Military Review

From the triple gun variant to the ML-20 cannon: the creation and use of the SU-152 self-propelled gun


In the middle of World War II - in 1943 - the SU-152 self-propelled artillery unit appeared in service with the Soviet troops. Its appearance actually became the solution to the problem of arming the troops with ultra-reliable armored vehicles in terms of protection. At the same time, for a certain time, the designers could not come up with the optimal option for self-propelled guns.

One of the prototypes actually had a triple gun variant in front of the massive armored wheelhouse. In the center there is a 76 mm cannon, along the edges there are two 20-K 45 mm guns. A triple strike on the enemy was, of course, a very effective means, especially when carrying out assault operations. However, if the shooting was carried out with extreme guns, then problems inevitably arose due to the fact that the guidance of the main gun was lost. As a result, valuable time was lost in battle.

Subsequently, they decided to abandon the triple cannon, moving to a double version with guns of the aforementioned 76 mm caliber. The base remained the same: a KV-7 with a three-gun artillery mount.

Ultimately, Soviet designers came up with a self-propelled gun with a 152 mm cannon. This is the ML-20 gun, which itself appeared in the Soviet Union in 1943.

How the SU-152 (or KV-14, or "St. John's wort") was created, what combat path it took, during what period of time it was operated, is described in detail in the video of the Starina channel:


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  1. Uncle lee
    Uncle lee 12 October 2021 08: 10
    (or KV-14, or "St. John's wort")
    Beat all sorts of tigers, panthers, mice ...
    1. Alien From
      Alien From 12 October 2021 08: 16
      Live impressive for a lifetime!
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 12 October 2021 11: 41
        In our regiment there were tractors based on the ISU-152 - they looked impressive next to the "half-four" and PT-76. smile
    2. seregatara1969
      seregatara1969 12 October 2021 21: 46
      This is an assault weapon! Tanks to him so, for fun, to knock over the heads
  2. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 12 October 2021 08: 23
    At the beginning I thought that the "narration" would begin with a story about "triplexes" ("duplexes") ... then at one time they were fond of "enty"! mm SPG ...
    1. Crowe
      Crowe 12 October 2021 10: 58
      Copy of the drawing of the longitudinal section of the SU-203
      The draft design of this self-propelled gun was sent on May 12, 1943 to the chairman of the NKV technical committee, Satu, and to the chairman of the GAU Artillery Committee, Lieutenant General Ukraintsev.
      Its developer was OKB-172 (This is in the city of Perm for those who do not remember that during the war years Molotov). According to the description, the task was to develop a heavy self-propelled gun "type KV-14" with a 203-mm mortar M-40. It should be noted that the work was not proactive. According to the documents, the initiator of the creation of the self-propelled unit with the M-40 mortar was Major General of the Engineering and Artillery Service A.A. Tolochkov, who served as the head of the sector of experimental structures of the NKV Technical Council. With him, the factory design bureau also coordinated the preliminary requirements, which formed the basis for the design. A prototype of the 203-mm mortar M-40 on November 18, 1942 arrived from the factory number 172 named. VM Molotov to the Gorokhovets polygon. However, for a number of reasons, the tests of the mortar were delayed and were started only on January 21, 1943. During the field tests, 456 shots were fired and 558 km were covered along an asphalt and cobblestone highway covered with snow, with an average speed of 14-23 km / h.
      In the conclusion of the test commission (dated March 25, 1943) it is said that it is allowed to shoot from a mortar (in the case of self-defense) with a full charge at an angle of 0 °. During field tests, suitable charges were selected for the mortar (for the G-620 projectile). The technical council of the Artkom GAU KA issued a resolution on the SU-203 project. It turned out that an increase in caliber does not always mean an increase in firepower. The SU-203 was created to destroy fortifications, and so, the ML-20, the standard gun of the SU-152, was better in this respect. ML-20 punched 1,4 meters of concrete, and M-40 - only 80 cm. In a word, the game was not worth the candle.
      1. seregatara1969
        seregatara1969 12 October 2021 21: 50
        The M40 has a short barrel. Longer barrel to translate fsyu car.
  3. Crowe
    Crowe 12 October 2021 11: 06
    One of the prototypes actually had a triple gun variant in front of the massive armored wheelhouse. In the center - a 76-mm cannon, along the edges - two 20-K 45 mm guns
    A triple-mounted installation of 45-mm and 76-mm guns during firing tests at UZTM, December 1941
    This vehicle was armed with a twin system of two 76-mm ZIS-5 tank guns, placed in a common cradle. The fire could be carried out in a volley from two guns or single shots from any cannon. The rate of fire of the twin installation reached 15 rds / min. The ammunition load included 150 rounds for cannons and 2646 rounds of rounds for two DT machine guns, placed similarly to the first KV-7 model. This self-propelled gun was demonstrated to the high command of the Red Army, but was not accepted into service. By this time, it became clear that the installation of more than two guns in a tank or self-propelled gun was not justified, and work on the KV-7 was stopped.
    - the presence in one block of guns of different calibers with different ballistics, which did not allow aimed fire at the same time from three guns, since, depending on the distance to the target, the vertical guidance angles of the guns are different;
    - when firing from the extreme guns, due to the presence of a significant distance between the axis of rotation of the block of guns and the axis of the side gun, there was a great misalignment of aiming in the horizontal plane, which constantly increased in the process of firing.
  4. K-50
    K-50 12 October 2021 12: 28
    Ultimately, Soviet designers came up with a self-propelled gun with a 152 mm cannon. This is a weapon ML-20, which itself appeared in the Soviet Union in 1943 year.

    ML-20 appeared in 1937. If you mean its "tank" version, then it should be written so, so as not to mislead people. hi
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 12 October 2021 22: 01
      I also wanted to note that the development of 1937 was attributed to 1943. Raw article.
  5. Engineer
    Engineer 12 October 2021 15: 07
    SU-152 (or KV-14, or "St. John's wort")

    Here is the historic "St. John's wort". BS-3. And the Su-152 began to be called St. John's wort only in modern literature.