Military Review

Dust raising. M42 Duster

25
For many of us, Duster is associated today with the Renault compact crossover, which is presented on the Russian market and is quite popular with car owners. Meanwhile, long before the appearance of this car, the American anti-aircraft self-propelled gun, created after the end of World War II on the basis of the lightweight, received the same nickname tank M41 Walker Bulldog. Built by a sufficiently large series of ZSU, it was practically not used to combat low-flying air targets, but it proved to be excellent in Vietnam, where it terrified the Viet Cong.



M42 Duster from idea to implementation


At the end of the 1940's, the American army was armed with a large number of combat vehicles created on the basis of the M24 Chaffee light tank, the combat debut of which fell on World War II. Among them was the M19 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, the main weapon of which was the paired 40-mm gun mount from the Bofors guns. This installation was released in small series, not more than 300 ZSU. She did not take part in the hostilities of World War II, but was used by American troops during the war in Korea. The fighting on the Korean peninsula showed that the chassis of the M24 tank is not very reliable, so the military decided to start the process of developing a new family of military equipment on the basis of the more advanced lightweight Walker Bulldog M41 tank.

The new light tank, which was originally designed for replacement in the Chaffee forces, was created between 1946 and 1949. Serial production of the M41 tank continued in the USA until the end of the 1950's. On the chassis of the Walker Bulldog light tank, American designers created a number of different combat vehicles for their purpose - from the 155-mm M44 self-propelled howitzer, which is familiar to many fans of the World of Tanks game today, to the M75 tracked armored personnel carrier, which turned out to be not the most successful machine, but was released in an impressive series of 1780 copies. Another development of the American military-industrial complex was the M42 Duster anti-aircraft self-propelled gun built on the basis of the Walker Bulldog tank, armed with a paired 40-mm artillery mount.

At first, the Americans worked out the option of creating a new ZSU, which could interact on the battlefield with a target designation machine equipped with a compact radar. However, the technical base of the 1950's did not allow to realize this idea. The industry and technological base were not yet ready to create a small-sized radar that would retain its functionality when mounted on a crawler chassis and traveling over rough terrain. As a result, priority was given to the creation of a traditional anti-aircraft system with an optical target guidance system, which was not much different from military vehicles during the Second World War.

ZSU M19

The prototype of the future ZSU received the designation T141, its testing and certification process continued in the United States until the end of the 1952 year, and already at the end of the 1953 year the new anti-aircraft self-propelled gun was officially adopted by the American army under the M42 index. During the years of serial production, which ended in 1959, the American industry transferred to the military about 3700 such combat vehicles that remained in service with the army until 1969, after which they continued to serve in parts of the National Guard, where the equipment was actively used until the beginning of the 1990 years. In the army, by the beginning of the 1970's, the installation was replaced by a more advanced M163 ZSU, the main armament of which was the 20-mm six-barreled M61 Vulcan gun.

Design Features ZSU M42 Duster


The new American ZSU retained the chassis of the M41 tank with torsion bar suspension and five track rollers on each side, but the body of the combat vehicle underwent a significant alteration. Externally, the new anti-aircraft installation was a hybrid of the Walker Bulldog light tank, on which a tower with 40-mm guns from the M19 installation was installed. The hull of the tank was seriously redrawn by the designers. If the back part has remained practically unchanged, then the front and middle have been substantially modified, this space was actually redesigned. Separately, it can be noted that, unlike the M19, on the new installation, the fighting compartment was placed not in the stern, but in the central part of the hull.

In the front of the body of the anti-aircraft self-propelled guns, later nicknamed Duster, the designers placed a control compartment, which grew in volume compared to a light tank. In ZSU here were the places of two crew members - the driver and installation commander, the first sat on the left, the second on the right relative to the axis of the combat vehicle. The designers changed the inclination of the frontal plate of the hull (reduced it), and also placed two hatches in the roof of the control compartment for crew members to access their workplaces. At the same time, in the frontal part of the hull, right in the center of the inclined armor plate, an impressive rectangular hatch appeared, which became one of the hallmarks of a combat vehicle. The main purpose of the new hatch was to load ammunition into the combat vehicle.

