Military Review

Features of the actions of artillery units during the Great Patriotic War


Headquarters of the Artillery Forces of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics

combat examples (extracts)

Observation point borrow "imperceptibly" for the enemy

(According to the foreman of Kostromin)

In January, 1944, at the breakthrough of the blockade of Leningrad, the commander of the battery ordered me to advance and select the forward observation post.

The distance to the enemy was 900 m. I with three signalers and two scouts with stereo-pipe and binoculars headed along the highway to choose an observation point. Signalers behind us pulled the wire. Having approached the enemy on 400 m, I saw a burnt self-propelled 76-mm unit standing on the highway and decided to settle here (Fig. 1). Inside the self-propelled gun, we installed a stereo pipe and started watching. Signalers have established a connection with the battery.

We noticed in the village occupied by the enemy a movement of soldiers. Our battery opened fire on them. At this time, an unforeseen circumstance happened: we, apparently, were noticed by the enemy when we approached the self-propelled unit. The Germans from the left flank opened fire on our observant point from the 37mm gun. The first shells exploded before reaching us. But the next projectile pierced through the front of the self-propelled unit; I reported this to the commander of the battery; he ordered me to leave the point. I had to leave immediately.

Conclusion: Observation point at the reference point, if you have to take, then with great caution. Sharply distinguished local objects can only be used for temporary observation and with extreme caution.

A separate house is always a reference point for the enemy

(According to the foreman Ruban)

In August, 1944, we pursued the enemy north of the city of Tartu (Estonia). Our battery of a fighter-but-anti-tank regiment approached Callauste station (fig. 2) and stopped. The commander of the battery with the commanders of the guns went to reconnaissance of the firing position. My gun was ordered to take up a firing position at 5 m north of a separate house, southwest of the station.

Features of the actions of artillery units during the Great Patriotic War

The gun was on the position, we laid out the shells, well entrenched and disguised. There was no infantry ahead; the situation was unclear.

I put a reinforced guard. At about 10 in the morning the observer reported that four “Ferdinands” were moving in our direction. Two of them stopped in the bush, and two continued to move.

The battery is ready for battle. When the Ferdinands were about a kilometer away, the battery opened fire. They stopped in the bush “Ferdinands” fired back. One of them shot at the house. The house was broken, but it could not be set on fire. Then he gave a machine-gun line in the attic. The house was engulfed in flames, the flames reached my cannon. It was impossible to stand near the gun, I had to move away from him. Other guns of our battery repelled the attack, knocking down two Ferdinands, the rest retreated. My gun was not involved in the battle due to the unsuccessfully selected firing position.

Conclusion: The combat regulations of artillery require that the firing position does not have local objects near it, facilitating orientation and targeting to the enemy. In particular, the firing position should be avoided near easily flammable local objects.

Shooting 45-mm Tiger Guns

(According to Private Konshin)

On September 13, 1944, at the approaches to Riga, the commander of the 45-mm battery of the rifle regiment ordered our calculation to advance on the highway and be ready to repel the attack tanks. The gun commander chose a firing position at the edge of the grove adjacent to the Riga highway. We secretly took a position and camouflaged themselves with pine branches. The observer reported on the approach of enemy tanks. We are prepared for battle. Soon, three Tiger tanks appeared on the road at a distance of 600700 meters from us.

The gun commander waited until they came closer. When the tanks approached the distance 400 m, the gun commander commanded: “At the tanks, at the head armor-piercing, point at the forehead, fire!” (See fig. 3).

The shell hit the front sheet, but did not pierce the armor. Tanks continued to move. Then the commander commanded: "To direct into the tank track, fire." The shell hit the caterpillar, the tank made a jerk and stopped, the other two turned back.

The downed "Tiger" opened fire on our gun, but at the command of the gun commander the gunner moved the fire at the base of the rotating tower and jammed it with his shell.

Conclusion: Shooting at the frontal armor of the Tigr tank with an armor-piercing projectile from 45-mm guns is not valid.

Fire 45-mm guns at a range not exceeding the range of a direct shot, is valid only when firing at the tracks, on the spell of the tower and on the blinding of the viewing cracks (see fig. 4).

The commander of the gun fired at the tank that had already been shot down correctly, guided by the instructions of the 1945 Fire Rules, which said that they were firing before the tank was brought to a non-operational state.
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  1. ed65b
    ed65b April 26 2013 09: 21 New
    All charters are written in blood.
  2. revnagan
    revnagan April 26 2013 10: 12 New
    "Conclusion: Shooting at the frontal armor of a Tiger tank with an armor-piercing shell from a 45-mm gun is not valid."
    Strange, in 1945 and such a discovery No. ... And the artillerymen are good fellows, with the 45 and on the "Tiger" ... The men are real.
  3. omsbon
    omsbon April 26 2013 10: 35 New
    Clearly and intelligently written. Here are such short, understandable, with examples of military use, instructions played a positive role in achieving victory.
  4. xan
    xan April 26 2013 10: 44 New
    read on "I remember" the memoirs of the Ptapo people. The funniest thing is that at the end of the war, whatever the calculation, they have an economic-combat unit. On their Studebaker, in addition to what was required for battle and unchanging males, they also carried German machine guns for their own cover, which helped in the Balaton operation. Warm clothes and blankets, rubber shoes, of course, all at the expense of the local population, grub were highly valued, since few people hoped for their field kitchens, especially in the offensive. With deep breakthroughs, the only thing that worried them was the supply of ammunition and fuel. We washed as it turned out, and sometimes did not wash for months, we also wore whatever was at hand and convenient at the moment, and no one was interested in this. I can imagine how it sounded from them, like from the bichugans. Baths were built from improvised means, if you are lucky and there is time. I managed to put myself in order when the rear was pulled up. And such lads are a pearl on Berlin. I am already overwhelmed with pride. My grandfather ended the war in the same bichugan lane to Berlin, in Berlin.
  5. VenDora
    VenDora April 26 2013 11: 11 New
    Yes, poor preparation, they did not know the charter in the first two cases. In the third - the 44th year, it is somehow even surprising not to know where to hit first of 45. Probably the newcomers were
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver April 26 2013 11: 40 New
      Quote: VenDora
      Yes, poor preparation, ... somehow it’s even surprising not to know where to hit in the first place out of 45.
      Probably the newcomers were

