Military Review

Anti-tank artillery of the Red Army. Part of 1


Soviet anti-tank artillery played a crucial role in World War II, it accounted for about 70% of all destroyed German tanks. Anti-tank warriors fighting “to the last”, often at the cost of their own lives, repelled the Panzervaffe attacks.

Anti-tank artillery of the Red Army. Part of 1

The structure and material part of anti-tank units in the course of hostilities were continuously improved. Until the fall of 1940, anti-tank guns were part of rifle, mountain rifle, motorized rifle, motorized and cavalry battalions, regiments and divisions. Anti-tank batteries, platoons and divisions were, therefore, interspersed into the organizational structure of connections, being an integral part of them. The rifle battalion of the rifle regiment of the prewar state had a platoon of 45-mm guns (two guns). The rifle regiment and the motorized rifle regiment had a battery of 45-mm cannons (six guns). In the first case, horses were the means of thrust; in the second, Komsomolets specialized tracked armored tractors. The rifle division and the motorized division included a separate anti-tank division of eighteen 45-mm cannons. For the first time, the anti-tank division was introduced to the state of the Soviet rifle division in 1938.
However, the maneuver with anti-tank guns was possible in that period only within the division, and not on the scale of the corps or army. The command had very limited possibilities for enhancing anti-tank defense in tank-dangerous areas.

Shortly before the war, the formation of anti-tank artillery brigades RGC. Statewide, each brigade should have forty-eight 76-mm guns, forty-eight 85-mm anti-aircraft guns, twenty-four 107-mm guns, sixteen 37-mm anti-aircraft guns. The staff number of the brigade was 5322 person. By the beginning of the war the formation of brigades was not completed. Organizational difficulties and the overall unfavorable course of the fighting did not allow the first anti-tank brigades to realize their full potential. However, in the first battles, the brigades demonstrated ample opportunities for independent anti-tank formations.

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the anti-tank capabilities of the Soviet troops were severely tested. First, most often, rifle divisions had to fight, occupying the front of defense in excess of the statutory standards. Secondly, the Soviet troops had to face the German tactics of the “tank wedge”. It consisted in the fact that a tank regiment of a tank division of the Wehrmacht struck at a very narrow sector of defense. The density of the attacking tanks was 50 – 60 vehicles per kilometer of the front. Such a number of tanks in a narrow sector of the front inevitably saturate the anti-tank defenses.

Large losses of anti-tank guns at the beginning of the war led to a decrease in the number of anti-tank guns in the rifle division. The July rifle division of the state of 1941 had only eighteen 45-mm anti-tank guns instead of fifty-four in the pre-war state. In July, a squad of 45-mm guns from the infantry battalion and a separate anti-tank division were completely excluded. The latter was reinstated in the state of the rifle division in December 1941. The lack of anti-tank guns to some extent filled up recently adopted anti-tank guns. In December 1941, in the rifle division, a platoon of PTR was introduced at the regimental level. Total division in the state was 89 PTR.

In the field of organizing artillery, the general tendency of the end of 1941 of the year was to increase the number of independent anti-tank units. On 1 in January, 1942 of the current army and the reserve Supreme Command Headquarters had one artillery brigade (on the Leningrad Front), 57 anti-tank artillery regiments and two separate anti-tank artillery battalions. As a result of the autumn battles, five PTO artillery regiments were given the rank of guard. Two of them received guards for the battles near Volokolamsk - they supported the I. Panfilov's 316 Infantry Division.
1942 year was a period of increasing the number and consolidation of independent anti-tank units. 3 April 1942 was followed by a decision of the State Defense Committee on the formation of a fighter brigade. Statewide, the brigade had 1795 men, twelve 45-mm guns, sixteen 76-mm guns, four 37-mm anti-aircraft guns, 144 anti-tank guns. The following decree of 8 June 1942, the twelve formed fighter brigades were merged into fighter divisions, with three brigades in each.

The order of the NKO of the USSR No. 0528 signed by I. V. Stalin, according to which: the status of the fighter-anti-tank subunits was raised, the personnel were given double monetary salary, the entire command and personnel were set as a landmark for anti-tank artillery of the Red Army. anti-tank artillery units were placed on a special account and should be used only in the specified parts.

The distinctive sign of the anti-tank was the armlet in the form of a black diamond with a red edging with crossed gun barrels. The rise in the status of anti-tankists was accompanied by the formation of new anti-tank regiments in the summer of 1942. Thirty light (twenty 76-mm cannons) and twenty anti-tank artillery regiments (twenty 45-mm cannons) were formed.
The regiments were formed in a short time and immediately thrown into battle on the threatened areas of the front.

In September, ten more anti-tank regiments of twenty 1942-mm guns were formed in 45. Also in September 1942, an extra battery of four 76-mm guns was introduced into the most distinguished shelves. In November, 1942, part of the anti-tank regiment was merged into fighter divisions. By January 1 1943 years as part of anti-tank artillery of the Red Army, there were 2 fighter divisions, brigades fighter 15, 2 heavy antitank regiment, 168 antitank regiments, 1 antitank battalion.

