a control post with a driver's seat. The rest of the crew in the stowed position had to be in other places inside the car.

The new ACS of the coastal defense was supposed to be large in size and mass. Thus, the total length, taking into account the side beams, could reach 12-13 m. Height in marching or combat position - no less than 3-3,5 m. Combat weight, according to calculations, reached 50 t. At the same time, a relatively powerful engine made it possible to obtain acceptable mobility characteristics. On the highway, the Tolochkova self-propelled gun could accelerate to 20-22 km / h.

The finished draft self-propelled artillery installation with a B-10 gun for coastal defense was prepared at the end of 1934. At this famous story curious development ends. Any information about the project A.A. Tolochkova and P.N. Syachintova after 1934 year not occur. Apparently, the customer got acquainted with the project and did not give permission to build a prototype. On the contrary, he could have ordered the closure of the project.

Experimental gun B-10 in the original towed configuration

Not later than the mid-thirties, the Experimental Plant of Spetsmashtrest stopped work on the subject of a special self-propelled gun for anti-airborne defense. The exact reasons for this are unknown, but you can try to make some assumptions. Known information, as well as experience gained over the following decades, allows us to imagine why the Tolochkova’s self-propelled guns had no real prospects and could also become a big problem for the Red Army.

First of all, it is necessary to note the excessive complexity of the proposed project. For its time, an unusual self-propelled gun was too complicated to manufacture and operate. First of all, there should have been problems with the carriage of unusual design and systems for moving the chassis. In this case, it is not difficult to imagine what the damage or combat damage of the latter could lead to.

A serious blow to the project SAU could be the failure of the gun B-10. This product showed very high firing characteristics, but differed in large dimensions and weight, and besides, it could not show a high rate of fire. This problem could be solved with the help of additional mechanized controls for aiming or bilking. However, even after the modifications, the gun was not used for service, which could hit the prospects of a self-propelled machine for it.

Also do not forget about the factor of competition. In the mid-thirties, Soviet designers offered and implemented different versions of the appearance of a self-propelled artillery installation, including with a large caliber gun. Against the background of some other projects of its time, the ACS of the Experimental Plant of Spetsmashrest could not look the most successful.

Anyway, no later than the beginning of 1935, the project developer or potential customer in the person of the Red Army decided to stop working. The most interesting self-propelled gun for coastal defense remained on paper. The prototype was not built and probably was not even planned for construction.

Project SAU coastal defense from A.A. Tolochkova and P.N. Syachintova was not implemented, however he made a feasible contribution to the further development of the Russian self-propelled artillery. He allowed to work out some design solutions and determine their prospects. In addition, a reserve was created for the development of new chassis based on existing tanks. It is curious that the gun B-10, also not entered service, also influenced the development of artillery. Later, based on it, several new guns were developed.

Based on:
Solyankin A. G., Pavlov M. V., Pavlov I. V., Zheltov I. G. Domestic armored vehicles. XX century. - M .: Exprint, 2002. - T. 1. 1905 – 1941.
Shirokorad A.B. Encyclopedia of domestic artillery. - Mn .: Harvest. 2000.
Photos used:,

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  1. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 15 June 2018 13: 06
    Oh yeah! unlucky caliber 152 mm! In the 80-ies of the last century, they wanted to acquire in the coastal defense of the 152-mm artillery system "Bombard" ... but changed their minds! The 130-mm “Shore” went into service .. When developing the 152-mm “Coalitions”, they offered it for the fleet and coastal defense, but even then things stopped.
    1. PavelT
      PavelT 15 November 2018 01: 34
      Yes, but the Shore with a 130-mm gun looks quite decent. And it can be used for battles on land areas. So maybe this is the right choice ...
  2. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 15 June 2018 14: 12
    And how did it happen that, having various projects, they approached the war without self-propelled guns in general?
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 15 June 2018 16: 11
      Quote: Narak-zempo
      And how did it happen that, having various projects, they approached the war without self-propelled guns in general?

