*Experimental SELF-PROPELLED GUNS of the Allies - help!*

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Jan 2006 02:50

As for the British AA SPG with 2x12.7mm Vickers, based on MkVIII light tank chassis (probably) - I couldn't find any info, unfortunately :cry: .

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Post by BIGpanzer » 12 Jan 2006 16:56

I found some additional info about the use of Soviet super-heavy SPGs SU-14 and SU-100Y during the Winter War and Soviet-German War.

Short info, specifications and photos of SU-14 and SU-100Y – see my post from 19 April here.

I. Soviet super-heavy SU-14 was a unique SPG for 1930s, it was armed with 203mm howitzer B-4 and 3-4x7.62mm MGs DT. One SU-14 was built in 1934 (47 t, 500 hp, 27 km/h, 10-20 mm armor, transmission and suspension from T-28 and T-35 tanks) and improved SU-14-1 was built in 1936 (48 t, 700 hp, 30 km/h).

In 1936 SU-14 was rearmed with 152.4mm naval gun B-30 and SU-14-1 was rearmed with 152.4mm gun Br-2. Five SU-14-1 with Br-2 were planned to produce but those plans were abandoned because of arrest of the chief engineers of the project.

It was planned to use both SU-14 during the Winter War against strong Finnish fortifications as they could destroy Finnish bunkers from close distances (1.0-1.5 km). For that purpose both SPGs were armored with additional armor (up to 50 mm) in January 1940 in Leningrad (Kirov plant No.185), also fighting compartment was fully armored and the ammunition increased. Modified SU-14 was renamed as SU-14-2 (64 t, 15 km/h) and modified SU-14-1 was renamed as SU-14-Br2 (65 t, 22 km/h). But plant No.185 finished the work completely only in March 1940 when the Winter War already came to end, so armored SU-14s had no time to participate in that war. Nevertheless, several sources mention that both SU-14 successfully used during the Soviet attacks against Mannerheim line, supporting infantry and tanks, and they destroyed several large Finnish bunkers. That was incorrect information!

In July 1940 both SU-14 were tested in Kiev Military District (tank group of captain Lebedev).

The separate heavy division of special purpose was formed in autumn 1941 during the bloody Battle of Moscow. That division was equipped with experimental SPGs and tanks from Kubinka tank training area (Moscow region), including both SU-14. Those powerful SPGs fired at German tanks and motorized infantry from the masked positions near Kubinka railway station.


II. Soviet super-heavy SPG SU-100Y (64 t, 20-60mm armor, 130mm naval gun B-13 + 3x7.62mm MGs DT, 890 hp, 32 km/h, chassis of experimental heavy tank T-100). That Soviet “Jagdtiger” participated in the end phase of Winter War during the general offensive against Mannerheim line – it was invulnerable for Finnish AT guns and damaged Finnish pillboxes, firing at their embrasures with 130mm high-explosives shells. Then towed heavy 203mm howitzers B-4 were moved closely towards Finnish pillboxes and destroyed them with armor-piercing shells.

SU-100Y was used also during the Battle of Moscow in autumn/winter 1941 (by the same separate heavy division of special purpose, where both SU-14 were).


SU-14-Br2 (preserved at Kubinka tank museum) - http://www.thetankmaster.com/images/AFV ... R-2_01.jpg
SU-100Y (preserved at Kubinka tank museum) - http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/su100y/su100y_04.jpg

Bob_Mackenzie
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Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 13 Jan 2006 14:08

I can't help but do enjoy your postings - the T-27 SPGs were new to me. Did they see service?

