Modern war will be a war of engines. Motors on the ground, motors in the air, motors on water and under water. Under these conditions, the winner will be the one who will have more engines and a greater power reserve.
At the meeting of the Chief Military Council, January 13 1941
During the years of the prewar five-year plans, the Soviet designers created new models of small weapons, tanks, artillery, mortars and aircraft. Into service fleet more and more advanced destroyers, cruisers, patrol ships arrived, and special attention was paid to the development of the submarine fleet.
As a result, before the start of the Great Patriotic War, the USSR had a fairly modern system of weapons and military equipment, and even surpassed German counterparts in some tactical and technical characteristics. Therefore, the main reasons for the defeat of the Soviet troops in the initial period of the war cannot be attributed to miscalculations in the technical equipment of the troops.
According to 22 on June 1941, the Red Army had an 25 621 tank.
The most massive were light T-26, which accounted for almost 10 thousand cars, and representatives of the BT family - there were about 7,5 thousand. A significant proportion were tankettes and small amphibious tanks - almost 6 thousand modifications were in service with the Soviet troops. -27, T-37, T-38 and T-40.
The most modern at that time tanks KV and T-34, there were about 1,85 thousand units.
Heavy tank KV-1
KV-1 entered service in the 1939 year, mass-produced from March 1940-th to August 1942 year. The tank mass was up to 47,5 tons, which made it much heavier than the existing German tanks. He was armed with a 76 caliber millimeter cannon.
Some experts consider the KV-1 to be a landmark for the world tank building machine, which had a significant impact on the development of heavy tanks in other countries.
The Soviet tank had a so-called classic layout - the division of the armored hull from the bow to the stern, successively into a control unit, a combat and a motor-transmissive compartment. He also received an independent torsion bar suspension, anti-rigging circular protection, a diesel engine and one relatively powerful weapon. Previously, these elements were met on other tanks separately, but for the first time in the KV-1 they were brought together.
The first combat use of the KV-1 relates to the Soviet-Finnish war: a prototype tank was used 17 December 1939 of the year when the Mannerheim line was broken.
In 1940-1942, 2769 tanks were launched. Until 1943, when the German Tiger appeared, the KV was the most powerful tank of the war. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War he received the nickname “ghost” from the Germans. Standard projectiles 37-millimeter anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht did not penetrate his armor.
Medium Tank T-34
In May, the Red Army’s Armored Directorate of the Red Army proposed to Plant No. XXUMX (now the Kharkov Malyshev Transport Engineering Plant) to create a new tracked tank. Under the leadership of Mikhail Koshkin model A-1938 was created. The work went in parallel with the creation of the BT-183 - an improved modification of the already commercially available BT-32 tank.
Prototypes A-32 and BT-20 were ready in May 1939, according to the results of their tests in December 1939, A-32 received a new name - T-34 - and was adopted with the condition to finalize the tank: bring the main booking to 45 to improve the review, install 76-millimeter cannon and additional machine guns.
In total, by the beginning of World War II, the 1066 T-34 was manufactured. After 22 June 1941, production of this type was deployed at the Krasnoye Sormovo plant in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, Uralmash in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Plant No. XXUMX in Omsk and Uralvagonzavod (Nizhny Tagil ).
In 1944, the serial production of the T-34-85 modification began with a new turret, reinforced armor and a 85-mm gun. Also, the tank has proven itself due to its ease of production and maintenance.
In total, more than 84 thousand T-34 tanks were manufactured. This model was involved not only in the Great Patriotic War, she visited many armed conflicts in Europe, Asia and Africa in 1950-1980-s. The last documented case of the combat use of the T-34 in Europe was their use during the war in Yugoslavia.
By the beginning of World War II, Soviet aviation was armed with many types of combat aircraft. In 1940 and the first half of 1941, the troops received almost 2,8 thousand modern vehicles: Yak-1, MiG-3, LaGG-3, Pe-2, Il-2.
There were also fighters I-15 bis, I-16 and I-153, bombers TB-3, DB-3, SB (ANT-40), multipurpose P-5 and Y-2 (Po-2).
The new aircraft of the Red Army Air Force were not inferior to the Luftwaffe aircraft in terms of combat capabilities, even exceeded them in a number of indicators.
Armored attack aircraft IL-2 - the most massive combat aircraft in stories. In total more than 36 thousand cars were produced. He was called the "flying tank", the leadership of the Wehrmacht - the "black death" and "iron Gustav." German pilots nicknamed Il-2 "concrete plane" for its high combat survivability.
The first combat units, which were armed with these machines, were created just before the war. Divisions of attack aircraft were successfully used against enemy mechanized and armored units. At the beginning of the war, the Il-2 was practically the only aircraft that, in the conditions of superiority of German aviation, fought the enemy in the air. He played a big role in deterring the enemy in 1941.
During the war years, several modifications of aircraft were created. IL-2 and its further development - attack aircraft IL-10 - were actively used in all major battles of the Great Patriotic War and in the Soviet-Japanese war.
