The largest mortar in history. Self-propelled mortar 2B1 "Oka"

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In the foreground is a self-propelled mortar 2B1 "Oka"

The biggest guns in stories... Among the most powerful artillery systems, the self-propelled Soviet mortar 2B1 "Oka" would definitely not be lost. The 420mm mortar, introduced at the height of the Cold War, is often referred to as the Soviet nuclear club. This is a fair comparison, since the Oka mortar was originally developed for firing nuclear weapons.

The appearance of the nuclear club


The Second World War ended, but the redivision of the world did not stop. Now the former allies began to divide the planet into spheres of influence, and the confrontation between ideologies flared up with renewed vigor. True, now, thanks to nuclear arms, the world was spared a repetition of the sad experience of the world war. Only the Cold War and a series of local conflicts pushed countries towards an arms race.



Being drawn into this race, the defense industry of the USSR developed more and more new types of weapons. They were often created in response to the actions of the United States and its allies. The creation of large-caliber artillery systems designed for firing nuclear ammunition was a response specifically to American developments and tests.

In the United States, in the spring of 1953, at a training ground in Nevada, the American military successfully tested the T-131 (M65) artillery system, nicknamed "Atomic Annie". It was a 280 mm cannon based on a highly powerful 240 mm prototype cannon. The American industry has produced 20 such installations, which, when adopted, received the M65 index.


American tests of a nuclear 280-mm projectile, Nevada, May 25, 1953

This artillery mount went down in history as the first weapon from which a projectile with a real nuclear warhead was fired. The 15 kt projectile was successfully tested in Nevada on May 25, 1953. The detonation of a nuclear weapon took place 19 seconds after the shot at a distance of 10 kilometers from the gun at an altitude of about 160 meters. Photos and videos of test data have survived to this day.

The first nuclear artillery tests in history did not go unnoticed for the USSR. The development of the Americans, which could send projectiles with nuclear charges at a distance of 25-28 km, made an impression on the Soviet military. A rational reaction was the order for the Soviet industry of such artillery systems of special power.
Already in November 1955, a decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR was published, which launched work on the creation of nuclear artillery: a 420-mm self-propelled mortar and a 406-mm self-propelled gun "Condenser-2P", which we will talk about later.

Initially, the 420-mm self-propelled mortar was also associated with "electrical engineering", as it was known under the designation "Transformer", which was later replaced by "Oka". The assignment for the development of a self-propelled 420-mm mortar was issued to two of the largest Soviet defense enterprises. The engineers of the design bureau of the Leningrad Kirov plant were responsible for the creation of the chassis, where the famous Soviet heavy Tanks KV. For the creation of an artillery unit of a mortar of special power, the engineers of the Kolomna Special Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering were responsible.

The development of unique artillery installations continued from 1955 to 1957. In 1957, four 420-mm Oka self-propelled mortars were assembled. In the same year, the mortars were presented to the public, taking part in the traditional parade on November 7 in Moscow. Work on this project continued in the Soviet Union until 1960, after which, on the basis of a government decision, this project was officially closed.

Features of the 420-mm self-propelled mortar "Oka"


The Soviet designers were faced with the task of developing a mortar of special power, which could send mines weighing 750 kg at a distance of up to 45 km. At the same time, they were tasked with creating such an installation that would retain its performance with a large number of shots. The last condition for an artillery installation in a full-fledged nuclear conflict might not be needed.


420-mm self-propelled mortar 2B1 "Oka" in the St. Petersburg Artillery Museum

The designers coped with the assigned tasks, the 420-mm self-propelled mortar 2B1 "Oka" could hit targets at a distance of up to 45 km using active-reactive ammunition. The firing range of conventional mines was up to 25 km. Especially for this mortar, a mine with a nuclear charge of the RDS-41 type was developed. The mass of the mine was 650 kg, the initial speed was up to 720 m / s. The power of the ammunition was estimated at about 14 kt. Also, some sources indicate that a small-sized charge RDS-9, which was originally created for the Soviet 533-mm torpedo T-5, could be used as a warhead of a mine.