The advanced anti-tank defense system of the Red Army received the name “Pakfront” (Pakfront) from the Germans. Cancer is a German abbreviation for the designation of anti-tank guns - Panzerabwehrkannone. Instead of a linear arrangement of guns on the defensive front at the beginning of the war, they were united by groups under a single command. This made it possible to concentrate the fire of several guns on one target. The basis of anti-tank defense were anti-tank areas. Each anti-tank area consisted of individual anti-tank strongholds (PTOs) that were in fire communication with each other. "To be in fire communication with each other" - means the ability of neighboring PTOs to fire at one target. The TOP was saturated with all kinds of fire weapons. The basis of the PTOP fire system was 45-mm guns, 76-mm regimental guns, partly cannon batteries of divisional artillery and anti-tank artillery units.

The high point of the anti-tank artillery was the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. At that time, 76-mm divisional guns were the primary means of anti-tank units and formations. "Forty-kapyatki" accounted for about a third of the total number of anti-tank guns on the Kursk Bulge. A long pause in combat operations at the front allowed improving the condition of units and formations due to the arrival of equipment from industry and the completion of anti-tank regiments with personnel.

The final stage of the evolution of the anti-tank artillery of the Red Army was the consolidation of its parts and the emergence of self-propelled guns in the anti-tank artillery. By the beginning of 1944, all the fighter divisions and individual fighter brigades of a general-arms type had been reorganized into anti-tank brigades. On 1 in January 1944 in anti-tank artillery were listed 50 anti-tank brigades and 141 anti-tank anti-tank regiment. By the order of NKO No. 0032 from 2 of August 1944, one SU-85 (21 SAU) regiment was introduced into the composition of the fifteen anti-tank brigades. Actually self-propelled guns received only eight brigades.

Particular attention was paid to the training of personnel of anti-tank brigades, was organized targeted combat training of gunners to fight the new German tanks and assault guns. Special instructions appeared in the anti-tank units: “Memo to the artilleryman-fighter of enemy tanks” or “Memo to fight Tiger tanks”. And in the armies, special rear ranges were equipped, where artillerymen trained in shooting at mock tanks, including moving ones.

Simultaneously with the improvement of the skill of the gunners improved tactics. With the quantitative saturation of troops with anti-tank weapons, the "fire bag" method was increasingly used. The guns were placed in "anti-tank nests" by 6-8 guns within a radius of 50-60 meters and were well camouflaged. Nests were located on the ground to achieve flanking at long distances with the ability to concentrate fire. Passing tanks moving in the first echelon, the fire opened suddenly, on the flank, at medium and short distances.

In the offensive, anti-tank guns were promptly pulled up after the advancing units, in order to support them with fire, if necessary.

History anti-tank artillery in our country began in August 1930, when, as part of military-technical cooperation with Germany, a secret agreement was signed, according to which the Germans pledged to help the USSR organize the gross production of 6 artillery systems. For the implementation of the contract in Germany, a front company BYUTAST (limited liability company, Bureau for Technical Works and Studies) was created.

Among the other weapons proposed by the USSR was the anti-tank 37-mm gun. The development of this tool, bypassing the restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, was completed at Rheinmetall Borsig 1928. The first models of the gun, which received the name So 28 (Tankabwehrkanone, i.e. anti-tank gun - the word Panzer came into use later) were sent to the tests in the 1930 year, and with 1932, deliveries to the troops began. Tool So 28 had a barrel length 45 calibers with a horizontal wedge, providing a sufficiently high rate of fire - up to 20 rds / min. The carriage with sliding tubular beds provided a large angle of horizontal pickup - 60 °, but the chassis with wooden wheels was designed only for horse traction.

At the beginning of the 30-ies, this gun penetrated the armor of any tank, perhaps, was the best in its class, far ahead of development in other countries.

After modernization, having received wheels with pneumatic tires that can be towed by a car, an improved carriage and an improved sight, it was put into service, under the designation 3,7 cm Pak 35 / 36 (Panzerabwehrkanone 35 / 36).
Remaining until the 1942, the main anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht.

The German gun was launched for production in the Moscow Region plant to them. Kalinina (No. 8), where she received the factory index 1-K. The company mastered the production of new tools with great difficulty, the guns were made semi-handicraft, with manual adjustment of parts. In 1931, the plant presented the 255 guns to the customer, but did not turn over any due to poor build quality. On 1932, we managed to turn in the 404 guns, on 1933 - on 105.

Despite the problems with the quality of the guns produced, the 1-K was quite perfect for the 1930 of the year with an anti-tank gun. Its ballistics allowed to hit all the tanks of that time, at a distance of 300 m, an armor-piercing projectile normal pierced 30-mm armor. The gun was very compact, its small weight allowed the calculation to easily move it around the battlefield. The drawbacks of the gun, which led to its rapid withdrawal from production, were the weak fragmentation effect of the 37-mm projectile and the lack of suspension. In addition, the released guns differed low build quality. The adoption of this weapon was considered as a temporary measure, because the leadership of the Red Army wanted a more versatile cannon, combining the functions of anti-tank and battalion guns, and 1-K was poorly suited to this role because of the small caliber and weak fragmentation projectile.

