The main fire force of the Ground Forces during the Great Patriotic War was artillery

The main fire force of the Ground Forces during the Great Patriotic War was artillery
The main fire force of the Ground Forces during the Great Patriotic War was artillery

It was subdivided into military (battalion, regimental, divisional, corps, and in 1943 and army) and artillery of the Supreme Command reserve. The artillery was armed with cannons, howitzers, mortars, combat vehicles (installations) of rockets. The battalion and regimental artillery of the Red Army until 1943 was represented by pre-war models, while the Wehrmacht increased the effectiveness of its already more powerful infantry artillery. So, at the end of 1941, in order to destroy tanks, a cumulative projectile was added to the ammunition of a German light infantry gun, which in 1942 was replaced with a more powerful one.

The main fire force of the Ground Forces during the Great Patriotic War was artillery
The main fire force of the Ground Forces during the Great Patriotic War was artillery

In 1943, at the same time in the Soviet Union and in Germany, regimental guns were created on almost the same carriage, the design of which was borrowed from the 37-mm anti-tank gun (in the USSR and in most cases in Germany, when creating both guns, a carriage from a 45-mm anti-tank gun was used guns sample 1937). The new Soviet regimental 76mm cannon of the 1943 model (OB-25) was much lighter than the old regimental cannon.

Compared to its predecessor, it significantly gained in mobility and fire maneuvering capabilities, as well as in the fight against tanks due to the presence of cumulative shells in the ammunition load. However, it was inferior in maximum range and accuracy of fire. In the Wehrmacht, the 75 mm le 1G18 cannon was replaced in production by the new 1G37 cannon. The new Soviet and German guns had similar tactical and technical characteristics, but the barrel of the Soviet gun did not have a muzzle brake, which, when firing, caused increased loads on the carriage, and the Germans used a powerful slotted muzzle brake. The 75-mm 1G37 was equipped with a semi-automatic wedge breechblock, and the OB-25 used the old piston bolt of the regimental cannon of the 1927 model. Modern researchers of military weapons give both positive and negative assessments of the combat qualities of the 76-mm regimental cannon of the 1943 model.

In particular, it points to the weak ballistics of the cannon, the angle of vertical guidance that is insufficient to conduct the mounted fire, the low rate of fire of the gun, and other disadvantages. In 1944, the Krupp company developed an even more advanced 75-mm infantry gun 1G42, which had an increased elevation angle, which made it possible to increase the firing range. In the Soviet Union in the same year, an attempt was made to create a 76-mm regimental cannon with a wedge gate, but this weapon was not accepted for service. At the beginning of 1945, a smooth-bore infantry gun was tested in Nazi Germany, but the German designers did not have time to advance beyond the prototypes. In the battles of World War II, the infantry suffered the greatest losses from mortar fire.

However, in the pre-war years, the attitude of military specialists of the armies of many countries of the world towards them was rather restrained. The dominant view was that mortars were a cheap surrogate weapon readily available for mass production. In the pre-war years, mortars were included in the artillery armament system, and by the beginning of the war, the troops received 82-mm and 120-mm mortars of a very successful design. With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, mortars were repeatedly modernized. An 82-mm battalion mortar of the 1941 model, developed at the Special Design Bureau of V. N. Shamarin, had an eccentric mechanism built into the breech of the barrel, which made it possible to increase the safety of the process of unloading the mortar. The two-legged carriage of the 82-mm battalion mortar of the 1943 model was a rigid frame with openers welded to it, which, when fired, went deep into the ground and ensured high stability of the mortar.

In the 120-mm regimental mortar, model 1943, under the leadership of A. A. Kotov, the design of the barrel built into the breech and the firing mechanism was simplified, a double-loading safety device, improved shock absorbers and a swinging sight were installed. Unlike the Red Army, the Wehrmacht considered the mortar only as an infantry weapon. In this regard, it was envisaged the presence of 50-mm mortars in the infantry company and 81-mm mortars in the machine-gun company of the infantry battalion. Developed before the war, 105-mm mortars were intended for chemical warfare as part of the "smoke forces" and were not used in the infantry. The 120-mm German mortar (GR-42) was structurally made as an exact copy of the Soviet 120-mm mortar of the 1938 model (design documentation captured in Kharkov was used). The tactical and technical characteristics of Soviet and German mortars were approximately the same. It should be noted that the German troops used their mortar weapons tactically competently, inflicting sometimes very significant losses on the Soviet troops. The reaction to this was the GKO decree, which entailed a significant increase in the production of mortars, their supply to the troops and the improvement of methods of combat use.

