It should be noted, история Domestic self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery could begin much earlier. Back in 1911, German engineers proposed a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on a half-ton truck, in the back of which they installed an 65-mm anti-aerostatic gun. This project attracted the attention of specialists from all over Europe. Among other new car interested Russian military. Soon, on their initiative, negotiations began on the sale of a number of self-propelled guns, which were planned to be tested at Russian landfills. However, the contract was not signed and the Russian Empire did not receive a single promising vehicle. As a result, work in a promising direction stopped, before it began.
By 1913, the first domestic project of 76,2 mm caliber antiaerostatic gun was developed. The project was approved by the Main Artillery Directorate, after which all documentation was transferred to the Putilov factory. Specialists of the plant headed by F.F. Lender had to complete the development of the project and bring it to mass production. By the end of the 1914 of the year, the Putilov factory produced several experimental cannons that were used in testing in the winter of the 15.
Armored car "Russo-Balt Type T" in a combat position. Photo of Wikimedia Commons
A few months before the test began, in August 1914 of the year, the army ordered promising guns to the Putilov plant 12. Already by this time, the military decided that the guns should be mounted on self-propelled chassis. By December, the 14-th was developed a draft armored car, which was supposed to equip the new gun. Staff captain V.V. took part in creating the armored car. Tarnovsky. Previously, this specialist initiated the work on the anti-aerostatic gun. Now it was planned to use his knowledge and experience in the development of an armored car for this gun.
Taking into account the characteristics of the gun, it was decided to use the truck chassis. Especially for the construction of anti-aircraft armored vehicles, the Russo-Balt plant ordered several Type T chassis. These five-ton trucks most fully met the requirements of designers. In addition, it was decided to order several Type M machines for use as ammunition carriers. In the future, anti-aircraft armored cars were called by the name of the base chassis and remained in history under the name "Russo-Balt Type T".
Build a new armored car was planned according to the classical scheme. It was proposed to equip the existing chassis with an original armored hull and a gun mount. In this case, the car was supposed to receive a partial reservation. The armor had to completely close the engine compartment and the driver's cabin. The body with the gun, in turn, was planned to cover the metal sides without any protection. Apparently, the authors of the project believed that the armored car would work at some distance from the front edge and therefore did not need full protection. In addition, the construction of a large closed hull could lead to an overload of the chassis with corresponding negative consequences for the characteristics of the machine.
The base chassis "Type T" had a frame architecture and wheel formula 4х2. In front of the frame was attached petrol engine with power 65 hp The engine and rear drive axle were connected by a manual transmission with a chain drive. The chassis was built on the basis of two axles with suspension on leaf springs. To improve the patency of the rims of the rear wheels have been expanded. When remaking a truck into an armored car, the placement of the fuel tank was changed. To protect against hits, these units were transferred to the cabin and installed under the seats.
Full booking received only the engine compartment and the driver's cabin. The rear platform had only a folding side. The armored hull was assembled from armor plates with thickness from 4 to 6 mm, which were installed on the frame. According to others, the body armor plates had a thickness of 3,5 mm.
The engine and gearbox were protected by a complex-shaped casing formed by straight and curved sheets. The front and side plates of the hood were arranged vertically. In the front sheet provided for the door to cool the engine outside the battlefield. The sides had large hatches for access to the internal units. The top hood has a curved shape. On the hood were installed three headlights.
Behind the casing of the engine compartment was located the driver's cabin, which had characteristic contours. Directly behind the engine and gearbox was a vertical front wall, over which set a sloping frontal sheet with a viewing hatch. To protect the driver, the hatch was closed with a lid with slots. The sides of the cabin consisted of two parts: the front had a smaller height and a sloping top edge, the second was a rectangle. A door for access to the seats in the cabin was provided in the left-side rectangular side part. A curved roof protected the top of the driver. Behind there was a vertical forage sheet with a hatch for communication with the gunners.
To monitor the environment, the driver had a large front hatch and smaller hatches in the side plates. If necessary, all the hatches were closed with armor covers.
The base body of the base truck received some new details. In its front and rear parts it was proposed to install boxes for the storage of ammunition. The upper lids of the boxes were made in the form of seats for gunners. Instead of the original wooden sides, the body received armor plates of small height, hinged. When preparing for combat work, the boards should be lowered into a horizontal position. In this form, they increased the size of the area accessible to gunners.
Perspective armored cars "Russo-Balt Type T" proposed to equip 76-mm anti-aircraft cannon Lender. In the back of the base truck should have mounted a cabinet with a bed and wheel chocks. The latter consisted of a hydraulic brake recoil and spring knurling. Also installation had manual drives of horizontal and vertical pickup. Firing was ensured in any direction (with the exception of sectors restricted by the cab) with elevation angles from -5 ° to + 65 °.
Scheme of the machine "Type T". Drawing Solyankin A.G., Pavlov M.V., Pavlov I.V., Zheltov I.G. Domestic Armored Vehicles. XX century
Antiaerostatnaya gun had a barrel length 30,5 caliber. For aiming the instrument was equipped with an optical panorama, a distance drum and a goniometric circle. Some guns of this type were also equipped with so-called. Tarnowski’s scattering mechanism. This system automatically changed the angles of the gun after each shot, creating a fire curtain and, to a certain extent, increasing the effectiveness of firing. Whether the dispersion mechanisms were used on Type T armored cars is unknown.