1-K was the first specialized anti-tank gun of the Red Army and played a big role in the development of this type weapons. Very soon, it began to be replaced by an 45-mm anti-tank gun, becoming practically invisible against its background. At the end of 30-x 1-K began to be withdrawn from the troops and transferred to storage, remaining in operation only as a training.

At the beginning of the war, all the guns in the warehouses were thrown into battle, as there was a shortage of artillery in 1941 to complete a large number of newly formed formations and to compensate for the huge losses.

Of course, by the 1941, the armor penetration characteristics of the 37-mm anti-tank gun 1-K could no longer be considered satisfactory, it could confidently hit only light tanks and armored personnel carriers. Against medium tanks, this weapon could only be effective when firing into the board from close (less than 300 m) distances. Moreover, the Soviet armor-piercing shells were significantly inferior in armor penetration to Germans of a similar caliber. On the other hand, this weapon could use captured 37-mm ammunition, in this case its armor penetration increased significantly, exceeding even the similar characteristics of 45-mm guns.

It was not possible to establish any details of the combat use of these guns, probably, almost all of them were lost in the 1941 year.

The very great historical significance of 1-K is that it became the ancestor of a series of the most numerous Soviet 45-mm anti-tank guns and the Soviet anti-tank artillery in general.

During the "liberation campaign" in western Ukraine, several hundred Polish 37-mm anti-tank guns and a significant amount of ammunition were captured.

Initially, they were sent to warehouses, and at the end of 1941, they were transferred to the troops, because of the large losses in the first months of the war, there was a large shortage of artillery, especially anti-tank. In 1941, for this gun GAU issued a "Short description, instruction manual".

The 37-mm anti-tank gun, developed by Bofors, was a very successful weapon, capable of successfully fighting armored vehicles protected by anti-bullet armor.

The gun had a fairly high initial projectile speed and rate of fire, small dimensions and weight (which made it easier to disguise the gun on the ground and roll it onto the battlefield by the calculation forces), and was also adapted to the rapid transport by mechanical force. Compared to the German 37-mm anti-tank gun Pak 35 / 36, the Polish gun had better armor penetration, which is explained by the higher initial velocity of the projectile.

In the second half of the 30-ies, there was a tendency to increase the thickness of tank armor, in addition, the Soviet military wanted to get an anti-tank weapon capable of providing fire support to the infantry. This required an increase in caliber.
A new 45-mm anti-tank gun, was created by imposing an 45-mm barrel on the carriage of an 37-mm anti-tank gun mod. 1931 of the year. The carriage was also improved - the suspension of the wheel course was introduced. The semi-automatic shutter basically repeated the 1-K scheme and allowed 15-20 shots / min.

The 45-mm projectile had a mass of 1.43 kg and was heavier than the 37-mm in more than 2 times. At a distance of 500 m armor-piercing projectile, normal pierced 43-mm armor. At the time of adoption of the 45-mm anti-tank gun obr. 1937 of the year pierced the armor of any existing tank then.
Fragment 45-mm grenade at break gave about 100 fragments that retain lethal force when flying along the front to 15 m and depth to 5-7 m. When shooting bullets form a striking sector along the front to 60 m and depth to 400 m .
Thus, the 45-mm anti-tank gun had good anti-personnel capabilities.

From 1937 to 1943, the 37354 cannon was released. Shortly before the start of the war, the 45-mm gun was discontinued, as our military leaders believed that the new German tanks would have the thickness of frontal armor impenetrable for these guns. Shortly after the start of the war, the gun was again launched into the series.

The 45-mm guns of the 1937 model of the year were relied upon by the state of anti-tank platoons of rifle battalions of the Red Army (2 guns) and anti-tank divisions of rifle divisions (12 guns). They were in service with individual anti-tank regiments, which included 4-5 four-gun batteries.

For its time, the forty-kapatka armor penetration was quite adequate. However, the insufficient penetration of 50-mm frontal armor tanks Pz Kpfw III Ausf H and Pz Kpfw IV Ausf F1 is beyond question. Often this was due to the low quality of armor-piercing shells. Many batches of shells had a technological defect. In case of violation of the heat treatment mode in production, the shells were obtained too hard and as a result they split the armor of the tank, but in August 1941, the problem was solved - technical changes were made to the production process (localizers were introduced).

To improve armor penetration, a sub-caliber 45-mm projectile, with a tungsten core, was pierced at the 500 m distance along the normal 66-mm armor, and when fired at the dagger fire at 100 m, 88 mm armor was fired.

With the advent of sub-caliber shells, “forty-five” became “tough” with later modifications of the Pz Kpfw IV tanks, whose frontal armor thickness did not exceed 80 mm.

At first, the new shells were on a special account and were given out by the piece. For unjustified consumption of sabot shells, the gun commander and gunner could give a tribunal.

In the hands of experienced and tactically skilled commanders and trained 45-mm anti-tank guns posed a serious threat to enemy armored vehicles. Its positive qualities were high mobility and ease of disguise. However, to better defeat the Bronzeleles, a more powerful weapon was urgently needed, which was the 45-mm gun mod. 1942 of the year M-42, developed and put into service in the 1942 year.