The rate of fire of the 2B1 self-propelled mortar, which was loaded with a heavy feathered mine from the breech of the barrel, was quite small and did not exceed one shot every five minutes. In an hour, the installation could fire 12 mines at the enemy, although even one successful shot in real combat conditions could provide an excellent result.

An interesting feature of the artillery installation was that in the body of the self-propelled mortar there was only room for the driver, the rest of the calculation of the artillery installation, which consisted of 7 people, was transported separately in an armored personnel carrier or truck.

The mortar itself really amazed the imagination and at the very first parade in Moscow in November 1957 made an indelible impression on the audience. The installation weighing about 55 tons was built on a special chassis "object 273", created on the basis of solutions for the Soviet heavy tank T-10M (object 272). The length of the installation with the cannon in front exceeded 20 meters, the width was 3 meters, and the height was 5,7 meters. For comparison, the height of an ordinary five-story "Khrushchev" is 14-15 meters.


420-mm self-propelled mortar 2B1 "Oka" in the St. Petersburg Artillery Museum, view from the stern

It is also interesting to compare with the combat weight of the KV tank, the 1939 model weighed 43 tons, the T-10M (IS-8) heavy tank weighed 50 tons. Weight was one of the main disadvantages of the atomic mortar. Despite the solid engine from the T-10M with a capacity of 750 hp. with., the maximum speed of the installation on the highway did not exceed 30 km / h. But this is in ideal conditions, in life the speed of movement was much lower. At the same time, during operation, it turned out that the tracks of the base chassis belt were only enough for 20-35 km of travel, after which they needed to be replaced.

The main armament of the 2B1 "Oka" artillery mount was the 420-mm 2B2 smoothbore mortar. The length of the mortar barrel was approximately 20 meters or 47,5 caliber. The mortar barrel during firing could be directed vertically in the range from +50 to +75 degrees. There were no horizontal guidance angles, the turn to the target was carried out by turning the chassis of the self-propelled mortar.

Experts attributed the lack of anti-recoil devices on the artillery mount to the interesting features of the 420-mm Oka mortar. For this reason, at the time of the shot, the atomic mortar rolled back about five meters.

The fate of the project


Unfortunately, "Oka" appeared at the wrong time.

The decline of the project was facilitated not even by the shortcomings of the chassis (the self-propelled mortar turned out to be too heavy), but by the rapid development of missile weapons. The fact that Nikita Khrushchev clearly relied on missiles also played a role.

In 1961, just four years after the triumphant appearance of the Soviet nuclear artillery of special power at the parade, the 2K6 Luna tactical missile system of the second generation was adopted. It is with the emergence of this complex that experts associate the decline of nuclear artillery.


420-mm self-propelled mortars "Oka" on Red Square

The complex was simpler to operate, had a lower cost and opened up new opportunities for the military. With a launcher mass of 15,5 tons versus 55 tons for a 420-mm mortar, the complex could hit targets at a distance of up to 45 kilometers using a wide range of missiles.

For some time, the USSR still harbored ideas for the creation and development of reduced nuclear artillery ammunition for the 240-mm M-240 mortar and the 203-mm artillery system B-4 (B-4M), but the rapid development of missile weapons stopped these plans. The next version of the TRK "Luna-M" could confidently hit targets at a distance of up to 70 km, leaving far behind any artillery systems.

In May 1961, six units of Soviet nuclear artillery of special power took part for the last time in a parade in Moscow on Red Square. In the same year, in July, the 2nd artillery regiment of the RVGK was disbanded, which included all four Oka atomic mortars.
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  2. +14
    29 2021 June
    For some time, the USSR still harbored ideas for the creation and development of reduced nuclear artillery ammunition for the 240-mm M-240 mortar and the 203-mm B-4 (B-4M) artillery system, but the rapid development of missile weapons stopped these plans.