      It seems not newbies ... winked
      In a matter of seconds, killing a caterpillar on the Tiger and jamming a tower is not a trivial task. This is a very good need to shoot.
      Most likely shooting "insolently" in the forehead, speaks of the relative rarity of the "six" on the Eastern Front. Even in the fall of 44 ... Moreover, these are not specialists, such as IPTAP, but the level of an ordinary SD regiment. Their character of goals is somewhat different from that of the IPTAP, which stands on the edge of a tank wedge.
      Most likely, there is a simple "45" sample of 1937 and the absence of PBS in the BC.
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov April 26 2013 11: 55 New
        Shot to slow down. And then they laid it out. Perfectly matched position, the tankers could not find it. Plus the most accurate shots. The calculation is very experienced.
        Forty-five, 42, M-42, too, did not pierce the "tiger" in the forehead
  6. xan
    xan April 26 2013 14: 26 New
    Quote: revnagan
    "Conclusion: Shooting at the frontal armor of a Tiger tank with an armor-piercing shell from a 45-mm gun is not valid."
    Strange, in 1945 and such a discovery No. ... And the artillerymen are good fellows, with the 45 and on the "Tiger" ... The men are real.

    Lucky that the tower jammed, very lucky
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver April 26 2013 15: 06 New
      Quote: xan
      ... lucky that the tower jammed, very lucky

      Exceeding OVER purpose. Grove...
      It is not clear: why in one of the most important areas they put only one gun.
      At least two on franking fire ...
      In the stern and on the sides, a completely different "Krakowiak" would have come out.
  7. Rjn
    Rjn April 26 2013 16: 08 New
    And what, in August 1944 there were "Ferdinands" in Estonia?
    1. AK44
      AK44 April 26 2013 22: 24 New
      Quote: RJN
      And what, in August 1944 there were "Ferdinands" in Estonia?

      You count, the Germans were actually there! With ferdinand, tigers and panthers!
    2. Sashko07
      Sashko07 April 27 2013 01: 33 New
      The Germans in general threw all their best equipment to the eastern front, especially after the landing of the "allies" in Normandy, because the Americans were not particularly considered a warrior, and the Russians were not, the same royal tigers were mainly thrown to the Eastern and not to the Western front.
  8. Rjn
    Rjn April 27 2013 15: 24 New
    Comrades. Maybe you should read the story before making a joke? And the fact that in December 1943 the Ferdinands (Elephanta) who survived on the Kursk Bulge were withdrawn to Italy and the Western Front does not mean anything to you? Thank you "experts" for your attention.
    1. Leisure
      Leisure April 28 2013 19: 02 New
      What did they all get out of the way?
      Connoisseur, you personally took out the "Ferdinands" or the German command reported to you.
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 28 2013 19: 35 New
      If we "read history", then we come to the conclusion: those who participated in the Battle of Kursk 654th assault gun battalion transferred the remaining self-propelled guns to the 653rd, after which he went to Orleans to retrain on the Panthers. 653th assault gun battalion moved to the area of ​​Dnepropetrovsk.
      In order to relate these settlements to Italy, you must have knowledge of geography at the level of Sarah Palin.

      German self-propelled guns "Ferdinand", which failed on a wooden bridge in the Nikopol region Dnepropetrovsk region, Ukraine 1943

      German self-propelled guns clean the barrel of the guns self-propelled guns "Elephant". Western Ukraine, 1944
    3. Alex
      Alex 30 August 2013 22: 12 New
      Quote: RJN
      surviving on the Kursk Bulge "Ferdinands" (Elephanta) were withdrawn to Italy and the Western Front

      And on this issue of "Ferdinands" ("Elephant") ended once and for all ...
  9. Rjn
    Rjn April 28 2013 20: 32 New
    So after all, who can say: were there Ferdinands in Estonia in 1944?
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 28 2013 21: 44 New
      There were. Type in the search engine "liberation of the Baltic States Ferdinand".
      1. Rjn
        Rjn April 29 2013 12: 06 New
        Did you mean Ferdinand Schörner?
        1. I think so
          I think so April 29 2013 19: 50 New
          Yes, any German self-propelled gun was generally called "Ferdinands" ... I read that during the war, according to reports from the fronts, ten times more "Ferdinands" were destroyed than they were made ... But the essence of the frotnovist's story is not that, but that how to choose a position ...
  10. Rjn
    Rjn April 29 2013 21: 11 New
    Quote: I think so
    destroyed "Ferdinands" ten times more than they were made

    As well as "Tigers". And for the experience of a front-line soldier, I am only "for".
  11. Alex
    Alex 30 August 2013 22: 16 New
    Interesting article. It is not clear only in what context. But the nerves of the guys are stronger than Krupp's armor: with the "forty-five" to the "Tiger" ... By me the sphincters would have relaxed long ago ...