Until August 1943, the only medium-sized self-propelled artillery mount (ACS), which was in service with the Soviet troops, was the SU-122 with the 122-mm M-30 divisional howitzer. However, due to the small initial velocity of the howitzer shell (515 m / s) and the low persistence of the trajectory, it could not effectively fight the German tanks. On the agenda was the question of a special anti-tank self-propelled guns.
In April, the Red Army Artillery Committee of the Main Artillery Directorate (GAU) of the Red Army sent tactical and technical requirements (TTT) for designing self-propelled guns with an 1943-mm gun to the Red Army. The main purpose of the self-propelled guns was to destroy the enemy's Tiger heavy tanks at distances of 85-500 m. To perform the TTT, it was proposed to use the modernized SU-1000М as a basis and to equip it with an 122-mm anti-aircraft cannon with X-ballon howitzer. In the second half of April, the design department of Uralmashzavod, headed by L. I. Gorlitsky, began designing the machine.
WHAT TO ARME?
5 May 1943, the GKO determined the timeframe for the creation and development of new tanks and self-propelled guns. The production of an ACS with an 85-mm gun was assigned to Uralmash Plant, and the Central Artillery Design Bureau (TsAKB), headed by V. G. Grabin, had to design, and Plant No. 9 of the People's Commissariat of Weapons (NKV) - to make a tool for installation.
However, when the 85-mm C-31 cannon drawings were obtained from TsACB, it turned out that it takes up a lot of space in the fighting compartment of the vehicle and does not allow to place equipment and crew comfortably, and also significantly increases the self-propelled gun mass.
At Uralmash, they not only redesigned the cradle of this gun, but also offered the plant number 9 to also develop a new 85-mm cannon. As a result, the D-9-5 cannon was designed in the design bureau of plant No. 85, headed by F. F. Petrov, which was much better suited for future ACS. However, at the end of May 1943, the draft design of another gun, the C-18, came from the TsAKKB. It had some advantages, since it used a cradle from a serial 76-mm tank gun ZIS-5. However, C-18 was not very well assembled into the fighting compartment of the self-propelled gun being created.
Despite the obvious shortcomings of the ACS with the C-18 cannon, TsACB, using the authority of its leader, demanded that the machine with its tool be made in metal. This conflict was resolved only on 7 June 1943 of the year, when a special mixed commission of representatives of the People's Commissariat of the Tank Industry (NKTP), NKV, GAU and the Main Armored Directorate (GBTU) decided to make three prototypes of self-propelled guns with 85-mm guns for comparative tests: 85-1 with C-18-1 TsAKKB cannon and modified Uralmashzavod cradle, SU-85-And with D-5С-85 cannon No. 9, SU-85-IV with C-18 cannon.
Work on the prototypes lasted a month and a half. 20 July 1943 began their factory tests, which included mileage on 80 km and firing. At the same time, the D-5C gun was shot out in full - 129 shots. As for the C-18-1 and C-18 cannons, they were able to fire 39 and 62 respectively due to the breakdowns of the trigger mechanisms. From July 25 to August 6, 1943 of the year, state tests took place at the Gorokhovetsky testing ground (ANIOP), during which it became clear that:
“The self-propelled gun with the D-5C-85 cannon gives the greatest comfort in the team’s work due to the short recoil length of the gun, the convenient height of the loading line, the largest working volume for the loader. This self-propelled move had the most time when shooting for strength, the highest average rate of fire, four times higher than that of a self-propelled gun with a C-18.
Access to recoil devices in the TsAKB system weapons is impossible without removing front armor weighing 300 kg, which is extremely inconvenient and requires an hour of time for 3-4 to spend.
The D-5-85 cannon is self-balanced in the pins. For balancing the TsAKB system guns, large loads weighing about 210 kg are used, which limits the free space, is irrational in design and uncultured in appearance. Flywheels of the guidance mechanisms of the guns of the CACB system are inconvenient.
The weight of a self-propelled gun with a C-18 gun on 850 kg is greater than that of a self-propelled gun with a D-5C-85 gun. "
After the cars completed the mileage on the 500 km, the state commission concluded that the performance characteristics, reliability of the mechanisms, maneuverability and maneuverability of the SAU did not differ from the T-34 tank. According to the test results, the commission members recommended adopting the Red Army self-propelled unit SU-85-H with the D-5 gun, which was issued by the decree of the State Defense Committee No. 3892 of August 7 of 1943. The same document provided for the termination of serial production at the Uralmash plant SU-122 and the thirty-fives. The company has completely switched to the manufacture of SU-85 self-propelled artillery.