    In a sense, the nuclear artillery in the USSR had its continuation - the type 2S7 "Pion" / "Malka".
  3. +13
    29 2021 June
    Science fiction writer Oleg Divov is the first to come to mind. He, who served a term on a 203mm self-propelled mortar, was able to talentedly stir up the novel-apocalypse with such a mortar as a shot-gun for the protagonist.
    And so in St. Petersburg in the Museum of artillery, engineering troops and signal troops, you can sweat-touch these monsters, and take a selfie, although they were made, of course, not for this.
    But it is good that this is so, and that they were not at war.
    1. +3
      29 2021 June
      Quote: faterdom
      Science fiction writer Oleg Divov is the first to come to mind. He, who served a term on a 203mm self-propelled mortar, was able to talentedly stir up the novel-apocalypse with such a mortar as a shot-gun for the protagonist.

      With all due respect, judging by the description of the machine in "The radius of destruction" Artyom Kpmenisty (aka Oleg Divov) described the 203mm Peony cannon, not the mortar.
      By the way, she really had "special ammunition".
      1. +4
        29 2021 June
        Oops, then I didn't read Divov. There was definitely a "Tulip" there. Thanks for the tip, I will definitely read it.
        1. +8
          29 2021 June
          Divov has a book "The Weapon of Retribution" about his service

          Characters and performers:
          The commander of the 3rd battalion of the AFV Major K. in the role of the Minotaur.
          Battery commander Captain Masyakin as Captain Masyakin.
          Senior Sergeant Thya as Dread Sergeant Thya.
          Installation 2S4 "Tulip" and KShM based on MT-LBu in the role of Weapon of Retaliation.
          One junior sergeant with no class qualifications as an Author.
          Soldiers and sergeants of the 3rd self-propelled mortar battalion of armored combat vehicles in supporting roles.
      2. +1
        July 5 2021
        The real name of the writer Artyom Kamenisty is Artur Sergeevich Smirnov.
    2. +3
      29 2021 June
      I read it for a long time. But I remember exactly that there was a "Tulip". Although it may not be the right book. Although I strongly doubt it. I have never seen more books in this genre where the main gun is a self-propelled mortar, And yes it is written well, especially the moment of the arrow of the two groups, and the enemies of the type saw the trunk of a tulip aimed at them and got scared, not knowing that it was in the stowed position.
      1. +4
        29 2021 June
        No, I confused the authors Artyom Kamenisty (Smirnov), not Divov as I thought. Sori, I'm sorry.
    3. Alf
      +5
      29 2021 June
      Quote: faterdom
      Science fiction writer Oleg Divov is the first to come to mind. He, who served a term on a 203mm self-propelled mortar, was able to talentedly stir up the novel-apocalypse with such a mortar as a shot-gun for the protagonist.

      "We were not given machine guns, but we had atomic mines ..."
    4. +5
      29 2021 June
      The novel, in my opinion, was called The Law of the Frontier, and later the author renamed it Young and Strong Will Survive.
      And "Weapon of Retaliation" is tales and mockery based on the author's army service.
      1. +2
        29 2021 June
        You seem to be right about the "Young ..." If memory serves, everyone fell asleep there, but not many woke up with strange amnesia, and then there was the Tulip mortar. The details have already been forgotten, because it has been read a long time ago, you can update your impressions. When I read it, it was still a draft, so one can hope that the author transformed the text.
        Thank you all, I started reading Stony (for an hour now) he neighing three times, but the reading delays))
      2. Alf
        0
        30 2021 June
        Quote: faterdom
        The novel, in my opinion, was called The Law of the Frontier, and later the author renamed it Young and Strong Will Survive.