The 45-mm M-42 anti-tank gun was obtained by upgrading the 45-mm gun of the 1937 model of the year at the 172 plant in Motovilikha. The upgrade consisted in lengthening the barrel (from 46 to 68 gauges), increasing the propellant charge (gunpowder weight in the sleeve increased from 360 to 390 grams) and a number of technological measures to simplify serial production. The shield cover armor thickness was increased from 4.5 mm to 7 mm to better protect the design from rifle armor piercing bullets.

As a result of the upgrade, the initial velocity of the projectile increased by almost 15% - from 760 to 870 m / s. At a distance of 500 meters along the normal, an armor-piercing projectile punched 61mm, and a sub-caliber projectile punched -81 mm armor. According to the memoirs of anti-tank veterans, M-42 had a very high accuracy of shooting and relatively little impact when fired. This made it possible to fire with a high rate of fire without correcting the noise.

Serial production of 45-mm guns arr. The 1942 of the year was launched in January of the 1943 of the year and was carried out only at plant number 172. During the most intense periods, the plant manufactured 700 of such guns monthly. In total for the 1943-1945 years, the 10 843 gun mod. 1942 of the year. Their production continued after the war. New weapons as they were released went for the rearmament of anti-tank artillery regiments and brigades that had 45-mm anti-tank guns arr. 1937 of the year.

As it soon turned out, the armor penetration of the M-42 to combat German heavy tanks with powerful anti-missile armor Pz. Kpfw. V "Panther" and Pz. Kpfw. VI "Tiger" was not enough. More successful was the shooting of sabot shells on the sides, stern and chassis. Nevertheless, thanks to the well-established mass production, mobility, ease of masking and low cost, the weapon remained in service until the very end of the war.

In the late 30s, the issue of creating anti-tank guns capable of hitting tanks with anti-shell armor became an acute issue. Calculations showed the futility of the 45-mm caliber in terms of a sharp increase in armor penetration. Various research organizations examined caliber 55 and 60 mm, but in the end, it was decided to stay on the caliber 57 mm. Tools of this caliber were used in the tsarist army and navy (guns of Nordenfeld and Hotchkiss). A new shell was developed for this caliber - a standard cartridge case from a 76-mm divisional gun with re-compression of the cartridge barrel to a 57 mm caliber was adopted as its cartridge case.

In 1940, the design team headed by Vasily Gavrilovich Grabin began the design of a new anti-tank gun that meets the tactical and technical requirements of the Main Artillery Directorate (GAU). The main feature of the new gun was the use of a long barrel with a length of 73 caliber. The gun at a distance of 1000 m pierced with an armor-piercing shell armor 90 mm thick

The prototype gun was made in October 1940, and passed factory tests. And in March 1941, the gun was adopted under the official name "57-mm anti-tank gun mod. 1941. ”In total, from June to December, 1941 was commissioned around 250 guns.

57-mm guns from experienced batches took part in the hostilities. Some of them were installed on the Komsomolets light tracked tractor — this was the first Soviet anti-tank self-propelled gun, which, due to imperfect chassis, was not very successful.

A new anti-tank gun easily penetrated the armor of all then existing German tanks. However, due to the position of the GAU, the release of the gun was discontinued, and the entire production reserve and rigging were inhibited.

In the 1943 year, with the advent of heavy tanks by the Germans, gun production was restored. The 1943 model gun of the year had a number of differences from the 1941 model guns of the year, aimed primarily at improving the manufacturability of the gun. However, the restoration of mass production took place with difficulty - there were technological problems with the manufacture of trunks. Mass production of guns under the name "57-mm anti-tank gun mod. 1943 g. ”ZIS-2 was organized by October - November 1943 of the year, after the commissioning of new production facilities provided with lend-leased equipment.

From the moment production resumed, until the end of the war, more 9000 guns entered the army.

With the restoration of the production of ZIS-2 in the 1943 year, the guns arrived in anti-tank artillery regiments (Iptap), on the 20 guns per regiment.

Since December 1944, the ZIS-2 has been introduced into the states of the guards rifle divisions - into regimental anti-tank batteries and into the anti-tank division (12 cannons). In June, 1945, the usual rifle divisions were transferred to the same state.

The capabilities of the ZIS-2 allowed at typical combat distances to confidently hit 80-mm frontal armor of the most common German medium tanks Pz.IV and assault SAU StuG III, as well as onboard armor of the tank Pz.VI "Tiger"; at distances less than 500, the Tiger frontal armor was also struck.
In terms of cost and manufacturability, combat and service and operational characteristics of the ZIS-2 was the best Soviet anti-tank gun of the war.

Based on:
Shirokorad A. B. The genius of the Soviet artillery: The triumph and tragedy of V. Grabin.
A.Ivanov. Artillery of the USSR in the Second World War.
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  1. avt
    avt 25 September 2013 09: 15
    I was always surprised by the wording on which the 57mm gun was discontinued request Well, there was definitely some other reason, maybe only subjective.
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver 25 September 2013 09: 36
      Quote: avt
      I was always surprised by the wording on which the 57mm gun was discontinued request Well, there was definitely some other reason, maybe only subjective.

