Military Review

Disruption of the tower. Expert opinion of the Bulletin of Armored vehicles about the Cold War tanks

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Disruption of the tower. Expert opinion of the Bulletin of Armored vehicles about the Cold War tanks

M-48. Exposition in Kubinka. Source: ru.wikipedia.org


Secret Journal of Tankers


В previous section the material referred to the secret edition of the Bulletin of Armored vehicles, which has now become invaluable historical source.

Tank troops have always been in the forefront in the Soviet Army, and it is only natural that the branch publication in the post-war years was only gaining popularity. In the 50s, the publisher was the Authority of the Main Directorate of Tank Production of the Ministry of Transport Engineering. And after 10 years, the journal is considered scientific and technical and is published under the auspices of the USSR Ministry of Defense Industry. To be completely accurate, the publisher was the Leningrad VNIITransmash of the 12th Main Directorate of the Defense Industry. However, on the covers of the magazine invariably appeared the inscription: “Moscow”, and this was a simple explanation: the editorial office was located in the capital at ul. Gorky, 35. Since 1953, for 20 years, the renowned tank designer, winner of three Stalin Prizes Nikolai Alekseevich Kucherenko became the chief editor of the magazine.

In 1961, the secret publication turned to readers with a request for a timely subscription. At that time, the pleasure of reading such a magazine cost 180 rubles a year. “Bulletin of armored vehicles” came to subscribers every two months. Naturally, only persons with appropriate access were allowed to use such literature. An interesting situation with the circulation of the publication. In the post-war period, information on the number of issued copies appears sporadically (from 100 to 150 copies). The level of secrecy of the Bulletin is evidenced by the fact that each journal was affixed with the serial number of the copy.


Nikolai Alexandrovich Kucherenko, laureate of three Stalin Prizes, a famous tank builder, editor-in-chief of the Vestnik from 1953 to 1973. Source: ru.wikipedia.org

At the end of the 60s, the following sections of the journal took shape: “Design. Tests Research ”,“ Armament. Equipment. Devices ”,“ Technologies ”,“ Materials ”,“ From the history of armored vehicles ”and“ Foreign military equipment and industry ”. The last section is of the greatest interest.








The evolution of the covers of the magazine "Bulletin of armored vehicles"

The fact is that in the post-war twenty years this section published almost exclusively the results of its own research by VNIITransmash, VNII Steel and military unit No. 68054. The last object is currently the 38th Research Testing Order of the October Revolution, the Red Banner Institute named after Marshal of the Armored Forces Ya. N. Fedorenko, or NIIIBT Polygon in Kubinka. Research engineers conducted on the basis of these institutions a detailed study of foreign models of armored vehicles that entered the USSR in various ways. In particular, the M-41 light tank, which entered the country from Cuba, was studied in detail (it will be discussed in the following publications). But part of the research was purely theoretical.

American armor in theory


The Bulletin of Armored Vehicles in 1958 (No. 2) published an interesting article by Lieutenant Colonel Engineer A. A. Volkov and Captain Engineer G. M. Kozlov about the armor protection of the American M-48 tank. It is worth recalling that this armored vehicle was put into service in the USA only in 1953, and a few years later it was "fired" in Kubinka. The tank, by the way, didn’t have time to really war. The authors were impressed by the solid-cast hull and turret of the tank, as well as the seriously enhanced armor compared to the predecessors of the M-46 and M-47. Due to a serious differentiation of the thickness of the armor, on the one hand, it was possible to increase the projectile resistance, and, on the other, to reduce the weight of the tank (in comparison with the M-46). As the authors note,

“The manufacture of solid cast hulls of the M-48 tank was organized in the USA by the in-line method with the widespread use of mechanization of such heavy and labor-intensive work as flask filling and casting. The quality of the castings is controlled by a powerful betatron installation. The production capacities of the American industry, in particular, the availability of specialized foundries, allow, in turn, to increase the productivity of tank enterprises. ”

This frees up part of the rolling and pressing equipment, and also reduces the consumption of armored steel and electrodes per unit of output. All these factors, according to engineers, are very important in wartime conditions when mass production is required. It also discusses the organization of such a thing in the USSR. Given the realities of Soviet industry in the late 50s, the authors propose not to cast the whole body, but to weld it from individual cast elements.

