Military Review

Soviet assault howitzer

36
The dramatic start of World War II led to the fact that by October-November 1941 the Red Army lost almost all of its TanksAt the same time, the loss and evacuation of factories resulted in the fact that the industry was unable to compensate for the loss of armored vehicles by the production of new vehicles. At this critical time for the army and country, any weaponcapable of causing damage to the enemy. Trophies of the Civil War, the First World War and even the Russo-Japanese War were withdrawn from the warehouses and sent to the troops stored there on conservation. There were cases of using captured Japanese 105-mm guns, Arisaka rifles, German howitzers.


Many Soviet cars were captured by the enemy. But, despite the predominantly defensive nature of the actions of our troops in the first months of the war, we also got German trophies. According to the reports of the People's Commissariat of Weapons, about 20-40% of the captured combat vehicles delivered to the enterprises of the People's Commissariat were completely unrepairable due to the lack of necessary spare parts, especially weapons. Therefore, by order of the NKV Technical Council dated 21 December 1941, all enterprises of the People's Commissariat were instructed to develop their proposals for the re-equipment of captured combat vehicles with a view to their further use in the Red Army before 1 February 1942. By that date, many enterprises had not only developed proposals, but even produced prototypes of such combat vehicles, which were shown to the management of the People's Commissariat in February-May of 1942. Among them was the plant number 592.

The design of the domestic self-propelled howitzer was started in the design bureau of plant No. 592 on its own initiative even before its evacuation, despite the fact that the design bureau engineers had no practical experience in designing and manufacturing armored vehicles. In September 1941, the plant was reoriented to repair tank and artillery weapons, including trophy weapons, the amount of which, starting from the winter 1941 – 42, began to grow quite actively (reaching 35% of the total number of evacuated property).

1. Longitudinal section of SG-122 assault howitzer (photocopy of factory drawings)


2. Section SG-122 in the plan (photocopy of factory drawings)


3. Drawing of the gun reservation (photocopy of factory drawings)


4. Drawing of the installation of the gun panorama in the conning tower SG-122 (photocopy of factory drawings)


Currently, it was not possible to find the exact start date of the design work on the 122-mm self-propelled howitzer, but the remaining copies of the drawings contain April 1942 g. This date is also confirmed by the following letter:

«Secretly

Chief of the repair department of the Abtu KS Brigadine Engineer Sosenkov.
Cc: Director of Plant No. 592 Pankratov.


In accordance with the decision taken by the Deputy Defense Committee of the USSR, Lieutenant-General of the T. Fedorenko Tank Forces on rearming trophy "artsturms" 122-mm howitzers revolving 1938, at factory 592, I ask you to give the necessary order for repair and delivery to factory 592 four trophy "Artturm". To speed up all the work, the first repaired "artturm" must be delivered to the factory before April 25.

13 April 1942 city
Chairman of the Technical Council, member of the board of the NKV E. Satel
(signature)".


The project, executed by the design team under the leadership of A. Kashtanov, was quite simple. As a base for the new machine used German assault gun StuG III with increased military conning. Such an increase in felling made it possible to install an X-NUMX-mm howitzer M-122 in the fighting compartment (the same as on the Russian SAU SU-30).

Why the 122-mm howitzer? Her choice was not accidental: at that time there was an acute shortage of 76-mm divisional and tank guns, and rather heavy 122-mm howitzers accumulated in the rear due to a lack of mechtyag means and front pieces for them. Thus, the creation of a self-propelled 122-mm howitzer was evaluated by the NKV technical department extremely high, and in May 1942, tests of the first prototype began, called the SG-122 self-propelled howitzer (Arthurm), or abbreviated SG-122 (A).

According to the description of the prototype, SG-122 (A) was created from the StuG III Ausf C or Ausf D. assault gun. The battle command post of the German SAU with the dismantled roof was cut to height. On the remaining belt, a simple prismatic box of 45-mm (forehead) and 35-25-mm (side and stern) armor plates was welded on. For the necessary strength of the horizontal joint, it was reinforced from the outside and from the inside with pads about 6 – 8 mm thick.

Inside the fighting compartment on the site of the StuK 37 cannon, a new M-30 howitzer was assembled. The main howitzer ammunition located on the sides of the ACS, and a few shells of "operational use" - at the bottom behind the howitzer machine.