The maximum horizontal speed of the aircraft on the ground was 388 km / h, and at an altitude of 2000 m - 407 km / h. The rise time to 1000 m height is 2,4 minutes, and the turn time at this height is 48-49 seconds. At the same time, during a single combat turn, the attack aircraft gained 400 meters in height.
MiG-3 night fighter
The design team, led by A. I. Mikoyan and M. I. Gurevich, in 1939, worked hard on a fighter for combat at high altitudes. In the spring of 1940, a prototype was built, which received the brand MiG-1 (Mikoyan and Gurevich, the first). Subsequently, its upgraded version received the name of the MiG-3.
Despite the significant take-off weight (3350 kg), the speed of the serial MiG-3 at the ground exceeded 500 km / h, and at an altitude of 7 thousand meters reached 640 km / h. It was the highest speed at that time obtained on production aircraft. Due to the high ceiling and high speed at altitudes above 5 thousand meters, the MiG-3 was effectively used as a reconnaissance aircraft, as well as an air defense fighter. However, poor horizontal maneuverability and relatively weak weapons did not allow him to become a full-fledged front-line fighter.
According to the estimates of the famous ace Alexander Pokryshkin, conceding in horizontal lines, the MiG-3 significantly exceeded the German Me109 in a vertical maneuver, which could serve as the key to victory in a collision with fascist fighters. However, only top-class pilots could successfully pilot the MiG-3 on vertical turns and at extreme overloads.
By the beginning of World War II, the Soviet fleet had a total of 3 battleship and 7 cruisers, 54 leader and destroyer, 212 submarines, 287 torpedo boats and many other ships.
The pre-war shipbuilding program envisaged the creation of a “large fleet,” which would be based on large surface ships — battleships and cruisers. In accordance with it, the Soviet Union type battleships and the heavy cruisers Kronstadt and Sevastopol were laid in the 1939-1940, and the unfinished cruiser Petropavlovsk was acquired in Germany, however, plans for a radical renewal of the fleet were not to be realized.
In the prewar years, Soviet sailors received new light cruisers of the Kirov type, leaders of the destroyers of the 1 and 38 projects, destroyers of the 7 project, and other ships. The construction of submarines and torpedo boats was booming.
Many ships were completed in the course of the war, some of them never took part in the battles. These include, for example, the cruisers of the 68 "Chapaev" project and the destroyers of the 30 "Ogneva" project.
The main types of surface ships of the prewar period:
light cruisers like "Kirov",
leaders of the types "Leningrad" and "Minsk",
destroyers of the type "Wrath" and "Savvy",
minesweepers like "land mines",
torpedo boats "G-5",
sea hunters "MO-4".
The main types of submarines of the prewar period:
small submarines of type "M" ("Baby"),
medium submarines of types "Sh" ("Pike") and "C" ("Medium"),
underwater minelayers of the type "L" ("Leninets"),
large submarines of types "K" ("Cruising") and "D" ("Decembrist").
Kirov type cruisers
Kirov type cruisers
Light cruisers of the type "Kirov" were the first Soviet surface ships of this class, not counting the three Svetlana cruisers that were laid down under Nicholas II. The 26 project, on which the Kirov was built, was finally approved in the autumn of 1934, and developed the ideas of the Italian light cruisers of the Condotieri family.
The first pair of cruisers, the Kirov and Voroshilov, was laid in 1935 year. They went into service in 1938 and 1940's. The second pair, "Maxim Gorky" and "Molotov", was built on the modified project and expanded the composition of the Soviet fleet in the 1940-1941 years. Two more cruisers laid in the Far East, until the end of World War II only one of them, the Kalinin, was put into operation. Far Eastern cruisers also differed from their predecessors.
The total displacement of Kirov-type cruisers ranged from about 9450-9550 tons for the first pair to almost 10 000 tons for the last. These ships could reach speeds of 35 nodes and more. Their main armament was nine X-NUMX-millimeter guns B-180-P, located in the three-gun turrets. On the first four cruisers, anti-aircraft weapons were represented by six X-NUMX B-1 calibers of millimeters, 34-millimeter 100-K and 45-millimeter machine guns. In addition, the Kirov carried torpedoes, mines and depth bombs, seaplanes.
"Kirov" and "Maxim Gorky" almost all the war was held supporting gun fire from the defenders of Leningrad. "Voroshilov" and "Molotov", built in Nikolaev, participated in fleet operations on the Black Sea. They all survived the Great Patriotic War - they were destined for long service. The last part of the fleet in 1974 left the "Kirov".
"Pike" became the most massive Soviet submarines of World War II, not counting "Baby".
The construction of the first series of four submarines began on the Baltic in 1930, and the Pikes were built in 1933-1934.
These were submarines of the middle class, the underwater displacement of which was about 700 tons, and the armament consisted of six torpedo tubes of caliber 533 of millimeter and 45-millimeter 21-K gun.