Light tank M41 Walker Bulldog

In the central part of the case, the designers placed a circular rotation tower open on top, borrowed from the previous M19 ZSU. To do this, I had to seriously change the hull, since the shoulder straps of the tank tower and the tower from the ZNS M19 did not coincide in size. In the open tower were the places of four crew members - the calculation commander, the gunner and two loaders. In the vast majority of cases, the crew consisted of five, not six, since the installation commander took over the duties of the crew commander, but there were still six crew platoon commanders.

The main armament of the ZSU was the twin installation of the 40-mm automatic guns M2A1, which was a licensed version of the famous Swedish anti-aircraft gun Bofors L60, which was sold all over the world and is still in service with many countries. The rate of fire of the guns was 240 rounds per minute, while after 100 rounds the barrel was ordered to stop shooting, as the barrel was air-cooled. Massive flame arresters were installed at the ends of the barrel, which were dismantled at many installations that took part in the fighting in Vietnam. Ammunition installation consisted of 480 shots. The reach of the guns in height was 5000 meters, when shooting at ground targets - up to 9500 meters. The angles of guidance guns from -5 to + 85 degrees. The turret rotation could be carried out both in manual mode and with the help of an electro-hydraulic drive, while the speed gain was insignificant (10,5 seconds in manual mode versus 9 seconds for electric turret rotation by 360 degrees).

The installation was driven by a Continental gasoline-powered six-cylinder engine of the AOS-895-3 model, the same air-cooled power unit was also used on the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank. Engine power in 500 hp was enough to disperse the M42 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun weighing 22,6 tons to 72 km / h. Cruising on the highway was 160 kilometers. The reason for not the most outstanding indicators is the insufficient fuel supply, limited to only 140 gallons.

ZSU M42 Duster

M42 Duster Combat Applications


Although the first M42 Duster ZSU began to enter the army in the 1953 year, the new combat vehicle did not have time for the war in Korea. At the same time, in the American divisions, the new anti-aircraft self-propelled guns quickly replaced not only the predecessor vehicles, but also the towed versions of the 40-mm “Bofors”. The full-fledged combat debut of the American self-propelled anti-aircraft guns occurred in the Vietnam War, where the M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks were hardly used, but work was found for vehicles built on their basis.

According to the states, each mechanized and tank division of the American army included in the M42 ZSU division, a total of 64 units. Later, the divisions of these self-propelled anti-aircraft guns were also included in the composition of the American airborne divisions. At the same time, parachute landing was not allowed, the calculation was on the delivery of heavy transport aviation to captured airfields. As with any other anti-aircraft self-propelled guns, the main task of the M42 Duster was to combat air targets, but in the absence of them, they were quite effective against ground targets. 40-mm automatic guns made it possible to confidently fight against infantry, as well as enemy military equipment, including lightly armored targets.

M42 Duster in Vietnam with removed flash suppressors

As you might guess, in Vietnam, the installation was not used for its intended purpose, since the Americans had no air adversary. True, the installations could not have been able to fight effectively with modern enemy jet aircraft with all their will. By the end of the 1950's, these were obsolete vehicles, the composition of weapons, sights and a fire control system of which remained at the level of technology of the Second World War. But the “Dusters”, which had a high fire density of 40-mm guns, proved to be very helpful in defending stationary objects from ground attacks: they were used to guard air bases, artillery strongholds, and escorting military convoys.

It was in Vietnam that the installations got their name Duster (raising dust). Indeed, when shooting at ground targets, when the ZSU guns were horizontally mounted, the installation was quickly covered by a cloud of dust rising from the ground. Partly for this reason, flame arresters were dismantled from many ZSU in Vietnam. In addition to the fact that such an upgrade reduced dust formation during firing, it also increased the psychological effect of influencing enemy soldiers, who dubbed the anti-aircraft self-propelled guns “Fire Dragon”. Indeed, only a few “Duster” could create a wall of fire in the path of the advancing enemy infantry, turning the advancing infantry units into a bloody mess. At the same time, 40-mm shells were effective against the enemy’s armored targets. Armor-piercing projectile shells without any problems pierced the Soviet amphibious tanks PT-76 delivered to North Vietnam, as well as their Chinese counterparts, Type 63.