The crew of SG-122 (A) consisted of five people: a driver (who occupied the place from the left-in front of the conning tower); SAU commander, he gunner horizontally (located behind the driver left side forward); Behind him, the first loader (he is also a radio operator) was also located sideways along the machine; opposite the commander of the ACS, the gunner was positioned vertically along the vehicle along the right shoulder (in addition to separate loading, the M-30 howitzer also had a separate tip); behind him the second loader also stood with his right shoulder forward.

For the entrance and exit of the crew in the car there were two hatches. One (main) was located in the aft cabin (and partly in the roof). The second one, the reserve one, was located in the sloping part of the frontal armor of the deckhouse in front of the gunner vertically. To communicate with their counterparts in the car left a full-time German radio station. There is no information about communication facilities inside SG-122 (A).

The howitzer was tested by mileage on a gravel highway and rough terrain (total mileage was 480 km), as well as shooting from open and closed positions (66 shots). The tests confirmed the high combat capabilities of SG-122 (A), however, a commission of representatives from the NKV technical department and the department of the chief designer of NKTP noted a large number of shortcomings, the main ones being:

1. Insufficient cross-SG-122 (A) on soft ground and a large load on the front track rollers.

2. Most of the load on the commander of the ACS, who was supposed to monitor the terrain, direct the gun, command the crew, etc.

3. Insufficient power reserve.

4. The impossibility of firing personal weapons through side embrasures due to their unsuccessful location (ammunition prevented).

5. Insufficient strength of the joints of the side and stern sheets of the cabin.

6. Rapid gassed fighting compartment due to the lack of a fan.

The plant was ordered to manufacture a new version of the self-propelled howitzer, taking into account the elimination of the noted deficiencies. It was also recommended to develop a version of the conning tower for installing it on the PzKpfw III tank, the running gear of which was larger than the running gear of the assault guns, as well as providing better evacuation conditions due to the presence of side hatches.

After reviewing the deficiencies and refinement of the project, Plant No. 592 produced two improved versions of SG-122 (A), which differed in the type of chassis used (assault gun and PzKpfw III tank), which had the following differences from the prototype:

1. A single-piece cabin was made of thinner (35-mm - forehead and 25-mm - boards and feed) sheets. This made it possible to slightly reduce the weight of the car and somewhat increase its patency, especially since the second variant was tested with a “winter” track.

2. The staffing of the crew of SG-122 (A) has been changed. Now the commander of the ACS was the gunner on the vertical, who received his own hatch in the roof of the cabin (the hatch in the front plate was canceled to increase projectile resistance). For the review of the area, the commander received an artillery reconnaissance periscope (in the manner of a submarine), which could be advanced in a special glass. In addition, the commander's hatch SG-122 "improved" was equipped with a mount for a periscopic panorama.

3. Due to the fact that the sliding hatch of the panoramic sight was often sticking to the test from shaking, it was replaced with a double swing wing on a new car.

4. Airborne embrasures for firing from German-type personal weapons were canceled. Instead, they received airborne embrasures of the OGK NKTP, designed for the “76-mm assault assault cannon of support” of plant No. 37, which were also more successfully placed. Through them it was possible to fire not only from the "revolver", but even from the TT and the PCA, since the diameter of the opening of the embrasure was much larger than before.

5. The gun mount was lightened. To simplify the loading tool was added a folding tray. Above the breech of the gun on the roof placed an electric exhaust fan.

6. To increase the power reserve on box shelves SAU placed box-shaped fuel tanks from the tanks BT and T-34. They retooled spare parts and entrenching tools, making maximum use of domestic components in it.

7. The radio station was moved from the left side to the right and placed inside the wheelhouse, and the side box was eliminated to simplify production. For better durability of the boards, they were recommended to subsequently tilt to 10-20 °.

5. Machine 122-mm howitzers.


6. The roof of the conning tower SG-122 (photocopy of factory drawings)


7. Cross-section of the fighting department SG-122 (improved) (photocopy of factory drawings)


Specially commissioned by the plant number 592 for the new (improved) SG-122, Uralmash developed and molded an armored vehicle that was more adapted for serial production than the previous one, and also better protected from bullets and shrapnel. This made it possible to dispense with bulky side shields, which made it difficult to maintain the machine and overloaded the front track rollers.