The project was successful, and by the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, more than 70 Shchuk were in the ranks (a total of six submarines had built 86 in six series).
Submarines of the type S are actively used in all maritime theaters of war. From 44 who fought "Schuk" killed 31. Opponent lost from their actions almost 30 ships.
Despite a number of shortcomings, “Pikes” were distinguished by comparative cheapness, maneuverability and survivability. From series to series - all in all, six series of these submarines were created - they improved their seaworthiness and other parameters. In 1940, two U-type submarines were the first in the Soviet fleet to receive equipment that allowed torpedo firing without air leakage (which often unmasked an attacking submarine).
Although after the war only two “Pikes” of the last X-series series entered service, these submarines remained in the fleet for a long time and were decommissioned at the end of the 1950s.
According to Soviet data, on the eve of World War II, the army had almost 67,5 thousand guns and mortars.
It is believed that the Soviet field artillery was even superior to the German in combat qualities. However, it was poorly supplied with mechanized gear: agricultural tractors were used as tractors, up to half of the guns were transported with the help of horses.
The army was armed with many types of artillery guns and mortars. Antiaircraft artillery was represented by guns of calibers 25, 37, 76 and 85 of millimeters; Howitzer - modifications caliber 122, 152, 203 and 305 millimeters. The main anti-tank gun was the 45-graph paper of the 1937 model of the year, the regimental - 76-mm model of the 1927 of the year, and the divisional - 76-mm 1939-th.
Anti-tank gun firing at the enemy in the battles for Vitebsk
45 mm anti-tank gun model 1937 of the year
This gun was one of the most famous representatives of the Soviet artillery of the Great Patriotic War. It was developed under the leadership of Michael Loginov based on the 45-mm 1932 gun of the year.
The main fighting qualities of 45-graph paper were maneuverability, rate of fire (15 shots per minute) and armor penetration.
By the beginning of the war in the army there were more than 16,6 thousand guns of the 1937 sample of the year. In total, more than 37,3 of thousands of such guns were produced, and production was curtailed only by 1944, despite the presence of more modern models of ZiS-2 and similar in caliber M-42.
Combat vehicle rocket artillery "Katyusha"
The day before the start of the Great Patriotic War, the BM-13 combat artillery combat vehicle was adopted by the Red Army, later called Katyusha. It has become one of the world's first salvo systems.
The first combat use took place on July 14, 1941, near the railway station of the city of Orsha (Belarus). The battery commanded by captain Ivan Flerov with volley fire destroyed a cluster of German military equipment at the Orshinsky railway junction.
Due to the high efficiency of use and ease of production, by the fall of 1941 the city of BM-13 was widely used on the front, having a significant impact on the course of hostilities.
The system allowed to carry out a volley with all charges (16 rockets) in 7-10 seconds. There were also modifications with an increased number of guides and other versions of the missiles.
In the course of the war, about 4 thousand BM-13 were lost. A total of about 7 thousand installations of this type were manufactured, and the "Katyusha" was removed from production only after the war - in October 1946 of the year.
Despite the widespread introduction of tanks and aircraft, increased artillery, the most massive weapons remained infantry. According to some calculations, if in the First World War the losses from small arms did not exceed 30% of the total, then in World War II they rose to 30-50%.
Before the Great Patriotic War, the supply of rifles, carbines and machine guns to the troops grew, but the Red Army was significantly inferior to the Wehrmacht in terms of saturation with automatic weapons, such as machine guns.
Snipers Rosa Shanina, Alexander Yekimov and Lydia Vdovina (from left to right). 3 Belarusian Front
Adopted in 1891, the Mosin X-NUMX caliber rifle millimeter remained the main weapon of the Red Army infantryman. All were released about 7,62 millions of such rifles.
Modifications of the 1891 / 1930 model had to take the fight in the most difficult months of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. Due to its low cost and reliability, the weapon has bypassed its young self-loading rivals.
The latest version of the “trilinea” was the carbine of the 1944 model of the year, which was distinguished by the presence of a fixed needle bayonet. The rifle has become even shorter, the technology has been simplified, and the maneuverability of the battle has increased - a shorter carbine makes it easier to conduct close combat in thickets, trenches, fortifications.
In addition, it was the design of Mosin that formed the basis of the sniper rifle, which was put into service in 1931 in the year and became the first Soviet rifle, specially created for "marking and destroying the enemy’s commanders first."
Soviet and American soldiers. Meeting on the Elbe, 1945 year
Submachine gun Shpagin caliber 7,62 millimeter was adopted in the 1941 year.
This legendary weapon became part of the image of the winning soldier - it can be seen in the most famous monuments. PPSH-41 fell in love with the fighters, having received from them the affectionate and respectful nickname "papa". He fired in virtually any weather conditions and at the same time was relatively cheap.
By the end of the war, the PPSh were armed with the order of 55% of fighters. A total of about 6 million pieces were produced.