      Yes, just a VERY expensive and complicated pipe for us. Grabin wrote about this, so ... without much emphasis. Like, a lot of marriage was.
      Almost high-tech, and even in conditions of mobilization production. When: either 53-K battery, or one ZIS-2 battery.
      And with BP and their industrialization - finally "zero".
      There were no free sites, equipment, specialists. Plus huge losses of "forty-five".

      PS The material is good! Compressed, but all in the case, and without actual errors.
      1. Stas57
        Stas57 25 September 2013 11: 20
        Quote: BigRiver
        Yes, just a VERY expensive and complicated pipe for us. Grabin wrote about this, so ... without much emphasis. Like, a lot of marriage was.
        Almost high-tech, and even in conditions of mobilization production. When: either 53-K battery, or one ZIS-2 battery.
        And with BP and their industrialization - finally "zero".

        quite right
        According to the report for June 1941 total since the beginning of the year
        By 57-mm ZiS-2 was supposed to deliver for the first half:
        armor-piercing corpulent 15 thousand shots, delivered by 0;
        armor-piercing equipped - 10 thousand, delivered by 0

        Information, reports of GAU KA on the progress of fulfillment of plans of orders for 1940-1941. on art equipment "

        that’s the question of who needs an expensive cannon with no ammunition
      2. igordok
        igordok 25 September 2013 11: 25
        Quote: BigRiver
        PS The material is good! Compressed, but all in the case, and without actual errors.

        I agree. But it’s bad that illustrations are without comment. Especially photographs of tanks, it is not clear what relation the PTA has to these tanks (at least the holes indicated).
    2. Bongo
      25 September 2013 09: 57
      Mass production became possible only after receiving American machines, but even after that the troops were not equipped in sufficient quantities. Only this can explain the use of the ZIS-3 division in PTA.
    3. Civil
      Civil 25 September 2013 11: 01
      Accessible, competently, interesting. The author is a fat plus.
    4. dzvero
      dzvero 25 September 2013 11: 47
      In fact, in the pre-war period, the GAU experimented with calibers. Probably the leadership of the Red Army had information about the creation of a new German heavy tank. After all, the development of the Tiger began just from the 37th year. Apparently, therefore, they even decided to replace 45 and 76 with a single 107 mm system, and not without the effective participation of Marshal Kulik. A classic reassessment of the enemy’s capabilities took place, as Grabin writes in his memoirs: they removed the 45th from production, but failed to arrange the release of a new complex and expensive gun. In June of 41, the Germans didn’t have a Tiger, with difficulty they resumed production of the 45-ok, the ZIS-3 was actually first released illegally (perhaps the only case when the gun was mass-produced before official adoption), and in a hurry I had to to establish the release of PTR.
      and article plus - competently and to the point.
    5. Aristocrat
      Aristocrat 4 October 2013 18: 23
      The reason was simple. Most of the tanks of the Wehrmacht made their way through the ZIS-2 shell right through, sometimes without harming the crew, ammunition and engine. ZIS-2 just ahead of time ...
    6. The comment was deleted.
  2. bunta
    bunta 25 September 2013 09: 50
    Thank you for the article! In Izhevsk there is a copy:
    1. Bongo
      25 September 2013 09: 58
      Not clear ZIS-2 or ZIS-3?
      1. Ulysses
        Ulysses 25 September 2013 12: 33
        Zis-2, judging by the thickness of the barrel.
  3. largus886
    largus886 25 September 2013 10: 30
    Good article, all competently and on business.
  4. Taoist
    Taoist 25 September 2013 10: 45
    Yes, it was not for nothing that the IPTAP nickname was "goodbye Motherland" ... How courageous it was to have to wait practically without protection until the tank comes within the distance of confident defeat (500-300 meters)? This is despite the fact that a banal machine tool "sows" from a thousand meters, so you raise your horseradish head ...
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Denis
      Denis 25 September 2013 14: 04
      Quote: Taoist
      This is how it was necessary to have the courage
      OH would tell ...
      Nikolai Vladimir Sirotinin (7 March 1921, Orel - 17 July 1941, Krichev, Belorussian SSR) - senior sergeant of artillery. During World War II, covering the retreat of his regiment, in one battle alone he destroyed 11 tanks, 7 armored vehicles, 57 soldiers and enemy officers
      1. Stas57
        Stas57 25 September 2013 14: 33
        what, again? Yes, not one he was there! How much already repeat
        was a Soviet battalion, and if you read what its participants write, the Germans there very well plowed artillery.
        1. Denis
          Denis 25 September 2013 15: 56
          Quote: Stas57
          what, again? Yes, not one he was there! How much already repeat
          And it’s not ipet, although 100, all the same heroes!
          1. Stas57
            Stas57 25 September 2013 16: 43
            And it’s not ipet, although 100, all the same heroes!