        Divov also has a chic novel The Last Crew of the Solnechnaya, which mentions an alternative outcome of the fate of a country very similar to modern Russia.
        1. +2
          July 2 2021
          Only "Best Crew of the Solar"
          1. Alf
            +1
            July 2 2021
            Quote: MaikCG
            Only "Best Crew of the Solar"

            I beg your pardon, I forgot, but I was too lazy to go to the shelf. Thank you!
  4. +5
    29 2021 June
    A good thing. But gigantomania in weapons (as in life) comes to a standstill. Another thing is "Tulip". That is, the development took place in the sense of BM mortars.
    1. +5
      29 2021 June
      By the way. There is a cool book by Oleg Divov "The Weapon of Retribution". I don't remember the name of the first part. Simply written with humor about his service. Read in one breath.
  5. +11
    29 2021 June
    Judging by the pictures, the mortar went "gun back"?

    Please note that initially the cockpit was on the side, while in the museum model it is already located in the front center. Was there an upgrade?
    1. Thanks for the interesting photo. Incidentally, I saw these mortars in a magazine for the first time. How they rode in the parade. But already a "late" option.
      1. +14
        29 2021 June


        Another "bareback rider" laughing

        A rare view of the 2A3 from the other side.
      2. +10
        29 2021 June
        Incidentally, I saw these mortars in a magazine for the first time.


        I confess that I first saw the description of these weapons in 1995 from the monograph by Janusz Magnuski “IS-3. Terror of the West ".


        In 1961, just four years after the triumphant appearance of the Soviet nuclear artillery of special power at the parade, the 2K6 Luna tactical missile system of the second generation was adopted. It is with the emergence of this complex that experts associate the decline of nuclear artillery.

        There I also saw self-propelled rocket launchers based on the IS / ISU chassis - from the mid-1950s.

        In the Polish Museum
        1. 0
          July 9 2021
          Missile launchers based on ISU were for Elbrus operational-tactical missiles. But there were not so many of them, the majority of Elbrus were based on MAZ-543
    2. +18
      29 2021 June
      On the first photo 2A3 Condenser 2 406mm

      1. +22
        29 2021 June
        In the first photo 2A3 Condenser
        Exactly. For visual comparison
      2. Alf
        +10
        29 2021 June
        Capacitor.
    3. +16
      29 2021 June
      To the heap - the world's first "atomic" gun of our sworn friends 280 mm ATOMIC CANNON (T131)

      Davy crockett m388 tactical nuclear weapon.

      From maxi to mini with the same effect.
  6. +6
    29 2021 June
    The weapons of human destruction have reached in their development, uniqueness, to the point of madness !!!
    It is sad that humanity does not want / cannot stop in any way.
    1. Alf
      +4
      29 2021 June
      Quote: rocket757
      The weapons of human destruction have reached in their development, uniqueness, to the point of madness !!!

