Home > Site news > The history of Soviet tank production. Soviet “Hetzer”. Experienced the SU-76D and the SU-57b (Aces)

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summer of 1943, the Gorky Automobile Plant designers headed by SN Astrov jointly with KB NATI were able to prepare two draft new armored self-propelled guns, which are in correspondence with the People’s Commissariat of the tank industry appeared as a “crazy fighter tanks GAZ-74.” It was supposed to be light combat vehicles weighing up to 11 tonnes, which will get diesel GMC-71 US-made or equivalent. On the organization of the Soviet Union production of the engine at the time was an active discussion. It is assumed that the new ACS will be armed with a 76 mm gun S-1 or 57-mm gun S-1-57. Self-propelled crew was to consist of four people.

When it was originally proposed two different layout SAU which differed crew compartment. So in the first car GAZ-74A combat compartment was planned to place in the diet of type GAZ-71 and has already entered service SU-12 (better known as the SS-76). This solution improves the distribution of weight on the self-propelled road wheels, increased maneuverability, though to pay for it should have been a relatively large mass of the car and silhouette. The second option presented by SU-76B was close to the SU-IT-76. The machine features a low silhouette and a good book (in the frontal part is 45 mm), while the location of the armor plates were sloped. The machine armed with the 76 mm gun S-1, which was put on the Su-76i. It was assumed that the self-propelled get supplied under Lend-Lease diesel GMC-71. In the USSR the production of these engines was planned to establish YaMZ.

In terms of design SAU GAZ-GU74B is an interesting “hybrid design” of components and assemblies light tank T-70, the US power plant and development of original gas. In general, the Soviet project was close enough to the later German project ACS «Hetzer», giving the Germans in the security and power weapons. Chassis self-propelled, with respect to each board consisted of five rollers on a light tank T-70 with individual torsion bar suspension, and 4 support rollers. The guide wheels placed in the front, drive wheels – the rear. It was decided to use a cast melkozvenchatye caterpillar tracks. The housing is made from sheets of self-propelled armor rolled steel having a thickness of 10 to 45 mm between a data sheets were joined by welding. In front of the self-propelled body with a combined separation of management and fighting compartment in which a crew composed of 4 people: a driver, commander, gunner and loader. In the front the frontal armored hull carved loophole for the 76-mm cannon mounted on the frame.

История советского танкостроения. Советские «Хетцеры». Опытные САУ СУ-76Д и СУ-57Б

The main weapon was to be self-propelled guns 76.2 mm gun S-1, which is installed in the frontal superstructure. The horizontal instrument could direct within 13,5 ° in both directions. The maximum angle vertical lay guns ranged from -5 ° to + 14 °. Installation tools, including a mask, was in many ways similar to the self-propelled gun SU-76i. This bronelisty a rational angles located only in the front part of the body, in order to ensure an acceptable internal volume required for the crew. Aft self-propelled motor-located transmission compartment, which sets US diesel GMC-71, which is planned to produce at the Yaroslavl plant (YaMZ) under the symbol YAZ-204. On the roof of the housing SAU was made 3 manhole lids. On the roof of the commander’s hatch was installed commander’s cupola, which had six observation devices.

ACS GAZ-GU74B was built in metal and was able to pass the test cycle plant, the whole machine has been approved by the military and under the symbol SU-76 and SU-74, or admitted to the state tests. Self-propelled gun was able to successfully pass them, but in 1943 in the form of arms 76-mm cannon with a barrel 41 caliber was not enough for a successful fight against the new German tanks. For this reason, the launch of mass production of ACS GU74B GAZ-76-mm gun S-1, it was decided to consider unpromising occupation.

But the work on the improvement of the GAZ-74 were stopped. In 1944, they led to the creation of an improved version of ACS, which has received a new index GAS-76D, or SU-76D (diesel). The truth is the new weapon of the C-54 to get it and failed, but the front part of the book has been brought to 60 mm. As such, with the same gun S-1 car again admitted to the state tests are already under the symbol SU-80. But in her arms again, we have not, in this case, in the absence of clear advantages over the well developed industry of the Soviet self-propelled gun SU-76, as well as due to the presence of imported diesel, the production of which failed to master any Yaroslavl or in Miass, nor exposed in 1943 heavily bombarded Gaza.

История советского танкостроения. Советские «Хетцеры». Опытные САУ СУ-76Д и СУ-57Б

Option with 57-mm cannon – SU-57b [1,999,003]

attempts to improve the combat capabilities of the ACS serial Su-76 and GAZ-74 cars led to the fact that the summer of 1943, has developed a new self-propelled gun SU-57. The impetus for the creation of the self-propelled installation was the fact that in the summer of that year, located in Gorky Artillery Plant №92 with the filing of the chief TsAKB B. Grabina and with the support of D. Ustinov resumed production of anti-tank guns ZIS-2 57 mm caliber, as well as their Tank analogue – ZIS-4 guns. Production of these guns was discontinued in late 1941. It is worth noting that these guns are characterized by very good performance and armor penetration to successfully fight all modernized German medium tanks last series. Resuming their release could not push the Soviet designers to develop new anti-tank SAU orientation. That gas continues to work hard on his own fighter tanks. At the same time conducted as creating a new self-propelled GU74B GAZ-57-mm long gun C-1-57 and the improvement of ACS, equipped with 76-mm cannon. For her TsAKB expected from the new 76-mm gun high-power C-54 with a barrel length of about 60 calibers.