            Well, so name all, that you only one "heroes" said, and the rest do not care? they died there for someone else's homeland
  5. Stas57
    Stas57 25 September 2013 11: 06
    Rogachev Alexander Vasilievich, commander of the battery "forty-five"

    Well, I will say a little about the "forty-five". The regiment had five batteries of four guns each. The American "jeep" also pulled, to which they hooked a trailer, and to it already a weapon. The Willys is a wonderful machine - agile, powerful, low. It can be adjusted directly to the fire. The gun itself is very good. Sight with 500x magnification. The fight is very accurate, like a rifle. It's almost impossible to miss 4 meters into the embrasure. If you pointed it accurately, the projectile flies, the trajectory does not change. Of course, in battle, a lot depends on the gunner. He must have very strong nerves. There are explosions around him, bullets whistle, next to a wounded comrade falls on the bed, and he must aim in cold blood. The platoon commander in battle is one and a half meters to the right of the gun, the gun commander is on the left. I am in command, the gun commander repeats my commands: "To the left, landmark is such and such. Sight is such and such. Projectile is such and such. Fire!" And when you shoot yourself, you hear your shot, it suppresses, especially armor-piercing. And you are not afraid - you no longer hear how they shoot, you only see how someone falls wounded or killed. And then you are so keen on fighting, you make corrections, give orders, shoot again, and forget about the fact that they are shooting at you. You only think about how to hit the target. We did not have such a situation that during the battle only the gunner and the loader were at the gun - there all the numbers are needed and everyone works. The calculation of the gun consisted of six people. I have already said that the crew commander is to the left of the gun. The place of the first number - the gunner - is to the left of the breech of the gun. On the right is the lock number, the second number, behind the gunner's back - the third number loader. Behind him the 5th and XNUMXth numbers are correct, they stand side by side. There was no machine gun in the crew. The personnel were armed with German and ours machine guns. I myself wore PPSh, TT and Walter. There were always a lot of weapons.

    The ammunition was ten sub-caliber shells, ten card-shaped shells, and thirty high-explosive fragmentation shells with armor-piercing shells. We did not know any limits either in 43 or later. The speed of the fragmentation shell is 800 meters per second. His binoculars clearly show how he flies. The armor-piercing one has 1200, and the armor-piercing one is about 1300 meters. A caliber projectile pierced 90 mm of armor. We dealt with the T-3 tanks easily. Of course, the shell did not take the frontal armor of heavy tanks, but we had the task of hitting it in the forehead. They shot when he set up the side of the board or a caterpillar - you smash it, he spins and hit him on board.

    1. Stas57
      Stas57 25 September 2013 11: 08
      another episode
      Selected a position. They torn out a trench for a gun, but it often happened that they did not have time to do this. Then the sapper blades dug grooves, the width of the wheels, so that the gun sat directly on the bottom shield. The guns were painted in camouflage. If possible, the position was masked as necessary.

      And in the attack it was done that way. Firstly, the guns, when supporting the attack, are always loaded with armor-piercing shells and set to safety. The front shield has been thrown back to reduce the height of the implement. That is, the height of the cannon becomes a little more than fifty centimeters. They stopped, dug under the wheels - the gun sat down even lower. We quickly cut off several branches of bushes or corn stalks there - that's all, until the first shot the tanker does not see you. You let him go 400, 300, 250 meters and open fire - we couldn't hit for a kilometer, at 500 meters. If the infantry was supported, the gun was manually pushed with the barrel forward. Such a command was: "The gun barrel forward march!" The calculation is taken for the frame on the right and left, and rolled - it moves quickly on wheels. An armor-piercing gun is already loaded in the barrel, so that it can immediately hit a tank or a machine gun. Even if you don’t disappear, when a fireball flies by nearby, you want - you don’t want your hands to tremble. First, he gave it armor-piercing, then he made an amendment on the scale of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile and immediately cover the target.