In September, 1942, the plant received an order for 10 machines of "improved" design, which, most likely, was not executed due to the lack of the required number of serviceable chassis and armor. It is interesting to note that plant number 592 employees claim that the SG-122 shipment began as early as March 1942, and they note that German engines were not installed during the March frosts, and the mechanics had to pour burning gasoline into the carburetors to reanimate them. But I think it most likely refers to March of the next (1943) year, when SU-С-1, better known as SU-76, began to be shipped to the front.

Today there is no exact data on the number of SG-122 manufactured, but together with the StuG III, re-equipped 76-mm guns, before the end of 1942, the plant delivered 8 units and 2 experimental machines were manufactured on the chassis of the captured tanks PzKpfw III and PzKpfw Iv. By 15 November 1942 of the year at the artillery range near Sverdlovsk there were three SG-122, two of them on the chassis of assault guns. One of the two “improved” SG-122 on the chassis of the PzKpfw III 5 tank December was delivered to the Gorokhovetsky testing ground for comparative State tests with the U-35 (future SU-122) Uralmashzavod design.

According to their results, the order for 122-mm self-propelled howitzers for 1943 year, factory number 592 was canceled, and 11 February 1943, all manufactured SAU (including experienced), stored in the factory, by order of the NKV were placed at the disposal of the chief of armored control for the formation of training tank self-propelled units.

Soviet assault howitzer
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  1. alex86
    alex86 3 May 2013 07: 31
    0
    Of course, people tried as best they could, but if these efforts were aimed at more mundane goals - the manufacture and repair of their equipment - there would be more sense. Well, how much effort was needed - to take out the trophy, and from different places, but in one thing, at the very least, to study, solve restoration issues, adapt your weapon to someone else's base, etc. This is clearly from the despair of the first years (hardly from the belief that there will be many such trophies, although who knows ...)
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver 3 May 2013 09: 38
      +3
      Quote: alex86
      ... but if these efforts were aimed at more mundane goals - the manufacture and repair of their equipment - there would be more sense. ..

      The goal is the most mundane - to provide infantry with howitzer support. The motivation for the alteration is also well-founded - there is no means of traction for towed artillery.
      In addition, the 592nd plant in Mytishchi, in its specialization, was focused mainly on the repair of artillery weapons.
      Well, the experience gained at Artsturm, probably contributed to a faster insertion of the M-30 into the T-34 carriage (Su-122).
      1. bask
        bask 3 May 2013 10: 28
        +3
        Quote: BigRiver
        The goal is the most mundane - to provide infantry with howitzer support. Alteration motivation is good too

        Until 1940, in the USSR, they did not attach much importance to assault artillery. But the Finnish war, with its reinforced concrete pillboxes. Which were not penetrated by Soviet tanks. Even the 76 mm KV-1. The first KV-1940 assault gun was created in 2, but there are catastrophically few of them in the troops.
        The Germans also used assault guns from the first days of the Second World War. By showing high efficiency.
        Therefore, designing, self-propelled guns (self-propelled guns) began in the USSR in 1942. The fidelity of such a decision was confirmed on the Kursk Bulge during the storming of German fortress cities.
        1. Bigriver
          Bigriver 3 May 2013 13: 04
          +1
          Quote: bask

          Until 1940, in the USSR, they did not attach much importance to assault artillery. But the Finnish war, with its reinforced concrete pillboxes ...
          The Germans also used assault guns from the first days of the Second World War. By showing high efficiency.

          The key here, nevertheless: "lack of means of traction." That is, at the divisional level, there were not enough tools to "take out" the field fortification of the Germans.
          And this is in the presence of guns in the rear! And the F-22, F-22USV and Zis-3 are frankly weak for these tasks. In addition, the self-propelled chassis, as if not at times increased the return from one gun.
          The Germans, from the first days of the Second World War, the assault artillery was mainly represented by 75 mm Sturmeshchuttsy (Artsturm). Everything bigger was improvisation and in very small quantities. They were rescued by a rich fleet of high-speed tractors.
          Only in the middle of the war did Hummeli, Brumbars, Bison, Vespe, etc. appear in commodity quantities.