Cheers

Bob

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Post by BIGpanzer » 13 Jan 2006 19:05

Hello, Bob!
Thanks for the kind words, I am trying to find some info and post it here just for my and forum members' pleasure :)

As for the Soviet light experimental SPGs based on tankette T-27 - I don't have any info about their officially use by the Red Army (only military ground tests were done). Very probably, they remained only as experimental prototypes.
Several SPGs on T-27 chassis were built:

1. SU-76K (SU-3) with 76.2mm automatic recoilless gun of Kurchevsky's type (1 prototype, 1933). During ground tests in April 1933 the gun was exploded once because of double loading, but later that SPG was repaired.
Army rejected that SPG (it was planned to use it in reconnaissance units) because of low accuracy of fire of the experimental recoilless gun in comparison with usual AT guns. The gun was also quite dangerous for the crew. But several tens of such recoilless guns, mounted on trucks and even motorcycles, were really used by reconnaissance units of infantry and tank divisions till 1941.
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/t27/t27_17.jpg
SU-76K: weight 2.68 t, crew 2 men, engine Ford-AA 40 hp, speed 45 km/h, ammunition 30 shells, armor 6-9 mm, range 110 km.

2. Also the project of T-27 tankette, armed with two unguided missiles on each side of the hull, existed. But I don't know was it built or not.....

3. One of the most powerful SPG, based on T-27 tankette, was SPG SU-76 with 76mm regimental gun mod. 1927 - three were built in 1933-34 (by plant "Krasny Putilovets"). Ammunition and gun crew were transported by special ammunition carrier (also on T-27 chassis) as there was not enough place for them in SU-76 hull.
It was planned to produce such SPG as self-propelled regimental gun for motorized and cavalry units, but the chassis of tankette with 76mm gun was overweighted, also that SPG could fire only from stationary positions. So the army also rejected it.
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/t27/t27_14.jpg
SU-76: weight 3.12 t, speed 45 km/h, range 100 km.

4. The first SPG, based on T-27 tankette, was small SPG with 37mm Hotchkiss gun (T-27M, T-27S). Different models existed - one was armed with gun only, but another - with gun and MG. Also the suspension and hull were modified. The ammunition was towed in special armored trailer. Small series of the SPG with 37mm gun was produced by plant "Bolshevik" in 1931 (engineer T. Sirken), but T-27M (armed with Hotchkiss gun and additional MG) was built as the single prototype.
T-27M (T-27S): weight 2.9 t, crew 2 men, engine Ford-AA 40hp, speed 42 km/h, 37mm Hotchkiss gun + 7.62mm MG DT above the gun.
T-27 with 37mm Hotchkiss gun: weight 2.8 t, speed 42 km/h.
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/t27/t27_10.jpg
http://www.battlefield.ru/tanks/t27/t27_12.jpg
http://mkmagazin.almanacwhf.ru/armor/t_27_2.gif

5. In 1934 the battalion SPG with 45mm gun, based on T-27 chassis, was built (single prototype). It was similar with SU-76 design (see 3.)

It should be noted that only Soviet and British engineers developed such experimental small SPGs on tankette chassis in the beginning of 1930s, but they were not successful because of very light chassis for use them as SPGs, armed with 45-76mm guns. That caused strong overweight of tankette chassis and overheat of low-powered tankette engine.

Nevertheless, Polish tankettes TKD (armed with 47mm gun wz.25 "Pocisk" or 37mm "Bofors", 2 + 2 were built) and especially TKS z nkm 20A (armed with 20mm automatic gun FK-A wz.38, 24 were built) were used quite successfully against German light tanks. TKS z nkm 20A were in 71-st armored division (4 tankette), 81-st armored division (3 tankette), 11th reconnaissance tank company (4 tankette), 101-st reconnaissance tank company (4 tankette), Warsaw motorized brigade (4 tankette), 10th cavalry brigade (4 tankette). 4 tankette of 71-st armored division supported Polish cavalry from the 7th regiment on 14 September 1939 and destroyed 3 German tanks. If the planned rearmament of 300 Polish tankettes TK with 20mm AT guns were done before September 1939 Germans couldn't take the Poland so quickly!
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/pol/tkd.jpg (TKD with 47mm "Pocisk")
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/pol/TKS-D.jpg (TKD with 37mm gun "Bofors")
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/pol/Pol-TKS-20mm.jpg (TKS z nkm 20A)


