Monday 30 September 2013

Artillery Wishlist for 1940

The Supreme Military Council made a recommendation in May of 1940 regarding the state of artillery in the Red Army. The first half is about AA guns, and falls outside of the scope of this blog, but about halfway through, we get some juicy tidbits.

4. Consider large caliber artillery a task of utmost importance. Develop 210 mm field guns, 305 mm field howitzers in 1941, and 356 mm guns and 500 mm howitzers on rails for 1942. Develop and build prototypes of a 450 mm field howitzer in 1941.

5. On anti-tank guns:
Organize the manufacture of 45 mm shrapnel shells, producing 200,000 of them in 1940. GAU should develop an anti-tank gun, 50-60 mm in caliber, that can penetrate 50 mm of armour at 1000 meters.

Regimental guns:
Regimental guns currently being developed do not match the requirements of regimental guns due to being too heavy (900 kg). Currently developed guns should be completed and tested. In 1941, develop a new regimental gun, that weighs no more than 500 kg, has a 5 km range, and is not made for fighting tanks.
Medium caliber tank gun:
Leave the L-11 tank gun for 1940 Gradually shift to the F-32 and develop a new, more powerful tank gun  that is capable of fighting modern tanks. Hold the development of the F-32 until this issue is resolved.

6. On the armour piercing capabilities of field artillery.

Develop AP shells for the following artillery systems:
  • 152 mm model 1938 howitzer
  • 107 mm model 1910/30 gun
  • 122 mm model 1931 gun
  • 152 mm model 1935 gun
  • 152 mm model 1937 gun"
As always, let's see how successful these requests were. The massive artillery isn't really my department (I included it for fans of large numbers), but it looks like they got somewhere, combining the 450 mm requirement and the rail requirement into...something.

CAMD RF 81-12104-36

The request for a 50-60 mm AT gun was met with the 57 mm ZiS-2. According to the table here, it overfulfilled the penetration requirement, with 75 mm of penetration (against armour at 30 degrees, no less) at 1000 meters. Similar results are achieved by the ZiS-4 here.

The request for a lighter regimental gun was almost satisfied with the model 1943 regimental gun. At 600 kg of combat weight, and with a 4200 meter range, it doesn't quite get there. Also, unlike in the requirement, it was issued with HEAT shells, making it capable at fighting enemy tanks at under 1000 meters.

The development of AP shells for the listed artillery systems was very much successful, and is explored in another article.

A GABTU wishlist for 1940 (CAMD RF 38-11355-10)  also has some artillery components in it:

"On artillery:
  1. Immediately mass produce the 107 mm M-60 gun.
  2. Order the 107 mm mountain gun.
  3. Accelerate the trials of 203 mm howitzers.
  4. Accelerate the trials of AP shells for 107 mm, 122 mm, and 152 mm guns.
  5. Select the best possible 76 mm AP shell, and equip 76 mm model 1933 AA guns with it.
  6. Develop armour piercing shells for the 122 mm model 1938 howitzer, 152 mm model 1937 gun-howitzer, and 152 mm model 1938 howitzer.
  7. Develop armour piercing shells for 37 mm, 45 mm, and 85 mm AA guns."


  1. Why wasn't the 500mm howitzer built?

    1. Because Germany was already fulfilling everyone else's "pointlessly large guns" quota for them, probably.

      Also, WWII.