          Mortar Division 210 mm.
          The draft force, it seems, is “twelve-ton” SdKfz. 8.
          1. Argon
            Argon 3 May 2013 23: 10
            +2
            The key here was the lack of the necessary 76mm regiments as such, but they weren’t there. What fortifications did you mention about the fortifications of the advancing army (Wehrmacht), and what about the regiments of 150mm howitzers in the infantry divisions.
            1. Bigriver
              Bigriver 4 May 2013 04: 28
              +1
              Quote: Argon
              The key here was the lack of the necessary 76mm regiments as such, but they weren’t there. What fortifications did you mention about the fortifications of the advancing army (Wehrmacht), and what about the regiments of 150mm howitzers in the infantry divisions.

              Colonels, say ... lol
              By the fall of 1941, the regular artillery of the division sank almost THREE times, opposite the state of SD from the spring of 1941. Even 53-K were seized from the battalions.
              In reality, as you might guess, it was even worse.
              Lord be with you, what 152 mm howitzers? If you are talking about a 122/152 mm mixed howitzer regiment, then it was eliminated by the end of the summer of the 41st. And there was ONE artillery regiment: 76/122 mm.

              "... What fortifications of the advancing army (Wehrmacht) did you mention, excuse me?"
              We are talking about the development period of the SG-122, right?
              See: "Schwerpunkt" for the winter 1941-42 at the Wehrmacht.
              And note one of the main points: SG is a means of RGC, not diabetes. That says a lot.
              They should have been ATTENDED by the SD through the army level, operating in the most important areas, both in defense and in the offensive.
        2. Bongo
          Bongo 3 May 2013 14: 24
          +4
          Not so there was little KV-2, just released more 300pcs. Another question is that the car was not very successful. Too much weight (52t.), In combination with low technical reliability of the chassis and transmission. led to the fact that most of them were lost not in battle, but because of failures, lack of bridges capable of withstanding them and poor terrain.
          1. Argon
            Argon 3 May 2013 23: 31
            0
            I do not quite agree with you, I recently began to get acquainted with the actions of the tank corps of the Red Army in June, July 41, all questions about weight were not correct, where the engineering reconnaissance was carried out, everything was normal. For reliability, for example, tanks 12td 8mekh k. passed without routine maintenance from 600 to 1000 km. A secret in the qualification of crews, this corps was formed in the autumn of 40 and managed to train. In most other corps, the formation of regiments on new types of tanks (not only KV but also T-34) took place in the spring of 41, and the contingent was selected according to the residual principle, well-coordinated e crews did not want to break.
        3. Argon
          Argon 3 May 2013 22: 44
          -3
          Amiable bask do not confuse h.r.e. with a finger, whatever they say, whoever that seemed to be the KV-2-tank. They didn’t turn on in separate structures, tactically, there weren’t any application features, so what tank. Well, tell me which self-propelled gun 40x years, was the turret?
    2. avt
      avt 3 May 2013 10: 51
      +3
      Quote: alex86
      Of course, people tried as best they could, but if these efforts were aimed at more mundane goals - the manufacture and repair of their equipment - there would be more sense. E

      And you look at the date of the decision, well, or read the article from the very beginning ----- ,, At this critical time for the army and the country, any weapon capable of causing damage to the enemy was used. The trophies of the Civil War, the First World War and even the Russo-Japanese War, stored there for conservation, were withdrawn from the warehouses and sent to the troops. There were cases of use of captured Japanese 105-mm guns, Arisaka rifles, German howitzers. "----- Then draw your conclusions. To the author +, as always, it is dense and informative and well illustrated.
      1. alex86
        alex86 3 May 2013 18: 48
        +1
        Quote: avt
        any weapon capable of damaging the enemy was used
        Let me emphasize that "capable", i.e. ready to use. In this case, considerable efforts were directed towards solving a problem that did not have real resources in the form of a significant number of captured vehicles. Therefore, nothing sensible came of this venture. Once again - people - deep respect, they did what they could. But they were doing this in vain, resources had to be directed to more realistic tasks - repairing their equipment.
  2. The comment was deleted.
  3. Whitley
    Whitley 3 May 2013 10: 12
    -4
    It is not surprising that this nonsense remained in the project. There are no tasks.
    1. avt
      avt 3 May 2013 10: 58
      +5
      Quote: Whitley
      It is not surprising that this nonsense remained in the project. There are no tasks.

