Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole's TreadHead Tuesday - The Soviet Su-76 - Mar. 1st, 2005
Posted on 02/28/2005 10:04:27 PM PST by SAMWolf
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When the Red Army entered the Second World War, the Soviet Union did not have any mass-produced self-propelled guns that could be used both for close support of the infantry and in an anti-tank role. In the late 1930's, a very limited number of SU-5 self-propelled guns was built based on the chassis of the T-26 light tank, but they only had limited use during the occupation of Poland in 1939.
A pair of SU-76M are managing a street fighting. 1944. Note corpses of German soldiers on the road.
By summer 1941, this lack of a suitable self-propelled gun appeared so serious that in September of that year, the ZIS-30 self-propelled gun was born as a stop-gap measure. Built on the chassis of the "Komsomolets" armored prime mover, this vehicle had a short range, had too much weight, and had poor stability, but it could reliably defeat anything that the Panzerwaffe had, which redeemed all of its shortcomings. In this way, the Red Army was provided with inexpensive self-propelled guns.
In the 1930's, there were some successful attempts at developing self-propelled assault and anti-aircraft guns on the chassis of the mass-produced T-26 light tank, which led to the manufacture of several experimental vehicles.
The final assembling of the SU-76P.
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).
The OSA-76 self-propelled gun.
The SU-76P alone could not solve the Red Army's lack of self-propelled guns, and there were attempts to utilise the chassis of T-60/T-70 tanks, which were mass-produced in 1941 to 1943. In autumn 1941, the GAZ Factory began, on its own initiative, the development of a light self-propelled gun designated the SU-71. However, it never entered full-scale production. By July 1942, another self-propelled gun was developed: the OSA-76, which was based on the chassis of the T-60 tank.
That project was developed by an initiative of GAU, which involved the idea of installing all field artillery on self-propelled chassis. An "OSA" designation means "Obshevoiskovaya Samokhodhaya Artilleriya" (All-Purpose Self-Propelled Artillery). In fact, OSA does not belong to the SU-76 series, as it was rather an independent class of self-propelled guns. The whole OSA project resulted in the development of the following partially-armored vehicles:
The OSA-76 was armed with the 76.2 mm Assault Gun ZIS-3Sh based on the 76.2 mm Divisional Gun ZIS-3. The vehicle had a very low weight - less than 3,500 kg. The GAZ-MM gasoline engine powered it. The chassis of the OSA-76 was the same as on the T-60/T-70 light tanks. It had a crew of three men, and the armor protection was 6 mm. The OSA-76 successfully passed all tests and was recommended for mass production, although it was ultimately never produced.
An attempt by Rumanian engineers to install a captured 76.2 mm F-22 gun on the chassis of a captured T-60 tank was more successful. Until the arrival of the German Pzkw IV Ausf G, they were the only means to reliably defeat Soviet medium and heavy tanks.
The experimental SPG of the factory #37.
This was a self-propelled gun of the SU-76 series. The development of this vehicle followed the NKAP order of March 3, 1942. By May 1942, the first experimental prototype was manufactured and sent to the proving grounds. However, neither the chassis nor the armament passed the trials. The construction of this vehicle was based on the chassis of T-60 light tank.
The GAZ-71 inside the factory.
On October 19, 1942, the GKO issued Document #2429ss which ordered the GAZ Factory and Factory #38 to develop, to test, and to put into full-scale production a light SP gun, armed with the 76.2 mm Gun ZIS-3. The new vehicle was based on the chassis and engine of the T-70 tank, but with increased length, and an additional road wheel.
In November 1942, both factories showed their prototypes. Both vehicles were armed with the ZIS-3Sh ("Sh" means "shturmovaya" or "assault") gun. The GAZ project was named the GAZ-71, and Factory #38's project was named the SU-12. On December 9, 1942, after comparative trials, the GAZ-71 was recognized as "not conforming to existing battle requirements," and was "very unreliable;" and thus, further work was cancelled. The SU-12, however, was accepted for service under the name "SU-76 Self-Propelled Assault Gun." From January 1, 1943, mass production began.
The SU-12 self-propelled gun.
The designers put the two GAZ-202 engines parallel to one another instead of in-line as on the T-70 tank. Its fully-enclosed shielding was welded from 10 to 35 mm armor plates, the driver's compartment was located in the front of the vehicle in between the engines, while the superstructure housing the ZIS-3Sh gun was located in the rear.
The crew of three also had a DT machine-gun and personal firearms at its disposal. By the end of January 1943, it formed the first two self-propelled artillery regiments sent to the Volkhov front.
Refueling the SU-76M. Winter 1943-1944.
The shortcoming of the parallel engine placement in the SU-76 (SU-12) became apparent when it resulted in transmission malfunctions. The malfunctions were due to torsional vibrations which led to rapid breakdowns. The vibration peaked in second gear, which was the most overloaded gear. It was impossible to properly synchronize the two engines.