The layout of components and assemblies of the SU-85 was similar to the SU-122, on the basis of which it was created. In this case, 73% of the details were borrowed from the T-34 tank, 7% from the SU-122 and 20% were designed anew. Placed in a frame in the front hull sheet, the D-5С gun with a barrel length 48,8 of caliber had an initial speed of an armor-piercing projectile 792 m / s. By armor-piercing this weapon on 57% exceeded the F-34 cannon of the T-34 tank and on 45% - the M-30 howitzer of the SU-122 self-propelled gun, which increased the effective range of German tanks by one and a half times. The SAU ammunition consisted of 48 unitary shots with 0-365 steel frag grenades, BR-365 and BR-365K armor-piercing tracer shells. The rate of fire of the cannon with the closed hatches of the conning tower was 6-7 rds / min.
Uralmashzavod produced SU-85 from August 1943 to October 1944. During this time, the company sent self-propelled units to 2644 troops.
SU-85 entered service with individual self-propelled artillery regiments (SAP) of the RVGK and were used for firing support of T-34 tanks. These vehicles also received self-propelled artillery regiments that were part of some anti-tank brigades.
New self-propelled gun on the fronts used quite effectively. Here is a review by the commander of 1440 of the SAP, Lieutenant Colonel Shapshinsky: “The machine is excellent, it justified itself as a destroyer of enemy tanks. It is only necessary to apply it correctly. In the first battles of the Dnieper, when the regiment had to use self-propelled guns as tanks, the regiment lost 5 machines. In further combat operations, the regiment mainly supported the attacks of their tanks, following their battle formations at a distance of 200-300 m and reflecting counter-attacks of enemy tanks. Crews self-propelled act, substituting the enemy the most difficult vulnerable spot - the forehead. The SU-85 self-propelled vehicle breaks through the frontal armor of the Tigr tank from the 600-800 m distance, and its side - from the 1200-1300 m. "
Along with the positive reviews, the plant received from the active army and requests for the necessary improvements and improvements to the ACS. So, the commander of the 7 th mechanized corps, Colonel Katkov, evaluating the car, wrote: “The Su-85 self-propelled rocket is currently the most effective means of fighting enemy heavy tanks. Possessing maneuverability and maneuverability, not inferior to the T-34 tank, and armed with a 85-mm cannon, the self-propelled gun showed itself well in combat. But using the fire and armor of their tanks "Tiger", "Panther" and self-propelled "Ferdinand", the enemy imposes a modern battle at large distances - 1500-2000 m. Under these conditions, the power of fire and frontal protection of the Su-85 is no longer sufficient. It is required to strengthen the frontal armor of the self-propelled gun and the most essential thing is to arm it with a gun with increased armor-piercing power capable of striking heavy Tiger-type tanks from a distance of at least 1500 m. ”
BATTLE OF DESIGNERS
Search for ways to enhance the firepower of the SU-85 was conducted from the very beginning of its serial production. By the autumn of 1943, Plant No. 9 produced an 85-mm D-5C-85BM cannon with an initial speed of 900 projectile, m / s, which increased armor penetration by 20%. The dimensions of the installation parts of the new gun remained the same as those of the D-5C, and did not require any major changes in the self-propelled gun. Since the D-5C-85BM barrel was 1068 mm longer than the D-5C, it was pulled back to the 80 mm to balance in the trunnions.
In early January, the 1944, a prototype self-propelled machine passed factory tests. Then he was sent to Gorokhovets for state tests, which he endured, but was not accepted for service. In addition, in the autumn of 1943, design work was carried out on installing self-propelled guns of a larger caliber — the 122-mm A-19 cannon and the 152-mm D-15 howitzer.
The question of strengthening the firepower was decided by the use of guns with ballistics 100-mm naval gun B-34 on SAU. A draft design of the machine in December 1943 year passed the People's Commissariat of the tank industry and the Office of self-propelled artillery. 27 December The 1943-GKO issued Decree No. 4851 on equipping the average 100-mm self-propelled gun. In pursuance of this decision, NKTP ordered Uralmashzavod with the order No. 765 of 28 of December 1943 of the year:
“1) for 15.01.44 to design an average self-propelled vehicle based on the units of the T-34 tank and equip it with an 100-mm C-34 gun designed by TsAKB;
for 20.02.44, manufacture and conduct factory tests of the self-propeller. The gun must be delivered from plant number 92 to 25.01.44 g .;
to 25.02.44, the self-propelled transfer on state tests. "
As you can see, very strict deadlines established. Complicated the situation and the fact that история with CACB repeated with surprising accuracy. Having received drawings of the C-34 gun, Uralmash was convinced that this self-propelled gun was no good: it had impressive dimensions in width, when pointing to the left it rested against the second suspension, did not allow the driver's hatch to be placed. Great changes were needed in the serial case of the ACS, including in its geometrical scheme, which entailed reworking the stands for welding and assembly.
