Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 01 Mar 2020 15:27

Convoy of ZIS-5 trucks is carrying ammunition to the front line, the Southern Front, Battle of Kharkov, May 1942.

ZIS-5 was a commercial truck, which represented a further development of AMO-2 and AMO-3 trucks, the design of which in turn was based on the US truck Autocar Dispatch model SA. When developing the truck, the main emphasis was placed on simplifying its design and improving maintainability with a simultaneous increase in load capacity up to 3 tons and in cross-country ability. Not related to off-road vehicles, ZIS-5, due to the low-speed high-torque 6-cylinder 73 hp engine, rear wheels with developed tread and the reinforced but not sufficiently rigid frame (which increased the wheel travels), was suitable for year-round operation on roads of all categories. Traction capabilities of the truck were close to trucks with all driving wheels, and the loaded ZIS-5 could tow a trailer with a gross weight of up to 3.5 tons. ZIS-5 was produced by Moscow Automobile Plant named after Stalin (ZIS) since 1933, also by Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant and Ural Automobile Plant (in Miass, Chelyabinsk Oblast).
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by OpanaPointer » 01 Mar 2020 15:41

You might have fun over at the reddit history-oriented forums. Your work certainly meets their standards.
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 02 Mar 2020 20:49

It should be noted that despite the insufficient strength of some transmission elements, ZIS-5 proved to be the most reliable of all Soviet cars of WWII period - it could be serviced and repaired by low-skilled personnel with a minimum set of tools, its engine could run on any low-grade gasoline and did not overheat during a long drive in the convoy in the low gear.

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by OpanaPointer » 02 Mar 2020 21:14

Interbellum wrote:
02 Mar 2020 20:49
It should be noted that despite the insufficient strength of some transmission elements, ZIS-5 proved to be the most reliable of all Soviet cars of WWII period - it could be serviced and repaired by low-skilled personnel with a minimum set of tools, its engine could run on any low-grade gasoline and did not overheat during a long drive in the convoy in the low gear.
And that's why we sent them Studebakers. :D
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 02 Mar 2020 22:50

OpanaPointer wrote:
02 Mar 2020 21:14
Interbellum wrote:
02 Mar 2020 20:49
It should be noted that despite the insufficient strength of some transmission elements, ZIS-5 proved to be the most reliable of all Soviet cars of WWII period - it could be serviced and repaired by low-skilled personnel with a minimum set of tools, its engine could run on any low-grade gasoline and did not overheat during a long drive in the convoy in the low gear.
And that's why we sent them Studebakers. :D
I will post about Studebakers also, later. It had more modern construction than ZIS-5 from the early 1930s, roomy body and better cross-country ability (6 x 6). It should be noted that the delivery of Studebakers started in the extremely hard period of autumn 1941 when Soviet plants (including ZIS) were evacuated to the east and truck production decreased in USSR because of this and because of war time priority in armament production - that was the main reason of Lend-Lease truck deliveries. Quite many Studebakers were assembled in USSR from kits. Nevertheless, ZIS-5 trucks were more numerous and played a great role in transportation of military cargos during the war. By the way, Studebakers also had some problems with the transmission and required high-grade gasoline and grease as all US cars :lol: (whereas Soviet trucks could use low-grade gasoline without any problems), but anyway Studebakers were really helpful and useful (specially as artillery tractors and chassis for different rocket launchers) and Soviet drivers liked them very much for comfort driving. The design of post-WWII Soviet 6x6 truck ZIS-151 produced in 1948-1958 was inspired to some degree by Lend-Lease Studebaker US6.

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by OpanaPointer » 03 Mar 2020 01:04

Didn't the Red Army figure out the carburetor problems?
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 03 Mar 2020 11:54

OpanaPointer wrote:
03 Mar 2020 01:04
Didn't the Red Army figure out the carburetor problems?
Low-valve 73 hp ZIS-5 engine (actually significantly modernized license-built Hercules engine used before in AMO-3 trucks) with a dual chamber carburetor and compression ratio 4.7 could use any low-grade gasoline with the octane value 45-60 (and kerosene even when the weather was warm), whereas 95 hp Hercules JXD engine of Studebaker US6 with a compensation type carburetor and compression ratio 5.82 required a high-grade expensive gasoline with the octane value not less than 66 (preferably 70-72).