By the beginning of the war, the Red Army had a completely modern system of divisional artillery, the main examples of which later became: 76, 2-mm cannon model 1939 (F-22USV), model 1942 (ZIS-Z), 122-mm howitzers model 1938 (М-30). The achievement of design thought in the design bureau of V. G. Grabin was the development of the 76, 2-mm divisional gun ZIS-3, recognized for its power, design perfection, external lightness and even, according to some experts, grace as the best gun of the Second World War. Factory tests of this gun began in 1940 and completed at the beginning of 1941. When creating the gun, the idea of imposing an F-22 USV gun barrel equipped with a muzzle brake on the carriage of a 57-mm anti-tank gun was used. The new weapon ensured the solution of the entire range of tasks of divisional artillery: the destruction of manpower and armored vehicles, the suppression and destruction of infantry and artillery fire weapons, the destruction of long-term firing points, and so on. However, on the eve of the war, this gun was not accepted into service, since the development was carried out without an official assignment from the GAU, and the 76-mm caliber of divisional artillery was considered unpromising.

At the beginning of the war, V. G. Grabin, in agreement with the management of plant No. 92, at his own risk and peril, launched the ZIS-3 into serial production. In the battles of 1941, the ZIS-3 proved its advantage over the F-22 USV, which differed in the complexity of aiming at the target, had a large mass and significant recoil force. This allowed V. G. Grabin to personally present it to I. V. Stalin and obtain official permission for production. As a result, the ZIS-3 was put into service under the designation "76, 2-mm Soviet divisional and anti-tank gun of the 1942 model." The ZIS-3 became the main artillery system of the Soviet divisional artillery. In terms of firing efficiency, it was superior to the German 75-mm cannon. When a high-explosive fragmentation grenade burst, 870 lethal fragments with a radius of continuous destruction of 15 m were formed (a German projectile gave 765 fragments with a radius of continuous destruction of 11, 5 m).

At a distance of 500 m at a meeting angle of 90 degrees, the armor-piercing shell of the cannon penetrated 70 mm thick armor 164. The main advantage of the ZIS-3 over similar weapons of foreign countries was its simplicity. Like the T-34 tank, the ZIS-3 cannon, although since 1943its combat capabilities no longer fully met the requirements, became one of the symbols of the achievements of domestic industry during the Great Patriotic War. In the second half of 1944, a new 85-mm divisional gun D-44, which was designed by the FF Petrov design bureau to replace the 76-mm ZIS-3 cannon, passed state tests.

Switching to a larger caliber was on the agenda as Germany had new heavy tanks with thicker armor. However, the need for subsequent improvements did not allow this gun to participate in the war. The D-44 cannon was distinguished by the compactness of the placement of guidance mechanisms, the low height of the line of fire and the ability to be transported by mechanical traction at a speed of up to 60 km / h. The time for transferring the gun from the traveling position to the combat position and back did not exceed one minute. The maximum firing range of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile was 15,820 m. In Nazi Germany, ammunition for divisional howitzers was developed ahead of schedule. So, since 1942, cumulative shells were introduced into the ammunition of the 150-mm sFH-18 howitzer, which hit the armor of Soviet heavy tanks at a distance of up to 1500 m. Firms "Rheinmetall" and Krupp in 1941-1944. released improved 150-mm active-rocket projectiles Rgr-19/40, providing a firing range of up to 19 km, but their accuracy of fire and the strength of the shells left much to be desired. By the end of the war, high-explosive feathered shells (winged mines) were developed for the 150-mm howitzer.

