Tuesday 18 February 2014

Gun Production

Some useful numbers from CAMD RF 38-11369-1, production of tank guns in the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945. Keep in mind that a lot of these are multi-purpose guns. Clearly the model 1931 corps gun A-19 was produced before 1944, but this table only counts those that went into an ISU-122.

The columns are as follows: Name, 1941 (6 months), 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945 (4 months) and Total. The guns are ShVAK, 45 mm tank gun, F-34, ZiS-5, ZiS-3, D-5, S-53, D-10, D-25, D-25S, M-30, and ML-20, and total.

"But wait", some keen-eyed readers may exclaim, "these numbers are all wrong! Only 34355 F-34s? Less than 20,000 85 mm guns? Wikipedia tells me that there were over 35,000 T-34s and nearly 50,000 T-34-85s, not to mention all other vehicles that used these guns!"

Did they go into battle with no gun, in some kind of bizarre Enemy at the Gates type arrangement? Of course not. Every vehicle had a gun, with ample spares. The discrepancy comes from the definition of "produced". A vehicle that came out of the factory counts as produced regardless of how it came in: as raw materials or as a heavily damaged tank. Where a German bureaucrat would keep track of a single tank regardless of how many times it was knocked out and sent back to the factory, without counting it as a loss until it could no longer be repaired, a Soviet one would count it as a loss if it could not participate in battle, and the factory would count the tank as produced once more. A tank could last throughout the entire war, and if it required major repairs (even due to noncombat damage like engine wear), it would count as multiple casualties and multiple tanks.


  1. There are numbers missing, casting doubt on the relevance of the source.

    The 122mm D25 production for the years 1941, 1942 and 1943, respectively was certainly not 0 -0 -25.

    Actual numbers produced acc. to Shirokorad´s Encyclopedia of Soviet Artillery are:

    442 pieces in 1941, 385 pieces in 1942, 414 pieces in 1943

    from the Barrikady plant St. Petersburg and No.172 plant alone.

    1. D-25, the gun that was only used starting with the IS-2, should have been produced in 1941 and 1942 in your opinion?