      Yeah, precisely in view of the lack of tasks in October of the 42nd, they started to set on the basis of 34 M-30s in series ?!
      1. Bongo
        Bongo 3 May 2013 14: 29
        +4
        Of course, they were needed, but the T-122-based SU-34 was not very successful. In the first place, this was due to the choice of instrument. Beautiful howitzer M-30, suitable for self-propelled guns little. Low range of close shot, low rate of fire and bagging loading in a limited volume. Therefore, they released relatively few. ISU-122, turned out to be much more demanded ..
        1. family tree
          family tree 3 May 2013 15: 16
          +1
          Quote: Bongo
          Of course, they were needed, but the T-122-based SU-34 was not very successful. In the first place, this was due to the choice of instrument. Beautiful howitzer M-30, suitable for self-propelled guns little. Low range of close shot, low rate of fire and bagging loading in a limited volume. Therefore, they released relatively few. ISU-122, turned out to be much more demanded ..

          Rather unsuccessful were the attempts to use them in the tank, and not to shoot from closed positions. The ISU-122, unlike the SU-122, is still more suitable for this, and the A-19s and D-25s, nevertheless, cannons, not howitzers, and the same "Tiger" only had one hit in the turret, so as not to break through , then jam it completely, and lead the crew of the "Tiger" into complete amazement at a minimum, with lethal consequences to the maximum, about the "Panther", three and four, you can not speak, and so it is understandable. In general, the tasks of the machines are slightly different, something like this.
          And SG-122 was not a sin to do. Three rubles, the machine was successful, it was impossible not to use such a chassis, if only the wheelhouse could be moved back more.
          1. Bongo
            Bongo 3 May 2013 15: 19
            +6
            Su-122 could shoot from closed positions? What was her maximum angle of elevation?
            1. family tree
              family tree 3 May 2013 15: 36
              +1
              Quote: Bongo
              Su-122 could shoot from closed positions? What was her maximum angle of elevation?

              25grad. Could, regular sight, from M-30, Hertz panorama. The point is not, but in using them in the first line, instead of tanks. With "bare-assed Ferdinands" the same trouble, well, there were leaders.
              1. Bongo
                Bongo 3 May 2013 15: 39
                +5
                25 degrees, for howitzer shooting is not enough. In addition, self-propelled gunners were trained as tankers, and this is not true.
                1. family tree
                  family tree 3 May 2013 16: 08
                  +1
                  Yes, on the self-propelled guns, in the beginning, they mainly planted tankers, including gunners who are only telescopic, for direct fire they are familiar, and for shooting from closed positions, wise heads, at least one battery from the regiment, artillery gunners by all means and they got them by lies, or they prepared theirs, it was later, when the self-propelled guns with the D-5s went, the need disappeared, moreover, the PT and the assault in one bottle.
                  1. Bongo
                    Bongo 3 May 2013 16: 11
                    +3
                    Su-85 with D-5С, this is even a PT, for assault 8,5 kg. the projectile is too small.
        2. The comment was deleted.
          1. Bongo
            Bongo 3 May 2013 15: 47
            +6
            The fact of the matter is that they were often used not for the intended purpose, but to fight against tanks. The problem with the Su-122 in my opinion, is that at the time of its creation its place was not determined. It was the same with the Su-76, instead of supporting infantry and destruction of light fortifications, they were often used as PT SAC. Hence the ill fame and huge losses.
        3. Bigriver
          Bigriver 3 May 2013 15: 58
          0
          Quote: Bongo
          ... SU-122 based on the T-34, was not very successful. First of all, this was due to the choice of tools. A beautiful M-30 howitzer, few were suitable for self-propelled guns ...