The Red Army received cumulative ammunition with a significant delay. With the restoration of the corps control link, a practical need arose to have a corps howitzer with high maneuverability, a powerful projectile and a firing range that would provide counter-battery warfare. This problem was solved by the creation of a 152-mm howitzer model 1943 (D-1) 166. She fully met the requirements of the Red Army in terms of mobility, power and firing range. The D-1 could fire the entire range of 152 mm howitzer shells. According to N. N. Voronov: “Compared with the previous howitzer of the same caliber, it had solid advantages. In connection with the transition of the Red Army to large offensive operations, new weapons were required for the offensive. This is exactly what the new, lightweight 152-millimeter howitzer, well-received by the troops, turned out to be. The lightweight D-1 howitzer was a very reliable weapon with high firing accuracy and good survivability.

The D-1 howitzer, at least, was not inferior in its characteristics to the best world examples of guns of this class. A comparative analysis of similar guns shows that the German heavy field howitzer of 150 mm sFH-18, surpassing the D-1 in maximum firing range by almost a kilometer (13,325 m), was too heavy for its class (almost 2 tons heavier than the D-1) 168. The more advanced sFH-36 howitzer (firing range and weight corresponded to the D-1) failed to be put on stream by the Germans. Czech 150-mm howitzer K4, in the German version - sFH-37 (t), 149-mm Italian howitzer of the Ansaldo company and 155-mm American howitzer M1, having a greater firing range than that of the D-1, were much inferior to it in mobility due to its heavy weight. French and British howitzers of this class were inferior to the D-1 both in firing range and in weight. In 1943, the troops received the world's best 160-mm mortar with breech loading and an inseparable gun carriage.

Assessing this mortar after the war, Chief Marshal of Artillery N. N. Voronov wrote: “Among the new products was also a 160-mm mortar, a powerful offensive weapon with a firing range of 5150 meters, with a mine weighing 40.5 kilograms with a powerful high-explosive effect. The weight of the mortar in a combat position was only about a ton. This weapon turned out to be indispensable for breaking through enemy defenses, for destroying his timber and earth structures. When new mortars were first massively used on one of the fronts, they made a huge moral impact on the enemy. The shots of these mortars are dull, the mine takes off very high along a steep trajectory, and then falls almost vertically downward. At the very first bursts of such mines, the Nazis decided that our aviation was bombing them, and began to give air raid signals. " In other countries, there was no such powerful and maneuverable weapon.

Throughout the war in Germany, they tried to develop experimental samples of 150, 210, 305 and even 420-mm mortars, but until the end of the war, none of them left the design stage. Similar attempts in the United States were also unsuccessful. At the beginning of the war, in connection with the failures of the Red Army, personnel and material losses, the army and the country faced the most difficult tasks to ensure the effectiveness of the combat use of artillery in conditions of heavy defensive battles and operations. Great hopes in increasing the effectiveness of fire from closed firing positions were pinned on rocket artillery, the birth of which in the Red Army was announced by the first salvo of the BM-13 battery at the enemy near Orsha on July 14, 1941. The high efficiency of rocket artillery was noted by the Chief of the General Staff, General G. K. Zhukov.

In his report to I. V. Stalin in September 1941. he wrote: “Rocket projectiles, by their actions, produced total devastation. I examined the areas in which the shelling was conducted, and saw the complete destruction of the fortifications. Ushakovo - the main center of the enemy's defense - was completely destroyed as a result of the volleys of rockets, and the shelters were overwhelmed and destroyed. " Rocket artillery units were organizationally part of the RVGK artillery and were called guards mortars. They were armed with the BM-8 and BM-13 jet systems. The multiple charges of rocket launchers determined their high fire performance, the possibility of simultaneous destruction of targets over large areas. A salvo fire ensured surprise, a high material and moral effect on the enemy.

In Nazi Germany, rocket artillery appeared as a result of the search for effective means of setting up smoke jammers. The first installations, equipped with 150-mm rockets, were named "Nebelwerfer" (smoke-firing device). This mortar consisted of six barrels mounted on a modified carriage of the 37-mm RaK-35/36 cannon. In 1942, self-propelled 10-barreled rocket launchers appeared, mounted on half-track tractors, the 150-mm Panzerverfer 42. By the beginning of the war, the Germans also had 280-mm and 380-mm mines, launchers for which served as simple tubular barrels or wooden frames (Packkiste), which were used as stationary installations to create a barrage of fire or engineering assault groups to destroy houses and other well protected objects.