Now about the resistance of the American tank to Soviet shells. The authors were guided by both technical intelligence data and the "Proceedings of the Stalin Academy of Armored Forces", which states that the "American" armor is homogeneous of low hardness. It is practically no different from the armor of the M-26 and M-46 tanks, which were investigated in reality in Kubinka. And if so, then the results can be completely extrapolated to the new tank. As a result, they “fired” M-48 with armor-piercing 85-mm, 100-mm and 122-mm shells. The 85 mm caliber was expectedly powerless in front of the molded case and the M-48 turret. But the 100 mm and 122 mm completely coped with their task, and in the first case, the most effective was the blunt-headed armor-piercing projectile. Further quote from the article:

“However, neither a 100-mm blunt-headed projectile when firing from a gun with an initial speed of 895 m / s, nor a 122-mm blunt-headed projectile from a gun with an initial speed of 781-800 m / s provide penetration of the upper frontal part of the M-48. In order to break through this part of the hull at a heading angle of 0 ° with blunt projectiles, the impact speed of a 100 mm projectile must be at least 940 m / s, and the 122 mm projectile should be at least 870 m / s. ”

It is worth noting that the authors directly write in the article that the calculations are approximate.


Tactical diagram of the cumulative resistance of the American tank M-48

And if you hit the tank with a cumulative shell? Here, the authors had to take a timeout of two years. Only in 1960 did they publish an article in the Bulletin of the Journal “The Cumulative Resistance of the Armored Corps of an American M-48 Medium Tank”. In this case, the "shelling" was carried out by 85-mm and 76-mm cumulative non-rotating shells, as well as the MK-10 and MK-11 mines. According to the theoretical calculations of Volkov and Kozlov, these anti-tank weapons penetrate the tank from any angle and from any range. But the cumulative grenades PG-2 and PG-82 (from the ammunition RPG grenade launcher), the authors could not penetrate the upper frontal part of the tank. In fairness, we note that from all other projections the M-48 was successfully hit by grenades.

Tower collapse


If such an article were published now, and even by a youth publication, then it would be called "How to tear down a tower from a tank?" But in 1968, the Vestnik published material with the long title “Comparative assessment of the possibility of breaking down the towers of some tanks of capitalist states under the influence of a shock wave of a nuclear explosion.” Then no one was striving for screaming headlines. Obviously, the authors (engineers O. M. Lazebnik, V. A. Lichkov and A. V. Trofimov) considered the collapse of the tank tower to be the most important consequence of a nuclear strike, if the explosion energy was not enough to turn the car over. During the study, not a single tank was injured, but there were a lot of them: the French AMX-30, the American M-47 and M-60, the Swiss Pz-61, the British Centurion and Chieftain, as well as the German Leopard. The reference point was taken the stability of the tower T-54, which breaks at a load of 50 tons. All the authors' calculations were built precisely around this value, they assumed that foreign tanks would break the tower at a 50-ton load.


M-60 in Kubinka. Archival photo of the 80s. Source: andrei-bt.livejournal.com

Theoretical calculations have shown that the “Americans” with their large side and frontal projections of the towers will have the worst of all. M-47 and M-60 will receive 50 tons per tower with overhead pressure of about 3,7-3,9 kg / cm2 and board - 2,9-3,0 kg / cm2. On this the shortcomings of the tanks of the capitalist states end. The remaining armored vehicles tower stability was higher than that of the domestic T-54. If we extrapolate according to the graphs presented in the article, then the Leopard, Pz-61 and AMX-30 will break the tower with a 60-ton, or even 70-ton impact. Naturally, the pressure of the pressure head in this case will be the same as for the T-54. The British "Chieftain" and "Centurion" are somewhat weaker, but still more stable than the Soviet tank.

It is possible that these theoretical calculations could have influenced the tactics of using Soviet atomic weapons, as well as the growth of its capabilities.

To be continued ...
Author:
Articles from this series:
"Bulletin of the tank industry." Tank technology classified as “secret”
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 9 July 2020 05: 12 New
    +6
    Interesting, but .....
    assessment of the possibility of the collapse of the towers of some tanks of the capitalist states under the influence of a shock wave of a nuclear explosion
    To use in the calculations the area of ​​the tank tower and the shoulder strap is small for an objective result. Amers tower collapse will occur much earlier than our tanks. The flattened shape not only better resists the shock wave, but also has a vertical component to press the tower against the hull. recourse
    1. RealPilot
      RealPilot 9 September 2020 16: 06 New
      -1
      The breakdown of a tank tower by a wave from a nuclear explosion, while the practical calculations of such a breakdown are an interesting phenomenon. It says a lot about the issues of tank building of those times, about the tasks that arose before the tanks then (the assault to the Channel under the bombs).