Installation M42 Duster fires, Fu Tai, 1970 year

Realizing the futility of daytime attacks, the Vietnamese preferred to act at night, but even this did not save much from quick-fire anti-aircraft guns. Especially for operations in the dark, the divisions armed with M42 Duster ZSU were equipped with two types of searchlight batteries: 23-inch and more advanced 30-inch searchlights (76 cm AN / TVS-3). These spotlights could work not only in the visible, but also in the infrared spectrum. In night mode, they worked in infrared radiation, allowing observers equipped with night vision devices to detect targets, after which the enemy was illuminated with ordinary light and became a victim of concentrated fire, from which it was almost impossible to escape. In Vietnam, the M42 Duster ZSU were used by the Americans until about 1971, after which the units that remained in service began to be transferred to the armies of South Vietnam as part of a policy of “Vietnamizing” the war.
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  1. polpot
    polpot 28 August 2019 18: 05
    +1
    Thank you for the article
  2. solzh
    solzh 28 August 2019 18: 09
    +2
    American designers created a number of different combat vehicles for their purpose - from the 155-mm self-propelled howitzer M44, which is familiar today to many fans of the game World of Tanks,

    I do not know what the WoT players know there, but on the VO portal there was an article dedicated to M44
    https://topwar.ru/110080-samohodnaya-artilleriyskaya-ustanovka-m44-ssha.html

    And thanks for the article about the M42, I was interested to read.
    1. Razvedka_Boem
      Razvedka_Boem 28 August 2019 18: 39
      +4
      I don’t know what WoT players know there.

      A lot of things are known ..
      The authors of the game very carefully and reliably approach the creation of models of technology, as well as their history.
      1. Snakebyte
        Snakebyte 28 August 2019 21: 20
        +4
        Quote: Razvedka_Boem
        The authors of the game very carefully and reliably approach the creation of models of technology, as well as their history.

        Thanks, laughed.
        The installation of a long-barreled 88 mm on the first "Tiger" is very "reliable". In reality, she did not climb into it in any way, the Fritzes had to create "Tiger 2". Or the T-50-2, which the developers themselves recognized as completely antihistorical and removed from the game. And there are hundreds of similar examples.
        1. Razvedka_Boem
          Razvedka_Boem 29 August 2019 07: 36
          +2
          Thanks, laughed

          On health.
          For some reason, they always notice errors, not paying attention to advantages.
          It is this game, recognized around the world, aroused the interest of many players in the history of armored vehicles and the fleet.
          You can take a long look at the 3D model of the technique presented in the game, marveling at the attention that has been devoted to details, for example, scuffed paint in those places where the crew gets into the tank.
          1. Snakebyte
            Snakebyte 29 August 2019 16: 47
            +3
            There are advantages, but they are few, alas. Great idea ruined by incompetent implementation. Now, of course, a lot has already been fixed, but the main problem of the gameplay remains - there is no in-game motivation for teamwork, each for itself.
            It may have aroused interest, only most players know the characteristics of tanks at the level of game performance characteristics (often very different from real ones).
            As for the models of equipment, the competitors have them, at least, not worse, and historically even more reliable. In the VG, hack-work is not uncommon, like an incorrect (by 5 degrees) inclination of the Centurion's VLD or an absolutely incorrect nose shape for the Admiral Hipper cruiser. At the same time, they assure everyone that they love tanks / ships very much and are very sensitive to details.
          2. Bad thing
            Bad thing 17 September 2019 21: 52
            -1
            This game gave rise to a lot of couch experts who do not understand that the reliability of the performance characteristics of many samples was sacrificed to the balance of the game.
  3. Radomir
    Radomir 28 August 2019 18: 31
    +2
    Thanks to the author for the article, I only recently found out about the existence of such a ZSU, and then the article immediately!) I was surprised by the fact that this device was actively used in the flesh until the beginning of the 1990s) Still, a 40 mm self-propelled spark is still relevant today under certain conditions. Once again + article.
  4. Strashila
    Strashila 28 August 2019 18: 42
    +3
    In the photo, as far as I remember, the fire is being carried out by the Volcano installation, they are trying to get a Vietnamese sniper, as morning showed, everything was empty, he left. In the USSR was developed
    ZSU Yenisei complex, with 2 x 37 mm, giving way to Shilka.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 28 August 2019 19: 20
      +4
      In the photo, how much I remember the fire is the installation of the Volcano, trying to get a Vietnamese sniper
      This series of photographs was taken by Paratrooper James Speed ​​Hensinger in 1970. This is really a sniper shooting near Fu Tai Village. Hensinger called this a "tough response" to the sniper's shooting.
      But he did not write what was "answered".
      However, you can see from a different angle, a few photos.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 28 August 2019 19: 24
        +5
        By enlarging the photo you can clearly see the characteristic M42 chassis. Yes, and there are clearly two trunks.
        The M163 unit, on which the Vulcan was installed, has a chassis without support rollers.
      2. bubalik
        bubalik 28 August 2019 19: 41
        +3
        did the paratrooper James Speed ​​Hensinger in the 1970 year.
        ,,, 22-year-old paratrooper of the 173-th airborne brigade