      How did you aim the tank? The cannon of the image of the 42nd has a direct shot range of 800 meters. The fire was usually opened from 400 meters. If the tank is on its side, you look through binoculars, determine approximately its speed, calculate the lead. You command the gunner: "Aim one tank under the base of the tower, lead one tank." If I am wrong, the projectile will fly either in front or behind. Then you will correct the second shot too. There were a lot of tanks on the Kursk Bulge, and they went head-on. They hit mainly on the tracks so that he turned around. While the tankers figure out where the fire was coming from in order to turn the turret, they have a second round in the side, but they don't wait - they jump out.
  6. albanech
    albanech 25 September 2013 12: 00
    "Artillery is the god of war!" That says it all! We always fought and won with the support of artillery! Glory to the artillery heroes!
  7. mithridate
    mithridate 25 September 2013 13: 56
    good article
  8. George
    George 25 September 2013 14: 07
    Romanov George Petrovich:
    "Forty-five" in articles and books admire. That’s what a hero’s gun is and what artillery heroes. Tank destroyers! Sounds loud. Maybe it is, but, frankly, by the end of the forty-third year, our “forty-five” as an anti-tank gun is hopelessly outdated. Even the new improved model with an extended barrel. I will not repeat the revelations of other artillerymen. The gun is light, small, rapid-fire. Aiming is good. For an argument, I threw a shell five hundred meters into the attic window, where the machine gunner was sitting. Only the spray flew. An armored personnel carrier or an armored car easily penetrated our shells.
    But by the winter of the forty-third, what kind of tanks did the Germans have? About the "tiger" and "panther" and say nothing. They have frontal armor 100 – 110 millimeters. Fortunately, they made up only a small part of the German tank fleet. The T-3 and T-4, the most massive tanks, constantly increased their armor, brought to 50 and more than millimeters. Moreover, armored screens and tracks were hung up. They freely planted a shell in us per kilometer, and our distance is 300 – 400 meters. Yes, we must also contrive and plant a blank on board. It’s useless on the forehead. Caliber shells are a good thing, but also at a short distance. They gave us them individually. It’s rare that a dozen sub-caliber guns were in the gun kit. This is already closer to the forty-fifth increased rate, if any. Yes, and sub-caliber shells only hit the frontal armor of tanks point-blank.
    Well, about the first fight. Our six-gun battery was part of the 190 infantry regiment. There were still batteries of three-inch guns in the regiment. But on the left flank we, the “forty-fives” took a hit. There was still some snow, December. Easy frost. German tanks rolled at us with good speed, maneuvering on the go. About 12 pieces of T-3 and T-4 medium tanks. And from the mound, like hens, three self-propelled heavy 88-millimeter shells were sent to our side. They are more than a kilometer away.
    The attack, in essence, began suddenly, without artillery preparation, which often harms than helps. Especially I mean our artillery preparation with an eternal shortage of shells. We are giving a signal to the enemy with our liquid volleys, they say, now we hit! And when the attack begins, the Germans are ready. I will not say that at that time we yawned, but for some minutes the Germans won due to surprise.
    I was in the second platoon, deputy gun commander. Our platoon is nothing man, balanced. And the battalion commander, Olikheiko (we often pronounced his surname among ourselves in unprinted form), was fussy and not too experienced. Though the captain, somewhere far away from the front line he lounged for a long time. He began to call the regiment commander, and he had his own worries - the Germans were hammering a second wedge. In general, Oliheiko was confused.
    The guns in our ditches are camouflaged, protective nets - albeit small. It’s hard to see us. But only until the first shots.
    Then the snow will smoky, and people will run in. In general, we will be in full view. But this is not so bad if we make the first successful salvo. Six trunks is power. At the right distance (three hundred meters) you can immediately knock out a couple of tanks. And there it will be easier.
    Our Olikheyko called someone else and ordered to open fire with one platoon. Three guns of the first platoon gasped. Undershoot. A distance of six hundred meters. The second, third volley. We are holding our breath, watching. Well, maybe one out of nine rounds hit the target, but didn’t penetrate the armor. But the platoon found itself. Firstly, two self-propelled guns hit the platoon, and the front tanks from the stop. The rest continued to roll forward.
  9. George
    George 25 September 2013 14: 08
    The position of the first platoon was covered immediately. What the hell was going on there. Flashes of explosions, frozen ground takes off, fragments of charging boxes. One gun turned over; pieces fell down from the second. The third weapon, as from the underworld, sends shells one after another. They knocked out one tank. And the rest moved closer to us. They go across, about to set up the sides.
    A platoon between the guns runs, and they stand forty meters apart. Do not rush guys! Fire on command. And Oligheiko is in a hurry to give his team. We fired from a normal distance. I clearly saw my “tank”, it was moving towards it. I had to beat in the forehead. Overshot, took a tall. “Shell!” I scream. And the shell is already in the barrel. We charge quickly, and the calculation is well-coordinated. The second shell from the armor ricocheted, only a blue spark slipped through. And we already have a "gift" from self-propelled guns rushing. 88 millimeters hit the rear parapet. The fragments mostly went on top. But to one of the calculations, a helmet fragment broke through and ripped off with his ear. The fighter fell, rolls, screams, blood whips.
    I hesitated for a second, the gun commander, senior sergeant Voshchanov, pushed me away, he wanted to stand behind the sight himself. But it’s hard to push me, I’m a cut above and physically stronger. “Do not go!” He shouted and fired again. This tank we knocked out. Our gun or another, do not understand. They worked like automatic machines, only the shells rang.
    The tanks would have shattered us; three or four guns remained on the battery. True, the Germans also burned one tank, the second crawled in circles in the lowlands, with a torn track. But they had a different goal. They broke through our left flank, and after the first group of tanks was the second with armored personnel carriers. Then the knot of the future Korsun-Shevchen battle was already tied, and the Germans made tactical breakthroughs, pursuing some of their goals.
    Our platoon, deploying guns, hit German vehicles leaving the snow and in the stern. Self-propelled guns fired at us from the hills and smashed one gun. Maybe the others would have finished off, but our howitzers were connected. Explosions of heavy six inches forced self-propelled guns to creep away. Part of the shells hit the breaking tanks. They failed to stop them, but one more was knocked out. We well-trained armored personnel carrier. He caught fire. Twelve Fritz jumped out of it and, bending down, ran away.
    They were in greatcoats and were clearly visible in the snow. We set fire to a tank wrecked by a howitzer and started sending shrapnel shells at those fleeing. All were angry, did not spare shells. Almost the entire crew of the armored personnel carrier was destroyed. Maybe someone would have escaped, but the infantry ran to the burning cars and finished off the lurking or wounded Fritz.
    After the battle, we buried nine guys from the battery. All young guys, and twenty years old. Twenty-five wounded were sent to medical battalion.
    So consider: there were about sixty people in the battery along with the breeders, but a little more than twenty remained. The wounded are mostly severe. Affected by shrapnel shells. It is terrible to look at torn bodies, entrails, severed legs, hands. The charger, which screamed like a shred, got off cheaply. He was only stunned and his ear was cut off with a splinter. He turns a torn helmet in his hands and does not believe his eyes that he remained alive. Our platoon wounded.
    I saw the first trophies, which the guys managed to drive behind: an automatic machine, knives, watches, comfortable German bowlers. We looked at them with curiosity. And then the three remaining guns were tidied up. Two survived in our platoon, one in the first. And the whole battle lasted for half an hour. This is counting the time that we shot at fleeing Germans.
    In addition to our three guns, self-propelled guns broke two divisional three-inch guns, and the infantry simultaneously got it. They separately buried their own so that they would not carry their bodies far. In general, we paid for three German tanks and an armored personnel carrier not cheaply.
  10. Penek
    Penek 25 September 2013 19: 26
    He served with a man with a capital letter - during the war he was the commander of a 45-k battery, two orders of the KZ. "Death to the enemy is a scribe to the calculation", as they were called. I survived, I take off my hat to such heroes.
  11. xan
    xan 25 September 2013 22: 37
    I read the memoirs of the IPTAP members on the site "I remember". There were such calculations that they had not seen a German tank in the last year of the war, everyone worked at firing points, and in the infantry.
    In general, it should be noted that the main German anti-tank gun took the T-34 in front of almost 1 km, and ours had to let the Germans get much closer. This is a question of the manufacturability of industry and the courage of artillerymen and tankers.
    In the last battle of Balaton, ours rolled out the Germans much more efficiently than in the Kursk Bulge. And this is a question of the ability to fight.
    1. Denis
      Denis 25 September 2013 23: 40
      Quote: xan
      In general, it should be noted that the main German anti-tank gun took the T-34 in the forehead almost from 1 km
      Idealize, they didn’t have good anti-tank artillery according to the blitzkrieg doctrine
      The PAK 38 gun was adopted during preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union. The command of the Wehrmacht assumed that the Red Army had a large number of tanks, but the appearance on the battlefield of T-34 and KV tanks with bulletproof armor was an unpleasant surprise. However, during the first year of the war with the USSR, the PAK 38 was the main means of combating Soviet tanks. Armor-piercing shell PAK 38 pierced 78 mm homogeneous armor from a distance of 500 meters (and this is half your almost kilometer), which in favorable conditions for the Germans allowed to hit the HF and T-34
      1. Bongo
        26 September 2013 02: 53
        Your comment is valid for 41-42 of the year, with the advent of 75-mm Cancer 40, everything has changed.
        Not so long ago, 11.09.13 was an article about German VET.
      2. Bongo
        26 September 2013 03: 05
        Your comment is valid for 41-42 of the year, with the advent of 75-mm Cancer 40, everything has changed.
        Not so long ago, 11.09.13 was an article about German VET.
        1. xan
          xan 26 September 2013 13: 13
          read the memoirs of IPTAPovtsev, there was one telling a story in 44, a German tank stood 1 km from a crossroads, there was nothing to take it, it was a detour. The Germans were killed when two BS-3 guns were transported in the next convoy.
  12. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 26 September 2013 13: 32
    Quote: igordok
    Quote: BigRiver
    PS The material is good! Compressed, but all in the case, and without actual errors.