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by OpanaPointer » 03 Mar 2020 12:08

Interbellum wrote:
03 Mar 2020 11:54
OpanaPointer wrote:
03 Mar 2020 01:04
Didn't the Red Army figure out the carburetor problems?
Low-valve 73 hp ZIS-5 engine (actually significantly modernized license-built Hercules engine used before in AMO-3 trucks) with a dual chamber carburetor and compression ratio 4.7 could use any low-grade gasoline with the octane value 45-60 (and kerosene even when the weather was warm), whereas 95 hp Hercules JXD engine of Studebaker US6 with a compensation type carburetor and compression ratio 5.82 required a high-grade expensive gasoline with the octane value not less than 66 (preferably 70-72).
Sorry, I was a Machinist Mate, not an Engineman. Not for most of my career anyway. 8-)
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 03 Mar 2020 17:29

Ok, I see :thumbsup:

Some info about the combat service of ZIS-5 trucks.

In the Red Army, ZIS-5 trucks were used to transport military cargos, personnel, to mount special bodies and equipment for various purposes, as well as to tow artillery pieces (in particular, 76-mm ZIS-3 divisional guns). When transporting personnel in the truck cargo platform with an awning, longitudinal or transverse benches were installed for 12-25 soldiers. In 1930s, especially for military purposes several specialized side bodies were developed based on the standard ZIS-5 cargo platform. ZIS-5A universal body had an increased side height, transverse benches for personnel, an awning and external protective bars on the sides. Under the body large tool boxes could be mounted. Trucks with such bodies were used in air defense units and engineering troops to transport combat crew or personnel in the amount of 12-16 men with an expanded set of tools and accessories. ZIS-5U body with heightened sides, three longitudinal benches, a folding step under the rear side and an awning could be used to install an anti-aircraft machine gun on a special mount (in particular, two 12.7-mm DShK machine guns). ZIS-5SU ambulance body was equipped with removable brackets for hanging stretchers like in ambulance buses for transportation of the wounded in two tiers. On 20 June, 1941, there were 104200 ZIS-5 trucks of different variants in the Red Army. ZiS-5 trucks were used to transport the service property of the N2P pontoon park. Based on ZIS-5 chassis many different vehicles were produced - PARM-1 field aircraft repair workshops; PM-3 type A repair workshops; BZ-39 and BZ-43 fueling vehicles; VMZ-34, VMZ-40 and VMZ-43 water and oil trucks; road tankers; AR-5 refrigerated trucks and others. ZIS-5V truck produced during the war years had a lightweight driver's cabin, simplified splashers and cargo platform; a front bumper, front wheel brakes and a right headlight (on some trucks) were not installed.

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 07 Mar 2020 15:18

The troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front cross the Tisza river on N2P pontoons, Hungary, October 1944.

The Red Army inherited from the Imperial Russian Army of WWI period three main types of crossing means - pontoon parks of iron semi-pontoons with a carrying capacity of 1800-1930 kg each (the pontoons assembled from them could be used as bridge abutments or as components of ferries), folding canvas boats of Iolshin system with a carrying capacity of 400 kg and inflatable floats of the Polyansky system for crossing of individual soldiers (but ferries and even bridges could be assembled from these floats).

In 1926, the Red Army accepted crossing-bridge park on A-2 inflatable boats, and a year later on more advanced A-3 boats with a carrying capacity of 3500 kg each. These MdPA-3 and UVSA-3 parks (floating bridges) remained in the Soviet engineer troops during the WWII also. In 1934, the engineer troops of the Red Army received N2P heavy pontoon park with open metal pontoons. It consisted of 3 platoons and had 33 bow semi-pontoons, 15 central semi-pontoons, 6 trestle bents and 27 outboard engines. The property of the park was transported by ZIS-6 three-axle trucks, 27 such trucks were required for each N2P platoon; usual ZIS-5 trucks were also possible to use. The modular construction of N2P made it possible to assemble ferries as well as bridges of various lengths. Light loads and personnel were transported on single and one-and-a-half pontoons; for transportation of heavy cargos three types of ferries were used - with a carrying capacity of 12 tons (of 2 pontoons), 24 tons (of 3 pontoons) and 32 tons (of 4 pontoons). The bridges were assembled of two types - normal (with a carrying capacity of 12 tons and a length of 107-189 m) and reinforced (with a carrying capacity of 24 tons and a length of 82-139 m). In the same 1934, NLP light pontoon park was accepted into service with folding pontoons made of bakelite plywood (normal bridge had a carrying capacity 3500 kg and reinforced bridge - 9000 kg). For transporting these ferries by water, the BMK-70 towing motor boats, NKL-27 gliding motor boats as well as SZ-10 and SZ-20 outboard engines were used. As of January 1, 1941, the Soviet engineer troops had 45 N2P pontoon parks , 27 NLP pontoon parks and 192 MdPA-3 pontoon parks.