        The pictures are very interesting ,,,
  5. Potter
    Potter 28 August 2019 20: 27
    -9
    Well ..... America completely and mediocre lost the Vietnam War to the Viet Cong. Here is the result of using this weapon. The main thing is in whose hands the weapon is, and these ZSU were in the wrong hands.
    1. parma
      parma 29 August 2019 08: 44
      -1
      The RI empire lost the WWI, the USSR lost the war in Afghanistan, the Russian Federation lost the first Chechen ...... The truth was not on our side?
      The United States lost the war not to the Viet Cong, but to the armed forces of northern Vietnam, which received practically unlimited assistance from the USSR, China and, in general, practically all communist countries ... There were a lot of factors and "truth" has nothing to do with it ..
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 29 August 2019 09: 45
        +2
        Quote: parma
        The US did not lose the war to the Viet Cong, but to the armed forces of northern Vietnam,

        They lost the war themselves.
        However, like the USSR in Afghanistan and Russia in the first Chechen.

        Moreover, the main opponents and winners were their own journalists, greatly influencing public opinion in the country. Which is also characteristic of the first Chechen one.
        1. parma
          parma 29 August 2019 09: 59
          +1
          Quote: Spade
          Quote: parma
          The US did not lose the war to the Viet Cong, but to the armed forces of northern Vietnam,

          They lost the war themselves.
          However, like the USSR in Afghanistan and Russia in the first Chechen.
          Moreover, the main opponents and winners were their own journalists, greatly influencing public opinion in the country. Which is also characteristic of the first Chechen one.

          In general, as I said, there were many factors ... and the fact that the United States did not invade North Vietnam, and therefore were forced to defend themselves and hope that "the Vietnamese will run out before they have patrons", and hysteria in the media, and the fashionable hippie movement (and after all, many of them were young people from rich families), and the actions of the CIA to themselves an army to themselves and much more ...
          But it was certainly not the truth .. In war and politics there is no truth ....
      2. Shuttle
        Shuttle 29 August 2019 09: 58
        +2
        Wow, what a bold statement!
        Quote: parma
        RI empire lost PMV

        Actually, for the Martians, I'm reporting. The Russian Empire ceased to exist before the end of WWI. And not as a result of this war, although certainly in connection too. Therefore, I could not play it outright. The provisional bourgeois government (not the Russian Empire), although it brought the situation in the country and on the fronts to the zugunder, also resigned before the end of the aforementioned war. And only the Bolsheviks who picked up power eventually signed and ratified a peace treaty, which some called a separate peace, while others called a "bawdy peace." Moreover, the agreement from the Russian side was signed by representatives of the RSFSR, and not at all by the Republic of Ingushetia.
        Quote: parma
        , The USSR lost the war in Afghanistan,

        What kind of X are these? All military, economic, political tasks of the Soviet Army in particular and the USSR in general in the DRA completed. Another question is that the USSR itself began to burst at the seams and could no longer support its supporters in Afghanistan as before, which was the result of the collapse of the USSR-friendly regime. But even then, not immediately, but only after the complete cessation of military-economic assistance. It is believed that there were not enough 500 tons of fuel for tanks to maintain peace in the country.

