Wednesday 11 November 2015

Demolition Man

"Award Order
  1. Name: Ranzhev, Pavel Konstantinovich
  2. Rank: Guards Lieutenant
  3. Position, unit: commander of an ISU-122 SPG, 383rd Guards Zhitomir Order of the Red Banner Heavy SPG Regiment
    is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  4. Year of birth: 1919
  5. Nationality: Russian
  6. Party affiliation: VKP(b) member
  7. Participation in the Civil War and subsequent combat action in defense of the Soviet Union: participant in the Patriotic War since November 1941: Central Front from November 1941 to January of 1943, Volkhov Front from January 1943 to March 1943, 1st Ukrainian Front from June 1944 to present.
  8. Wounds and concussions in the Patriotic War: wounded on April 30th, 1945
  9. In the Red Army since: 1939
  10. Recruited by: Kovrov recruitment office, Vladimir oblast
  11. Prior awards: Order of the Red Banner, March 11th, 1943
Brief description of heroism or achievements: A commander of an ISU-122 SPG, Guards Lieutenant Ranzhev demonstrated courage and heroism in battles for Berlin. Accompanying an offensive of tanks and infantry, he destroyed 26 stone buildings turned into strongholds by the Germans. On April 30th, in battles for the Kaiser Alley, the SPG was ignited by an enemy shell. Comrade Ranzhev, risking his life, put out the fire, fixed his vehicle with his crew, and continued fighting. He destroyed 1 tank, 3 guns, and 12 soldiers with Panzerfausts who took positions in stone buildings and were impeding the progress of tanks and infantry.

For demonstrated courage and heroism in battles for Berlin, comrade Ranzhev is worthy of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union."

CAMD RF 33-793756-40


  1. Was there an appreciable differencein the combat effectiveness of an ISU-122 versus a 152, at least in city fighting? I presume that when you're firing enough HE to level a building either way, the 122's longer gun would be a hindrance.

    1. I haven't read anything to suggest a preference either way, no complaints that 122 mm HE was insufficient or that the gun was too long. I haven't read complaints about SU-85's gun length either, just comments that 85 mm HE was sometimes inadequate for very robust buildings.

    2. In the city fighting it was definitely ISU-152 cause the much heavier high explosive and concrete pieercing shells and lower muzzle velocity. By this way I suppose there was less probabily that shell will go through entire building and explode behind out of meant target. But on the field ISU-122 posses more advantages to ISU-152. Thanks to higher muzzle velocity, trajectory, rate of fire and superior penetration its much better in anti tank role. But overall ISU-152 doesnt give any stupid benefit over IS-2 tanks. It has the same gun with limited arc and incomparably weaker armour with bigger penetrable hitzones. I will never understand why they at least didnt offset front armour by mading one plate from two (90 mm front plate and sloped 60 mm hull plate).

    3. Damn it I meant an ISU-122 doesnt give any benfit over IS-2.

    4. It had a better gun.

    5. wat no, the last I checked ISU-122s mainly had the A-19 while the IS'es got priority on the D-25T. The breech design just wasn't as big an issue as the casemate could fit another loader.

    6. Right, MV of 800 m/s vs 781/ms.

  2. Probably cost and production time: a turretless vehicle is cheaper to produce and therefore the added number of avable guns outweights the loss in efficiency.
    About the up-armoring of ISU-122 i clearly remember reading an article about this on this blog, it was however never realized.

    1. Regarding about reinforceing frontal armour effectiveness I especially meant to make one frontal armour plate from two. The purpose of this would be: 1) simplifying the production 2) extension of internal space 3) make the vehicle more durable from the front
      This captured vehicle was hit twice by finnish gunner. That 60 mm armour was highly probably overmatched by big caliber HE shell. So therefore rather one 90mm armour and not 90mm and 60mm armour which also do shot trap.