          And what tool would you propose for such a circle of tasks?
          1. Bongo
            Bongo 3 May 2013 16: 08
            +7
            As an assault completely justified itself ISU-122. For M-30, in my opinion, it would be an optimal machine with an open wheelhouse, of the Su-76 type, with light, anti-bullet armor with a large elevation angle, for firing from closed positions.
            1. Bigriver
              Bigriver 3 May 2013 16: 17
              -1
              Quote: Bongo
              How the assault fully justified itself ISU-122 ...

              In the fall of 1942 - ISU-122? winked
              Su-122 was developed urgently for operations mechanized compounds. As far as I remember, she went into the series, if not the essence, after 2-2,5 months from the moment of outline design.
              That's about the 42nd autumn and speech. What would you suggest, what weapon?
              1. Bongo
                Bongo 3 May 2013 16: 21
                +4
                There was no choice in 42. Another question is that M-30 for self-propelled guns, at least in the form that turned out to be not optimal.
                1. Bigriver
                  Bigriver 3 May 2013 17: 55
                  -1
                  Quote: Bongo
                  ... M-30 for self-propelled guns, at least in the form that turned out is not optimal.

                  :)))
                  Joseph Vissarionovich asks you in Russian: what will we put, comrade Bongo?
                  And you tell him: M-30, Comrade Stalin !!! But ... she is not optimal!
                  - ???
                  Oil Painting.
                  :))
                  1. Bongo
                    Bongo 4 May 2013 13: 36
                    +4
                    Yes, funny))) .... was a great grabinsky 107mm. ZIS-6, which was developed for the KV-3, KV-4 and KV-5. But they got her.
            2. Yemelya
              Yemelya 3 May 2013 19: 56
              +2
              I agree completely. Since the problem was in the absence of mechanics, it was necessary to give the howitzers mobility in this way. Could have turned out to be a successful SPG. The chassis could be used from the Pz IV, and even better - from the M3 "Lee". The M3 could probably be equipped with the M-10.
          2. family tree
            family tree 3 May 2013 16: 21
            +3
            So they did the same, the SU-85 with the D-5s, then the SU-100 with the D-10s, universal though, weaving more than a PT pulled more, all based on the T-34. And on the basis of the ISa and ISU-152, it showed itself perfectly with the ML-20s, after all, it was not a pure howitzer, it was more a gun, a direct shot was almost 4 km, until 1974 it reached the point of departure.
            1. Bongo
              Bongo 3 May 2013 16: 26
              +4
              And I, in general, about the same ... from myself I will add that I saw Su-100, stored in 90.
            2. family tree
              family tree 3 May 2013 16: 41
              +1
              And damn it, the 42nd, well, with the SU-152 it’s understandable, but with the T-34, hell knows if the 52-K would have cut the trunk for sure. The Germans managed with 75mm cigarette butts in a similar technique, but they had cumulative, well, you can stick the F-34, L-11, relatives of thirty-four. I’m running away, I need to go to the station.
            3. The comment was deleted.
  4. bublic82009
    bublic82009 3 May 2013 15: 00
    0
    gimmick
    1. family tree
      family tree 3 May 2013 15: 22
      +6
      The most rollicking trophies, in the Second World War, the Germans. They grabbed, used and remade everything that was not pinned, what was pinned, torn off and also used, often without entering into any statements.
      1. Bongo
        Bongo 3 May 2013 15: 37
        +4
        Especially liked in SS, they collected everything that is possible.
  5. runway
    runway 3 May 2013 21: 06
    0
    I can’t understand what is the point here to publish a technical description of the artillery systems of the Great Patriotic War? Here, what, the preparation of designers of artillery systems has begun? Such articles, I’m sure, will only discourage people from engaging in military affairs - well, it’s very boring ... But after all, there are memories (chronicle) of the events of how our soldiers beat the enemy with these artillery guns, what shortcomings of these systems were taken into account when designing modern complexes. I am writing because this topic is not indifferent to me.
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver 4 May 2013 06: 51
      +2
      Quote: piston
      I can’t understand what is the point here to publish a technical description of the artillery systems of the Great Patriotic War? ..

      Without knowledge of the materiel, it is impossible to understand the essence of what happened in different periods of the Second World War.
      But, and this is just one aspect.
      1. Thunderbolt
        Thunderbolt 4 May 2013 06: 58
        0
        Without the past, there is no present, and beyond it the future. Modern systems are the "grandchildren" of that war hi