Four Yugoslavian tankettes T-32 with 37mm gun A-3UVJ (8 copies were built by Czech Skoda for Yugoslavia in 1938) had the combat with 16 German tanks, all were destroyed.
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/yugo ... o-S-Id.jpg

Best regards, BIGpanzer

PS. Bob, as you are from UK, do you have some info or photos of a) British AA SPG with 2x12.7mm Vickers, based on Mark VIII light tank chassis, b) British Carden-Loyd Mark VI tankette, armed with 47mm Vickers cannon (open SPG) c) British SP Stokes mortar, based also on Mark VI tankette and d) British 47mm open SPG Mark I, which was built in 1924.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 01 Feb 2006 19:18

I tried to find some photos of experimental US, British and French SPGs of 1920s we are discussing about for a long time (almost one year!). Yesterday I could find some!!! Please, your opinions....... :wink:

These are the photos from the excellent Ukrainian site http://armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/WWI (originally the photos were taken from the old Soviet military journals, year 1922 as I could understand). The retouching quality of the photos is quite bad but this is much better than nothing 8O

US/French 120mm SP howitzer "St.Chamond"
Image

US/French "St.Chamond" tractor (150 hp engine "Van Blerckmotor") for 240mm caterpillar howitzer M18 which was also equipped with engine. Ammunition - 42 shells
Image

US/French 240mm SP howitzer Schneider M18 (transportation position, 210-220 hp engine)
Image

US/British 76mm SPG M16 on MkVII 21.5 t tractor chassis
Image
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 02 Feb 2006 00:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 01 Feb 2006 21:45

Interesting. I don't believe I've ever seen any of those models before. Good find!

:)

Michael

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Post by BIGpanzer » 02 Feb 2006 00:58

Thanks, Michael!
There were a lot of models of experimental Soviet, British, US and French SPGs in 1920s-1930s despite the fact that serial models appeared only during WWII.
I still couldn't find any photos of British AA SPG with 2x12.7mm Vickers, based on Mark VIII light tank chassis and British Carden-Loyd Mark VI tankette, armed with 47mm Vickers cannon (open SPG).................. :roll: :?

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Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 02 Feb 2006 19:51

Here you go :) In Use by the Belgians

Cheers

Bob

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Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 02 Feb 2006 19:54


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Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 02 Feb 2006 19:55


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Post by BIGpanzer » 02 Feb 2006 19:59

Thanks a lot, Bob!
I never heard about the use of British light 47mm SPGs, based on MkVI tankette, by Belgium.
Do you have any info about their service in Belgian Army as well as their use in combats (if so) against Germans in 1940?
Were such light SPGs used by British Army also, or did they remain experimental?

Oh, I just found the French link you've kindly provided 8O ! I will read it.

Best regards, BIGpanzer

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Post by pkenny » 21 Feb 2006 20:13

http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?opt ... 50&lang=en

With the arrival of new tank models, the T-26s could theoretically be converted to self-propelled guns, but in reality, conversion was impossible due to great T-26 losses during the first months of the Great Patriotic War. It was also impossible to replace the T-26s with new tanks due to the fact that the tank factories were being evacuated to the Urals and to Siberia. However, in besieged Leningrad in 1941 to 1942, several small batches of SU-76P were manufactured. The SU-76P consisted of a 76 mm regimental field gun installed on a T-26 chassis with a circular field of fire, and it had no protection for the crew other than the gun's shield. But this vehicle was merely another stop-gap measure, as the besieged city had to make do with whatever equipment it had remaining inside the encirclement.

In autumn 1941, all tanks armed with 45 mm guns which fought on the Leningrad Front become useless against "soft" targets like infantry due to the lack of fragmentation and high-explosive ammunition. That's why the General Staff of the Leningrad Front asked the Ministry of Tank Industry (NKTP) to rearm existing BT and T-26 light tanks with the 76 mm KT Gun.