To combat airborne targets, the new anti-aircraft armored car had to use two types of shells. A 76-mm high-explosive grenade and shrapnel were offered. The grenade was used with the head fuse No. 3, shrapnel projectile with 22P or 28P tubes. When fired, the initial speed of 6,5-kg shrapnel projectile reached 585-590 m / s. The maximum firing range was 8,3 km, the maximum altitude of the attacked target was up to 5 km.
The transported ammunition of an armored vehicle "Type T" consisted of 64 shells of two types. The shots fit into special cassettes with four cells in each. An armored car could carry eight such cassettes, four each in the front and rear drawers of the cargo area. Before shooting, the cassette was removed from the box, after which shells were alternately removed from it.
To increase the size of the ammunition, it was proposed to use special transport vehicles that could follow anti-aircraft armored vehicles and carry additional projectiles. This technique was planned to build on the basis of the chassis "Russo-Balt" model "Type M". Such chassis should have received armor case similar to that used on anti-aircraft machines. At the same time transport vehicles had only one box on the cargo area. The rest of the volume of the armored airborne body was given to ammunition, fuel and other goods. According to some data, 24 cassettes with 96 shells and fuel supply were considered as normal load for a transport vehicle.
The chassis "Type T", despite the fairly high performance, could not cope with the increased load when shooting. For this reason, the anti-aircraft armored car received a set of outrigger stops designed to transfer recoil energy to the ground. The machine had three hinged stops: two were installed on the sides of the gun bollard, the third - in the rear of the frame. Getting down to the ground, the outriggers raised the car and eliminated the transfer of the load on the springs, saving their resource. Side stops received two thrusts. These thrusts with screw mechanisms ensure the optimal location of the stops.
Armored car in marching position. Gunners took places in the back, drivers stand near the cab. Photo Aviarmor.net
The crew of the first domestic anti-aircraft armored car was to consist of eight people. It consisted of two drivers and six gunners. In addition, two people had to drive a transport vehicle. Thus, the total number of calculations of the entire anti-aircraft "complex" reached ten people.
The construction of armored "Type T" started at the end of 1914 of the year, before the completion of the production of 12 ordered guns. By this time, the first four guns were assembled, which were soon installed on armored cars. Four chassis were transferred to the Putilov factory, which independently booked and armed them under a new project. In addition, this company converted four Type M chassis into transport vehicles or, as they were then called, “charging boxes”.
The first anti-aircraft battery, armed with the latest armored vehicles, was ready in February 1915 of the year and soon came to the test. Inspections lasted only a few weeks and showed that the new equipment has great prospects and can be useful for the troops. In addition, the main methods of using machines were identified.
Armored cars "Russo-Balt Type T" could fire only in a stationary position. These machines were supposed to arrive at the specified location, after which the calculations should have been lowered by outriggers, revealed the sides of the body and prepared the guns for firing. Naturally, shooting in motion was impossible. Nevertheless, even with the existing restrictions, the new equipment made it possible to increase the potential of the air defense of the troops.
In March 1915, all available Type T anti-aircraft armored vehicles and “charging boxes”, as well as some other vehicles with similar weapons, were brought into the 1st separate battery for firing aerial shots the fleet. Captain Tarnovsky, who took an active part in the creation of guns and armored cars, was appointed commander of this formation.
Transport vehicle on the base of the Russo-Balt model "M" chassis. Photo Solyankin A. G., Pavlov M. V., Pavlov I. V., Zheltov I. G. Domestic armored vehicles. XX century
20 March, the battery was sent to the front, where she participated in the battles before 1917. The first known victory of the battery took place on 30 on May 15. On this day, the gunners of the battery, stationed in the area of the town of Pultusk, managed to shoot down one German aircraft. Another notable day in battery history is the 12 June 1916 of the year. Covering the units of the 5 Army, the battery was attacked by ten enemy aircraft. Through the efforts of the gunners, this departure was the last for the three enemy aircraft.
The fate of the 1-th separate battery for air fleet firing is tracked only up to the 1917 year. After this, there is no information about the future fate of the compound. Probably due to political and social changes in the country, the battery, like some other units of the army, was disbanded. The further fate of the four anti-aircraft armored cars and the same number of "charging boxes" is also unknown. They could participate in a civil war or get the enemy as trophies, but there is no exact data on this score.
Machines "Russo-Balt Type T" became the first anti-aircraft armored vehicles in the Russian armed forces. Later, several other machines of this class were created, which were used with varying success on the fronts. Later, anti-aircraft armored cars were replaced by other military equipment with similar combat missions. As a result, a truck with an anti-aerostatic gun became the progenitor of a new direction in the development of military equipment, the development of which is still ongoing.
Solyankin A. G., Pavlov M. V., Pavlov I. V., Zheltov I. G. Domestic armored vehicles. XX century. - M .: Exprint, 2002. - T. 1. 1905 – 1941
Baryatinsky MB, Kolomiets M.V. Armored cars of the Russian army 1906 – 1917 - M .: Technics-youth, 2000