    I agree. But it’s bad that illustrations are without comment. Especially photographs of tanks, it is not clear what relation the PTA has to these tanks (at least the holes indicated).

    "Tiger" in the photo in the middle of the article is from the Western Front, and the allies tried to fight with such tanks with the help of aviation.
  13. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 26 September 2013 13: 38
    Quote: Taoist
    Yes, it was not for nothing that the IPTAP nickname was "goodbye Motherland" ... How courageous it was to have to wait practically without protection until the tank comes within the distance of confident defeat (500-300 meters)? This is despite the fact that a banal machine tool "sows" from a thousand meters, so you raise your horseradish head ...

    "Farewell, Motherland!" they called the calculations "forty-five", but the calculations of the ZiS-2 were already called "Death to the enemy, n ... s calculation!"
  14. rokkero
    rokkero 8 November 2013 22: 23
    A good article, but the photo really should be signed - I did not understand what kind of self-propelled miracle it was in the text about “57-mm anti-tank gun mod. 1941 g. " - the Komsomolets tractor?
    1. Bongo
      9 November 2013 02: 19
      In the future, I will take into account your wishes. This is a low-volume tank destroyer ZIS-30 based on the Komsomolets traction gun.
  15. Woldemar
    Woldemar 4 May 2014 18: 54
    Interesting article. I learned that the magpie was also with an elongated barrel.
    And the photos are great, especially those where our gunners are.