A new vehicle was developed and tested, and after successful testing, the General Staff of the Leningrad Frond ordered Factory #174 to start manufacturing the new self-propelled guns. This vehicle received the SU-76 designation, and from 1943, it was renamed the SU-76P (P - "polkovaya" - "regimental") to avoid confusion with the new self-propelled gun which had the same designation (see below).


Hey Big, I have really enjoyed your posts, keep up the good work. Do you have any info on the use of the SU76P?

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Post by BIGpanzer » 22 Feb 2006 00:47

Hello, pkenny!
Thanks for the information and for the kind words, I will try to continue posting technical info for everybody's pleasure.

As for SP guns, based on light tank T-26 chassis.
As I've written here several times, Soviets used T-26 chassis quite often to develop experimental and small-series SP guns in 1930s (SU-5-1 with 76,2mm gun, SU-5-2 with 122mm howitzer, SU-5-3 with 152.4mm mortar, AT-1 with 76.2mm gun, SU-6 with 76.2mm AA gun).
Also T-26 with 76mm recoiless gun was built as experimental in 1932.

pkenny wrote: ...
but in reality, conversion was impossible due to great T-26 losses during the first months of the Great Patriotic War.

Yes, the majority of T-26s (the main tank of Soviet Army in 1941) were lost during the first months (summer 1941) of German-Soviet war from artillery fire, dive bombers attacks and technical reasons. But Soviet tank units used remaining T-26s till 1944 (Leningrad Front) and even during the war with Japan in August 1945. I think Soviets had enough T-26s in the end of 1941 to produce at least several hundreds of SPGs (for example, 62% of all tanks of Western Front were T-26). The were another reasons why they didn't do this: many T-26s were in quite bad technical condition because of absence of spare parts, also their conversion into SPGs will take some time and during that time they should be removed from the front, where Germans tried to reach Moscow as soon as possible.

pkenny wrote:
It was also impossible to replace the T-26s with new tanks due to the fact that the tank factories were being evacuated to the Urals and to Siberia.

It was impossible to replace thousands of T-26s (11218 were produced) by new T-34s immediately, but T-34s were in production without pauses by Stalingrad tractor factory and Gorky plant No. 112 in 1941, also evacuated plants started their work as soon as possible in Ural and Siberia (N 183 - Nizhny Tagil, UZTM - Sverdlovsk, ChKZ- Chelyabinsk, No. 174 - Omsk).

Germans also tried to use captured T-26s as the chassis for SPGs. But almost all T-26s that Germans had were completely destroyed in combats or were exploded by their crews, also there were no spare parts for them. All German tank workshops produced new tanks and repaired a huge amount of their own damaged tanks, so they had no possibility to repair T-26s in addition. Only several T-26s (Pz.740 (r)) were given to Wehrmacht. In the end of 1943 ten T-26 were used as chassis for French 75mm field guns with shield - 7.5cm PaK 97/98 (f), those SPGs were used by 3rd company of 563th AT division till 1st March 1944, when remaining were replaced by Marder III.

As for so called SU-76P - it is extremelly hard to find any info about those "hand-built" in besieged Leningrad SPGs, based on T-26 chassis. Many books about serial and even experimental Soviet tanks and SPGs don't mention them. Also they were produced in 1941-1942 in a very small amount (~15 copies).
pkenny wrote:
The SU-76P consisted of a 76 mm regimental field gun installed on a T-26 chassis with a circular field of fire, and it had no protection for the crew other than the gun's shield.

Except driver, of course, as the unchanged hull was from T-26 tank. The shield had side armour also.
pkenny wrote:
In autumn 1941, all tanks armed with 45 mm guns which fought on the Leningrad Front become useless against "soft" targets like infantry due to the lack of fragmentation and high-explosive ammunition. That's why the General Staff of the Leningrad Front asked the Ministry of Tank Industry (NKTP) to rearm existing BT and T-26 light tanks with the 76 mm KT Gun.