      Now everything is a little different. Whether the turret of a tank will be blown up by a nuclear explosion is of less interest - modern wars are waged with conventional weapons. Nuclear - "the last argument" when it's too late to count the tanks.

      However, modern T-72/90, T-80 and T-64 periodically "throw towers" due to detonation of ammunition in the automatic loader (loading mechanism) due to its location ... Not burnout, but detonation. You can see a number of documentaries on this occasion, when the towers are located separately.
  2. svp67
    svp67 9 July 2020 05: 39 New
    +9
    Real battles in Vietnam showed that 100-mm TP of tanks of the T-54/55 family is a very dangerous "argument" in the confrontation with the 90-mm TP of M-48 ...
    1. Octopus
      Octopus 9 July 2020 08: 13 New
      -1
      Quote: svp67
      Real battles in Vietnam showed

      That the tank of the 52nd year by the beginning of the 70s there can be no wunderwaffles. In particular, during these 20 years, the Soviet government learned to make non-rotating cumulus and modern sub-caliber, which in the 52nd could not boast.
      1. svp67
        svp67 9 July 2020 08: 15 New
        +1
        Quote: Octopus
        In particular, during these 20 years, the Soviet government learned to make non-rotating cumulus

        What are these and why?
        1. Octopus
          Octopus 9 July 2020 08: 32 New
          +4
          This is 3UBK4 and further for punching 17-20 cm of frontal projection with large angles.
      2. demchuk.ig
        demchuk.ig 1 August 2020 11: 15 New
        0
        [i] [/ i]
        Quote: Octopus
        In particular, over these 20 years, the Soviet government learned to make non-rotating cumuli and modern sub-calibers,

        Well at least I didn't write "TIPS"
    2. Dmitriy170
      Dmitriy170 14 July 2020 16: 40 New
      0
      But there were such fights once or twice and miscalculated ... And even then, South Vietnamese sat in the M-48, which makes an objective assessment of the combat capabilities of the tank very difficult. In the only tank battle, where the "Patton" was controlled by well-trained American crews, their opponent was the PT-76, which, of course, also excludes the possibility of an objective assessment. According to the experience of Vietnam, it is possible to objectively assess only the resistance of the M-48 to mines and RPGs. Which was approximately at the level of all his contemporaries. The Vietnamese themselves noted that the Australian Centurions hold an RPG grenade better than the Patton, but not by much.
  3. Free wind
    Free wind 9 July 2020 06: 47 New
    +5
    Selling weapons around the world, classified magazine about foreign technology ????? Well this is the top .... request
    1. svp67
      svp67 9 July 2020 08: 16 New
      +6
      Quote: Free Wind
      classify a magazine about foreign technology ????? Well this is the top ....

      It’s quite normal practice, the enemy should not know that we know about him ...
    2. Umalta
      Umalta 9 July 2020 21: 28 New
      +4
      Studied at a university in Soviet times, all the abstracts were paginated by numbers and surrendered to the "secret", preparing for credit or exams, you come to the department and get your abstracts. How do you like this "secrecy"?
      1. vladcub
        vladcub 9 July 2020 21: 50 New
        +5
        With secrecy in the Soviet Union there were indeed outfits.
        The brother said: they served in the GDR and new AK-74s (still the first ones) arrived in the unit, the sentries were given old assault rifles, they were brought to the shooting range under a breather. And they somehow got an American magazine, where the cover is painted AK-74.
        The newest Soviet pontoon, its secretaries and even forbidden to say the word "pontoon", and in the GDR a technical description of the pontoon was taken out to the trash. The Americans are the bastards of our trash. There have been publications about this case.
    3. businessv
      businessv 10 July 2020 22: 41 New
      +2
      Quote: Free Wind
      Selling weapons around the world, classified as a magazine about foreign technology?
      You read the article inattentively, colleague! Pay attention to what sections were in publications:
      At the end of the 60s, the following sections of the journal took shape: “Design. Tests Research ”,“ Armament. Equipment. Devices ”,“ Technologies ”,“ Materials ”,“ From the history of armored vehicles ”and“ Foreign military equipment and industry ”
      You mentioned only one section - the last in the list. And if you also consider that
      The fact is that in the post-war twenty years this section published almost exclusively the results of its own research by VNIITransmash, VNII Steel and military unit No. 68054
      , then the secret is justified! hi
  4. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 9 July 2020 06: 57 New
    10
    I learned about Kubinka when I was 12 years old. One uncle from the military told me. For me it was a revelation!
    It seemed to me a fabulous country in which there is everything, and not just concise articles of the "tank museum" from the "youth technique".
    How did I envy people who were there, not that they worked)))
  5. Free wind
    Free wind 9 July 2020 08: 41 New
    -4
    Everyone knows everything about the t-90. We do not know anything about the Abrams, Leclerci, Merkava, Leopards, TIP-99. But no, they have the worst, and we have the best.
    1. AUL
      AUL 9 July 2020 09: 07 New
      +3
      Quote: Free Wind
      . We do not know anything about the Abrams, Leclerci, Merkava, Leopards, TIP-99.