In the pre-war years, a number of light crossing means was also put into service - SDL sapper wooden boats, TZI hard-to-sink property, LMN small inflatable boats, PKT swimming suits and others. Carrying capacity of SDL sapper wooden boat was 2 tons; sapper squad required about 8 h to built SDL in field conditions from timber; 1 such boat could transport a rifle squad or 2 horses, 2 coupled boats - a divisional gun and 3 boats - a corps gun even. TZI hard-to-sink property was simple and fast to assemble set of 32 floats (with a carrying capacity 250 kg each), which packed with hay, straw, fir needles, wood chips etc. to make them difficult to sink under machine gun fire even - from TZI floats it was possible to assemble different rafts and bridges to carry column of infantrymen, 76-mm guns, carts up to 1000 kg etc. LMN small inflatable boats with oars intended for engineer reconnaissance, communication and rescue operations during water crossing. PKT swimming suits with a belt-float and small oars for single man were also used during reconnaissance and different engineering works.

In the 1930s, Soviet engineers correctly identified the directions for the development of crossing means for transfer troops to the opposite shore of water barriers, but engineer troops of the Red Army did not have enough crossing means and cross-country vehicles for their transportation. So in February 1942, the Engineer Committee of the Red Army was established to develop new engineer equipment. As a result, in 1942, the pontoon-bridge battalions received DMP-42 wooden bridge park with a carrying capacity of 30 tons and TMP heavy bridge park with a carrying capacity of 100 tons.

When crossing water barriers like Vistula river in Poland and many others in 1944-1945, US amphibious vehicles were also used, supplied to the USSR under Lend-Lease (light Ford GPA and medium GMC DUKW).
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 09 Mar 2020 15:28

IS-2 heavy tank moves along a forest road past wounded infantrymen, Vyborg-Petrozavodsk Offensive, Karelia, close to Vyborg, June 1944.
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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 12 Mar 2020 13:00

By the end of 1943, it became clear that the new Soviet KV-85 and IS-1 heavy tanks, armed with 85-mm gun, could not achieve decisive superiority in armament over German tanks - the 85-mm tank gun was inferior in armor penetration not only to 8.8 cm Tiger’s gun, but also to 7.5 cm Panther’s gun. At a distance of 500 - 1000 m, Soviet 85-mm tank gun with a caliber armor-piercing projectile could penetrate the Tiger’s frontal armor only when hit normally (close to 90 degrees). The upper frontal part of the Panther did not pierce through at all. This put Soviet heavy tanks at a disadvantage in the face of the increasing numbers of Panther tanks on the Eastern Front. Another argument in favor of increasing the gun caliber of the Soviet heavy tanks was the need for a significant increase in the high-explosive power of the projectile needed to destroy field fortifications, because the 85-mm tank gun did not have high-explosive projectiles at all, only fragmentation projectiles.

So the chief designer of the Chelyabinsk Kirov Plant (ChKZ) Zh.Ya. Kotin opted for the 122-mm A-19 gun, which in the tank version D-25T (with a muzzle brake and more compact recoil devices) began to be installed in the new IS-2 heavy tanks. On October 31, 1943, IS-2 was officially adopted, and in December it was put into mass production. Until June 1945, 3475 IS-2 heavy tanks were produced.