      It's simple.
      Before the war, assault self-propelled guns were considered unnecessary - artillery tanks carried out their tasks.
      And self-propelled artillery self-propelled guns were unnecessary because they had no advantages over towed artillery. Paradox? No. It’s just that artillery self-propelled guns cost little without changing the OSH and battery and division technology. What is the use of having a fast-moving self-propelled guns without a machine of advanced spotters, without reliable radio communications, without having the same speed and patency of ammunition transporters as the self-propelled guns (the cost of typical targets with PDOs is measured by hundreds of shells), without normal topographic location?
      So we didn’t have any of this. Everything rested on the chassis, communications and lack of experience in using mechanized artillery. And without the entire body kit, self-propelled guns are just a gun on a mechanized move. I came to a position - and waits for the checkpoints to unfold, until the positions are tied up, the signalmen stretch the wires (2-3 hours), and the ammunition trucks crawl along the broken road.
      That is why in our war they chose the StormSAU and subordinated them to the tankmen. Because it was much easier to pull the gun behind the armor for direct fire and to use 3-4 rounds to break up the firing point than to create a reliably functioning structure of mechanized artillery, consuming a hundred or two shells for the same purpose.
      1. Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich
        Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich 15 June 2018 17: 14
        Well, the gloomy Teutonic genius was the first to sculpt the KGB also the STURM StuG.III with a short-barrel “butt” for direct fire.
        But Hummeli, Vespe and other self-propelled menagerie for firing from closed positions arose much later ...
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 15 June 2018 20: 19
          Quote: Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich
          Well, the gloomy Teutonic genius was the first to sculpt the KAGBE in the metal too, exactly the STORM

          Strictly speaking, the first assault SPG in the world was the French Saint-Chamonix.
          The funny thing is that the topic was promoted by the very Colonel Jean-Baptiste Eugène Etienne, who earlier, along with a group of like-minded people, was at the origins of the transition of French artillery to firing with closed fire. From the experience of battles, I realized the need for a gun that would accompany the infantry and support it with direct fire. Those. classic assault self-propelled guns.
          By the way, an interesting person. Everything else was at the origins of the French military aviation; he pushed the creation of air squads to correct artillery fire with PDO.
          1. Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich
            Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich 16 June 2018 13: 53
            I agree.
            But what about the most successful car of the 3rd Grossdeutsche Reich - with the Jagdpanther ???
            Where to take it ?!
            To simply yagdpanzameram ???
            But this is NOT so, because the Yagdpanther fought alongside the classic tower Panthers and, in addition to the direct duties of an enemy tank destroyer, completely fulfilled all the duties of ordinary tower tanks, plus also performed all the functions of a direct assault assault gun, if necessary, much more efficient than even classic Sturmgeshuts, thanks to a powerful cabin reservation, luxurious ballistics Aht-Coma-Aht arr. 1943, personal periscopes for all 4 occupants of the felling and a fully acceptable high explosive fragmentation effect of 8,8 mm.
            It seems that they themselves did NOT expect that a reckless tank could be so effective.
            And they realized this only in the last six months of the war.
            1. ser56
              ser56 16 June 2018 16: 06
              if not a secret - why is it so much better than the SU-100? Which is 1,5 times lighter?
              1. The comment was deleted.
              2. Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich
                Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich 16 June 2018 17: 07
                1. Twice the greater ammunition.
                2. Zero transmission of the transmission, with the counter-flow of the right / left tracks, which is EXTREMELY important for the UNREACHED tank.
                3. Serial production of the Yagdpanther began almost a year earlier than the serial production of the Su-100.
                4. The combat use of the Su-100 is completely limited to the first 4 months of 1945.
                5. Armor-piercing shots to the D-10S, even in 1945, were still very rare.
                6. But the release of the entire assortment of shots for Aht-Coma-Aht arr. 1943 was launched en masse back in the same 1943 (to Nashorn and Ferdinand / Elephant).
                7. The 8,8-cm shot itself was clearly lighter than the similar 100-mm to the D-10S, and with such a sickly mass of both of them, every gram was important there.
                8. Let almost 5 thousand issued Su-100s NOT mislead you, because the vast majority of them were collected after the end of World War II.
                In addition, some include all Su-85Ms to this huge number.
                (moot point).
                9. Already 10 years later, from 1955, the Su-122-54 was launched, which was even closer to the Yagdpenter itself than the Su-100 and would have continued to launch them even if Puzaty Kukuruznik had not kept it: - (((
                10. And most importantly: I do NOT belong to the adherents of fairy tales about “threw me with dead bodies” and “otherwise they would drink Bavarian today” :-)))
                1. ser56
                  ser56 18 June 2018 17: 45
                  1. The projectile is twice as light .. the high-explosive action is different ... wink
                  2. But it’s more difficult ... is it really necessary to transfer fire to large angles? If there is an ambush, there is no time to do all of one ... request
                  3. SU-100 is released many times more during WWII ... request
                  4. And Yagdpantery?
                  5. Was there so many goals for them? OFI was enough for most ... laughing
                  6. Did it help win the war? hi
                  7. Let me remind you that the SU-100 is 1,5 times lighter ... wink
                  8. in 1944 released 500 SU-100 wink jagdpanter total less than 400 request
                  A total of 85 pieces were made for the Su-315M and their statistics are kept separately, the question has been completely studied ... hi
                  9. Do you find 122 mm and 88 mm comparable calibers? crying Let me remind you that the mass of jagdpanthers in WWII was ISU-122 ... bully
                  10. And what does it have to do with it? I just don’t understand your hobby for this installation - the Germans squandered resources, because they immediately produced self-propelled units based on the T-3, T-4, T_5 and T-6 ... and also on the chassis of Prague ... and in the USSR only on the basis of the T-70, T-34 and IS ... soldier
            2. yehat
              yehat 18 June 2018 12: 55
              the most successful Reich machine was not the jagdpanther, but the prosaic PzIII and Pz IV.
              as for your description of yagdpanthery, then there is obvious frank not knowledge of the materiel.
              1. The ballistics of her gun was far from the best.
              2. 88mm gun was far from universal - the use of high-explosive shells was at times inferior in effectiveness to the su-122.
              3. jagdpanthery in the same ranks with the panthers were used only as mobile support and not in the role of a normal tank. In addition, the panther itself was poorly adapted for close range combat, while at the far lagdpanther it was clearly more profitable because the crew had better viewing sectors on the lagdpanther.
              4. Finally, the jagdlanter was stupidly lighter than the panther, more technologically advanced and cheaper.