      I think something wassat still know! But keep quiet ...
    2. Alf
      Alf 9 July 2020 20: 24 New
      +1
      Quote: Free Wind
      We do not know anything about the Abrams, Leclerc, Merkava, Leopard, TIP-99.

      Well, maybe you don’t know specifically, but everyone who has been interested for a long time has been in the courses.
    3. beeper
      beeper 14 July 2020 09: 07 New
      0
      Quote: Free Wind
      Everyone knows everything about the t-90. We do not know anything about the Abrams, Leclerci, Merkava, Leopards, TIP-99. But no, they have the worst, and we have the best.

      hi In the early 80s, in the magazine of the USSR Ministry of Defense "Foreign Military Review" (which I then wrote out), a reservation scheme (with angles and thickness of armor) of the M1 Abrams tank was printed. yes
      And a lot of things we, Soviet tankers of the 80s, still knew (up to the nuances of testing the first Leopards-2, for example) about the tanks of a potential enemy (not only from NATO), even more than about our Soviet new tanks! winked
  6. igor67
    igor67 9 July 2020 09: 05 New
    0
    Kucherenko Nikolay Alekseevich, and under the photo is written Alexandrovich
  7. tolancop
    tolancop 9 July 2020 11: 11 New
    +2
    Generally interesting, but not without mistakes ..
    "... On the level of secrecy of the" Bulletin "says the fact that on each journal affixed serial number of the copy ...."
    This does not mean anything, since the copy number is the mandatory requisite of a secret document (publication).
  8. 5-9
    5-9 9 July 2020 15: 41 New
    +2
    Our entire route of the Cold War was somewhat overestimated by Western tanks, and Western sources significantly underestimated Soviet tanks and had a vague and misconception about them ... in 1988, about the twenty-year T-64, thousands of which grazed at the borders of NATO, invented some nonsense
  9. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 9 July 2020 17: 02 New
    +4
    M-48 fought very seriously in the Six Day War (67) and the War of Attrition (67-70), and the Doomsday War (73) in the modification of "Mages". Moreover, such tanks were on both sides of the conflicts.
  10. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 9 July 2020 18: 51 New
    +1
    At that time, the pleasure of reading such a magazine cost 180 rubles a year.

    Perhaps this is the price before the Khrushchev monetary reform of 1961, after which it became 18 rubles, which seems to be true. But also a lot for the beginning of the 60s
    1. tolancop
      tolancop 9 July 2020 19: 03 New
      +2
      Given the small circulation of the magazine, its specifics and the fact that the subscription was possible only on the part of a small number of organizations and enterprises, I believe that the amount of 180 rubles does not seem fantastic even after 1961 ..
    2. Alf
      Alf 9 July 2020 20: 27 New
      0
      Quote: Aviator_
      But also a lot for the beginning of the 60s

      Not one could give one and a half rubles in the 60s for one issue of the magazine.
  11. Alf
    Alf 9 July 2020 20: 28 New
    0
    Quote: tolancop
    I believe that the amount of 180 rubles does not seem fantastic even after 1961 ..

    For organizations, yes, but for the ordinary military ...
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 10 July 2020 11: 03 New
      +1
      An ordinary soldier could not subscribe to a closed journal, offices subscribed, and issued according to the list.
  12. vladcub
    vladcub 9 July 2020 21: 54 New
    0
    "he will be discussed in the following publications," one I wanted to know about the history of museum exhibits?
  13. Pavel57
    Pavel57 14 July 2020 13: 30 New
    0
    Good article for interested young people.