The experimental self-propelled gun SU-57, prepared by the №38, was a serial SAU SU-76M, which re-equipped 57-mm gun S-1-57 (analogue ZIS-2), which resulted in minor changes to logging and the crew compartment . Thus during test 1943, it was determined that the SU-57 does not fully satisfy the requirements of the military. First of all, it was necessary to set on the chassis fully enclosed hull of having protivosnaryadnym book, as well as reduce the rollback gun. So how to do it was very difficult to work on a self-propelled gun SU-57 plant №38 just turned.

At the same time GAZ military introduced its own version of self-propelled anti-tank armed with 57-mm gun S-1-57 and equipped with American diesel engine. In order to distinguish the product of gas from ACS provided plant №38, first given the designation Su-57b, while, as we have already passed the test machine factory №38 correspondence NKTP designated as the SU-57A. Gorky SAU got on experimental tests almost simultaneously with the SU-57. This self-propelled gun was created based on the chassis serial lung T-70M. The machine had a gated enclosure – welded from rolled broenlistov. In the forward front hull was installed in a special embrasure 57-mm gun, the mechanism of its guidance was tame. The use of guns and armor-piercing shells to allow him to achieve broneprobitiya at up to 100 mm at a distance of 500 meters and up to 90 mm at a distance of 1000 meters at an angle of a meeting of the projectile with the armor of 90 degrees.

История советского танкостроения. Советские «Хетцеры». Опытные САУ СУ-76Д и СУ-57Б

Despite the fact that the anti-self-propelled gun was able to go through the whole series of tests on the weapons it was not accepted. Layout SAU long reach gun barrel seriously hamper the passage of restricted passages and was cause utykaniya trunk into the ground during the movement of self-propelled rough terrain. In addition, military experts have identified the high cost of self-propelled guns and the inadmissibility of the issue of serial technique, which would be dependent on foreign supplies of engines. At the same time, for whatever reasons, the same American diesel engine had no effect on the fate of the prime mover I-12, on which it is installed.

Thus, the Red Army could get a machine similar to the later German “Hetzer” (it. Eger) in 1943. Notably, in early 1945, captured during the fighting in Hungary, self-propelled Hetzer has been tested together with the SU-57b. In conclusion, the results of the tests stated: “Thus, the German tank experience shows us that the use of small crazy tanks in modern warfare is fully justified … Compare turretless German tank with a machine Gorky Automobile SU-57b, which has a similar weight, shows a number of advantages Soviet machine associated with the use of the diesel engine is very good solution … German designers should consider the installation on the roof of the machine gun with the possibility of defensive shooting, under the protection of armor … The disadvantages of Gorky the SU-57b include the lack of ammunition in its powerful high-explosive fragmentation or shell …. “

This little-known today, but quite promising Soviet self-propelled guns, become a victim like doom. The problem with the selection of engines, high expectations and an underestimation of the military forces of the enemy, was the reason that these self-propelled guns to the troops never reached. Although, if they appeared at the front before the German “Hetzer”, they are quite able to take its rightful place in the ranks of Soviet armored forces. Especially useful would the SU-57b with a powerful 57-mm gun. In some cases, the SU-76D and the SU-57b could reasonably replace the light tank T-70, the main armament of which was 45-mm cannon. The data of the tanks were very widespread in the armed forces during the Battle of Kursk, they accounted for a third of all the Soviet tanks that took part in the battle. Naturally, such machines could not fight on equal terms is not something that “Tiger” and “Panther”, but even with the latest modifications of the German medium tanks and Pz.III Pz.IV. This mass SU-76M inferior self-propelled gas development on the level of protection was higher and more their size.

История советского танкостроения. Советские «Хетцеры». Опытные САУ СУ-76Д и СУ-57Б

The performance characteristics experienced the SU-57b:
Combat weight – 9.5 tons.
Hull length – 4885 mm in length with a gun – 7440 mm.
Width – 2240 mm. Height – 1910 mm.
Clearance – 330 mm.
Reservation: forehead – 25 mm board – 15 mm -15 mm feed body, cutting her forehead – 25 mm, the roof – 10 mm, bottom – 6mm .
Power plant – GMC diesel 110 hp or petrol engine ZIS-16 100 HP
Fuel capacity – 300 liters.
The maximum speed on the highway – 40 km / h.
range – about 150 km.
weapon type – 57 -mm tank gun ZIS-4.
Rate: maximum – 20 rds / min, the combat – 15 rds / min.
Ammunition – 72 of the projectile.
The initial velocity armor-piercing projectile – 990 m / s. angles horizontal guidance – 36 degrees (18 in both directions), vertical – from -5 to +14 degrees.
crew – 4 person.

Sources информации:
http://litrus.net/book/read/163136?p=21
http://ru-armor.livejournal.com/203203.html
http://www.battlefield.ru/russian-hetzer/stranitsa-3.html
http://www.aviarmor.net/tww2/tanks/ussr/su-57.htm
Автор Yuferev Sergey

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