The rockets used for firing from Soviet and German launchers were fundamentally different from each other: Soviet shells were stabilized in flight by the tail unit, and German shells were turbojet, that is, they were stabilized in flight by rotating around the longitudinal axis. The tail unit greatly simplified the design of the projectiles and made it possible to manufacture them on relatively uncomplicated technological equipment, and for the manufacture of turbojet projectiles, precision machines and highly skilled labor were needed. During the war years, this was one of the main factors that held back the development of German rocket artillery. Another difference between Soviet and German rocket launchers was a different approach to the choice of the base chassis. In the USSR, rocket artillery launchers were considered as a means of maneuvering combat operations.

These requirements were met by self-propelled guns, which made it possible to carry out a wide maneuver with rocket artillery units and quickly concentrate them on the most important directions to defeat the enemy with massive fire. In the USSR, cheap trucks were used as a chassis, and in Germany, a light wheeled carriage from an anti-tank gun or a scarce chassis of a half-track armored personnel carrier. The latter immediately ruled out the possibility of mass production of self-propelled launchers, since their main consumers, the armored forces of the Wehrmacht, were in dire need of armored personnel carriers. Rocket projectiles were used by the Germans on June 22 near Brest, but until the end of the war they did not manage to find the structure of military formations and establish forms and methods that would provide a combat effectiveness comparable to the Soviet one. BM-13 multiple launch rocket launchers combined multiple charges, rate of fire and a significant mass of a combat salvo with self-propelled power and high mobility.

They became an effective means of fighting tanks, as well as destroying strong defensive and other engineering structures. It should be noted that not a single army that took part in World War II has created similar designs for the massive use of rockets. In 1943, the unified (normalized) BM-13N launcher was put into service. At the same time, it was possible to increase the vertical aiming speed by 2 times, the firing sector by 20%, to reduce the efforts on the handles of the guidance mechanisms by 1, 5–2 times, and to increase the survivability and operational reliability of the combat installation. The tactical mobility of rocket artillery units armed with BM-13N installations was enhanced by the use of the powerful American Studebaker 6 × 6 truck as a base for the launcher. At the end of 1943, at the Compressor plant, the design group of AN Vasiliev began to develop a launcher for firing M-13-DD extended-range projectiles and M-13UK improved accuracy, which rotated at the time of launch and on the trajectory. Despite a slight decrease in the range of these shells (up to 7, 9 km), the area of their dispersion was significantly reduced, which led to a threefold increase in the density of fire compared to the M-13 shells.

In 1943, Ya. B. Zel'dovich, who at that time headed the laboratory of the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, was instructed to investigate cases of abnormal operation of jet engines. As a result, the theory of the combustion of solid propellant charges in a rocket chamber appeared, which placed the development of rocket technology on a deeply scientific basis. In the USA, similar work was carried out only in 1949. During the offensive operations of the Red Army, the need for a rocket with a powerful high-explosive effect to destroy defensive structures was revealed. The need to quickly and reliably suppress enemy defense units with salvo fire demanded an increase in the maneuverability of M-31 units and formations and a better accuracy of shells in salvoes. The development in 1944 of 132-mm and 300-mm projectiles of increased accuracy ensured a further increase in the density of fire by a factor of 3-6, respectively. With the adoption of the BM-31-12 combat vehicle in 1944, the problems of maneuvering fire and the mobility of units were solved, which used M-31 rockets (caliber 300 mm and weighing 92.5 kg) from special frame machines.

The development and deployment of mass production of the M-2 artillery tractor, which ensured a speed of movement of heavy artillery of 20-30 km / h, contributed to an increase in the maneuverability of artillery through the use of domestic vehicles. The time for preparing the division's salvo was reduced from 1, 5-2 hours to 10-15 minutes. During the war, work was constantly carried out to increase the firing range and increase the accuracy. In 1944 g.for firing M-13-DD projectiles, a new BM-13-CH 174 combat vehicle was developed.