We would have to switch to the torsion bar suspension, move the driver’s workplace and all the machine control units to 100 mm to the left, expand the upper part of the body to the dimensions of the tracks, which would increase the weight of the ACS by 3,5 tons compared to SU-85. At the same time, TsAKKB again took an irreconcilable departmental position: giving the C-34 tank gun for installation on the ACS, the bureau demanded to use it only as it is and insisted on adapting the ACS to the gun. Uralmashzavod again turned to plant number 9, and there they developed an 100-mm D-10C gun, which was lighter than the C-34 and placed in a serial case without significant changes and without increasing the mass of the machine.
In February, the 1944 of the first prototype of the ACS passed the factory tests, consisting of 30 shots and 150 km of run. From 9 to 27 in March, state tests took place at ANIOP in Gorokhovets, where the self-propelled gun made 1040 shots and passed 864 km. In its conclusion, the commission noted that the machine could be put into service with the Red Army after some modifications. 14 April, the factory ordered the immediate preparation for the serial production of the SU-100 artillery missile.
However, TsACB again demanded a formal implementation of the GKO order, that is, the manufacture of an experimental self-propelled gun with a C-34 gun. Negotiations and correspondence on this issue again stretched. As a result, it was decided to partially modify the C-34 cannon, which was originally designed to arm a heavy EC-2 tank.
Alterations, which included reducing the width of the cradle on the 160 mm, making new inserts, the new frame, the swivel mechanism, the travel mount, removing the tide under the paired machine gun and installing the sight, were made at the factory number 9. A self-propelled gun with a C-34 gun received the index SU-100-2.
At the same time, a second prototype of the SU-100 self-propelled self-propelled machine was built, which became the head for serial production machines and included all the improvements recommended by the state commission. His tests took place at the ANIOP from 24 to 28 June 1944. After that, the state commission acknowledged that the “tactical and technical indicators of the SU-100 ensure successful defeat of the enemy’s armored vehicles at distances of 1500 m for Tiger and Panther tanks, regardless of the point of contact of the projectile, and for Ferdinand’s only when hit in the side armor, but from a distance of 2000 m. "
The SU-100-2 self-propelled gun with the C-34 gun with a special train was delivered to the testing ground in Gorokhovets at the beginning of July 1944. He was tested in the same amount as the SU-100, but showed the worst results. SU-100, on the contrary, by the resolution of the State Defense Committee No. 6131 of 3 in July 1944 adopted the Red Army.
The new combat vehicle was created on the basis of the T-34-85 tank and the SU-85 self-propelled vehicle. All the main units thirty-four - engine, transmission, chassis remained unchanged. Only because of a certain overload of the front rollers they increased their suspension by increasing the diameter of the spring wire from 30 to 34 mm. The case, borrowed from SU-85, underwent a few, but very important alterations: the frontal armor thickness was increased from 45 to 75 mm, a commander's turret and viewing devices of the MK-4 type were installed, and two fans were installed for intensive cleaning of the fighting compartment from the powder gases. In general, 72% of parts were borrowed from T-34-85, 4% from SU-122, 7,5% from SU-85, and only 16,5% were re-designed.
The initial speed of an armor-piercing shell of a D-10 gun with a barrel length 56 caliber was equal to 895 m / s. The ammunition consisted of 33 unitary shots with armor-piercing tracer shells BR-412 and BR-412B, high-explosive fragmentation bomb GF-412 and fragmentation-sea grenades. An armor-piercing dull-headed projectile with a BR-412B ballistic tip at a distance of 1500 m at a meeting angle of 60 ° pierced 110-mm armor.
The production of the SU-100 began in September 1944 of the year, but for three months it was carried out in parallel with the release of the SU-85. Moreover, at the suggestion of L.I. Gorlitsky, both artillery systems, the D-10С and D-5С, were mounted in the most unified corps, suitable to accommodate either of the two guns and ammunition packs. Camping, turning mechanism, sights and armor guns changed. From this unification, the design of the SU-85 won especially. Suffice to say that the ammunition increased to 60 shots.