A SU-76 M fending its way among destroyed materials. Notice the casemate which overhangs the track on the left side of the vehicule
As a result of the experiences in the field, the production of SU-76 was halted on March 21st, 1943, after only 350 were produced. Due to the planned summer offensive, the GKO put a very strict time-frame to correct the defects. Already by May 17th, 1943, an updated SU-76M (SU-12M; M means "modernised") entered testing and by June of that year it entered production.
Soviet attack. Eastern Prussia. Spring 1945.
These vehicles had updated engines and transmissions, and used the old SU-76 hulls that were left over. Improvements included the introduction of spring clutches between the engines and the main gear, of a slipping clutch on the general shaft, and of engine shock absorbers. These items reduced, but did not eliminate, the likelihood of a malfunction. In May 1943, the production of the SU-76M began. All of those vehicles took part in the Battle of Kursk.
You don't have to look far to see it wither, it's just sometimes hard to remember to take the time to really look.
If I got a Hummer, I want one like this. ;-)
Feburary: A month with 28 "Mondays". IMHO it was the worst month for weather in the Midwest.
Members of the 330th Military Police unit return home to Sheboygan, Wis., on Saturday from a tour in Iraq.
I was laughing last night and said I wanted one with a mounted gun on the top. The moms looked at me as though I were a crazy person.
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on March 01:
0772 Po Tjiu-i Chinese poet/Governor of Hang-tsjow
1456 Wladyslaw Jagiello king of Bohemia/Hungary (1471/90-1516)
1810 Frédéric Chopin Poland, composer/pianist (Concerto in F Minor)
1811 Robert Christie Buchanan Brevet Major General (Union Army), died in 1878
1820 George Davis Attorney General (Confederacy), died in 1896
1822 Albin Francisco Schoepf Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1886
1822 Charles Champion Gilbert Brigadier General (Union volunteers)
1828 James Fleming Fagan Major General (Confederate Army), died in 1893
1831 Hiram Bronson Granbury Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1864
1837 William Dean Howells US, novelist/critic/editor (Atlantic)
1860 Suzanna Salter 1st US female mayor/temperance leader
1864 Rebecca Lee 1st black woman to get a medical degree
1903 Leon Bismarck "Bix" Beiderbecke Iowa, jazz cornetist (In a Mist)
1904 Glenn Miller bandleader (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood)
1909 David Niven Kirriemuir Angus Scotland, actor (Casino Royale, Guns of Navarone)
1914 Ralph Waldo Ellison US writer (Invisible Man, Shadow & Cast)
1917 Dinah Shore Winchester TN, singer (See the USA in a Chevrolet)
1919 Lawrence Ferlinghetti US, beat poet (Coney Island of the Mind)
1920 Harry Caray baseball announcer (Chicago Cubs)
1921 Terrence "Cardinal" Cooke New York NY
1922 William M Gaines publisher (MAD Magazine)
1922 Yitzak Rabin premier (Israel, 1992-95, Nobel 1994)
1924 Donald "Deke" Kent Slayton Sparta WI, Major USAF/astronaut (Apollo 18)
1926 Pete Rozelle NFL commissioner (1960-89)
1926 Robert Clary Paris France, actor (LeBeau-Hogan's Heroes)
1927 Harry Belafonte Harlem New York NY, calypso singer (Buck & the Preacher)
1927 Robert Heron Bork judge, nominated for supreme court
1929 Sonny James singer (Young Love, Running Bear)
1935 Robert Conrad [Conrad R Falk] Chicago IL, actor (Wild Wild West, Baa Baa Black Sheep)
1940 Ralph Towner Chehalis WA, Guitar (Oregon, Weather Report)
1941 Michael L Lampton Williamsport PA, astronaut (STS-45)
1944 Roger Daltrey Hammersmith London England, rocker/actor/producer (The Who-Tommy)
1953 Ron Howard Duncan OK, actor/director (American Graffiti, Happy Days/Willow, Backdraft)
1954 Catherine Bach Warren OH, actress (Daisy Duke-Dukes of Hazzard)
hehehe.... I need to borrow that from bittygirl!
Today... Is my oldest daughter's first 29th birthday! :-)
I called her and sang. and now, I think I'll email her that graphic - looks appropriate for her since she's one of those pinky gals and her hubby has spent 18 years in the army.
LOL You know how I love sportscars Samwise... I'm just looking at Hummers as sportscars on steroids, now what's not to want there! :-)
I want one of those bright yellow ones.
yea yea yea yea. da da. daaaa. aaaahh. ma ma ma. (push button in mr. incredible with thumb) Saving the day, one day at a time.
And in her best gollum voice:
da da da.
elf-boy isn't feeling well this mornin... Upset tummy. Here's hoping some pepto will do the trick so I can at least go to the store!
Used to live near Sheboygan, nice town.
I can't understand why. :-)
Morning Bittygirl. :-)
You've got it!
ohoh... mornin' prayers for elfboy.
gotta find out what I can feed him so he won't think I'm a gollum.
BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAA - two sportscar mama's in Hummers. We'd be major terrors on the freeways. :-D
I blame the foxhole. I didn't used to want to blow things up or play with flamethrowers.