This self-propelled launcher was equipped with 10 guides, each of which, in turn, consisted of four spiral rods. When moving along spiral (helical) guides, the fledged rockets received rotation at a low angular velocity. When firing from the BM-13-SN, the accuracy of the M-13-DD projectiles increased 1.5 times, and the M-13UK - 1, 1 times compared to firing from the BM-13N launcher. In the spring of 1945, tests of the BM-8-SN installation were carried out, which showed an increase in the accuracy of firing with M-8 projectiles by 4-11 times. However, with the end of the war, the M-8 shells were discontinued, and the BM-8-CH launcher was never put into service. In the pre-war years, only two countries in the world - Germany and the USSR - had real achievements in the field of creating missile weapons. During the war years in the field of creating long-range missile systems of the "surface-to-ground" class, Germany occupied a leading position.

The achievement of the German missilemen was the creation of long-range missile systems of the V-1 projectile (FZC-76) and the V-2 (A-4) guided missile, which were not used on the eastern front, but were used to attack England and port facilities in Western Europe in the period from June 1944 to March 1945, missile launches were carried out both from equipped stationary and field launch sites, and from complexes. The V-1 projectile weighing 750-1000 kg with a firing range of 240 km (later increased to 400 km) is the most famous aircraft equipped with a pulsating air-jet engine (PUVRD). "This projectile went on its first test flight in December 1942, and its attractive sides were immediately visible." The projectile control system was an autopilot, which kept the projectile at the course and altitude set at the start during the entire flight. Another "weapon of retaliation" was the V-2 (V-2, A4) liquid-propellant-propellant ground-to-ground ballistic missile with a maximum range of more than 300 km.

To aim the V-2 rocket at the target, radio control, autonomous control, automation without radio control, but with a displacement integrator (qverintegrator) were used individually and in combination with each other, which determined the side drift of the rocket by double integration of the side drift accelerations. The first combat launch took place on September 8, 1944. The missiles had low hitting accuracy and low reliability, while the V-2 became the first object to complete a suborbital space flight.

The history of Soviet cruise missiles can be traced back to the summer of 1944, when V. N. Chelomey completed the preliminary study of a projectile aircraft with his pulsating D-3 jet engine, which was named 10X 178. Its unmanned projectile was developed on the basis of the German V-1 rocket. The first launch was carried out from the Pe-8 aircraft carrier on March 20, 1945, but the test results were not impressive. The shortcomings of the inertial guidance system led to a large dispersion, and the cruise missile of V. N. Chelomey never entered service. After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, Soviet artillery was withdrawn to the rear and entered into hostilities at the end of 1942. A special role was played by artillery of large and special power in breaking through the fortified defense on the Karelian Isthmus, when taking such fortified cities as Poznan, Konigsberg, Berlin, as well as in street battles in other localities. So, during the assault on Konigsberg, 203-mm howitzers, destroying the two-meter walls of the forts, fired powerful concrete-piercing shells with direct fire, although the firing rules did not provide for such use for high-power guns. The role of artillery was especially great in organizing anti-tank defense and destroying enemy tanks. With the beginning of the war, the main anti-tank gun was the 45-mm cannon of the 1937 model. However, its low combat qualities with an increase in the thickness of the armor of German tanks made it necessary to create a weapon of higher power while maintaining high maneuverability. The task of increasing the armor penetration of the 45-mm anti-tank gun was solved as a result of lengthening the barrel and using a new round, in which the projectile and case remained unchanged, and the weight of the powder charge was increased. This made it possible to increase the pressure in the bore and to increase the muzzle velocity of the projectile from 760 to 870 m / s.

In turn, an increase in the initial velocity of the projectile provided an increase in armor penetration at an angle of encounter of 90 degrees at a range of 500 m to 61 mm, and at a range of 1000 m - up to 51 mm 179, which allowed the 45-mm anti-tank gun of the 1942 M-42 model to be successful. to fight all medium tanks of the Wehrmacht in 1942. The main anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht was the 50-mm anti-tank gun PaK-38, in terms of armor penetration it approximately corresponded to the 45-mm cannon of the 1942 model, but could not hit Soviet medium and heavy tanks. Only with the appearance in 1942 of the 75-mm anti-tank RaK-40 did the German infantry receive a more or less acceptable means of dealing with Soviet tanks. Among the German medium-caliber anti-tank guns, 76, 2-mm PaK-36 (g) 181 should be noted. It was created by the method of deep modernization of the captured Soviet divisional gun F-22.