The first unified ACS was released in July. In August, the plant stopped manufacturing the SU-85 and switched to the production of "hybrids" that had the index SU-85М.
The release of SU-100 continued through March 1946 of the year, during which time 3037 self-propelled units were manufactured. According to some reports, in 1947, their production was resumed and 198 SAU was released.
In the summer and autumn of 1944, an ESA-100 ACS with an electric transmission and a SU-122P with an X-NUMX-mm D-122-gun were manufactured on a trial basis.
From November 1944, the medium self-propelled artillery regiments of the Red Army began to re-equip with new self-propelled guns. Each regiment had an 21 machine. At the end of the year, they began the formation of self-propelled artillery brigades SU-100 and 65 ACS in each. The regiments and brigades of SU-100 fought with the enemy at the final stage of the Great Patriotic War.
Thus, for example, from 6 to 16 in March 1945 of the year SU-100 on the 3 of the Ukrainian Front had to participate in repelling the attacks of the 6 of the SS Panzer Army near Lake Balaton in Hungary. 207, 208 and 209 self-propelled artillery brigades armed with SU-100, as well as several separate regiments of SU-100 and SU-85 were active here. In many ways, thanks to them, on the first day, the German offensive began to falter.
In the direction of the main attack, the Germans did not manage to get onto the Nagybai-Kaposvar highway. An important role in this sector was played by the 1201 th self-propelled artillery regiment (12 SU-85), who not only repelled the onslaught of the enemy, but also, together with the 113 infantry division, conducted a successful counterattack, throwing off the enemy units on XNUM -1 km.
10 March, by regrouping forces and using the latest reserves, the Germans tried to break through the Soviet defenses in a narrow section of its right flank. However, by this time four reserve anti-tank artillery regiments were deployed, thanks to which the density of Soviet artillery reached 49 guns on 1 km of front. Break through such battle orders was impossible.
The 1951 and 1953 self-propelled artillery regiments of the 209 brigade, who managed to organize good interaction with infantry, anti-tank and divisional artillery, especially distinguished themselves in these battles. During the day, the SU-100 battery commander, Senior Lieutenant Kochergi, the combat vehicles of the junior lieutenants Vorozhbitsky and Samarin destroyed three tanks and assault guns. The battery SU-100 under the command of Captain Vasilyev from the 1952-th self-propelled artillery regiment knocked down three "Royal Tigers" during the battle.
SU-100, without a doubt, the most successful and most powerful Soviet anti-tank SAU of the period of the Great Patriotic War. Being on 15 tons is lighter than the Yagdpanther German self-propelled guns identical to those of the layout and designation, the SU-100 had similar armor protection and better mobility.
The initial speed of an armor-piercing projectile 88-mm German cannon Cancer 43 / 3 with a barrel length 71 caliber was 1000 m / s. Her ammunition (57 shots) was more than the D-10C. The use by the Germans of the PzGr 39 / 43 armor-piercing projectile with armor-piercing and ballistic tips provided the “Yagdpanthers” cannon with better armor penetration at long distances. We have a similar projectile - the BR-XNUMHD appeared only after the war.
In contrast to the German SAU, in the Ammunition Su-100, there were no sabot and cumulative projectiles. The high-explosive action of the 100-mm high-explosive fragmentation projectile was naturally higher than that of the 88-mm. In general, these two best medium self-propelled guns of the Second World War did not have any tangible advantages before each other, however, the range of use of the SU-100 was somewhat wider.
In service with the Soviet army SU-100 consisted in the postwar period. In the 1960, the self-propelled guns were modernized. In this form, the SU-100 was in the army for a long time, took part in the exercises, and as new self-propelled artillery installations arrived, they were sent for long-term storage in parks. These vehicles took part in 9 May 1985 and 1990 military parades. They had to “shake the old days” again only recently - SU-100 became participants in the Victory Parade 2010 of the year in Moscow.
SU-100 were in the armies of several Warsaw Pact countries, as well as Albania, Algeria, Angola, Vietnam, Yemen, North Korea and Cuba. In Czechoslovakia, with 1952, the SU-100 was produced under license and shipped to Egypt and Syria. They took part in the fighting during the 1956 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars. In the armed forces of some countries, these ACS, apparently, there is now. So, according to some reports, the SU-100 continue to use parts of the Cuban coastal defense.