Thanks to the tight layout, the 46-ton IS-2 in armor protection was superior to the 55-ton Tiger I and only slightly inferior to the 68-ton Tiger II. But this layout forced Soviet designers to make a number of decisions that reduced chances of IS-2 crew to survive in battle - for example, the lack of a separate hatch for the driver or the placement of fuel tanks in the fighting compartment. The main armament of IS-2 heavy tank was 122-mm D-25T gun. The gun was completely balanced, but the whole turret with the gun was not balanced, which made it difficult to turn when the tank was tilting. This was due to the fact that initially the turret was designed for 85-mm gun, and the 122-mm gun with a much longer and more massive barrel upset the balance. D-25T gun had separate loading, the ammunition included armor-piercing and high-explosive fragmentation projectiles weighing 25 kg each. IS-2 tank was equipped with three 7,62-mm DT machine guns (course, coaxial with a gun and stern in a ball mount at the rear of the turret). Since January 1945, also a large-caliber 12,7-mm DShK anti-aircraft machine gun was installed.

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 15 Mar 2020 19:15

IS-2 tanks were given to independent heavy tank regiments, which immediately during the formation assigned the guards rank. The independent guards heavy tank regiment (OGvTTP) included 4 tank companies, a company of submachine gunners and support units, in total 375 personnel and 21 IS-2 heavy tanks. In December 1944, the formation of independent guards heavy tank brigades started, each brigade consisted of 3 heavy tank regiments, a motorized battalion of submachine gunners and support units. Until the end of the war, 5 such brigades were formed.

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Interbellum » 17 Mar 2020 22:51

Baptism of fire for IS-2 heavy tanks took place at the final stage of the battle for liberation of Right-bank Ukraine. The 72nd OGvTTP was the most successful, especially from April 20 to May 10, 1944, when it fought in the area of Obertyn settlement as part of the 1st Guards Tank Army. For 20 days of continuous fighting, the regiment destroyed 41 tanks and 10 anti-tank guns of the enemy, irretrievably losing only 8 IS-2 tanks. In May 1944, this regiment conducted defensive сombats to repel enemy counterattacks south-east of Stanislav city. From June 1944 until the end of the war, the 72nd OGvTTP was a part of the 4th Tank Army (4th TA), and took part in Lvov-Sandomierz, Lower Silesian, Upper Silesian, Berlin and Prague offensives.

In the beginning of May 1944, the 26th and 27th OGvTTP were sent to the Leningrad Front, where they took part in Vyborg-Petrozavodsk and Narva offensives. The enemy had well-equipped defensive positions there, and woodland-marshy area was difficult to access in summer time. Nevertheless, already on the first day of the offensive, on June 10, the 27th heavy tank regiment advanced 14 km along the Vyborg highway, then broke through the second and third defense lines on the move and captured Vyborg city on June 20. Then, the 26th, 27th, 31st and 76th OGvTTP were transferred to the Baltic states. There, the 3rd, 15th, 32nd, 35th, 64th, 75th and 81st regiments took part in offensive operations also. A feature of the battles in this direction was the absence of a tight enemy defense line, however, the advance of heavy tanks fettered terrain abundant in swamps, forests and rivers.

At the final stage of WWII, at least one IS-2 regiment was assigned to each tank corps. The role of IS-2 heavy tanks in the assaults on well-fortified settlements in East Prussia and Germany is hard to overestimate. The 122-mm gun was perfect for destroying hardened firing points - with just one high-explosive fragmentation projectile IS-2 broke a machine-gun armoured pillbox (MG-Panzernest), invulnerable to the 85-mm gun, and destroyed a capital brickwork of old buildings. The main enemy for Soviet tanks became infantrymen, armed with a Panzerfaust; during city battles, they accounted for up to 70% of all knocked down tanks ...

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Re: Colorized photos of Soviet WWII weaponry

Post by Juha Tompuri » 23 Mar 2020 21:24

Thank you very much for the photos and info.
Please keep on going.
Interbellum wrote:
17 Mar 2020 22:51
In the beginning of May 1944, the 26th and 27th OGvTTP were sent to the Leningrad Front, where they took part in Vyborg-Petrozavodsk and Narva offensives. The enemy had well-equipped defensive positions there, and woodland-marshy area was difficult to access in summer time. Nevertheless, already on the first day of the offensive, on June 10, the 27th heavy tank regiment advanced 14 km along the Vyborg highway, then broke through the second and third defense lines on the move and captured Vyborg city on June 20. Then, the 26th, 27th, 31st and 76th OGvTTP were transferred to the Baltic states
After Vyborg the IS-2's still advanced, until they were stopped.

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