3a by increasing the volume of the barrel chamber and the charge of gunpowder, German designers managed to achieve armor penetration of 120-158 mm. This gun literally saved the German infantry at the initial stage of the war, when the 37-mm and 50-mm anti-tank guns of the Wehrmacht were powerless against the Soviet medium and heavy tanks. In 1941-1942. Soviet gunsmiths developed and put into service the 76-mm cumulative projectile 182. In 1942, NII-24 created cumulative shells for 122-mm and 152-mm howitzers, ensuring a successful fight against all armored targets, including the latest German Tiger tanks. In the competition between projectile and armor, a significant role was played by the adoption in 1943 of a sub-caliber projectile for 45, 57, 76-mm guns. The presence of these shells in the ammunition ensured a successful fight against heavy enemy tanks. The Soviet ZIS-2 shells BR-271P and BR-271N pierced armor with a thickness of 145 mm and 155 mm, respectively. As the legendary artillery designer V. G. Grabin recalled: "In the spring of 1943, when the Hitlerite army used thick-armored Tiger and Panther tanks and Ferdinand self-propelled guns … only the ZIS-2 could resist the new German tanks" 183. With the adoption of the new generation of heavy tanks by the Red Army and the Wehrmacht, both opposing sides developed more powerful anti-tank guns: the Soviet 100-mm BS-3 184 and the German 88-mm PaK-43/41 and 128-mm PaK-44 / PaK- 80.

These guns confidently penetrated 160-200 mm thick armor, however, due to their large mass, they had low tactical mobility. BS-3 was distinguished from previously developed domestic systems by a torsion bar suspension, a hydropneumatic balancing mechanism and a carriage made according to the scheme of an inverted support triangle. The choice of the torsion bar suspension and the hydropneumatic balancing mechanism was dictated by the requirements for the lightness and compactness of the units, and the change in the carriage scheme significantly reduced the load on the frame when firing at the maximum angles of rotation of the upper machine. The new scheme also simplified the equipment of the combat position. The experience of using the 88-mm Flak-18 (Flak-37) anti-aircraft gun as an anti-tank weapon deserves a separate mention.

Despite its large dimensions and low mobility, the gun was successfully used to combat Soviet tanks due to the high initial speed (820 m / s) of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile weighing 9, 24 kg. In the German army, 187 recoilless guns were used quite successfully. Compact, lightweight, equipped with fragmentation and armor-piercing grenades and shrapnel shells, they were used for fire support for parachutist and mountain shooters. The infantry refused to use dynamo-reactive guns because of their operational and combat inconveniences. The attitude towards recoilless guns in the German army changed dramatically after the creation of cumulative shells for them. Light weapons with such shells were recognized as extremely effective against tanks.

The production of the LG 40 light recoilless gun continued until the end of the war. With the outbreak of hostilities, the weakness of the Soviet army anti-aircraft artillery was revealed. In the interests of increasing the effectiveness of air defense at the beginning of the war, the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1939 model underwent significant modernization aimed at increasing its combat and improving operational characteristics. In 1943, under the leadership of N. I. 37-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1939 model, with a swivel mechanism from the 37-mm 70-K naval anti-aircraft gun.

However, this gun did not find widespread use due to the lack of accuracy of the sight, the high smoke of the shot and the unreliable operation of the machine guns. Other models of anti-aircraft artillery guns were developed and tested, but for various reasons they were not accepted for service, but this created a scientific and technical groundwork for creating anti-aircraft artillery of the future. In the third period of the Great Patriotic War, small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery significantly reduced its effectiveness with an increase in the survivability of enemy aircraft. The main medium-caliber weapon throughout the war was the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun. As experience in combat has shown, 85-mm anti-aircraft guns could be successfully used for direct fire at ground targets.