        Quote: parma
        Russia lost the first Chechen ......

        Well, here it would be possible to agree if at least someone had won in this war from the warring parties.
        1. parma
          parma 29 August 2019 10: 37
          0
          Quote: Shuttle
          Wow, what bold statements! Quote: parma RI empire lost WWI Actually, for the Martians, I report. The Russian Empire ceased to exist before the end of WWI. And not as a result of this war, although certainly in connection too. Therefore, I could not play it outright. The provisional bourgeois government (not the Russian Empire), although it brought the situation in the country and on the fronts to the zugunder, also resigned before the end of the aforementioned war. And only the Bolsheviks who picked up power eventually signed and ratified a peace treaty, which some called a separate peace, while others called a "bawdy peace." Moreover, the agreement from the Russian side was signed by representatives of the RSFSR, and not at all by the Republic of Ingushetia.

          The outcome of the war for the Russian Empire, the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Turkey is one - these states ceased to exist in their pre-war form ... So yes, this defeat and it doesn’t matter who signed what later ... Otherwise, it turns out that Iraq did not lose Saddam war in 2003 :)
          Quote: Shuttle
          What kind of X are these? All military, economic, political tasks of the Soviet Army in particular and the USSR in general in the DRA completed. Another question is that the USSR itself began to burst at the seams and could no longer support its supporters in Afghanistan as before, which was the result of the collapse of the USSR-friendly regime. But even then, not immediately, but only after the complete cessation of military-economic assistance. It is believed that there were not enough 500 tons of fuel for tanks to maintain peace in the country.

          What military, economic and political goals of the USSR in the DRA fulfilled? The civil war did not end with the victory of the pro-Soviet group (political goal), the rebels were not defeated (military target), there was no economic goal at all ... In general, the situation is similar to Vietnam during the withdrawal of American troops ..
          Quote: Shuttle
          Well, here it would be possible to agree if at least someone had won in this war from the warring parties.

          Well, according to the Khasavyurt agreement, the de facto victory of the militants .. The Russian Federation lost control over the territory for the next 5 years .. And since 2001, Chechnya was supposed to become an independent state .. But the peace agreement lost its force in 1999 (who could blame it argue forever, maybe the beginning of the second Russian company was more profitable than the militants accused of them)
  6. lucul
    lucul 28 August 2019 22: 06
    0
    These spotlights could work not only in the visible, but also in the infrared spectrum. In night mode, they worked in infrared radiation, allowing observers equipped with night vision devices to detect targets, after which the enemy was illuminated with ordinary light and became a victim of concentrated fire, from which it was almost impossible to escape.

    For the 60s, it certainly was solid .....
  7. Shuttle
    Shuttle 29 August 2019 03: 02
    0
    Again, the author calls the forces of Vietnamese Vietnamese for no reason. The author is dumb, okay. And where is the administration looking?
    1. BAI
      BAI 29 August 2019 09: 03
      +2
      Also, immediately cut the eye. Soon we will get to the articles in which valiant German soldiers heroically save the world from the hordes of Bolsheviks.
  8. zyablik.olga
    zyablik.olga 29 August 2019 07: 27
    0
    There were already articles on VO about American anti-aircraft artillery, including this ZSU
    https://topwar.ru/99878-amerikanskaya-poslevoennaya-zenitnaya-artilleriya-chast-1-ya.html

    https://topwar.ru/99900-amerikanskaya-poslevoennaya-zenitnaya-artilleriya-chast-2-ya.html
  9. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 30 August 2019 15: 28
    0
    An analogue of Shilka, something similar?
    1. Bad thing
      Bad thing 17 September 2019 21: 59
      0
      According to REA, it didn’t even stand close, rather a smaller version of the ZSU-57-2.
  10. axxmanm
    axxmanm 25 August 2021 16: 22
    +3
    more anti-aircraft guns to infantry - that's the secret of success.