Tuesday 4 April 2017

ZIS-30 in Combat

"To the Deputy Chief of GABTU, Major-General of the Technical Forces, Lebedev
CC: Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces Tamruchi
April 5th, 1942

The 57 mm anti-tank gun mounted on the Komsomolets chassis showed itself as a dangerous weapon against any type of enemy tank. During use in battle, the following advantages and drawbacks were discovered.

  1. The gun is self propelled.
  2. The crew is protected by the gun shield.
  3. The sights are precise.
  4. The agility is good.
  5. The muzzle velocity is high.
  6. The range of direct fire is 2-2.5 km.
  7. The SPG is easy to hide.
  8. The rate of fire is 10-12 RPM.
On March 17th, 1942, one SPG (4th Guard Tank Brigade) fired 13 times and knocked out 3 tanks at a range of 2 km during an enemy counterattack, the rest turned back.

  1. The recoil mechanism and return mechanisms break quickly.
  2. The engine is weak, especially in conditions of deep snow, mud, or steep climbs.
The 57 mm self propelled anti-tank gun battery was a part of the 4th Guards Tank Brigade motorized rifle battalion.

These guns were used on the offensive to support tanks. They drove behind the motorized infantry ranks from one line to the next. Usually, they covered the flanks. Convenient positions were chosen and the guns destroyed enemy strongholds that prevented the motorized infantry or tanks from advancing.

During counterattacks, the guns were used to deflect tank or infantry attacks.

On the defense, the guns were placed in directions where tanks were likely to appear and were sometimes sent in behind tanks. Since they fought as a part of the motorized rifle battalion with tank battalions, their job was usually to cover the flanks. There were cases where the crew or the tractor were knocked out by shrapnel from shells that burst nearby. It is reasonable to install the gun on a T-60 chassis.

Deputy Commander of Armoured Vehicles of the Southern Front, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, Stevnev
Military Commissar of the Armoured Vehicles Directorate of the Southern Front, Valuyev"

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