Yes, 45mm tank guns of T-26 and BT were quite good against light German tanks, but due to the lack of high-explosive ammunition couldn't be used against infantry and field fortifications.
Those T-26 conversios were armed exactly with 76mm KT-28 tank guns from damaged T-28 medium tanks, not with 76mm regimental field guns (KT-28 tank gun was a modification of regimental gun mod. 1927). SU-76P really means "regimental", but because not of use of 76mm regimental gun mod.1927, but because of their use for infantry regiments support mainly.

http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/gall ... 26SP_2.jpg (SU-76P from 220th tank brigade supports attacking infantry, winter 1943, Leningrad Front)
http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/gall ... /SU-26.jpg (destroyed SU-76P, rear view)
http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/gall ... 6-pic2.jpg (SU-76P in camouflage, December 1941, Leningrad Front)


http://weapon.df.ru/tanks/sovsau/light/leningr.jpg
http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/gall ... 26SP_1.jpg - construction of T-26 SPG, SU-76 or SU-76P as remained SPGs were named since 1943, Leningrad Kirov tank factory No. 174.
As I mentioned above Kirov tank factory No. 174 was evacuated from Leningrad to Omsk in Siberia and started the massive production of T-34 tanks. Those T-26 SPGs were produced in Leningrad in the remaining buildings of the evacuated factory since October 1941 according to the order of Military Council of Leningrad Front. They were successfully tested in combat near Pulkovo (several kilometres from Leningrad).

I found a mention that some field conversions of T-26 into SPGs existed during WWII, for example there was self-propelled mortar on T-26-based prime-mover.

PS. It should be noted that experimental T-26 tank with a A-43 turret of the constructor N. Dyrenkov and PS-3 gun was built in 1932. Leningrad Kirov tank factory No. 174 developed artillery tanks T-26 with 76mm gun + MG in rotating turret in the beginning of 1930s, using tank gun KT-28 and 76mm infantry gun mod.1910. 76mm regimental gun mod.1927 was used unsuccessfully for those experiments because of larger recoil. In 1933 the production of 5 T-26-KT (T-26-4) was ordered: 3 with 76mm KT gun in new special turret and 2 with 76mm PS-3 gun. T-26s with KT gun were tested successfully, more powerful PS-3 caused small damages of the suspension and turret during fire. In September 1934 5 T-26-4 with KT guns in special enlarged turret (ammunition 48 shells or 40 shells + radiostation) were given to the army. It was planned to use those 76mm artillery tanks for destruction of field fortifications/infantry together with normal T-26s with 45mm guns for anti-tank role in combat. 19 September the gun of one of T-26-4 was damaged because of shell destruction during test fires, and the order for 50 T-26-4 tanks production was cancelled despite the fact that new turret was quite good for 76mm gun (was used later in serial artillery tanks BT-7A) and that was a chance accident with gun but not with SPG construction.
Some sources mention that 65 artillery tanks T-26A (T-26-4, weight 9.7 t) were produced in 1934-1935, but this is not correct info, only 1 T-26 with A-43 turret (76mm gun) in 1932 and 5 T-26A tanks in 1933-34 were built.

Pictures of artillery tank T-26-4:
http://armoured.vif2.ru/t-26a.gif
http://www.hobbyterra.com/images/um/um315.jpg
http://armoured.vif2.ru/t-26a_2.JPG
http://www.kitreview.com/reviews/images/P%2072610.jpg
http://www.militaryhobbies.ca/custom/pr ... mq3510.jpg


Regards, BP

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Post by BIGpanzer » 30 Mar 2006 23:41

Does anybody know the exact name of this SPG of infantry support?

Very probably this is an early US SPG gun, built on a Holt tractor chassis in 1918 or beginning of 1920s.

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Photo is from http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/Unit ... 6-75mm.jpg
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 31 Mar 2006 09:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 31 Mar 2006 06:46

Where did you find that image, BP?

Michael

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