The high initial velocity of the projectile, the speed of firing, and the possibility of circular horizontal shelling ensured success for anti-aircraft artillery in the fight against enemy tanks. In 1944, a more powerful 85 mm anti-aircraft gun (KS-1) appeared. It was obtained by imposing a new barrel on the carriage of an 85-mm anti-aircraft gun 52-K model 1939. The new anti-aircraft gun was equipped with PUAZO-4A anti-aircraft artillery fire control devices, its vertical range reached 12 km. The disadvantages of the KS-1 were low stability when firing and a large effort on the flywheel of the lifting mechanism, so its refinement continued until the end of the war. In 1944, the TsAKB, under the leadership of V. G. Grabin, began the development of a new 57-mm automatic anti-aircraft gun S-60, which was never put into production until the end of the war. The achievement of the German industry was self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (ZSU). The first German ZSU-38 with a 20-mm anti-aircraft gun was made on the basis of a light Czechoslovak tank on the TNHP-S chassis of the Skoda company (manufactured since 1943 in Czechoslovakia, a total of 141 installations were produced).

ZSU "Virbelwild" was produced on the basis of the T-IV tank with a quad 20-mm automatic installation FlаK-38 (produced 106 units). The same design solutions were used when installing a 37-mm machine gun. The development of anti-aircraft artillery during the war years followed the path of modernizing anti-aircraft systems in production, creating new guns and ammunition that would provide high initial projectile speeds and high rates of aircraft fire. At the same time, the means of reconnaissance of air targets and control of anti-aircraft fire were improved. As a result of the modernization of the guns, the range of fire increased to an altitude of 14-15 thousand meters, and the accuracy of hitting targets increased. In general, it should be emphasized that the contribution of artillery to victory is enormous. Moreover, about 40% of the artillery systems that were in service with the Red Army and were used in combat operations were designed and mastered by industry during the war.

Domestic artillery withstood the test of the war, nevertheless, there was a qualitative lag in the field of optical devices for various purposes, communications and control equipment, as well as means of propulsion. When creating weapons, innovative activities were actively carried out. Thus, N. G. Chetaev, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, ensured an increase in the accuracy of gun firing by solving a complex mathematical problem to optimize the steepness of cutting the barrels of guns; Academician A. N. Kolmogorov gave a mathematical definition of the optimal dispersion of artillery shells; Professor, later Academician L. F. Vereshchagin, relying on research on ultrahigh pressures, supervised the creation of an installation that made it possible to autofrettage (hardening) mortar and gun barrels not only of small and medium caliber, but also of large caliber, which had not been possible before to be carried out neither in our nor in foreign practice. The new method provided an increase in the service life and range of guns and mortars.

It is especially important that the accumulated scientific, technical and production potential and the quality of management made it possible to continuously improve artillery weapons and expand their production, taking into account the accumulated experience of combat use and understanding the needs of the front. We can note the responsiveness of Soviet design ideas. As soon as the insufficient armor penetration of the 45-mm anti-tank gun was discovered, its modernization was promptly carried out, and the troops received the 45-mm cannon of the 1942 model, which provides the much-needed level of 50 mm armor penetration at a firing range of up to 1 km.

The low efficiency in the fight against tanks of the 76-mm divisional cannon of the 1939 model led to its replacement with the 76-mm cannon of the 1942 model, the iconic ZIS-3. The reaction to the appearance of heavy German tanks on the battlefield was the adoption of the 57-mm anti-tank gun of the 1943 model, the shells of which pierced 120-150 mm armor, and from the summer of 1944 the most effective anti-tank gun of its time began to enter the troops - 100 mm BS-3 cannon, providing armor penetration up to 162 mm. At the same time, a promising 85-mm divisional gun was created. The introduction of the corps link in the army was accompanied by the timely creation of a 152-mm corps howitzer of the 1943 model. mortars, and in 1943 the troops received the world's best 160-mm mortar with breech loading and an inseparable gun carriage.

The Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. In 12 volumes. V. 7. Economy and weapons

war. - M.: Kuchkovo field, 2013.-- 864 p., 20 p. silt, silt

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