    2. +4
      29 2021 June
      The point is that God (gods) do not need the present humanity. Yes, I myself, looking at our civilization, often think that it's time to dispose of all this shit. We have become a virus on this planet, we are destroying, multiplying and destroying again. I am not green and not a fanatic, but the facts are on the face.
    3. +4
      29 2021 June
      Quote: rocket757
      The weapons of human destruction have reached in their development, uniqueness, to the point of madness !!!
      .
      accident table in Russia for 20 years
      Several thousand people die on the roads in Russia every year ...
      sad
      1. +4
        29 2021 June
        The weapon of murder / self-destruction, can be of any form .... people are talented, inventive, in this matter.
      2. +3
        July 2 2021
        What an interesting picture, there are fewer and fewer deaths every year, but a "growth line" is drawn. This is how the moral (I'm talking about the author of the picture) manipulate consciousness, made a convenient design and it is ready, who will peer at the numbers, only a few.
  7. +9
    29 2021 June
    Interestingly, the artillery grandfather, a graduate, as he joked, of the First Moscow Red Banner ceremonial funeral school, until the end of his life was sure that this was a model installation.
    Even with the papers that appeared in the 90s, I could not convince.
    1. +1
      30 2021 June
      Grandpa was right about something:
      The suspension of the chassis was a torsion beam with hydraulic shock absorbers, which were able to absorb a significant part of the recoil energy at the time of a mortar shot. However, this was not enough. The absence of recoil devices on the mortar also affected. For this reason, when a 420-mm mortar was fired, it drove back on tracks to a distance of up to 5 meters.
      The vehicle was more indicative than combat. During the tests, it was noted that when firing ordinary mines, sloths could not withstand, the gearbox was torn from its place, the chassis structure was destroyed, and other breakdowns and shortcomings were also noted. Refinement of the self-propelled mortar 2B1 "Oka" went on until 1960, when it was decided to finally stop work on this project and the self-propelled gun 2A3.
      From the article "Self-propelled mortar 2B1" Oka "October 30, 2013, here.
      Again, taking into account the "rollback" when shooting at 5 meters, we multiply by the rate of fire of 12 minutes, we get 60 meters per hour, the installation systematically jumps to the side opposite to the direction of fire fellow Substantially adding epic laughing
  8. BAI
    +6
    29 2021 June
    There are memories of the developer of the chassis of these guns. Sergey Mironenko "Notes of a multimater student" Chapter 9.29.
    The chassis did not hold the recoil of the guns. The condenser collapsed at the first shot in front of Mironenko. Oka's caliber is larger than that of the Condenser. Therefore, the statements
    In an hour, the installation could fire 12 minutes at the enemy,

    although they are found, they are very controversial and most likely come from one not very reliable source. Someone threw in, and everyone repeats.
    1. +1
      July 1 2021
      Quote: BAI
      In an hour, the installation could fire 12 minutes at the enemy,

      although there are, but very controversial

      Technically they could, practically winked ... How many shots still need to be fired after using special BP?))
      As a result, we get not even a disposable car, but a one-shot car) and then everyone jumps into the attached truck and leaves.
  9. -2
    30 2021 June
    Quote: Aleksandre
    Soviet phallus on tracks wassat

    I suppose, if such a "phallus" were shown by "strategic partners", there would be a wagon of joyful squeals, a waterfall of salivation and screams - "how they can! And the backward" scoop "can't do that! "
    1. 0
      July 31 2021
      I suppose, if such a "phallus" were shown by "strategic partners", there would be a wagon of joyful squeals, a waterfall of salivation and screams - "how they can! And the backward" scoop "can't do that! "
      And their T110 and T131 were no less in weight and dimensions. and even semi-stationary on a semitrailer. Those. their guns need a concrete position and a storage location for nuclear warheads.
  10. 0
    July 2 2021
    How did his trunk not bent on the march, this length and without stops?
  11. 0
    July 7 2021
    Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
    judging by the description of the machine in "The radius of destruction" Artyom Kpmenisty (aka Oleg Divov) described the 203mm Peony cannon, not the mortar.

    You got it all messed up. Artyom stony is one person and Oleg divov is another.
    Divov has a science fiction novel "Only the young will survive"
    It is there that the Oka mortar appears as a functioning mortar.
  12. 0
    July 31 2021
    Quote: Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Quote: faterdom
    Science fiction writer Oleg Divov is the first to come to mind. He, who served a term on a 203mm self-propelled mortar, was able to talentedly stir up the novel-apocalypse with such a mortar as a shot-gun for the protagonist.

    With all due respect, judging by the description of the machine in "The radius of destruction" Artyom Kpmenisty (aka Oleg Divov) described the 203mm Peony cannon, not the mortar.
    By the way, she really had "special ammunition".
    In the novel "Law of the Frontier" it was shooting with a mortar 240mm. 2C4. They wanted to take the 2S7M Malka, but they didn't.
    В
  13. 0
    August 15 2021
    Just yesterday I was in Art. museum, entrance to the open area 50 rubles, full ticket 400 rubles.

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