              And yes, it can not be attributed to ordinary jagdanzanseram - too strong PT bias.
              Well and the last - the yagdpanther did not appear "suddenly". She is the result of a long development.
              Stug-IIIb, Stug-IIIg, Yagdpanzer4 and only on the basis of experience has been created yagdpanther. Do not forget the influence of the design of the French and Russian tanks and self-propelled guns, which is why for the first time among the self-propelled guns the yagdpanther received rational armor angles.

              But you need to understand that she had disadvantages even in comparison with the old Stug - she could no longer disguise herself as effectively in the field because of her size, she could not support the infantry just as well because of the gun.
  3. ser56
    ser56 15 June 2018 17: 20
    The article is informative, but the project itself in the terminology of that time is "wrecking" request Even without taking into account the technical complexity and unrealizability for that time described in the article, for the transfer of such self-propelled guns one would have to build special roads along the coast, and for heavy guns (TM-12 and TM-14) there are simultaneously railway tracks and concrete platforms.
    1. Narak-zempo
      Narak-zempo 15 June 2018 22: 52
      Strictly speaking, it is not at all clear why, for coastal defense in the realities of those years, it was SPGs that were needed. During the Dardanelles operation, the Turks nightmare the Entente fleet, organizing wandering batteries even without mechanical traction. With minimally passable roads and tractors, towed long-range artillery could perfectly cope with this task - the only question is organization and preparation. And for more serious calibers against heavy ships, all the same, only railway conveyors were suitable.
    2. Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich
      Sharikov Polygraph Poligrafovich 16 June 2018 17: 36
      That's for sure, Wishlist about the release of an engine for armored vehicles in the mid-1930s with a capacity of ... 800 horses, nothing else, except as "wrecking" is difficult to call: - (((
  4. yehat
    yehat 18 June 2018 12: 39
    it would be nice if someone talked about modern mobile artillery systems, sharpened by quick fire raids and mobility.